As the Ministry of Education no longer conducts evaluation processes to recommend learning resources, that responsibility is left to the school authority. This policy sets out the guidelines for the development of specific school-based procedures that determine how learning resources are selected, as well as how concerns or challenges will be addressed.
Definition of Learning Resources
Learning Resources are texts, videos, software, and instructional materials that teachers and students use to meet learning goals.
Learning Resources Approval Process
This policy is specific to learning resources which form the core program collection of resources. Learning resources used in the school will be evaluated and approved only after consideration is given to social considerations, age, and developmental appropriateness, as well as the school authority’s philosophical and cultural values. In cases where potentially controversial materials are being considered, at least two members of the school staff, with one being the principal or designate, shall review the resources in question before any decision about using the resource is made.
The evaluation criteria used in determining appropriate learning resources for the school will include, but are not limited to:
- Supports learning
- Assists students in making connections between what they learn in school and its practical application in their lives
- Addresses developmental and age appropriateness
- Has or is part of an effective instructional and technical design
- Meets the requirements set by copyright and privacy (PIPA) legislation
- Suitable based on the social, philosophical, and cultural values of the school
Evaluating resources from the perspective of social, philosophical, and cultural values will:
- encourage understanding and promote positive social attitudes and respect for diversity and individual differences
- help to ensure that students will see themselves and their life experiences within a free, pluralistic, and democratic society
Withdrawal of a Recommended Learning Resource
Learning Resources can be reviewed at any time, regardless of prior approval, as each context is different. The recommendation to withdraw a learning resource that has been approved at the school level will be made by a committee of at least two people, with at least one being a representative of the Board and at least one being a practicing teacher, preferably with experience and knowledge in the level and subject area for which the resources are intended.
Challenge to the Use of Approved Learning Resources
Challenges to the use of authority recommended learning resources must follow the school’s policy on complaints and appeals. Based on the committee’s recommendation, the authority may dismiss the challenge and/or raise the awareness of the implications of using the resource with the teaching staff and/or modify the resource for school use.