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Glossary

The definitions provided in this glossary are specific to the curriculum context in which the terms are used.

A

Aboriginal

A term sometimes used for the descendants of the original inhabitants of North America. Section 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982, states, “In this Act, ‘aboriginal peoples of Canada’ includes the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.” These separate groups have unique heritages, languages, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs.

action plan

A plan used to guide the process of achieving a goal. An action plan includes such details as monitoring progress, revising action steps, and refining goals.

apprenticeship

A form of education that includes both classroom and on-the-job training and that leads to certification in a specific trade.

C

career

The sum of one’s experiences in a variety of roles throughout life. Every person has a career, which includes all of the individual’s work, learning, community, and family roles.

citizenship

An understanding of the rights of citizens within various communities (local, national, global) and of the roles, responsibilities, and actions associated with these rights.

community partners

People or organizations in the community (e.g., parents, businesses, agency personnel) that work with school staff and/or students to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

conflict-resolution strategies

A variety of methods used to resolve conflict among people peacefully (e.g., negotiation, mediation, avoidance, accommodation).

cooperative learning

Instruction that involves students working in teams to accomplish a common goal.All members of the team must work together to complete a task, and each member is accountable for the final result.

D

demographics

Statistics that describe the characteristics of human populations, such as size, age, and distribution.

diversity

In reference to a society, the variety of groups of people who share a range of commonly recognized physical, cultural, or social characteristics. Categories of groups may be based on various factors or characteristics, such as gender, race, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability/disability, age, religion, and socioeconomic level.

E

employability skills

The core competencies required in all work settings.The Conference Board of Canada’s Employability Skills Profile identifies three critical groups of skills: academic, personal management, and teamwork.

entrepreneurship

A creative process that involves the use of resources to implement innovative ideas for new, thoughtfully planned ventures.

essential skills

Skills that are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways and at different levels of complexity. They provide the foundation for learning other skills, such as the technical skills required in specific occupations. The nine essential skills identified by the Government of Canada’s Essential Skills Research are reading text, document use, writing, numeracy, oral communication, thinking skills, working with others, computer use, and continuous learning.

experiential learning

Learning acquired wholly or in part through practical experiences inside and outside the classroom.

F

First Nations

The term used to refer to the original inhabitants of Canada, except Inuit. The term came into common usage in the 1970s to replace the word “Indian”, which many found offensive. The term “First Nation” has been adopted to replace the word “band” in the names of communities. 

G

gay

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, “people whose enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attractions are to people of the same sex.” (From Teaching Human Rights in Ontario: A Guide for Ontario Schools.)

gender

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, “the social classification of people as masculine and/or feminine.” (From Teaching Human Rights in Ontario: A Guide for Ontario Schools.) See also gender identity, gender expression, and sex.

gender expression

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, “how a person publicly presents or expresses their gender. This can include behaviour and outward appearance, such as dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice. A person’s chosen name and pronoun are also common ways people express their gender. Others perceive a person’s gender through these attributes.” (From Policy on Preventing Discrimination Because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression.) See also gender.

guided learning

A teaching style that involves direct guidance from teaching staff to assist students in learning new content or completing an activity.

H

heterosexual

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, “a person who has emotional, physical, spiritual and sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex.” (From Teaching Human Rights in Ontario: A Guide for Ontario Schools.)

I

Indigenous

A term referring to the original peoples of a particular land or region. First Nations (status and non-status), Inuit, and Métis are recognized as the Indigenous peoples of Canada. See also First NationsInuitMétis.

Indigenous ways of knowing

Place- or community-based knowledge that recognizes the interconnectedness of all living things and is obtained through an Indigenous person’s lived experience, relationships, teachings, and ancestral connections to the land.

information interview

An interview conducted by a career or job seeker to acquire realistic information about a field, uncover unadvertised jobs or other work opportunities, or learn about other people with whom to network.

Inuit (singular: Inuk)

Original inhabitants of northern Canada, living mainly in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, northern Quebec, and northern Labrador. The word means “the people” in the Inuit language of Inuktitut. Inuit are not covered by the Indian Act. The federal government has entered into several major land claim settlements with Inuit.

J

job

A specific set of duties performed for a specific employer in a prescribed location or range of locations for a specific rate of pay.

job shadowing

An activity in which a student observes a worker performing a job in order to gather information to assist his or her own career planning.

job twinning

Specific to experiential learning, job twinning involves the pairing of a student with a cooperative-education student for purposes of observation at a work placement.

K

knowledge holder

An individual who is recognized by the community as having the responsibility for the cultural and spiritual knowledge of  traditions, teachings, and practices; in First Nations communities, the knowledge holder is usually an Elder. The knowledge held is unique to the given culture or society. It is passed down from generation to generation and also acquired through lived experience. A knowledge holder often helps to guide the community or nation. (The terms knowledge holder and knowledge keeper are interchangeable in some communities.) 

knowledge keeper

A traditional teacher who may or may not be recognized as an Elder, but who still carries the teachings of the community, and can be called upon for that expertise. The teachings may pertain to language, culture, the arts, dancing, and/or singing, among other things. A knowledge keeper is often supported by a knowledge holder. (The terms knowledge keeper and knowledge holder are interchangeable in some communities.)

L

lesbian

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, “a woman who has emotional, physical, spiritual and/or sexual attraction to other women.” (From Teaching Human Rights in Ontario: A Guide for Ontario Schools.)

M

mediation

A process of resolving conflict or difficulties in which a neutral person brings together and facilitates a negotiation between disputants. In peer mediation, the mediators are students trained to mediate between other students.

Métis

People of mixed First Nations and European ancestry. The Métis history and culture draw on diverse ancestral origins, such as Scottish, Irish, French, Ojibwe, and Cree.

Métis Senator

A Métis individual recognized and respected by the community, who has knowledge of Métis culture, traditions, and experience, and is dedicated to preserving Métis ways of life and governance. In Ontario, the Métis self-governance system includes one Métis Senator on each community council.

N

National Occupational Classification (NOC)

A Canadian occupational classification system that codes and categorizes more than 25 000 occupational titles according to two basic criteria, skill type and skill level.

networking

The process of connecting with other people, often for the purpose of information exchange and support, when searching for work or advancing or changing a career.

numeracy

Numeracy refers to building mathematical knowledge and skills, including reasoning, problem solving, and communication, as they apply in all subject areas. For additional information, refer to the Ministry of Education resource document Think Literacy: Cross-Curricular Approaches,Grades 7–12 – Mathematics: Subject-Specific Examples, Grades 7–9, 2004.

O

occupation

A cluster of jobs with similar tasks and skills performed at a variety of locations. “Teacher” is an occupation; “teacher at Sturgeon Falls High School” is a job.

occupational classification system

A way of grouping occupations according to various criteria, such as similarity of tasks, that provides an overview of the work world.

P

peer support

The variety of roles in which students help other students (e.g., tutoring, orientation for students new to the school, mediation, mentoring).

personal-management skills

In this curriculum, those skills that people use to manage themselves in relation to such factors as time, goals, money, risk, change, and authority. Personal management is rooted in personality or temperament and so includes not only skills but also characteristics (e.g., optimism, independence, persistence).

portfolio

A tool used to organize and maintain personal, academic, and/or career-related credentials and evidence of accomplishments.

program pathway

The combination of courses and supports that make up a student’s educational program, designed to lead the student to a particular destination.A program pathway reflects the underlying purpose that motivates students in their choice of courses.

R

resilience

The ability to recover quickly or “bounce back” from disruptive change, illness, or misfortune without being overwhelmed or acting in dysfunctional ways. Resilient people possess the skills to cope with life’s challenges, respond to stress, and move forward. Children and youth have a naturally resilient nature, but it must be nurtured and strengthened, particularly in the face of one or more risk factors for mental health problems or illness. (Adapted from Ministry of Children and Youth Services [now the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services], A Shared Responsibility: Ontario’s Policy Framework for Child and Youth Mental Health, 2009.) See also protective factors and risk factors.

S

school–work transition programs

Programs that support students who may be choosing to go directly to work after secondary school. These programs incorporate both academic and technical expectations. They provide a process for making the transition to a new workplace or to related education/training opportunities and a process for gaining direct experience in a workplace.

Service Excellence

A training session offered through the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC). The program covers the basics of excellent and consistent service and focuses on the important role of the individual in building client loyalty and creating a positive image of the business or operation.Topics include customer loyalty, service commitments, teamwork, and communication.

sex

The category of male or female, based on characteristics that are biologically determined. See also gender, gender identity, and intersex.

sexual orientation

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, “the direction of one’s sexual interest or attraction. It is a personal characteristic that forms part of who you are. It covers the range of human sexuality from lesbian and gay, to bisexual and heterosexual.” (From Teaching Human Rights in Ontario: A Guide for Ontario Schools.)

skill

An ability or a capability that can be acquired and improved with experience, practice, and training. Many skills are transferable; that is, they can be transferred from one situation or task to another. 

social-emotional learning

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), “the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” (From “What is SEL?” on CASEL's website.) More information on social-emotional learning skills can be found in the Cross-curricular & integrated learning section.

SuperHost

A training session offered through the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC).The program is designed to raise the level of customer service in the tourism industry through the development of core customer service skills. Topics include “Hello, Welcome to …”; “The Power of Listening”; and “Tourism – It’s Everybody’s Business”.

W

work-style alternatives

Ways of working that differ from traditional full-time employment at one workplace. Examples include job sharing, shift work, flex-time arrangements, contract work, telecommuting, and consulting.

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

A health and safety area of training related to chemical use.

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