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The progression of learning in secondary schoolconstitutes a complement to each school subject, providing further information on the knowledge that the students must acquire and be able to use in each year of secondary school. This tool is intended to assist teachers in planning both their teaching and the learning that their students are to acquire. 

The knowledge that young people acquire enables them to better understand the world in which they live. From a very early age, within their families and through contact with the media and with friends, they accumulate and learn to use an increasingly greater body of knowledge. The role of the school should be to progressively broaden, deepen and structure this knowledge.

Knowledge and competencies must mutually reinforce each other. On the one hand, knowledge becomes consolidated when it is used and, on the other hand, the exercise of competencies entails the acquisition of new knowledge. Helping young people acquire knowledge raises the challenging question of how to make this knowledge useful and durable, and thus evokes the notion of competency. For example, we can never be really assured that a grammar rule has been assimilated until it is used appropriately in a variety of texts and contexts that go beyond the confines of a repetitive, targeted exercise.

The role of the teacher in knowledge acquisition and competency development is essential, and he or she must intervene throughout the learning process. In effect, the Education Act confers on the teacher the right to “select methods of instruction corresponding to the requirements and objectives fixed for each group or for each student entrusted to his care.” It is therefore the teacher’s responsibility to adapt his or her instruction and to base it on a variety of strategies, whether this involves lecture-based teaching for the entire class, individualized instruction for a student or a small group of students, a series of exercises to be done, a team activity or a particular project to be carried out.

In order to meet the needs of students with learning difficulties, teachers should encourage their participation in the activities designed for the whole class, although support measures should also be provided when necessary. These might involve more targeted teaching of certain key elements of knowledge, or they might take the form of other specialized interventions.

As for the evaluation of learning, it serves two essential functions. Firstly, it enables us to look at the students’ learning in order to guide and support them effectively. Secondly, it enables us to verify the extent to which the students have acquired the expected learning. Whatever its function, in accordance with the Policy on the Evaluation of Learning, evaluation should focus on the acquisition of knowledge and the students’ ability to use this knowledge effectively in contexts that draw upon their competencies.

The progression of learning is presented in the form of tables that organize the elements of knowledge similarly to the way they are organised in the subject-specific programs. In Physical Education and Health, for example, the presentation of essential knowledge and the progression of learning are closely linked. Every element of learning indicated is associated with one or more years of secondary school during which it is formally taught. For subjects that continue on from elementary school, the Progression of Learning in Secondary School has been harmonized with the Progression of Learning in Elementary School.

A uniform legend is used for all subjects in order to specify the pattern of progression for each aspect of learning identified. The legend employs three symbols (an arrow, a star and a shaded box). For each aspect of learning cited, what is expected of the student is described as follows:

Flèche Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

An arrow indicates that teaching must be planned in a way that enables students to begin acquiring knowledge during the school year and continue or conclude this process in the following year, with ongoing systematic intervention from the teacher.

Étoile Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.

A star indicates that the teacher must plan for the majority of students to have acquired this knowledge by the end of the school year.

  Student reinvests knowledge.

A shaded box indicates that the teacher must plan to ensure that this knowledge will be applied during the school year.

In addition, certain subjects provide specifications for their respective programs.

The Progression of Learning in Secondary School is now available on the home page of the Web site of the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport. Access is easy and navigation a breeze!

After accessing the Progression of Learning in Secondary School through the English icon, teachers can use the menu, found on the left side of the screen, to rapidly view the progression of learning for each secondary subject area in the Québec Education Program.

After selecting an area of learning, users choose the subject they wish to consult. They can then select one of the sections to gain a better understanding of the overall progression.

In addition, hyperlinks to Science and Technology, for example, provide direct reference to footnotes or another section of the text that provides additional information.

The Progression of Learning in Secondary School is also available in PDF format, in an effort to make it more accessible. Teachers can save the Progression of Learning for a specific program and, if they so desire, print it for safekeeping and note taking.

It is important to specify that this tool was produced in Web format in order to enable its users to quickly go back and forth between the Québec Education Program and the Progression of Learning.

To conclude, the Ministère would like to thank its many partners in schools and universities—teachers, Educational Services personnel and specialists in different disciplines—who agreed to share their expertise throughout the process of bringing this document through to completion.

As well, the Ministère would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm its intention to accompany the schools in the implementation of the Québec Education Program.

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