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Ontario introducing Mandatory Black History learning and other curriculum changes

As the province celebrates Black History Month, the Ontario government is introducing new mandatory learning this September.

Education Minister Steve Lecce says for the first time, Grades 7, 8 and 10 history classes will include mandatory learning with an emphasis on elevating Black history as Canadian history.  

Lecce adds the government has released the new Ontario Curriculum Review and Revision Guide providing an overview of the ministry’s current process for reviewing and revising the curriculum in both English and French from kindergarten to Grade 12, while also outlining the government’s plan to review curriculum every five years to ensure it is up-to-date and relevant to today’s job and life skills.  

Ontario will also be issuing the following updates to the curriculum for implementation in September 2024, which include:


  • Technological Education, Grades 9 and 10 – Starting with students entering Grade 9 in September 2024, high school students will now be required to earn a Grade 9 or 10 Technological Education credit as part of their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. These two hands-on courses will help students explore and apply the engineering design process and fundamental technological concepts. These skills will give students an opportunity to explore programs and training pathways that can lead to a variety of STEM-related careers, including the skilled trades.


  • Building the Entrepreneurial Mindset, Grade 9 and Launching and Leading a Business, Grade 10 – In these two new experiential courses, students will begin to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and learn the importance of taking initiative, adapting to change, finding creative solutions to issues, and understanding the financial considerations of entrepreneurship. For example, the Grade 10 course will give students real-life experience on starting and running a business.


  • Exploring Canadian Geography, Grade 9 (de-streamed) – As part of the continued commitment to de-streaming the Grade 9 program, this course allows students to examine environmental and economic issues, and their impact related to topics such as natural resources, careers, as well as land use and sustainability. It will provide students with an understanding of the connections between STEM and Canada’s natural environment as it connects to Canadian identity and values.


  • Career Studies, Grade 10 – As announced in May 2023, the ministry is revising the Grade 10 Career Studies course to include additional mandatory learning on mental health literacy. The revised course will help students learn how to recognize signs of being overwhelmed or struggling, as well as where to find help locally when needed.


  • English, Grade 9 – This revised course for French-language schools is aligned with the Grade 9 English course for English-language schools, based on the same structure and strands. It will enable students to continue to develop and consolidate the foundational knowledge and skills they need for reading, writing, and oral and visual communication.
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