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WATCH: Ontario’s education minister announces new Grade 9 math curriculum

Watch the livestream feed of the press conference here

Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, announced the release of a new Grade 9 math course, as part of the province’s four-year mathematics strategy.

Intended to equip students with valuable learning opportunities that will support their success in the workforce, the course includes mandatory new learning on coding, data literacy, mathematical modelling and an emphasis on financial literacy.

The new course also ends the practice of streaming Grade 9 students into applied and academic courses, a practice that has in the past disadvantaged some students. 

Ending streaming will keep options open for all students to pursue postsecondary education and training in any pathway they choose, said a press release from the province. 

The Ministry of Education will also work with its education partners to ensure teachers and students are supported with the new math course.

The course represents a major update that reflects emerging job-market needs, emphasizes real-world applications and responds to key recommendations provided by employers and education experts, the press release said.

It is a significant shift in how Ontario teaches students about mathematics and represents the first update since 2005 – the same year YouTube was launched.

The province said the course:

  • Ensures relevance to today’s job market with an emphasis on practical life skills – from the concept of interest, debt, savings, personal budgeting and price comparisons.
  • Builds on learning from the modernized and landmark Grade 1-8 math curriculum to better prepare students for more advanced math to allow students to pursue any postsecondary, skilled trade and pathway in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that they choose.
  • Helps students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow by introducing new learning of how to apply coding skills to understand complex mathematics and to make predictions. In addition, the course builds on students’ understanding of data to represent and analyze real-life situations.

“We are better preparing students with the life and job skills they require – with a focus on financial literacy, coding, and data literacy – to ensure Ontario students succeed,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, in the press release. 

“With an emphasis on real-world applications for mathematics, this course will teach students valuable fundamentals that will give them a competitive advantage when they graduate. With new math-focused learning supports and a new curriculum, our government is taking the first step toward ending early streaming in Ontario, while promoting equal opportunities for all students.”

Watch the livestream feed above.