Vision for Student Success
British Columbia has a great education system, and we have the opportunity to make it even better. We have a renewed and clear mandate, to enable every learner to maximize their potential. This fuels our passion and vision that B.C. has educated citizens who thrive in a changing world.
As specified in the Statement of Education Policy Order, the purpose of the British Columbia school system is to enable learners to develop their individual potential and to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to contribute to a healthy society and a prosperous and sustainable economy.
To achieve this purpose, we have a collective mandate to develop the “educated citizen.” which is defined as having:
Intellectual Development – to develop the ability of students to analyze critically, reason and think independently, and acquire basic learning skills and bodies of knowledge; to develop in students a lifelong appreciation of learning, a curiosity about the world around them, and a capacity for creative thought and expression.
Human and Social Development – to develop in students a sense of self-worth and personal initiative; to develop an appreciation of the fine arts and an understanding of cultural heritage; to develop an understanding of the importance of physical health and well-being; to develop a sense of social responsibility, acceptance and respect for the ideas and beliefs of others.
Career Development – to prepare students to attain their career and occupational objectives; to assist in the development of effective work habits and the flexibility to deal with change in the workplace.
Focus all talents, efforts, and resources on improving student success. Our success will not just be measured by the amount of investment, legislative changes, the number of programs, or the amount of new construction, but rather on how well all students are succeeding in life, regardless of their background or where they live in B.C. – this is our foundation for a prosperous, shared, and sustainable economy. This commitment depends on using evidence to make decisions, having the courage to adjust and improve programs and policies that are not optimal for students, enabling equity of access to quality education for every student, aligning investments that clearly demonstrate better outcomes, and leading through innovative approaches.
Guided by evidence-driven and innovative practices, advancements in technology, evolutions within the labour market – both locally and globally – B.C. is dedicated to maintaining its position as a global leader in education by pioneering systemic changes that prepare students for an exciting new world. This preparation is critical to building a strong, sustainable, and prosperous economy for all British Columbians.
B.C. schools must do everything possible to prepare all students for their future. While B.C. student success has been good, it is inconsistent. Significant differences in student outcomes exist among Indigenous and vulnerable learners, and other significant differences exist between schools across the province. To address these gaps we will be guided by the international evidence on best practice and adopt an approach of continuous improvement and capacity building with educational leaders.
This policy aims to align our education system’s vision, our legislated mandate, and the work of all boards of education and independent school authorities to further student success.
Continuous improvement on student success will be guided by the following principles:
Great teachers and educational leaders have always been the key to student success. The critically important role of teachers in a student’s life will be constantly evolving to adapt to the rapidly changing context in children’s lives. Teachers will act as guides and coaches for learning for all students, including those with diverse learning needs. School leaders and teachers will focus on practices proven to achieve results, including experiential learning and technology in their classrooms, personal learning opportunities for every student, robust assessments, and time allocated for collaboration with other educators and professional development.
Students benefit from more flexibility and choice of how, when, and where their learning takes place. This requires maintaining provincial-level consistency in policy design and funding allocation, while enabling the most flexibility as possible to organize and deliver programs within schools. This will become increasingly important as B.C. takes a more inclusive approach to education, ensuring all students – regardless of ability or background – benefit from a learning environment tailored to maximize their potential. It also means offering a greater variety of pathways to graduation and more opportunities for hands-on learning.
Because the pace of social, economic, and environmental change is increasing, there is a greater need to enable all students to have essential skills, adaptability, global competencies and citizenship, and ultimately successful transition to employment. Our education system will enhance our efforts to prepare all students for lifelong learning, encourage the use of technology, and be prepared for graduation with practical expectations informed by employers and post-secondary institutions.
Having a modern and well-developed curriculum that reflects our values and expectations for skills, knowledge, and competencies will be effective for students only if it is complemented by rigorous and consistent learning standards and province-wide assessments. Evidence and international best practice conclude that using information on learning outcomes, especially feedback to learners from assessments, is critical to student success. British Columbia will endeavour to maintain our already high standards on learning outcomes, with a focus on literacy and numeracy, which evidence indicates offers all learners, regardless of background, the best opportunity to succeed in life and contribute to prosperous economy.
We will foster inclusive learning environments where all students feel that they are safe and belong – physically and emotionally –and where all students are inspired to explore their personal strengths and interests. To offer healthy learning environments where students, families, and educators can focus on supporting students achieve their learning outcomes, we will continue to enhance the construction of modern learning environments, enable flexible and virtual learning delivery, and enhance our efforts on physical literacy and best practices on nutrition.