The Teaching Profession in Canada in 2025 - Uncertainty, Opportunity and Change
Stephen Murgatroyd, PhD FBPsS FRSA
Presentation to The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation, October 2017
firstname.lastname@example.org / @murgatroydsteph
A brief history of the future
Implications for education (K-12)
Implications for Schools
Implications for Young People
The challenge for the teaching profession and its
Distraction 1: Appease to parents – “If only there were
more choice of schools and smaller class sizes”
Distraction 2: Fix the infrastructure – “If only we had
more effective curricula, more rigorous standards,
more tests and more alternative-shaped buildings”
Distraction 3: Fix the student – “If only we had better,
Distraction 4: Fix the schools – “If only schools had
more money and autonomy, they would be better
Distraction 5: Fix the teachers – “If only teachers had
better initial training, were paid for performance and
adopted new technology”
Core Skills, Citizenship and
““The main purpose of a school is to
provide for the fullest possible
development of each learner for living
morally, creatively, and productively
in a democratic society.”
Frequent Testing /
Equity as the Key
Across the world, 46% of young people
say school is a huge stressor
In Canada this figure is 63%
Students spend over 15,000 hours in
school. It is a place of anxiety for many.
Between 1978/79 and 2004, the combined
prevalence of obesity among those aged 2 to 17
years in Canada increased from 15 per cent to 26
Increases were highest among youth, aged 12 to 17
years, with overweight and obesity more than
doubling for this age group, from 14 per cent to 29
Of young people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes,
44% are First Nations, Metis or Inuit.
An estimated 1.5 million Canadian children
and youth (aged 5-24) are affected by mental
health issues and are not receiving access to
appropriate supports, treatment, or care, with
as many as 70% of young adults living with
mental health problems or illnesses reporting
that symptoms started in childhood.
Approximately 6% of young people experience
and anxiety disorder serious enough to
In 2016 there were 914 overdose deaths in B.C., two-
thirds linked to fentanyl. This number includes 142
deaths last December, 11 in one night.. Another 116
overdose deaths happened in BC in January 2017.
While the West Coast is the epicenter, drug users are
dying across the country. There were 343 fentanyl and
carfentanil-related deaths in Alberta in 2016.
Regina and Saskatoon have the highest rates of
hospitalizations for significant opioid poisoning among
Prairie cities with a population of 100,000 or more.
Final Ontario numbers have not yet been released for
2016, there were 353 overdose deaths reported in Toronto
alone in 2016.
SuicideYouth are among the highest risk populations for
suicide. In Canada, suicide accounts for 24 percent
of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16 percent
among 16-44 year olds. Suicide is the second
leading cause of death for Canadians between the
ages of 10 and 24. Teen suicide is growing,
especially amongst First Nations and
1 in 7 persons in Canada live in poverty – 4.9 million
17% of Canada’s youth live in poverty – but for
Canada’s indigenous youth, this figure is between 45-
50% (varying by location).
Saskatchewan has the third highest provincial
child poverty rate.
45% of Aboriginal children live in low-income families.
More than one in three immigrant children are poor.
20% of children spent three or more years in poverty,
exceeding the national average of 15%.
One-third of poor children in Saskatchewan live in
families with full-time, full-year employment.
Despite these issues, young people are optimistic
Greater access to education across the life-cycle
Faster and easier communication
Global sense of citizenship
Youthful commitment to peace
But are fearful of..
Warmongering by the US
Growing inequality in Canada
Climate change / environment