Reports & Data
State of Learning in Canada
Although Canada apparently has one of the most highly educated populations in the world, there are serious signs of trouble. We ignore them at our peril.
More than four in 10 Canadian adults cannot read, write, do arithmetic or solve problems at the level required to participate fully in today’s economy. And, literacy and numeracy skills decline with age, indicating that many Canadians are not using these skills.
The State of Learning in Canada report, published for the first time in 2007, examines just that—Canada’s state of learning in early childhood, at school, through adulthood, in the workplace and for Aboriginal Peoples, with a special feature on literacy that touches all these areas.
Each chapter introduces and defines a particular learning area, and presents data indicators on the topic. Individual indicators are then explored in terms of their importance and applied as measures of the evolving state of learning in Canada. Where possible, Canadian indicators are compared over time and to relevant data from other countries.
The chapters conclude with a summary of where Canada currently stands in each area of learning and what further information is required to gauge progress. Every chapter ends with a final section entitled “What will CCL do?” which outlines the Council’s plans for research and analysis in the years ahead.
Ongoing learning is the foundation of success for individuals, their communities, and our country as a whole. Through the annual State of Learning in Canada reports, the Canadian Council on Learning aims to stimulate an active dialogue on the role of learning in our society, and fulfil our vision of being a catalyst for lifelong learning across Canada.
In addition, the amount of workplace training available in Canada is low compared to many other developed countries. And the workers with the lowest levels of literacy—arguably those who would benefit most from further training—are the least likely to have access to employer-supported training.
The report examines many of the factors that contribute to successful lifelong learning— from early childhood, through the school years and into adulthood. It also takes a special look at the link between health and learning, and at the learning challenges faced by Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.
Canada’s literacy challenges are highlighted throughout this report. In addition to being woven through each chapter as a vital component of all aspects and stages of lifelong learning, literacy is the focus of a special feature for the 2007 State of Learning in Canada.
There is no room for complacency with respect to Canada’s literacy challenge. The stakes— for this generation and the next—are simply too high.
The following pages contain highlights from State of Learning in Canada: No Time for Complacency.