This section comprises a curricular overview (below), as well as information about professional development for media education, and about Ontario's provincial media education association, the Association for Media Literacy (AML), in the sidebar.
Also included in the sidebar, are curriculum charts for Grades 1-12 that feature media education outcomes in the Ontario English Language Arts curriculum, with links to supporting MediaSmarts resources and lessons.
Last reviewed in August 2023
In 1987, Ontario was the first Canadian province to mandate media education. The new curriculum specified it was to constitute one-tenth of Grades 7-8 English and one-third of Grades 9-10 and 11-12 English courses. In 1995, media education was introduced into Ontario's Common Curriculum: Policies and Outcomes for Grades 1-8. In 2023, the Language and English curriculum began to incorporate Digital Media Literacy as a single discipline.
The Language and English 9 curriculum is based in part on the principle that “a modern English curriculum reflects emerging technologies and their impact on communication and digital media literacy,” which is defined as combining “the ability to combine the multimodal properties of media literacy with the technological capabilities of digital literacy.”
Each course is divided into four strands:
A. Literacy Connections and Applications
B. Foundations of Language
C. Comprehension: Understanding and Responding to Texts
D. Composition: Expressing Ideas and Creating Texts
There are connections to digital media literacy in strands A, C and D. Strand A also contains a dedicated Digital Media Literacy expectation.
The secondary English curriculum (grades 10-12) has four strands: Literature Studies and Reading, Writing, Language, and Media Studies. The media education strand includes critical thinking components and constitutes a quarter of the learning expectations. Media components are also integrated within the other three strands.
The English curriculum for Grades 11 and 12 also includes an optional Media Studies course, which is built around the study of media texts, media audiences and media production. Other optional courses in Canadian Literature, Writers' Craft and Literacy also include media-related expectations.
In addition to the English curriculum, media education expectations are found in many other parts of the curriculum in Ontario, particularly Health and Physical Education and Technological Education. Curriculum outcome pages are included in the sidebar with links to supporting resources and lessons.