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Advisory Circle of Educators - Terms of Reference

Mandate

The Advisory Circle of Educators (ACOE) is mandated to:

  • provide advice to Elections Canada (EC) regarding future directions for its civic education program;
  • provide advice on specific educational resources and initiatives; and
  • provide advice on best ways to ensure uptake by educators.

Responsibilities

At the invitation of EC, ACOE members serve as advisors for civic education programming developed by EC for schools.

More specifically, ACOE members will advise on the development of new educational resources and specific programs.

ACOE members will be expected to advise EC on relevant changes or developments in their educational communities, on curriculum development and on professional development opportunities in their communities.

ACOE members will advise on best practices for piloting EC civic education initiatives to ensure excellence and relevance, and assist personally or identify willing teachers in their communities.

ACOE members will advise on the effective promotion of EC civic education initiatives in schools across Canada and raise awareness with their colleagues via existing provincial/territorial education and interjurisdicational networks and in First Nations schools.

Term

Members shall be appointed for a term of three years, beginning in September 2017 and ending in June 2020. Should a member need to retire, a replacement will be found. Pending a review, the ACOE may continue beyond June 2020.

Membership and chair

ACOE members are invited as experts and participate in a personal capacity. They are selected based on their expertise in teaching social studies or a related subject at any level, and with a balance of expertise in civic literacy, developing curriculum, developing and delivering professional development and evaluating programs, among others.

EC will serve as a secretariat for the ACOE, chaired by EC's Policy and Public Affairs' senior management. EC will organize the meetings, including agenda items and material, and invite all participants to be equal contributors. EC will provide logistical, reporting and general support for the ACOE meetings, as well as between meetings for ad hoc engagement or targeted consultation.

Commitment

During their term, ACOE members will be asked to attend up to two consultation sessions per year in the National Capital Region, usually in the fall and winter. Throughout the year, ACOE members may also be consulted from a distance, individually or in a virtual discussion group, as required. These may take the form of pre-meeting preparations, consultations on direction or details of specific initiatives, advice on provincial liaison and meeting follow-up.

It is expected that meetings will be two days in length, requiring four days' commitment per year, plus travel time. EC will determine the structure of the meetings, depending on the status of initiatives under development, current issues, the need for particular consultations and any other issue that might be generated by ACOE members. The time commitment for consultation between meetings will vary from year to year, but it is expected to be a maximum of 20 hours annually.

Location, travel and expenses

The meetings will take place in the National Capital Region. Travel required to participate in face-to-face meetings will be coordinated and covered in full by EC. Travel expenses will be reimbursed as per the Treasury Board of Canada's Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures for non-public servant travel. Should practising teachers require supply teachers while they attend meetings in the National Capital Region, this would be considered on an individual basis, where appropriate.

Confidentiality and impartiality

In accepting to be part of the ACOE, members agree that they will not disclose any information or documents, since most will be in the planning phase. Members serve as subject matter experts and provide advice that is non-partisan and impartial. Meetings will be held on a not-for-attribution basis to encourage candid discussion.

Alternates

As members are invited to participate based on their knowledge and expertise, no alternates or other representatives may replace ACOE members at meetings. This will also help to ensure the continuity of discussion.