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Articles on Ontario education

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Black Lives Matter protesters threw pink paint on a statue of Egerton Ryerson at Ryerson University in Toronto on July 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio

Egerton Ryerson: Racist philosophy of residential schools also shaped public education

Let’s not ignore how the racist philosophy behind residential schools shaped mainstream education. Ryerson foresaw Canada’s continuing evolution into a “civilized,” white, culturally British nation.
Ending racism in schools requires a deep understanding of anti-Black racism. (Wayne Lee Sing/Unsplash)

How to curb anti-Black racism in Canadian schools

Although school boards have yet to find a systemic way to combat anti-Black racism, educators are in a unique position to correct these injustices.
Students of School Section #13 with teacher, Verlyn Ladd, who taught at the school from 1939 to 1958. Class of 1951, Buxton, Raleigh Township, Ontario. (Buxton National Historic Site & Museum)

Black History: How racism in Ontario schools today is connected to a history of segregation

An 1850 act permitted the creation of separate schools for Protestants, Catholics and for any five Black families. Some white people used the act to force Black students into separate institutions.
Teacher activism in the U.S. has helped pushed the Democratic party towards renewed investment in public education. Children listen as former president Barack Obama campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Oct. 21, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Matt Slocum)

How teachers’ union activism helped shift the U.S. election debate on education

The push to expand charter schools in the U.S. contributed to a robust movement of teachers’ unions and allies demanding a well-resourced public school system.
In-class and face-to-face experiences are uniquely valuable for students and should be protected at all costs. Here, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce speaks at at Queen’s Park in Toronto on March 3, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

Mandatory e-learning is a problem in Ontario high schools

Forcing parents or students to opt out of mandatory e-learning will only serve to normalize Ontario’s push to cut costs at the expense of what’s best for young people.
Susan Hoenhous and other teachers of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario participate in a full withdrawal of services strike in Toronto on Jan. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Mike Harris’s ‘common sense’ attack on Ontario schools is back — and so are teachers’ strikes

For some teachers, this week’s rotating strikes in Ontario are a chilling reminder of the school fallout of 1995-2002, when Mike Harris was premier.
Students walk on campus at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ont., in March 2017. An Ontario court recently ruled in favour of student associations and struck down an Ontario government directive that threatened their survival. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah Yoon

Legal win doesn’t mean Ontario student associations are in the clear

The survival of Ontario student associations, and the services they provide, depends on whether the government finds a way to lawfully implement its Student Choice Initiative after a legal defeat.
Following a negotiation impasse, Ontario public secondary teachers walked off the job on a one-day strike. Here, striking teachers are seen outside the Toronto District School Board office on Yonge Street in Toronto, Dec. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Ontario’s high school e-learning still hasn’t addressed students with special needs

Ontario high school labour negotiations broke down over student quality of learning — including mandatory e-learning. Ontario has yet to explain how this will work for students with special needs.
Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce arrives at a press conference to announce a tentative deal reached with CUPE in Toronto on Oct. 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston

What striking education workers and climate activists have in common

Frustration at intergenerational inequity captures the views of many contemporary education worker activists and environmentalists alike.
Sex education includes both formal and informal education, so schools should not be afraid of reaching out to parents. (Shutterstock)

Parents can benefit as much as their kids from Ontario’s new sex ed

Progressive responses that problematize Ontario’s new opt-out policy for sex ed might reinforce the misleading idea that parents are an obstacle to their children’s sex education.
Why don’t students say math is imaginative? Here, the White Rabbit character originally from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, written under mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s pen name, Lewis Carroll. (Shutterstock)

Mathematics is about wonder, creativity and fun, so let’s teach it that way

Mathematician Peter Taylor taught high school math to prepare to develop a new ‘RabbitMath’ curriculum that emphasizes collaborative creativity and learning to work with complex systems.
Over the last hundred years, there have been at least three major waves of ‘progressive’ education in Ontario. Here, Premier Doug Ford with Finance Minister Vic Fedeli after presenting the 2019 budget at the legislature on April 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Welcome to the latest wave of ‘modernizing,’ ‘progressive’ school reforms in Ontario

The Progressive Conservative government’s call to modernize education invokes long-standing rhetoric about progressive education in paradoxical ways.
Many provinces are focused on constraining the growth of teaching and staffing costs in education. Here, Ontario Premier Doug Ford with United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney, in Calgary, Oct. 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta election shows the threat to public education in Canada

In calls for dramatic action to overhaul education in the name of improvement and efficiencies, we see the impact of global trends in privatization.
Early intervention could make a difference. Here, protestors gather at Queen’s Park in Toronto on March 7, 2019 to protest changes to Ontario’s autism program. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

I’m an ‘Autism Mom.’ Here’s why Ontario is choosing the wrong path

An inclusive education researcher says the government’s consolation plan to boost school funding for autism services with no investment in early childhood education flies in the face of evidence.

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