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Articles on Ontario education

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‘Back to basics’ language used by the government distracts from the importance of continuously updating and revising curriculum. (Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages)

Changes are coming to Ontario’s kindergarten program — what parents and caregivers need to know

We need to ensure the best scientific research in play-based learning and early reading is leveraged, and teachers receive supports to meet children’s developmental and academic needs.
In a research study on the accessibility of French immersion, one parent was told she faced a three-year wait to access reading supports for her child. (Andrew Ebrahim/Unsplash)

Schools have a long way to go to offer equitable learning opportunities, especially in French immersion

Parents in a study about the accessibility of French immersion programs discussed inadequate support for learning to read and feeling pressured to pay for expensive tutors.
Canada’s provinces can learn much from each other about approaches to pandemic recovery. Students seen at College Louis Riel in Winnipeg, Man., in January 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Low PISA math scores post-pandemic: Policies need to consider both academic excellence and equity

To boost post-pandemic math learning, a multi-dimensional approach is needed that promotes the success of the whole child: academic, physical and socio-emotional.
One student in a study said they would have loved to receive emails about school closures: ‘I always had to ask my parents. Sometimes they don’t read the emails.’ (Shutterstock)

Listening to youth voices was missing in the COVID-19 pandemic response

Insights from youth about COVID-19 school closures and youth exclusion from pandemic-related decisions suggest we have an opportunity to improve how we support youths’ rights.
A school shift towards reading Indigenous literature shows students and our society the importance of learning about Indigenous perspectives, cultures, contributions and histories. (Jennifer Brant)

Indigenous-authored novels: 5 great contemporary reads for young adults

Researchers from an Indigenous literatures lab examine texts that are well-suited for a new Grade 11 course, First Voices.
When University of Manitoba Faculty Association went on strike and hit the picket lines in 2016, the association raised issues about having a greater say over ever-increasing workloads, appropriate use of metrics in evaluation and job security. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

University and school strikes across Canada are about workers’ rights — and protecting education as a public good

Education strikes by university and public school workers are political fights about diminished respect for education as a public good and workers’ rights in an economy that perpetuates inequality.
CUPE members and supporters join a demonstration outside the office of Parm Gill, Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Milton, Ont., on Nov. 4, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nick Iwanyshyn

Ontario education strike fallout: Workers’ anger about economic inequalities and labour precarity could spark wider job action

Frustration about unsettled bargaining that predates the pandemic could get channelled into pronounced resistance from educational workers during the coming months.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford sits in the Ontario legislature during Question Period as members debate a bill meant to avert a planned strike by 55,000 education workers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario school strike: Government’s use of the notwithstanding clause — again — is an assault on labour relations

The Ontario government’s latest use of the notwithstanding clause is at odds with its stated intention to keep kids in school amid a labour dispute — and at odds with the heart of labour relations norms.
Ontario’s elementary and secondary school curricula now include coding, a most basic aspect of learning programming. (Shutterstock)

Why elementary and high school students should learn computer programming

Teaching computer programming to youth can prepare them for the future job market, promote equity in tech professions and develop students’ computational thinking skills.
If teachers were to only address the skills, knowledge and referral protocols that Ontario’s Human Rights Commission recommends, students wouldn’t have essential knowledge to support their reading. (Shutterstock)

Why Ontario’s ‘Right to Read Inquiry’ needs to broaden its recommendations

Direct instruction matters in learning to read, but reading can’t happen unless children are supported in making connections to what they know and their experiences.
Ontario restored standardized testing in 2021-22 after missing a year due to the pandemic, but it’s going to be difficult to analyze results without consistent baseline data. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

After Ontario’s COVID-19 school closures, a responsive recovery plan is critical

Ontario’s incoming government after the election will have its work cut out for it in restoring the public’s faith after extensive school closures.
Parent activism for racial justice in schools is parent engagement. How are school boards valuing and supporting this? THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

5 ways school boards can address racial injustice

Rethinking accountability structures, how to engage parents and the community and how to support anti-racist leadership competencies all matter.
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.

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