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CIDEC Seminar Series

Winter 2017 Seminar Series (Room 7-105)

CIDE Seminar Series Schedule Winter 2017

Wed. January 11, 2016 11:30 am-1:00 pm Chair: Dr. Stephen Anderson

An Evaluation of the School  Improvement Networks Strategy in Chile

Presenters: Luis Ahumada, Alvaro Gonzalez, Mauricio Pino, Carmen Montecinos, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Networking has been highlighted as an important strategy towards promoting improvement at all levels of the school system. In 2015 the Ministry of Education created the School Improvement Networks of primary and secondary public schools. The current study examines the functioning of these networks through the use of an adapted version of the Educational Collaborative Network Questionnaire (Diaz-Gibson et al., 2014) with a sample of school networks. Each network includes between 10 to 15 schools and involves the participation of the school’s principal and curriculum coordinator. Promoting collaboration among schools in Chile is a challenge as over the last over 40 years market-based policies have used competition as leverage for improvement. This study aims to inform networks about possible adjustments to further develop the social capital that mobilizes collaboration among schools.

Why is it so difficult, but possible that schools improve and sustain improvement: Learning about sustainability improvement from Chilean schools.

Presenters: Xavier Vanni, Juan Pablo Valenzuela & Cristián Bellei, Center for Advanced Research in Education, University of Chile

This presentation is based on two investigations of school improvement in Chilean elementary schools. One study aimed is to identify trajectories of school improvement in Chilean elementary schools between 2002-2010, using a database of student performance and school characteristics from the Chilean National System for Measuring the Quality of Education (SIMCE) and analyzed trough case studies the conditions, factors and processes that explain this sustained improvement. The collective analysis of case studies for school improvement enabled a set of factors to be identified which are considered key to understanding the reasons behind these schools’ improvement in performance during the past decade. A set of key factor which explain the sustained improvement and  four school improvement trajectories were identified: restricted improvement; incipient improvement; moving toward institutionalization; and institutionalized school improvement. The second investigation was a follow-study of 14 effective schools in areas of poverty that were first studied in 2000-2002. The project was to replicate the first study in order to answer such questions as: how had the schools’ effectiveness evolved in a decade, and what were the conditions, factors and processes that explained this evolution, as well as the difficulties and challenges they confronted.


January 23, 26 and Feb 6 2017 - Seminars by Marco Seeber, Ghent U, Belgium; Jack Lee, Astana U, Kazakhstan; Elizabeth Bycjner, Columbia U, NY. All counted as CIDE seminars.

Wed. February 1, 2016 4:30-6:00 pmSchool leadership in Latin America 2000-2016
Presenters: Magdalena Fernández Hermosilla, Daniela Bramwell, Joseph Flessa

The project began with the goal of writing the introductory article to the journal Educational Management, Administration Leadership’s special edition on School Leadership in Latin America. The draft is now in the final review stages before submission. We conducted an extensive review of literature and documents to explore the following questions: What type of research is being published on school leaders in Latin America? What policies regarding school leaders exist in different Latin American countries?

Overall, the research team found that Latin America has begun showing more interest in school leadership, but there is still a relative silence on this topic. We explore why the relative silence and also why the recent increase in interest in the paper. We also found considerable differences between countries: countries such as Chile having a relatively long trajectory developing leadership and countries such as Peru only beginning to show interest. Policies related to school leaders are increasingly similar in Latin American countries: moving towards merit-based competitions for selection, developing evaluation mechanisms, developing standards and frameworks that tend towards instructional leadership, etc. We look forward to sharing our work with you and receiving your valuable feedback! 

Magdalena Fernández Hermosilla is a PhD Candidate in the Educational Leadership and Policy program at OISE, University of Toronto. She is an Educational Psychologist and has a Master in Leadership, Policy and Politics from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests are school improvement, leadership, and education policy in Chile and Latin America. She previously worked at an Educational Foundation dedicated to gathering and systematizing successful experiences at schools serving students in vulnerable areas and was the head of the training department for school leaders. 

Daniela Bramwell is a first year PhD student in the Educational Leadership and Policy program at OISE, University of Toronto. She has an MA in Educational Leadership and Policy from OISE. Her main area of interest is education policy in Ecuador and Latin America. She has worked as a teacher, junior education researcher at an NGO, policy analyst in the Ministry of Education in Ecuador, university professor, sub director of an education institute, sub coordinator of an education BA program and consultant in several education projects.

Joseph Flessa is associate professor in the Ed Leadership and Policy program at OISE. His recent projects include investigation of school leadership in high-poverty schools in Chile, parental involvement policies for schools in Ontario, and online professional development courses for principals in First Nations’ schools across Canada.


The Comparative, International and Development Education Centre Presents, The Joseph P. Farrell Student Research Symposium 2017

Friday, February 17th, 2017 I Smart Room (7-105) I 10:15am – 4:00pm

10:30-12:00: Session 1: Exploring Issues of Class and Culture in Education [Chair: Vandra Masemann]

Everyone’s Story: Becoming Culturally Collaborative by Using Hermeneutics for Equity in Blended Learning Discussions [Teresa Avery, M.A. Student, CTL]

Gender Complexities in Jamaican Secondary Education: Class, Culture and the ‘Elephant’ in the Room [Everton Ellis, PhD Candidate, LHAE]

Pedagogical Relationships in a Culturally Specific Program in Toronto [Alexandra Arraiz Matute, PhD Candidate, CTL]


12:45-2:15: Session 2: Governing and Internationalizing Education [Chair: Carly Manion]

China’s Outward-Oriented Higher Education Internationalization: A Multidimensional Analysis and an Empirical Inquiry into the Views of International Students [Hantian Wu, EdD Candidate, LHAE]

Governance and Management of Pre-University Education in Egypt [Ayman Rizk, PhD Candidate, LHAE]

Say ‘Hello’ and Don’t Say ‘Ni Hao” – An Examination of English-Only Policies at the Workplace and Their Implications [Xiaoyong Xia, M.Ed. Student CTL]


2:30-4:00: Session 3: Language, Learning and Identities [Chair: Norin Taj]

Identity Investment: Harnessing Social Media as a Platform for an Identity Text Project [Rebecca Martyn, M.A. Student, CTL]

Code-Switching and the Reshaping of Identity: Written Narratives of Adult Chinese Multilingual Students [Wales Wong, M.A. Student, CTL]

Teachers’ Perspectives on Uniform Language of Instruction in Low-Income Multilingual Communities: A Case Study of Karachi, Pakistan [Fatima Rizwan, M.Ed. Student, LHAE]


Friday February 24, 2017 11:30 am-1:00 pm POSTPONED

Corporate Engagement in the Education of Syrian Refugees: “Investing in the Crisis”

Francine Menashy, PhD, U of Mass, Boston

This study examines a recent surge in private sector participation in the education of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. High-profile companies and corporate foundations have launched widely-publicized educational initiatives for Syrian refugees, including Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Pearson, the Gates Foundation, and IKEA, to name only a few. Through analyses of documents, reports, social media, and key informant interviews, this research examines the activities through which private companies and foundations support Syrian refugee education, and explores the rationales and motivations that drive their involvement. While corporate actors have evidently worked to improve educational quality and access for refugees in many ways, the study exposes several areas for concern, including: insufficient coordination among private companies and foundations, and between the state and non-state sectors; decontextualized interventions with an overemphasis on technology; the potential for a rise in private school establishment at the expense of public provision; the ambiguous roles of business actors in public-policy making and global funding; and tensions between humanitarian aims and profit-driven rationales for involvement in the sector. The study raises key limitations to the assumed capacity of the private sector to understand and work within rapidly evolving crisis contexts, and brings to light ethical questions concerning the profit-oriented motivations of businesses to “invest” in this crisis.

Francine Menashy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research examines aid to education, private sector engagement, and the educational policies of international financial institutions. Her work has been published in such journals as the International Journal of Educational Development, Comparative Education Review, Journal of Education Policy, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, and Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. She has received grants and fellowships from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, the Open Society Foundation, Education International, the National Academy of Education and the Spencer Foundation. Francine holds a PhD from the University of Toronto/OISE.

Tuesday February 28, 2017 12 noon-2:00 pm

Changing Pedagogy at Scale in South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, and Ontario

Professor Brahm Fleisch, Wits School of Education, University of the Witswatersrand, S.A.; Rachel Ryerson, MOE, Ontario; & Santiago Rincón-Gallardo, EdD, OISE

Bringing effective pedagogy to scale remains one of the most pressing challenges of education systems across the globe. The past few decades have seen the emergence of varied initiatives and strategies in diverse contexts that have successfully managed to improve, transform, or re-invent instructional practice in large numbers of schools and across entire public education systems, with demonstrated improvements in student learning and engagement. This panel will feature and discuss the following four cases of relatively successful efforts to change pedagogy across thousands of schools:

  • Gauteng Language and Mathematics Strategy, South Africa
  • Learning Community Project, Mexico
  • Escuela Nueva, Colombia 
  • Ontario Reform Strategy, Ontario, Canada

These cases are featured in a recent Special Issue of the Journal of Educational Change, Bringing Effective Instructional Practice to Scale, available through February 2017 in the link below: http://link.springer.com/journal/10833/17/4/page/1

Brahm Fleisch is Professor of Education Policy and Head of the Division of Education Leadership, Policy and Skills at the Wits School of Education.  Brahm did his graduate studies at Columbia University in New York.  After moving back to South Africa in 1990, he has lectured in education at the University of the Witwatersrand and served as a district director in the newly formed Gauteng Department of Education from 1995-2000.  His books include Managing Education Change: The State and School Reform in the new South Africa; Primary Education in Crisis: Why South African Schoolchildren Underachieve in Reading and Mathematics and (co-authored with Stu Woolman) The Constitution in the Classroom: Law and Education in South Africa, 1994-2008.  His current research and professional work focuses on successful system-wide instructional reform.

Rachel Ryerson is currently the Manager of the Policy and Skills Unit with the Ontario Ministry of Education. She has advanced a number of initiatives in support of practices of collaborative inquiry, student voice and pedagogical documentation. She has worked as an elementary teacher, researcher in a large district school board, as well as with the Ministry of Education. Rachel is a passionate advocate of teacher and student research as sustainable forces of educational innovation and change.

Santiago Rincón-Gallardo is Chief Research Officer at Michael Fullan’s international consulting team. In this position, he conducts research and advises system leaders and educators to advance whole system reform for instructional improvement. Santiago worked for over a decade promoting grassroots pedagogical innovation in Mexican public schools serving historically marginalized communities. His academic work explores how effective pedagogies for deep learning can spread at scale. Santiago holds an Ed.M in International Education Policy and an Ed.D on Education Policy, Leadership and Instructional Practice from Harvard. He completed post-doctoral studies and is currently a visiting scholar at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.


Wednesday March 1, 2017 11:30-1:00 pm

Transgressive translanguaging: Connecting English and French literature-based discussions for critical literacy learning

Sunny Man Chu Lau, Bishop’s University, Quebec, Canada

bell hook’s (1994) advocacy for teaching to transgress invites educators and students alike to transgress boundaries to strive for ways to know and live fully and deeply as whole human beings. This paper aims to showcase a transgressive attempt in bringing French and English into one multiage (Grade 4-6) classroom, with its two teachers--English Language Arts and French Second Language—coordinating their teaching and curriculum design to build meaningful bridges across content and languages to deepen critical understanding. The project was transgressive in its translanguaging practices –a strategic interconnected use of two (or more) languages in the classroom -- that defy dominant monolingual hegemony, challenging traditional bilingual education practices in North America. It was also transgressive in its commitment to the Freirean view of literacy as reading (and writing) the word and the world. In the present world of growing global human flows and communication channels, dominant educational policy of academic monolingualism often prevents students of minority languages from participating in meaningful and complex academic pursuits due to the prevailing deficit views of these students’ abilitie. The main objective of this presentation is to showcase how the pedagogy of translanguaging could move second or additional language classrooms beyond superficial language learning to promote students’ deep, critical understanding for the complex changing needs of learners in an increasingly diverse and globally interconnected world.

Dr. Sunny Man Chu Lau is Associate Professor in the School of Education at Bishop’s University in Quebec, Canada. She won the 2012 Founders’ Emergent Scholars Award (sponsored by the International Society for Language Studies and Language Studies Foundation) for her critical scholarships in second language research.  Her two recent research projects (funded respectively by SSHRC and Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture--FRQSC) examine the use of translanguaging pedagogies in facilitating students’ bi/plurilingual competence and critical literacy engagements. She has published in Critical Inquiry of Language Studies, Intercultural Education, The Reading Teacher, Journal of Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, to name a few. 


Wednesday March 22, 2017 3-3:30 pm CIDE/CEPP SEMINAR

Teacher Unions in Challenging Times

Nina Bascia is Professor and Chair, LHAE, OISE, Director CEPP

This presentation describes a research project, “Teacher Unions in Challenging Times,” that was recently undertaken for an organization called Education International, the umbrella organization of all teacher unions around the world. The report describes the work of seven teacher unions in various parts of the world that are confronting challenging circumstances to ascertain what they are able to do to improve their situations and the situations of teachers.  This presentation will describe some of the considerations that must be undertaken to so that researchers can provide useful, practical advice for organizations like teacher unions. 

Nina Bascia is Professor and Chair of the Department of Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education (LHAE), and founding director of the Collaborative Program in Educational Policy at OISE. She is the author or editor of nine books including Unions in Teachers Professional Lives and Teacher Unions in Public Education. Over the past 30 years, she has conducted evaluation and academic research on teacher unions in particular and the intersection of teachers work and policy in general.


Thursday March 30, 2017 1:00-3:00 pm

Policy as Power: Education within the Parameters of State-Building

Abdurrahman A. Wahab, PhD Candidate (ABD), Department of Social Justice Education, OISE

This study presents an in-depth examination of the nature and processes of educational policymaking in Kurdistan Region-Iraq. It studies the condition of formal education in Kurdistan Region by critically examining major educational policy documents in both K-12 and higher education. The critical examination of the documents reveals major policy frameworks, which are related to the Kurdish nationalist agenda of establishing a nation-state. These policy frameworks in education are: Kurdish nationalism, democratization and bureaucratization. Analyzing the documents reveals the intricate relationship among these policy frameworks, which form the overall national agenda of state building of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), as well as their relationship with developing and perpetuating various educational issues in Kurdistan Region. By analyzing the documents through a critical democratic lens, I elaborate on the ways in which Kurdish ethno-nationalism, a titular, rhetorical and institution- and market-friendly notion of democracy, and an overriding, top-down bureaucratization, all within the political context of establishing a Kurdish nation-state in the past 25 years, have rendered a non-democratic, socially unjust and oppressive educational system. The main argument in this dissertation concerns presenting a transformative democratic framework in education as an alternative to the current pervasive nationalist paradigm. Rather than framing education and society within the paradigm of Kurdish ethno-nationalism, which depends on the exercise of power, hegemony, violence and indoctrination within the parameters of a modern nation-state, the transformative democratic framework, which promotes democratic relationships based on substantive moral values, such as equity, inclusion, empathy and human relatedness, can become the basis for establishing a more equitable and just society in Kurdistan Region.

Abdurrahman (Abdu) Wahab is a PhD candidate (ABD) at the Department of SJE, OISE, UofT. He has received his MA in English from UMASS-Boston as a Fulbright scholar from Kurdistan Region-Iraq. He has published numerous articles in English and Kurdish and a book in Kurdish on critical approaches to education and pedagogy in Kurdistan Region. 


Wednesday April 5, 2017 4:00-6:00 pm

Mind the Gap: How the language of “gaps” reproduce settler colonial constructions of race

Interest in “achievement gaps” in education research has spiked in recent years (Ladson-Billings, 2006, 2013; Noguera, 2008). In 2010, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) established the Achievement Gap Task Force to review student achievement data collected by the TDSB. The task force determined that an achievement gap existed for particular “racialized groups” which a released draft went on to label: “Aboriginal, Black (African heritage), Hispanic, Portuguese, Middle Eastern background” (TDSB, 2010, p. 3).Scholars, such as Ladson-Billings, have been pushing for the issue of “achievement gaps” to be re-framed in terms of “educational debt” or opportunity gap (Ladson-Billings, 2006).In 2011 the TDSB released a document titled, the Opportunity Gap Action plan, which was “concerned about the achievement gap in relation racialized groups of students and students disadvantaged by poverty.” According to this document, closing the achievement gap would require closing the opportunity gap first.

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the way in which the racially defined “achievement gap” operates within the logic and structure of settler colonialism. This research focuses on the ways in which the language of “gaps” perpetuates racial ordering, white supremacy, and settler colonial relations (Dumas, Dixson, Mayorga, Tuck, & Gorlewski, 2016; Gillborn, 2005). This study will employ a critical discourse analysis of the Opportunity Gap Action Plan and related documents released by the TDSB to address the racial disparities in educational achievement. Engaging with how race, racism and settler colonialism are embedded in policy, as written and enacted, contributes to educational policy analysis highlighting parallel influenced on the educational achievement of Indigenous and racialized students.

Diana Barrero is a M.A student in the Comparative, International, and Development Education & Curriculum Studies, and Teacher Development programs. Before starting her graduate studies, she worked in educational contexts in Cape Town (South Africa) and Nunavik (Northern Quebec). Her research focuses on identity construction, and issues of equity, diversity, and social justice in school and society. These interests stem from her international experiences studying and working abroad, as well as immigrating to Canada with her family. Presently, she is working in the Youth Solidarities Across Boundaries project which employs a youth participatory action research framework. She is also part of the Peace-building Citizenship Education project which has as one of its aims examining teachers’ and students understanding of key elements of democratic citizenship and peace-building education.


Adoptive Witness: The transmission of collective memory and identity in Israeli history curriculum

Education in hostile areas is no easy task as those responsible for curriculum consultation, development, and execution often succumbs to and are motivated by political agendas, adopting a pedagogical approach that can exacerbate violent conflict rather than diffusing deep seated social, cultural, and/or ethnic divides. However, education is not simply the acquisition of a set of skills or facts, rather it is a political tool used to shape society around a specific socio-political or ethno-political ideology. As a political tool, this study looks at how government mandated, formal, secular, Jewish-Israeli history curriculum uses key episodic events and collectively adopted memories to foster a psychocultural narrative and disposition of the self and of the Other.

Neil Orlowsky is the head of Geography and World Studies at Westmount Collegiate Institute and an Associate Professor at Humber College focusing on Religion, Politics, and Terrorism. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Justice Education, and the Comparative International Development Education programs at the University of Toronto with a research focus on why conflicts become intractable; how dominant political narratives subjugate, and how education can be used as a tool of political indoctrination.


Friday April 7, 2017    11:30-1:00 pm

The Many Ways that Parents Game the System: Mixed-method Evidence on the Transition into Secondary School Tracks in Germany

Hanna Dumont, German Institute for International Educational Research, Berlin, Germany

Germany is known to have a rather extreme system of curriculum differentiation that is far more rigid than Canadian within-school streaming and indeed more rigid than the streaming or tracking practices of most other industrialized countries. German students are selected into different secondary school tracks – often located in separate school buildings – at the end of Grade 4 or 6, when they are about 10 or 12 years old. This type of explicit between-school tracking has been subject of much criticism, as it is commonly argued that it increases educational inequality. Besides the fact that students in lower tracks may have less opportunity to learn, research has found that the assignment to tracks is often biased by social class (Maaz, Trautwein, Lüdtke, & Baumert, 2008). In my talk, I will focus on the mechanisms underlying the social bias at the transition into secondary school tracks. I use quantitative data from a large scale assessment study (N = 3935 students and their parents) along with qualitative data from in-depth interviews with 25 parents collected in the city of Berlin during the same time period. Drawing on the quantitative data, I find strong evidence that social bias at the transition into secondary school tracks stems not only from achievement differences between students of different social backgrounds but also from an independent effect of social background. The interview data reveal many ways that parents game the system and get what they want for their children.

Hanna Dumont is a post-doctoral research scientist at the German Institute for International Educational Research in Berlin, Germany. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Tübingen and a Master in Psychology from the University of Trier. She has worked for the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Devleopment (OECD) and was a visiting scholar at the Stanford School of Education and Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her research agenda is best described as the study of educational inequality from a psychological perspective, as she is interested in the micro-level processes in both families and schools underlying educational inequality. She was recently granted a Jacobs Early Career Research Fellowship to study how educational inequalities can be reduced through the practice of adaptive teaching.


Wednesday April 12, 2016 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

From Local to Global: The Social Organization of Motherhood Learning in Canadian Immigration Settlement Organizations

Yidan Zhu, Ph.D Candidate, AECD/OISE

This presentation examines how motherhood learning has been socially organized in Canadian immigration settlement organizations. In the past decade, a growing number of new immigrant mothers were enrolled in programs of settlement, language learning and parenthood education for integrating into the local society of Canada. However, few studies have been done in the exploration of how different social actors co-participate in organizing motherhood learning for newcomers. Drawing on a feminist and anti-racist theoretical framework and a critical ethnography, this presentation problematizes the motherhood learning through unpacking the ruling relations behind immigrant mothers’ learning practice in the settlement programs. It finds that motherhood learning, as an ideological practice, has been organized and regulated by the relations of ruling from local to global.

Yidan Zhu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Adult Education and Community Development Program at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the social organization of Chinese immigrant mothers’ learning in Canadian immigration settlement organizations under the changing contexts of globalization and neoliberalization. Her research interests include adult education, learning theory, immigration studies, mothering and motherhood, race, gender and class relations, and critical ethnography.

PRESENTATION  (no powerpoint)

Wednesday April 19th, 2017 11:30-1:30 pm

Exploring the work of female Low Fee Private School teachers in Punjab, Pakistan

Momina Afridi, PhD Candidate, LHAE

I reflect on my exploratory study that utilized in-depth qualitative approaches of interviews and focus group discussions with female teachers and principals in LFPS in rural and urban areas of Punjab, Pakistan. Some of the findings of my study show that that while Low Fee Private Schools (LFPS) have a workforce largely composed of female teachers, the working environments and treatment of teachers are far from promoting gender equality. Working under mostly male principals and school owners, female teachers hardly have any participation in decision-making both at the class and school level. By virtue of their gender, female teachers are paid less salaries, face a different attitude from management, tend to be more pressurized and are mostly restricted to teaching primary level grades as compared to males in LFPS. These differences reflect the gender division of labour in the larger Pakistani society. LFPS capitalize on the low labour force participation of women and the increasing segregation of women into teaching in Pakistan. The lack of choice and presence of constraints, such as domestic labour and cultural norms restricting women’s mobility and work, that often push women into teaching in LFPS seems to work as an advantage for school owners and private entrepreneurs in education

Momina Afridi is a PhD candidate at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She recently completed her doctoral research on teachers in Low Fee Private Schools in Punjab, Pakistan. Her research interests include global governance institutions, education policy, gender and public private partnerships in education. In the past Momina has worked with various non-profit organizations in Pakistan and Canada on development programming related to youth and gender. Momina holds a Masters in Development Studies from York University, Toronto.


Wednesday May 4, 2017 11:30 am-1:00 pm

The Implementation and development of a Community of Practice focused on Critical Action research in an Equadorian University

Presenter: Tammy Fajardo Dack, PhD Candidate, OISE

This research examines the learning experiences of a group of university language professors within their Landscape of Practice (Wenger, 2010; Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner, 2015) and how these are shaped after partaking in a Community of Practice (Wenger, 1998; Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner, 2015) that focuses on critical action research (CAR). The study is an action research informed case study that draws from the communities of practice conceptual framework considered within the social learning systems (Wenger, 2000; Blackmore, 2012). Qualitative data was collected from 16 members of the community and eight focal participants through observations, questionnaires, document review, conversational interviews and focus groups. Preliminary findings suggest that participants perceive the initiative as positive and worthwhile because it allows them to learn about critical action research within a community that shares interests and expectations. Furthermore, the participants explain how this space for interaction has opened opportunities to understand the link between teaching and research, break with academic egoism, and share experiences as well as knowledge. Themes emerging from the analysis suggest that, although perceptions and understandings of critical action research and social justice have shifted after participating in the community and two CAR projects were proposed, there is still need to encourage the use of this research approach within universities in Ecuador where inequity among professors seems to be the rule. In addition, data reveal the factors that have enabled or constrained the commitment of participants to community activities as well as their own academic and professional development.

Tammy Fajardo Dack is completing her doctoral research on the learning experiences of Ecuadorian language professors in a community of practice oriented to critical action research. She holds a Masters in English Language and Applied Linguistics from Universidad de Cuenca. Her research interests include critical action research, pedagogical research in universities, and teacher’s professional development. Tammy is a professor of the TESL undergraduate program at Universidad de Cuenca in Ecuador.


Thursday May 11, 2017, 4:30-6:00 pm

The “Youth activism, engagement and the development of new civic learning spaces” Project

Chair: Mark Evans

This interactive session explores initial work underway in a six-country, three-year initiative, “Youth activism, engagement, and the development of new civic learning spaces” project. The session will begin with a brief overview of the project followed by a conversation among network team members around the theme, ‘Learning and teaching youth civic engagement and activism in schools and non-formal educational settings: Issues and questions (for youth, policy makers, practitioners, and researchers in locations around the world)’.

Network team members include: Ian Davies, University of York, Márta Fülöp, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Eötvös Loránd University, Dina Kiwan, American University of Beirut, Andrew Peterson, University of South Australia, Jasmin B-Y Sim, National Institute of Education, Singapore, and Mark Evans, OISE, University of Toronto.


Following this initial discussion, the conversation will be opened to the floor for comments and questions. Time will be provided at the end of the session to meet with project members and those in attendance. Access for those not able to attend the OISE session will be able to connect through Adobe Connect. Refreshments provided.

This session was not recorded.

Wednesday June 7, 2017, 11:30 am-1:00 pm

Immigrants in education: a new challenge in Iceland. Parents and educators’ perspectives in Akureyri, Iceland

Presenter: Hermína Gunnþórsdóttir, Assistant Professor, University of Akureyri, Iceland

Students with immigrant background have increased significantly the last decades in Icelandic schools but statistics show that they succeed less well than their classmates with Icelandic backgrounds. Akureyri, the largest town in the North of Iceland is an industrial and service centre with a population of 18,000. Until a decade ago children with foreign backgrounds were rare in compulsory schools in Akureyri but this has changed rapidly the recent years.

I am currently working on research where the aim is to gain insight into the perspectives of teachers and parents of immigrant students in order to understand their role in students’ education. Thirty-eight teachers were interviewed about the challenges and experiences of teaching immigrant students. Ten parents were also interviewed about their experiences of the Icelandic school and their children’s education.

In the presentation, I will discuss some of the findings that relate to four themes: Equality; School as a traditional space for learning; Communication and Parents involvement in their children’ schooling. The findings revealed that the Icelandic school system challenges immigrant parents understanding of school as a “traditional place for learning”. The parents rate Icelandic schools in regards to how the school system works in their own country, and evaluate schools and the education of their children based on this comparison. This causes some concerns by the parents and teachers who do not always share the same perspectives on teaching and learning. Teachers do not get relevant professional support in order to understand and manage multicultural education and how to best meet students’ needs. There is a lack of internal collaboration on this matter as well on collaboration between schools.

Hermína Gunnþórsdóttir is an assistant professor at the University of Akureyri in Iceland. She holds a B.A. degree in Icelandic and a teaching certification from the University of Iceland, a master degree from Iceland University of Education (2003) and a PhD from the University of Iceland (2014). She has worked at kindergarten, primary- and secondary schools. Her teaching and research interest is related to inclusive school and education, multiculturalism, bilingualism and education, social justice in education, disability studies , educational policy and practice.


Wednesday June 21, 2017 | 12:00-1:30 pm

Applying non-violent methods in Education? What can we learn from the Indian experience?

University Leader and Professors from Two Gandhian Universities in India: Vice Chancellor, Dr. Anamik Shah and Dr. Amendra Pandey of the Gujarat Vidyapith & Dr. Rajadurai Mani and Dr. William Baskaran, Professors of the

Department of Gandhian Thought and Peace Science from Gandhi Gram University,

in South India.

Co-Chairs: Jill Carr-Harris, PhDc & Dr. Kathy Bickmore

There seems to be untapped wisdom in Gandhi’s educational practices that continue in India. In two higher education institutes, there is emphasis on collective and work based learning. Vice Chancellor Anamik Shah from the Gujarat Vidyapith comes to share the impact of the university programs on students from marginalized backgrounds.

Gandhi Gram University in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu may be the only institution that has a peace force in every department of the university. What can we learn from their experience in pre-empting social conflicts? As Canadian educators face new kinds of conflicts with the upsurge of aggressive public attitudes, is there something that can be learned from this Indian  experience?



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