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Phyllis and William Waters lead change in urban schools and communities

Three initiatives to change the face of urban education in Ontario

Thanks to the generous contributions of Phyllis and William Waters, three OISE initiatives to support our students and advance urban education are possible, including a scholarship, a teacher-in-residence program and a symposium.

Learn about each of these important initiatives and how to make your mark.

William Waters Scholarships in Urban Education

Through the William Waters Scholarships in Urban Education, OISE provides students with financial support to promote excellence in teaching in urban classrooms. Scholarship recipients are experienced teachers working in an urban learning setting and are registered in a master’s program.

Melanie Willson, the 2011 William Waters Scholarship recipient, knew right away the impact the scholarship would have on her work in Ontario's school system.

“Schools don’t operate in isolation from social, political, and economic dynamics of the world outside, said Willson.

As a teacher working in an urban school in Toronto, I know that I’ll be able to offer my students so much more if I am committed to learning about those dynamics and advocating for more equitable practices and policies both inside and outside the classroom."

Support our tireless urban education scholars.

William Waters Teacher-in-Residence in Urban Education

The William Waters Teacher-in-Residence in Urban Education at the Centre for Urban Schooling (CUS) is a two-year secondment to teach in OISE’s Initial Teacher Education program.

The teacher-in-residence focuses on teaching and learning in classrooms and elementary or secondary schools in urban contexts and participates in a variety of CUS activities during their appointment.

They gain valuable teaching, teacher education and educational leadership experience, curriculum development skills and skills related to advancing equity, diversity and social justice. 

For two years, Dr. Vanessa Russell, a William Waters Teacher-in-Residence in Urban Education, served as a curriculum leader at an alternative school and taught a social justice and arts course for some of the most underserved youth across the Toronto District School Board.

Prior to and during her residency, she worked as a teacher educator at York University and OISE. Her OISE doctoral work focused on ethical questions related to teacher-student pedagogical relationships.

She held a number of leadership positions in TDSB's equity department and served as the teacher/coordinator at Canada's only dedicated secondary classroom for LGBTQ students.

Help fund outstanding professional opportunities like this.

William Waters Annual Symposium on Urban Education

Since 2009, the William Waters Annual Symposium on Urban Education has brought distinguished global academics to OISE to discuss topics and trends linked to student engagement in urban education.

The Symposium offers:

• a large public lecture designed for provincial, district, local school and university communities

• professional development sessions aimed at pre-service, in-service and university teachers to challenge and inform current local practices

• networking to foster new opportunities and connections in urban education

• arranged meetings with students and teachers at OISE and in local schools

Get involved in the Symposium on Urban Education.

Support for students and professional opportunities like these are a key fundraising priority at OISE. There are many ways you can make your mark like Phyllis and William Waters. Please give to the OISE Annual Fund.