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OISE tops Corporate Knights rankings of teacher education programs


September 27, 2011

by Eileen Thomas

OISE has been ranked Canada's top school for teacher education, according to Corporate Knights magazine, which unveiled its eighth-annual Knight Schools ranking earlier this week. The last ranking in which education programs were reviewed, in 2009, also placed OISE on top in terms of sustainability. The ranking analyzes how Canadian universities fare in integrating sustainability into the school experience. In studying schools, researchers adopted a broad definition of sustainability that encompassed environmental and social concerns. The report stated, "When it comes to sustainability and teaching, there is a clear front-runner in the 2011 ranking.

This year, Corporate Knights reviewed MBA and undergraduate business programs, law schools and teacher education programs.The rankings found that the teacher education program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto excels in every part of the survey, scoring 91.3 per cent, placing it more than 20 per cent above all other institutions. The survey praised OISE's teacher education program for its basis in seven principles, including equity, diversity, and social justice, strongly reflected institutionally. All students in the program are required to take School and Society, a course that addresses key themes like student diversity, and difference and democracy, conflict and resistance in schools. OISE was distinguished as the only institution to offer an environmental and sustainability education course, as well as a myriad of other specialized classes.

The ranking also praised several institutions for promising initiatives in teacher education, and expressed the hope that teacher all education programs will evolve to incorporate concepts of social justice, environment and sustainability as OISE has done."The breadth and diversity of courses is surely a reflection of the strong faculty and research base that OISE has developed. With free public lectures series and institutes like the Centre for Urban Schooling, OISE rises above its peers."

The full report will be available on the Corporate Knights Magazine website as of September 27, and is summarized in the Education issue (Vol. 10.2) of Corporate Knights, distributed in the Globe and Mail the same day. Founded in 2002, Corporate Knights Inc. is an independent Canadian-based media company focused on promoting and reinforcing sustainable development.