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RESEARCH & INNOVATION

OISE Researchers Present at 2018 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference

Ann Lopez, Dirk Rodricks, and Fatima Samji are among over 130 OISE faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows whose work is featured at the AERA Conference April 13-17 in New York, New York.

photo of Dr. Ann Lopez
 
(Dr. Ann Lopez)

What's Behind the Shiny Wrapping? Experiences of Racialized School Leaders Within a Context of Increasing Diversity

What are the barriers to the advancement and promotion of racialized school leaders? How can understanding these barriers inform changes in policy and educational practice?
 
In her study, Dr. Ann Lopez uses Critical Race Theory to explore racialized school leaders' experiences. In spite of a commitment to diversity and principles of equity within Ontario schools, race- and racist-based tensions and barriers continue to impact racialized school leaders' experiences in their place of work.
 
Ontario is an increasingly diverse province, and Ontario schools are committed to diversity and equity. Yet this diversity is not adequately reflected among the leadership in Ontario schools. "By 2031, 32% of Canada's population will belong to a visual minority group, and it is important that those making decisions in schools reflect that diversity," Dr. Lopez explains. "We know that black students for instance are not faring well in schools. This is a result of policies and practices of teachers and administrators and the education system as a whole."
 
One way to address these issues is to focus on the level of school leadership. School leadership is second only to teaching in impacting students' level of achievement, and students benefit tangibly when they see people they identify with not only in front of the classroom but also in the main office and on stage at school assemblies. 
 
The findings of Dr. Lopez's research inform Ontario school leadership programs, policies, and practices. She notes that the Ontario Equity Action Plan "requires more conversation and understanding of the inequities in education."
 
Ann Lopez, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, conducts research with school leaders in Kenya, Jamaica, and Ontario. 
 
Fri, April 13, 4:05 to 5:35pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Trianon Ballroom

photo of Dirk Rodricks
 
(Dirk Rodricks)

Border-Crossing as the "Outsider-Within": Indigenizing Intersectionality Through Mishrit in Queer Desi-South Asian Research

What possibilities open up for racialized diasporic communities if intersectionality is in part understood as emerging from lived and imagined experience? 
 
Through his research with eight queer Desi-South Asian young adults in Toronto, Dirk Rodricks, as the "outsider-within," considers the tensions and possibilities a new understanding of intersectionality holds for the daily experiences of multiply marginalized peoples and its implications for traditional and non-traditional education spaces. To do so, he moves beyond traditional modes of data gathering. He not only conducts interviews but also engages with "embodied social practices" such as poetry, art, and theatre. His drama-informed mixed methods research suggests that intersectionality is also an "embodied sensibility-a praxis of "Mishritata" or mixedness-produced through the interplay of the perceived, the lived, and the imagined." 
 
Dirk Rodricks is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, working under the supervision of Professor Kathleen Gallagher. He was invited to participate in this symposium panel on Desi/South Asian Onto-Epistemologies by Professor Vijay Kanagala (University of Vermont), a member of his thesis committee.
 
Sat, April 14, 2:15 to 3:45pm, New York Marriott Marquis, Fourth Floor, O'Neill
 

photo of Fatima Samji

(Fatima Samji. Photo credit: Lisa Smith)

Ontario Universities' In/equity Policies: An Analysis of Mission Statements and Strategic Mandate Agreements

Are efforts to increase access to postsecondary education reflected in University mission statements and strategic mandate agreements?
 
"Ontario has a history of assimilation through education," Fatima Samji notes, but "increasing access to postsecondary education has been a government interest in Ontario for at least the past decade." 
 
In light of this history, she surveyed documents from all twenty Ontario universities to determine whether efforts to increase access to postsecondary education are reflected in University mission statements and the differentiation policies within strategic mandate agreements. In applying critical discourse analysis, she discovered that the very policies intended to address groups facing barriers to accessing higher education allocate value to some applicant groups over others, often recreating assimilatory discourse. "Considering that the policies I analyzed were intended to serve groups that face barriers, I was surprised to find the lack of explicit dedication and equal representation of groups who are underrepresented," she comments.
 
Fatima Samji is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education working under the supervision of Professor Ruth Childs.
 
Sat, April 14, 8:15 to 9:45am, New York Marriott Marquis, Fifth Floor, Westside Ballroom Salon 1