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Postcard from Sudan: Rebirth of a nation

Heather StilwellWebsite

In many ways, this tiny classroom was just like any other: rows of young students looking up at their teacher, the day’s lesson displayed on the dusty chalkboard overhead. But this day was not about grammar or arithmetic. It was about the long fight for freedom. In South Sudan, it is rarely about anything else. […] More »

Book Review: Monoceros by Suzette Mayr

Jessica RoseWebsite@nmtblog

After Patrick Furey, a heartbroken and bullied gay student, hangs himself in his bedroom, there is no minute of silence, no special assembly. Instead, his school’s closeted principal forbids staff to share any information, fearing a teen suicide would damage the school’s reputation and possibly spawn copycats. Furey’s death may happen in the first few […] More »
July-August 2011

In the fight for better literacy, comic books are teachers’ secret weapon

Lindsay Mar

Long regarded as the enemy of literacy, comic books and graphic novels are increasingly useful as a way of improving reading skills among otherwise reluctant students, young and old On a cold mid-February afternoon under overcast skies, a school bell rings. The halls of Toronto’s Agnes Macphail Public School flood with children dressed in puffy […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Natalie Samson on educator Tamara Dawit

Natalie SamsonWebsite

Tamara Dawit co-founded the 411 Initiative for Change, a non-profit public education program, to tackle the problem of community disengagement among young Canadians. Through 411 she produces and tours 90-minute school assemblies on social issues such as human rights, HIV/AIDS, and girls’ empowerment to encourage students to learn about and get active in their communities. […] More »

Catholic schools clash with LGBT rights — but "institution" isn't a synonym for faith

peter goffin

That Catholic schools do not always look positively upon homosexuality may not come as a great surprise, given their collective track record. But in the past week, two news stories have brought new and unique anti-gay measures taken at Catholic schools to light. First, officials at Missisauga’s St. Joseph’s Catholic  Secondary School allegedly restricted students’ use of […] More »
March-April 2011

Time to abolish separate Catholic school boards

Graham F. Scott

In Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, parallel education systems still exist: the secular public school boards, and separate Catholic school boards. It is time to abolish that system. The problem of separate school boards is not their Catholicism; it is their separateness. Public funding elevates one religious tradition above all others, and in secular, multicultural contemporary Canada, that […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Jim Stanford on activist educator Kevin Millsip & Next Up

Jim StanfordWebsite

It was the sort of sectarian self-destruction that’s sadly all too common in left-wing movements. After winning strong majorities on Vancouver City Council, the school board, and the park board in 2002, the Coalition of Progressive Electors alliance split in two just a couple of years later. This paved the way for the right to […] More »
January-February 2011

Interview: Berend McKenzie confronts the language of hate with “nggrfg”

Sarah BarmakWebsite

Nggrfg. For most people, the title of Vancouver actor and playwright Berend McKenzie’s play is nearly unsayable. But for McKenzie, naming his one-man play after the two slurs that plagued his childhood is the best way to understand and neutralize hatred. Audiences seem to agree: his play was a hit at the Edmonton and Vancouver […] More »

The myth of Peak Masculinity

Graham F. Scott

Last spring, Dockers launched its stupefying ad campaign based around the core message of “Wear The Pants.” (In a move that nicely reinforced the tone-deaf idiocy of the campaign, it premiered on International Women’s Day, March 8. Classy.) The whole series, which is still running in a slightly diluted form, rests on the premise that there […] More »
January-February 2010

Innu village of Sheshatshiu out of crisis, into the classroom

Denis CalnanWebsite

Many Canadians associate Sheshatshiu with images of children sniffing gas from paper bags. The troubled central Labrador Innu community received nationwide attention in the ’90s as a place in crisis. Now, years later, with the opening of the new Sheshatshiu Innu School, members are working to shed the reserve’s negative image and turn life around […] More »

Margin of Error #2: Why charter schools may not be as good as you think

allison martell

The charter school movement is enjoying something of a renaissance in the United States. Charter schools—which receive public funding but are privately run, thus removing some features of normal public schools, notably established teachers’ unions—are one of President Obama’s priorities.  They are also the cause du jour for New York City’s hedge fund managers. Education […] More »