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September-October 2011

Dechinta brings to life the 50-year dream of a university for the North

Katie HyslopWebsite@Kehyslop

Back in the 1960s, a group of high-minded northern and southern Canadians had a collective revelation: if the North ever wanted to succeed, it desperately needed a university. Toronto-based lawyer and retired Air Force general Richard Rohmer spearheaded the idea, first lobbying locals and politicians, and later penning a draft for a bricks-and-mortar institution. While […] More »

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 »
March-April 2011

This45: Ellen Russell on activist educators the Catalyst Centre

Ellen Russell

The moment I met the Catalyst Centre folks, I was intrigued. They seemed to get that social justice is not just a question of publicizing critical information: Building movements takes something more, and these folks seemed to have a handle on what that “something” is. Catalyst carries on a rich heritage in popular education—one that […] 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: Gordon Laird on Buddhist teacher Doug Duncan

Gordon LairdWebsite

It’s easy to despair of politics in the 21st century. We seem cursed with high recurrence: on issues like climate change, poverty, and democracy, we experience the same problems, the same arguments, and the same incomplete fixes. Why is it so hard to make change stick? “You cannot have outer revolution without inner revolution,” explains […] 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 »
January-February 2010

Olympic Countdown: B.C. teachers fight Games’ classroom hype

Raina DelisleWebsite

[This post has been amended, see note below] They were told to wear red and white, to cheer loudly and smile. They were handed little Canadian flags and instructed to wave them with gusto. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” they were told. Some 540 students at L’École Victor Brodeur in Esquimalt, B.C., where […] More »