Education Action: Toronto

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In this section, we want to open up discussion of great programs that are working in regular mainstreamed classrooms. We know there are programs with real intellectual substance and creative capacity out there working effectively with students from a wide range of backgrounds. There are two important underlying assumptions of these programs, backed by a thorough body of research. The first is that the vast majority of our students are capable of substantial intellectual and creative work. The fact that poor and racialized children often do badly in school, says nothing about their capacity to do well and a lot about the failure of the school system to provide engaging and purposeful programs for them. The second assumption is that children who do badly in bottom streams do much better in the regular classroom, while those who are doing well in the regular classroom continue to do well when joined there by bottom-streamed kids. Let us know about great programs for all kids that you’ve experienced or taught.

Education Action: Toronto’s Online Clearing House

An Integrated, Response-Based Approach to Teaching English in Grades 6-10

Children learn “skills” – cognitive and affective – by participating in activities that are linguistically rich and by carrying out entire processes prompted by them. They do not read, write, speak and listen in compartmentalized procedures designed to evoke miniscule, measurable “outcomes”. When children read a novel, say, they bring to bear a number of integrated skills that constitute interpretation and response. What they interpret and respond to is the story – its actions, characters and themes – without breaking it up into its parts. Story-reading is a natural process, imbedded in the mind from the earliest lap-reading experiences. Any attempt to break it into – and “teach” – its various parts will thwart, not enhance, reading.

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Schools as Community Hubs -- latest book

The Summer 2010 edition of Our Schools/Our Selves, jointly published with Everybody’s Schools, is now out and is devoted to articles about Community Schools and Community Hubs in several Canadian provinces as well as Mexico, the UK, South Africa, and Australia.

You may find out more by linking to the website of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives from which you may order copies. Click here to go directly to that site from here. Click on your browser’s return key to get back to Education Action:Toronto afterwards.


The 70-page article by David Clandfield:
“The School as Community Hub: A Public Alternative to the Neo-Liberal Threat to Ontario Schools”
may be downloaded free from that site also.

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