• Equitable and Inclusive Education for All? Public Funding for Denominational Schools in Ontario

      Medway, James (2014-09-19)
      Roman Catholic separate schools’ denominational right to receive public funding is a contentious issue in Ontario’s educational system. Ontario’s publicly funded denominational schools historically served a purpose at Confederation; however, in light of Ontario’s evolving demographics, publicly funding denominational schools today may no longer serve the needs of Ontario. The research problem in this study is expressed through growing problems reconciling Roman Catholic schools with diversity and current public views. Additionally, recent tensions, public views, and political consensus suggest it is time to revisit the existing policy. In order to understand both the history of denominational schools and the present context, this study conducted II policy analyses as its research design by completing 2 policy cycles. The first policy cycle determined that based upon Upper and Lower Canada’s pre-Confederation diversity, extending public funding to denominational schools at Confederation was an effective way of protecting minority rights; however, the analysis in the second policy cycle; which examined how equitable and inclusive denominational schools are today, concluded that the denominational school system no longer serves the diversity and equity needs of contemporary Ontario. Building on these findings, this study then explored two viable alternative educational arrangements for Ontario’s future educational system: publicly funding all faith-based schools, or publicly financing a one-school-system. To address the diversity issue in Ontario, transitioning toward publicly funding a one-school-system is found to be the most viable option.
    • Exploring the Design Process and Components of an Elementary Literacy Guide in an Ontario School Board Initiative

      Donahue, Krissa
      The skill to identify and use best practices in literacy to promote achievement for students of all abilities cannot be underestimated by elementary educators. This qualitative case study investigates 1 year of a literacy initiative for primary and junior educators organized by a southern Ontario school board. The goals of the initiative were to design a literacy guide for teachers while building teacher capacity with literacy practices. Data were culled and analyzed from an examination of the guide, the meetings’ field notes and artifacts, as well as interviews with the educators at the end of the year. Several themes from the results emerged. The educators perceived the design process as unclear but the collaborative components were deemed valuable. The guide’s incompletion led to mixed reactions from the educators about the guide and its structure. Overall, the first year of the 3-year initiative acted as a catalyst for professional learning on literacy. The findings of this study accentuated the value of training educators to use empirical research to support their practices and professional knowledge. Also, the significance of promoting strong leadership with a comprehensive layout consisting of coherent tangible goals for professional development is highlighted.
    • Whose Voice Is Present?: An Examination of Power and Privilege in Service-Learning in Ontario Universities

      Glenn, Suzanne (2013-09-10)
      This research paper examines themes of power and privilege that occur within service-learning as described by 3 Ontario universities on their service-learning websites. Due to size and time restrictions, this paper was able to examine only 3 Ontario universities: Brock, Wilfrid Laurier, and Lakehead. The purpose of this study is geared towards service-learning practitioners in order for the universities and students to become more self-aware of their immense place of privilege within the service-learning context. Qualitative narrative analysis research methods were employed in this purposeful sample to examine how each university’s story of service-learning reflected themes of power and privilege. The research found that each university posed a unique narrative of service-learning representing various stakeholders’ voices and presence in different ways on their website. Brock largely focuses on faculty and student voices. Laurier intentionally attempts to include all three stakeholder voices, although still favours students and the university as an audience over the community. Lakehead’s unique program includes a plethora of voices and intends much of their information for the community members, students, and the university. The implications of this research demonstrate that universities have a large amount of power and privilege, which is carried through to the students within the service-learning partnership.