Lakeside dock season is a cherished time among educators, when tumbleweeds blow gently through the Twittersphere. In Ontario, this annual respite was interrupted by an emotional and polarizing sex-ed curriculum debate that siloed our beliefs and values about what students should be learning to help them navigate through life. There will surely be similar contentious flashpoints igniting in different corners of the country this school year, leaving many teachers, parents and students frustrated and unsure of what to think.
Our network lets the researchers and the practitioners do the talking. Thanks to the continued support of the Canadian School Boards Association and a new partnership with the Desjardins Foundation, we’re expanding our Facts on Education fact sheet series this year to help ground these discussions in concrete evidence. We ask renowned experts to provide clear answers to teachers and parents on questions like:
- How can schools support LGBTQ2 students?
- How do we teach students to identify fake news?
- What are the potential risks of cannabis legalization on student learning and well-being?
We’ve also been connecting the dots between hot-button education issues unfolding in in the media, via our new bi-monthly EdCan Wire news service, to get you up to speed in five minutes or less. www.edcan.ca/signup
This October, we launch the first instalment of our Education Canada Live events series, Truth and Reconciliation in Every School. We hope to influence much-needed discussions on how we can move forward towards achieving reconciliation. Our Editorial Board saw the need to extend the research and ideas from our May issue into a practical co-learning opportunity, so we’re co-hosting this professional learning session and Talking Circle with the University of Lethbridge. The session will support non-Indigenous teachers in their journey towards incorporating Indigenous histories, worldviews, ways of teaching and learning, and contemporary issues respectfully, authentically and confidently in their classrooms.
Our network of education leaders – member voices from across the entire spectrum of K-12 education – believe in the value of what we do because together, our “special interest” is what’s best for students. We look forward to a busy year of making sense of what’s making news.
First published in Education Canada, September 2018