The Third Annual William Waters Symposium on Urban Education
March 30th - April 1st, 2011
Public Lecture - Institutions out of Sync: Pressure Points for Change
This year, the William Waters Symposium focused on the
current realities of urban classrooms and schools in Toronto.
On Wednesday March 30th 2011, a public lecture was held
Hart House Theatre , 7 Hart House Circle, University of
During this panel discussion entitled, Institutions out of
Sync: Pressure Points for Change, the panelists provided
the audience with the opportunity to engage in a critical
discussion about some of the pressure points currently facing
educators in Toronto schools.
Click on the image to view poster
followed on the heels of the first two William Waters events - 2009 featured a lecture and workshops by Dr. Michelle Fine, while in 2010, Dr. Lisa Delpit was our honoured guest. Both these previous symposia helped to consolidate our thinking and inform our practice in urban education. After much consultation, this year we made the decision to try something different. We wanted the content of the symposium to be directly focused on urban education in Canada, and we wanted to ensure a panel that was representative of the philosophy of the Centre for Urban Schooling and our notion that theory and practice need to be linked and that they both need to inform each other. Therefore, the panel included both academic and community activists. We believed that together they were able to give us a more complete picture of our current reality, and the possible steps for moving towards a more equitable and responsive education system for all students. We were also delighted to have with us the voice of youth, shared their thoughts and feelings in a dynamic spoken word performance, written especially for us.
As its focus this year, the William Waters Symposium considered some very local realities; educational problems that are disproportionately affecting our new immigrant, refugee, and English Language Learner communities. We heard about research that has paid particular attention to these communities, and we heard from two leaders with Somali and Roma heritage, who have focused their efforts on addressing the persistent issues plaguing their communities and on improving the educational and social opportunities for children and youth, in particular. In addition, we took a broad perspective and contemplated the ways in which our city is changing, becoming socio-economically polarized, creating divided living and learning experiences.
The featured guests were:
• Professor Jim Cummins, Research Chair in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE, University of Toronto;
• Professor David Hulchanski, Associate Director for research at the University of Toronto’s Cities Centre and a professor of housing community development in the Factor –Inwentash Faculty of Social Work;
• Gina Csanyi, Executive Director of the Roma Community Centre in Toronto, which is the only organization representing the interests of Roma in Canada
• Fouzia Warsame, PhD candidate in OISE’s Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education (SESE) and a representative of one of Toronto’s Somali communities.
To view the video of this event, click on the image of the panelists above. (Note: A captioned version of the video is forthcoming.)
Thursday, March 31st, 2011
On Thursday March 31st, our featured guests, Gina Csyani and Fouzia Warsame will be offering a workshop from 9:00-11:30 am to engage us in rich dialogue on the ever-changing and difficult realities experienced by many new immigrant groups in Toronto.Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Friday, April 1st, 2011
On Friday April 1st, our featured guests, Professor David Hulchanski and Professor Jim Cummins will be offering workshops from 9:00-11:30 am to engage us in rich dialogue on the ever-changing and difficult realities experienced by many new immigrant groups in Toronto. The Centre for Urban Schooling will be providing a luncheon for all workshop participants followed by a theatre performance by Roma students created specifically for the symposium. These students have had the opportunity to work with Director Alan Dilworth to develop a performance which will share their personal stories, narratives and experiences as new immigrants living in Toronto.
To view the video of Student presentation, click on the image above.