B.Ed. Cohort – SP1: Inner City Education (Secondary)
Course Offered: 2007 – present
CUS Staff and Associates: David Montemurro (Option Coordinator), Dr. Lance T. McCready, and Dr. Joseph Flessa
SP1 - Descripiton
2008 – 2009 marked the second year of the Secondary Program 1: Inner City Education (SPICE) cohort, which is designed to provide Teacher Candidates with the opportunity to explore and develop teaching strategies unique to inner-city secondary schools. Initially located at Bloor Collegiate Institute in Toronto’s west end, the program expanded this year to a second site at Winston Churchill CI in Scarborough, situated in Dorset Park, one of the City of Toronto designated “priority neighbourhoods”. A total of fifty-five teacher candidates were enrolled in the program. Both cohorts deepened and extended their partnership activities with staff, high school students, and community agencies, through activities such as an orientation to the school and community led by high school students. Teacher candidates also participated in five weeks of classroom visits with guided observations of classrooms, including specialized programs. The value of being “on-site” was further realized through school-based presentations by social workers, student panels, special education teachers, and school administrators. Teacher candidates also explored the multiple worlds of student lives, through a co-investigation with students. Building on these connections, teacher candidates sought to involve themselves in both the school and the community, through praxis projects: the candidates volunteered with breakfast programs, equity workshops, tutoring and sports teams. Other praxis projects involved community-based organizations, including: Pathways to Education, Working Women's Community Centre, Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood House, and City Parks at MacGregor Park. The theme of bridging inner-city schools and communities was further manifest in teacher candidates’ internship choices including: West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre, The Nook Children & Youth Community Theatre project, Mixed Company Theatre, the TDSB Equitable Schools programs, Social Justice High School in Chicago, and OISE’s Centre for Urban Schooling.