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Centre for Urban Schooling

CUS Faculty and Instructor Members

Beveryly Caswell

Roland Coloma

Jim Cummins 

Kari Dehli

James Eslinger

Indigo Esmonde

Mark Evans

Diane Farmer

Grace Feuerverger

Joseph Flessa

Caroline Fusco

Kathleen Gallagher

Jane Gaskell

Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez

Diane Gerin-Lajoie

Jill Goodreau

Eunice Jang

Reva Joshee

Doug McDougall

Shahrzad Mojab

David Montemurro

Serge Parravano

Peter Sawchuk

Alan Silverman

Rob Simon

Stephanie Springgay

Leslie Stewart Rose



Beverly Caswell, is the Director of the Robertson Program for Inquiry-Based Teaching in Mathematics and Science at Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study. Bev is co-coordinator of the Inner City Option at OISE/UT and teaches in the Initial Teacher Education Program. Previously, she was a junior grade teacher at the Institute of Child Study Laboratory School for ten years. In the Institute, she had the opportunity to design, implement and report on innovative and effective educational programs for children in mathematics, language, arts and the use of knowledge building technology (Knowledge Forum) to increase children's scientific literacy. On these programs, Beverly always worked closely and collaboratively with teachers, faculty, researchers and pre-service teachers. She also had the opportunity to forge partnerships with teachers and schools in the Toronto District School Board, the Northwest Territories and Japan.

Beverly holds a Master of Arts in Human Development and Applied Psychology and has a wide experience working with marginalized youth. Such experience includes a three-year project in British Columbia implementing an alternative to lock-up for young offenders. Her current research interests include exploring issues of social justice through mathematics.

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Roland Sintos Coloma is Associate Professor of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education. His research and teaching focus on transnationalism, history, and social theory. His journal articles appear in Paedagogica Historica, History of Education Quarterly, Curriculum Inquiry, Race Ethnicity and Education, Qualitative Studies in Education, and Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. He is the editor of Postcolonial Studies in Education (2009) and the co-editor of Spectres of In/visibility: Filipina/o Lives in Canada (forthcoming). He is completing a book on Empire and Education: Filipino Schooling under United States Rule, and is starting a new research project entitled From Grief to Grievance: Asian Canadian Demands to the Government.

Roland teaches graduate courses in Asian Canadian studies, migration and globalization, cultural studies, and critical theory. For the Initial Teacher Education program, he teaches School and Society for secondary options and a new Related Studies course on Teaching Asian Canada for K-12 Educators. Born in the Philippines and raised in California, he completed his PhD in Cultural Studies with a Minor in African American Studies at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the academe, Roland was a high school teacher, university administrator, and community organizer in the Los Angeles area.

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Jim Cummins is a Canada Research Chair in Language Learning and Literacy Development in Multilingual Contexts at the University of Toronto. His recent research has focused on ways in which schools can incorporate students' home languages into their instruction. In urban centres across Canada, the student population is increasingly multilingual and multicultural. The major rationale for encouraging students to maintain their home languages and to build on their home language knowledge as they learn English is that research consistently points to the central role that learners' prior knowledge plays in learning. If students' prior knowledge is encoded in their home languages when they start learning the school language, this means that their home languages are relevant to their academic development. Unfortunately, in many urban schools, students' home languages are ignored or treated with benign neglect as having little relevance to their academic achievement in English. This orientation contributes to the rapid loss of home languages among many students and to communication difficulties within families (e.g. minimal communication between grandparents and grandchildren).

Cummins' recent publications include The International Handbook of English Language Teaching (Springer, 2007) (co-edited with Chris Davison) and Literacy, Technology, and Diversity: Teaching for Success in Changing Times (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2007) (with Kristin Brown and Dennis Sayers). He has also authored a Research Monograph entitled Promoting Literacy in Multilingual Contexts for the Ontario Ministry of Education's Research into Practice series.

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Kari Dehli is a Professor in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education at OISE/UT. Kari teaches courses in the graduate program such as “Introduction to Sociological Theory in Education”, “Foucault and Research in Education: Discourse, Power and the Subject”, “Feminism and Post-Structuralism in Education” and “Sociology of State Formation and Genealogies of Government”. She also supervises graduate students in sociological and political theory, feminist cultural studies, state formation and government.

Much of Kari’s research and writing are focused on historic and contemporary analysis of the politics and policies of education, particularly in Toronto. A related area of research is concerned with how tracing neo-liberal forms of government are transforming education. A second major area of research is media education, for which Kari was the first Faculty Director of the Centre for Media and Culture in Education. Kari has published a variety of academic articles about urban school reform and the policies and practices of parental involvement with schooling.

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Indigo Esmonde is an Associate Professor in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and teaches courses related to mathematics education.

Dr. Esmonde’s research draws on sociocultural theories of learning and development to consider issues of equity in mathematics education. She argues that an understanding of equity must take into account how the details of classroom interaction provide or deny students with access to ideas about mathematics, and access to positive mathematical and cultural identities

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Diane Farmer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. She is also the Director of the Centre de Recherches en Éducation Franco-Ontarienne (OISE/UT). As a specialist in the sociology of education, childhood and francophone studies, she is interested in social transformations and emerging phenomena within communities and the school institution, their logics and the interplay of social actors. Her research has looked into community structure and dynamics within the francophonies, students experience and (re)interpretation of schooling, as well as peer political socialization, namely in the context of multi-level classes, especially in French language schools, the heterogeneity of the classroom and the rapport between the school and francophone immigrant families. Diane Farmer received her Ph.D. from the Université de Toulouse Le Mirail.

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Dr. Grace Feuerverger is a Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. A child of Holocaust survivors, Professor Grace Feuerverger grew up in a multicultural and multilingual home in Montreal and brings her personal and professional experiences to bear on her teaching and research work. Grace was educated at a variety of institutions - McGill University, the Università per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Alberta, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the University of Toronto. Her research interests focus on theoretical and practical issues of cultural and linguistic diversity, ethnic identity maintenance, and minority language learning within multicultural educational contexts, as well as on conflict resolution and peacemaking in international settings. Her courses at OISE/University of Toronto and her research projects explore the personal and professional texts of those who live within and between
various linguistic, cultural, racial and religious worlds. She continues to direct a multicultural literacy project in various schools in Toronto where she has developed an in-service teacher’s guide and video programs.

Professor Feuerverger is also is Principal Investigator of an Individual large-scale SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) research study, which focuses on the school experiences of immigrant and refugee students in the two largest urban centres in Canada: Toronto and Montreal. She is also an invited member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Her award-winning book Oasis of Dreams: Teaching and Learning Peace in a Jewish-Palestinian Village in Israel (New York:, London: RoutledgeFalmer) is a reflexive ethnography focusing on the two bilingual, bicultural educational institutions in this place of peaceful coexistence -- an elementary school where Jewish and Arab children study together, and the "School for Peace" which is a conflict resolution outreach program for Israeli and Palestinian adolescents and their teachers. This award-winning book is based on a nine-year study that Professor Feuerverger carried out as researcher in this extraordinary cooperative village and it is about hope in the midst of deadly conflict and it has become an international role model for a pedagogy of peace.

Her recent book Teaching, Learning and Other Miracles (Rotterdam: SensePublishers, 2007) explores teaching and learning in schools as a sacred life journey, a quest toward liberation. Written for teacher/educators who wish to make a real difference in the lives of their students, this book speaks to everyone who finds themselves, as she did, on winding and often treacherous paths, longing to discover the meaning and potential in their professional lives at school. A child of war, Feuerverger wrote this book to tell how schools can be transformed into magical places where miracles happen. In an era of narrow agendas of 'efficiency' and 'control,' this book dares to suggest that education is and should always be about uplifting the human spirit

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Joseph Flessa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theory and Policy Studies. His areas of expertise include urban educational policy, the principalship, and the professional preparation of school leaders. He is currently working on several research projects including a project on poverty and schooling for the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario and a project on class size reduction for the Canadian Education Association. Joe teaches doctoral classes in educational administration. He also teaches a course in OISE’s new interdisciplinary M.Ed. cohort focused on urban schools. In addition Joe teaches School and Society in the Initial Teacher Education program (in particular for the secondary option focused on inner city schools).

Previously, as a graduate student Joe helped establish U.C. Berkeley's innovative urban-focused Principal Leadership Institute. Before graduate school he taught 6th grade in Houston, Texas and taught 5th grade and served as principal of a school in Pachuca, Mexico.

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Caroline Fusco is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Physical Education and Health where she teaches courses both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Fusco received her undergraduate degree and teaching certification in physical education and health at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland (1986), where she taught in the public school system before moving to Canada in 1990. After completing her M.Sc. at the University of Manitoba (1995), she taught in the Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation Studies at the University of Manitoba as a full-time instructor. Dr. Fusco completed her doctoral studies at the Graduate Department of Community Health: Program Exercise Sciences at the University of Toronto in 2003.

Caroline’s current research interest is on youth and their experiences and representations of physical activity and educational landscapes in urban contexts. The core objectives of Caroline's SSHRC funded (2007-2010) research program (PLAY-Place, Activity, Youth) and Putting Inner City Students First (PICSF) research are the investigation of the extent to which diversely-situated children and youth experience certain mechanisms (social and spatial) of inclusion and exclusion that impact on their sport and physical activity participation, as well as their engagement with schooling. Recommendations for both enhancing existing environments and designing new ones will flow from this research by providing education and community policy makers (particularly 'Healthy Schools' reform) and urban planners with geographically-informed alternative ‘ways of seeing’ the role spatial relationships play in youth’s sport and physical activity participation.

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 Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He teaches courses in curriculum theory, the arts in education, and popular culture. His articles have been published in education journals such as the Harvard Educational Review, The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, and Curriculum Inquiry, for which he is also an Editor. His book The Best of the Best: Becoming Elite at an American Boarding School (Harvard University Press, 2009), is based on a two-year ethnographic study of the lives of students at an elite boarding school in the US. Most recently, he co-edited with Adam Howard the book Educating Elites: Class Privilege and Educational Advantage (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010). He is also co-editor of the collections Cultural Studies and Education: Perspective on Theory, Methodology, and Practice (with Heather Harding and Tere Sordé-Martí, 2003, Harvard Education Press), and Curriculum Work as a Public Moral Enterprise (with James Sears, 2004, Rowman and Littlefield).

His current research focuses on the experiences of young artists attending specialized arts programs in urban public schools in Canada and the US. This research is funded by a Standard Research Grant from SSHRC. He is also collaborating with the Toronto District School Board on a study that explores the experiences of Latina/o students in Toronto schools. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between creativity and solidarity. He is particularly interested in the creative possibilities that arise from the social and cultural dynamics of urban centers. The movements and encounters that define urban spaces generate particular cultural dynamics with the potential to reshape human relations. He lives in Toronto with his wife Bonnie, and his children, Mercedes Irene, 10 and Alejandro Tomás, 5.

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Tara Goldstein is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning. She has taught in both the undergraduate initial (preservice) teacher education and graduate education programs at OISE/UT. Her teaching and research interests related to urban schooling and youth in urban schools includes working towards equity in schooling and teacher education, the education of immigrant adolescents, schooling in multilingual communities, and anti-homophobia education in schools. In the last few years, Tara has been disseminating her school-based research through the writing and performance of ethnographic plays. She has five ethnographic plays about issues related to youth in urban schools: Hong Kong, Canada (2001); Satellite Kids (2003); Snakes and Ladders (2004); Alliance (2004); The Card (2004). Hong Kong, Canada is included in Tara's ethnography Teaching and Learning in a Multilingual School: Choices, Risks and Dilemmas (2003) published by Lawrence Erlbaum, which was nominated for the award of best book for English teacher development by the English Education Council in 2005.

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Eunice Jang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning. She teaches graduate courses including "Research Methods in Education" and "Mixed Methods Research in Education." She also teaches a related studies course, "ESL Across Curriculum" in Pre-Service Teacher Education Program.
Eunice's research has focused on educational assessment and applied measurement in general, and second language assessment in particular. Her research examines the validity of cognitive diagnostic assessment approaches, fairness and equity issues in testing, and literacy assessment practice. One of her recent publications that appeared in Journal of Educational Measurement (2007) examined the dimensionality of a standard test of English language proficiency administered to second language learners in collaboration with Dr. Louis Roussos.

Eunice has received various grants from the Ontario Ministry of Education, OISE/UT, Educational Testing Service, and American Evaluation Association. With a Connaught Staff Matching Grant, she develops literacy and numeracy skill profiles for Grade 9 and 10 students based on their performance on OSSLT and EQAO assessments. She also collaborates with Dr. Jim Cummins on the validity project for "Steps Toward English Proficiency" with over 50 ESL teachers across Ontario. STEP is intended to serve teachers to assess and track all English language learners' literacy development in Ontario schools.

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Douglas McDougall  is a Professor and Chair, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE/UT. He teaches in both pre-service teacher education and graduate programs. His graduate courses include "Mathematics in Elementary Schools" and "Computers in the Curriculum." In addition, he is co-coordinator in the Master of Teaching program.

Dr. McDougall conducts research in mathematics education, particularly in school improvement in elementary school mathematics. His findings have been published in the PRIME resource School Mathematics Improvement Leadership Handbook and the book Mathematics Every Elementary Teacher Should Know. Under his current SSHRC grant, he is investigating the use of the Ten Dimensions Framework in assisting principals and teachers to improve mathematics instruction and student achievement. Other previously funded research projects include: "Mathematical Maps" sponsored by Nelson Thompson Publishing (2002-2004); "Impact Math Implementation Strategy For The Ontario Mathematics Curriculum, Grade 7 & 8" (Ministry of Education and Training 1999-2000) and "Improving Student Achievement in Schools Facing Challenging Circumstances" (Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat of the Ministry of Education 2005-2006). This last project investigated the factors that encouraged student success in literacy and numeracy in two large urban school districts in Ontario.

Dr. McDougall is very active in professional organizations related to his research interests of mathematics education, and computer integration into the curriculum. He is a former president of both the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO), and the Psychology of Mathematics Education, North American Chapter (PME-NA). Dr. McDougall chaired the annual PME-NA conference in Toronto in 2004.

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David Montemurro is a Senior Lecturer. He has strong, school-based experience as a high school teacher and Department Head of History, Social Sciences, English and ESL. More recently, he has coordinated three different secondary program cohorts within OISE’s Initial Teacher Education program, including the new Inner-City Education cohort. David has also taught Intermediate/Senior Curriculum and Instruction courses in History and Politics, as well as on-line and face-to-face Additional Qualification courses in History and Individual & Society.

As a graduate student at York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies, David focused on the intersection of critical pedagogy, environmental thought and environmental education. More recent interests are in inner-city education and pre-service teacher development. Questions that guide his teaching and research practice include: Are there essential skills, knowledge and dispositions for inner-city teachers? How might pre-service programs best foster and extend initial teachers' commitments to equity and social justice? These investigations seek grounding in a site-based pre-service program that aims to foster a collaborative network of inner-city educators, schools and community based social service agencies.

As an associate member of OISE’s Centre for urban Schooling, David presented at the National Inner City Conference, which took place in April 2007. He has also contributed articles to Orbit Magazine and Educating for Global Citizenship in a Changing World.

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Leslie Stewart Rose is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and serving as the Director of the Elementary consecutive initial teacher education program. Her research interests include exploring how teacher-candidates (TCs) make sense of their experiences in a teacher education program designed to prepare teachers to teach in inner city schools: How TCs think about what they observe, how they interpret their observations, recognize tensions and conflicts in discourses, philosophies and actions, contemplate dilemmas and options and make decisions. As OISE coordinator of the TDSB Inclusive Schools project, she is currently working with three elementary schools as they question, reflect, and develop inclusive curriculum and practices. Her most work in music education includes the edited volume Exploring Social Justice: how music education might matter (Gould, Countryman, Morton and Stewart Rose, 2009).

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Edits-Summer 2014


Our People

Lance McCready  earned his M.A.and Ph.D. in Social and CulturalStudies in Education from the University of California, Berkeley with Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Dr. McCready's research program is concerned with the education, health and well-being of urban youth. His dissertation and subsequent publications focused on "making space" for diverse masculinities in urban education and how the experiences of gay and gender non-conforming Black male students reframe the “troubles” Black males face in urban high schools. His most recent research focuses on the educational trajectories of young black men in Canadian urban centres, and programs and services for ethnic and racial minority males who are underrepresented in North American colleges and universities. Conceptually, he is interested in the ways intersectionality, social determinants of health, and gender relations frameworks can be mobilized to develop more effective programs that promote academic achievement, well-being, school engagement, and access to higher education.

Dr. McCready teaches School & Society in the Secondary Initial Teacher Education Program (B.Ed.) and Urban Education, Gender Equity, Qualitative Research Methods in the graduate Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development Program. He also serves as the department coordinator and instructor in the M.Ed. cohort in Urban Education.

Dr. McCready is the new Director of the Centre for Urban Schooling, and a faculty affiliate of several centres across the University of Toronto including the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, the Centre for the Study of the United States, and the Centre for Media and Culture in Education. He is also on the board of AIDS Community of Toronto (ACT). He has served as a reviewer and/or contributing editor for several peer-reviewed publications including Curriculum Inquiry, Urban Education, and Journal of LGBT Youth. He is an active member of the American Educaiton Research Association (AERA), currently serving as the Affirmative Action Officer for Division B: Curriculum Studies and previously as the Chair and Co-Chair of the Queer Studies special interest group (SIG).

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Vanessa Russell is the William Waters Teacher-in-Residence in Urban Education at OISE and Coodinator of the Urban Education Cohort at Central Technical School. She has worked as a teacher educator at a number of universities and completed her PhD with a focus on teacher-student relationship in 2009 at OISE. She has held a number of leadership positions in the Equity Department of the Toronto District School Board and has been the teacher/coordinator of Canada’s only dedicated classroom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students at risk. Most recently, Vanessa was Curriculm Leader and taught at an alternative school with a focus on arts and social change for marginalized students. Vanessa has published and presented in the areas of anti-oppression education, body image, and ethics.









Jeff Kugler is the Executive Director of the Centre for Urban Schooling at OISE/UT and has led its development and growth since 2005.

At CUS, Jeff has been instrumental in generating strong bonds between the Centre and community agencies, schools, teachers and principals. At OISE, he has also participated in the creation of new inner city teacher education programs in order to better prepare teachers to assume the challenges of teaching in today’s diverse urban classrooms.

With over twenty-eight years of experience working in the public education system, Jeff has experienced its challenges and joys from many standpoints: as a teacher, principal, vice-principal, and course director. Before coming to the Centre for Urban Schooling Jeff was for many years the Principal at Nelson Mandela Park Public School in the Regent Park community of Toronto. There, he became a strong social justice advocate for the students, school and community. In Regent Park, he was a co-founder of the School/Community Action Alliance: Regent Park (SCAARP). For three years, while seconded to the York Faculty of Education, he also worked to set up the York University Regent Park Teacher Education Program. Jeff’s work has had a strong focus on community, and how to build on community strengths instead of deficits.

At the Centre for Urban Schooling, Jeff has continued his advocacy work. He is the Past-President of the Canadian Council for Inner City Education and co-organized the National Inner City Conference in Toronto, which took place in April 2007. Jeff has been involved with the TDSB Model Inner City School initiative from the outset, originally as a co-chair of the Model School for Inner Cities Task Force (2005), and since then, as a member of the TDSB Inner City Advisory Committee.



Honouring Ruth Dworkin - March 28, 2014

On Friday, March 28, 2014 in the Technology Lounge on the 3rd floor at OISE, a special reception was held to honour Ruth Dworkin for her past and future contributions to OISE, specifically, the Centre for Urban Schooling, in support of equity and social justice work in schools, particularly those serving historically marginalized and racialized youth.  To honour Ruth and her generosity, the lounge was renamed after her to be the “Ruth Dworkin Lounge” and her family, OISE and CUS staff, associates and friends joined in the celebration.

Ruth’s past donations, through the Ruth and Alexander Dworkin Tolerance Fund of Montreal, have supported some of the Centre’s professional development in schools with educators, as well as supported forums for the community through the Centre’s Forum on Equity and Social Justice (FESJ). These forums over the years have included:  Urban School Leadership; Truth & Reconciliation: Canada's Residential Schools; and Educational Activism in Increasingly Conservative Times, to name a few.

Ruth’s continuing contributions, $50,000 per year in perpetuity, will also support the continuation of the Centre as a place where critical pedagogies and critical research will come together with the end goal of making education equitable for all.

Click here to read the speech given at the celebration by Dr. Nicole West-Burns, CUS School Services Director:

RuthDworkinLounge   RuthDworkin
DworkinFamily   Ruth&Friend

Visitiing Scholar - Deborah Appleman

Deborah Appleman


  The Centre for Urban Schooling Presents 

   Deborah Appleman 

  Please to join Dr. Appleman in a fireside chat on
  carceral literacies.

  Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 from 5:00-7:00pm
  at OISE in room 11-164

  RSVP to Nina Lewis at; nina.lewis@utoronto.ca
  Subject line “From the Inside Out”

   Click the image on left for more information






March 3, 2014 Varisty article



Sneaking into the Big Leagues

Details: Sneakers are a beloved and vital part of global culture with various meanings in multiple communities. From comfort wear to physical activity and hip hop music to urban trendsetting and youth identity, sneakers have taken a foothold in the world of fashion, culture and social capital. Hart House will investigate and explore the notion of the sneaker subculture: how do sneakers make space for dialogue between developing countries and first world nations, marginalized voices and mainstream society, urban and suburban communities, athletes and ordinary folks? Sneakers have served as the gateway to greater awareness of fair trade working conditions, economic justice and the power of street culture to affect mainstream fashion. Sneakers, like the Pan Am Games themselves, celebrate a shared experience, diversity, identity and physical activity.


Sneaking into the Big Leagues: Emergence of Sneaker Culture in Mainstream Society

This panel will explore sneakers from the vantage point of sneakers as purveyors of big business profit, social influencers, cultural connectors and physical activity facilitators. Many of the Pan Am countries have long ago championed the sneaker as their chosen footwear for both soccer and style, and in many instances, have also provided the labour market for these shoes. In the Diaspora, many marginalized communities have been at the forefront of creating niche sneaker subcultures that fuse music, dance and fashion into powerful identifiers of place, race and culture. Join the discussion as our panelists engage in a rich dialogue around the inimitable footwear through a lens of equity, diversity and other social factors.

Photo of Lance Mccready
Moderator | Lance McCready

Lance T. McCready, Ph. D. is Associate Professor of Urban Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He received his doctorate in Social and Cultural Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. McCready’s research and writing focuses on curricular and pedagogical issues in urban education, specifically the “troubles” facing Black male students in urban schools and the experiences of queer youth of color.


Funded Internship Oppoutunity at CEETUM in Montreal!

Doctoral and Postdoctoral Funded Internship Opportunity at CEETUM in Montreal
Under current arrangements between the Centre for Ethnic Studies at Montreal Universities (CEETUM) and the Centre for Urban Schooling (CUS), CEETUM offers an internship for a doctoral or postdoctoral student connected to CUS to do a three month internship at CEETUM in Montreal. The internship will be awarded to a student whose research focuses on the themes of the Education and Ethnic Relations group within CEETUM: 1) Change in the education system, and 2) Curriculum and diversity.....more


 Une bourse pour une stage doctorat/postdoctorat à CEETUM (Montréal)

Selon les arrangements actuelles entre le Centre d'études ethniques des universités montréalaises (CEETUM) et le Centre de la scolarité Urbaine (CUS), CEETUM offre une bourse pour un étudiant doctorat ou postdoctorat lié à au CUS pour faire une stage de trois mois à CEETUM à Montréal. Le stage sera attribut a un/e etudiant/e dont les recherchés portent sur les thèmes du groupe de l’education et les rapports ethniques au sein de CEETUM: 1) les changements dans le système éducatif, et 2) le curriculum et la diversite....more


Scholarship Opportunities

The Miyumi Sasaki Initial Teacher Education Fund - Academic Year 2014-2015

Miyumi Sasaki was an ardent advocate for social justice and equity in education and in the larger community. She taught in inner-city Toronto schools for many years, and in the three years before her untimely death in March of 2007, she was the course director of a highly acclaimed urban teacher education program located in Regent Park. She is deeply missed by her family and many friends and colleagues. In memory of her devotion to education , a scholarship fund has been created in her name, dedicated to student teachers who plan to make their own contribution to urban education.

Eligibility for the Scholarship Fund...more

Application deadline: January 13, 2014.



Academic Resources | Teacher Resources

Please use the links at the left and top to browse more publications and links for academic researchers and educators. 

Annotated Bibliography on Urban Education - Prepared by Dominique Riviere

The articles for this annotated bibliography were published between 2005 - 2010, and were collected from three sources:

  • saved messages from the Informaworld electronic publication service, which alerts you when new issues of journals are available from Taylor & Francis, Routledge, Psychology Press and Informa Healthcare;
  • a University of Toronto Libraries electronic search for journals about “urban education”; and
  • an ERIC search for peer-reviewed publications using “urban”, “education”, and “Canada” as keywords

    My search was further narrowed by my desire to focus current literature in the field, and on the Centre’s two primary areas of work: 
  • pedagogy and practice in urban schools; and
  • research in urban education

The title of each reference is hyperlinked to an electronic version of the article.  With the exception of Carlson (2007) and Esposito & Swain (2009), a valid UTORid is required to access them.  Four of the articles focus on the Canadian context:  these are indicated by an asterisk.

To download the bibliography, click here

General Publications

Arrindel, J., Conner, B., Hayward, L., Mirza, A., Palter, D., Pietropaolo, A., Smith, O., Russell, F., McKenzie, M., Kugler, J. & West-Burns, N.  (2010).  "A class divided" on the road to a school united.  In C.S. Smith (Ed.).  Anti-racism in education:  Missing in action - Our schools/Our selves Special Issue, 3(99), 225 - 235.

Gallagher, K. (2011, September 7). Single-sex schooling and the education of boys. Special Issue of Ideas and Debates with Post City Magazines. A ‘face-off’ with Michele Landsberg.

Kugler, J. & West-Burns, N.  (2010).  The CUS framework for culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy.  In C.S. Smith (Ed.).  Anti-racism in education:  Missing in action - Our schools/Our selves Special Issue, 3(99), 215 - 223.

Kugler, J., McCready, L., Riviere, D. & West-Burns, N.  (2008).  Framework for a culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy.  Toronto, ON:  Centre for Urban Schooling.

Riviere, D., Sotomayor, L., West-Burns, N., Kugler, J. & McCready, L.  (2008).  Towards a multidimensional framework for student engagement.  Toronto, ON:  Centre for Urban Schooling. 

Cummins, J. (2007).  Promoting literacy in multilingual contexts.  In What works?  Research into practice (Research monograph #5, (pp. 1 - 4).  Toronto, ON:  Ontario Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat. 

Anderson, S. (2007).  The schools we want:  U of T's Centre for Urban Schooling aims to help inner-city youths succeed.  University of Toronto Magazine, Autumn 2007.




Since its inception, the Centre for Urban Schooling has been involved in a number of research projects at the school, community, and government levels. This section describes the research projects underway this year. The publications related to these projects are listed on page 29 of this report.

Current Research Projects


My Regent Park: Mobilizing and Mentoring Youth, Regent Park

Project Timeline: 2008 – 2013
Community Partner(s): Kate Stark, Dixon Hall (lead agency); Sandra Ryan, Salvation Army 614; Adonis Huggins, Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre; Ian Edwards, Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Clubs; Sheila Braidek, Regent Park Community Health Centre; Debra Dineen, Christian Resource Centre
CUS Researcher(s): Dr. Dominique Rivière, Dr. Nicole West-Burns
Research Theme: Community and Neighbourhood Dynamics

The organizing framework for this project is the Spergel Model (a.k.a. Comprehensive Gang Model). The five core components – Community Mobilization, Social Intervention, Opportunities Provision, Suppression, and Organizational Change and Development – satisfy the Regent Park community's desire to develop an integrated, broad-based response to youth gang activity in the area.  A local consortium of community-based agencies in Regent Park is working with 240 youth through a variety of strategies to prevent gang involvement for youth at risk of becoming so, and to reduce the risks associated with gang involvement for youth who are already gang-involved.  These strategies include:

•    identifying and linking at-risk or gang-involved youth with supports and services, 
•    creating opportunities for at-risk or gang-involved youth to explore other opportunities,
•    supporting parents and families of at-risk or gang-involved youth, 
•    highlighting and building individual and community resiliency in relation to loss and
      transition, and 
•    supporting local agencies in working together more effectively.

The Centre for Urban Schooling has provided research and development support to MY Regent Park since its inception, and will serve as the internal evaluators for the duration of the project.

Funding: National Crime Prevention Council, Crime Prevention Action Fund

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Proyecto Latin@: Exploring the Experiences of Latin@ Youth in Toronto Schools

Project Timeline: 2008 - 2011
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández
CUS Researcher(s): Dr. Nicole West-Burns
CUS Graduate Student(s): Cristina Guerrero
TDSB Collaborative Research Team: Monica Rosas, Karen Galeano, Vladimir Vallecilla
Research Theme: Student Engagement and Achievement

The focus of Proyecto Latin@ is to better understand the experiences of Latino/a students within the TDSB. What are the factors that influence whether students stay in school or leave? What do the students themselves identify as ways in which schools can engage them in their own educational process and support their achievement and success?

According to Toronto District School Board (TDSB) research released in April 2008, students of Latin American heritage from Spanish-speaking homes have consistently low achievement levels across various school subjects and standardized literacy tests.

Especially troublesome is the TDSB’s finding that roughly 40 percent of Latino/a students do not complete secondary school. This alarming information raised the concern of Toronto’s Latino/a community. At the behest of the community, CUS researchers and the TDSB Office for Student and Community Equity have collaborated to explore the issues that surround Latino student engagement and educational experiences. The project seeks to put forth a critical understanding of some of the issues affecting the schooling experiences of Latin@ youth. While there is abundant scholarly work on this topic for the United States context, it remains largely unaddressed in Canada. The project aims to develop a research agenda by identifying critical issues and developing arobust theoretical framework that might support the development of strategies for curbing school-leaving patterns among Latin@ youth.

Eventually, CUS hopes continue collaborating with the TDSB by using Proyecto Latin@’s research design to explore the issues surrounding the school-leaving rates of other “at-risk” groups identified by the TDSB (e.g. students from the English-speaking Caribbean, Somali students, Portuguese students, and Aboriginal students).

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Putting Inner City Students First (PICSF): A School-University-Community Partnership

Project Timeline: 2008 – 2011
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Kathleen Gallagher
CUS Researchers: Dr. Dominique Rivière (Project Coordinator), Dr. Jim Cummins, Dr. Sarfaroz Niyozov, Dr. Caroline Fusco, Dr. Joseph Flessa
CUS Graduate Student(s): Celeste Dixon, Ivan Service, Saskia Stille, Rachael Nicholls
Research Theme: Policies and programs that have an impact on children and youth

Global events and immigration patterns in the last decade have dramatically changed the cultural and political landscape of Canada and the world. The PICSF project is considering the impact of these changes on public schools, especially those located in urban areas. The PICSF study is directly connected to the Toronto District School Board's Model Schools for Inner Cities initiative, and will produce a series of case studies that document the processes of change in both the designated Model Schools, and their cluster schools. The case studies are grouped thematically, under the following categories: schooling, student engagement and academic achievement; schooling and social equity; and schooling and community connections.

Funding: Ontario Council of Directors of Education, Inquiry into Practice Project

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The Role of Community Outreach in the Toronto District School Board Model Schools: A Multi-Case Research Study 

Project Timeline: 2008 – 2011
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Eunice Jang
CUS Researcher(s): Dr. Dominique Rivière (Project Coordinator), Jeff Kugler, Dr. Nicole West-Burns
Research Theme: Community and Neighbourhood Dynamics

New!  Click here to read the final report of the Role of Community Outreach project.

Within the framework of the TDSB’s Office of Parent and Community Involvement Policy and the Model Schools for Inner Cities initiative, there is a renewed interest in the role that parental and community involvement can play in schools to support student success, particularly in underserved communities. In 2008, the TDSB, under its Equity Department, hired twenty-four Community Support Workers (CSWs) to work with the Model Schools and their cluster communities to foster school community relationships, promote parental engagement, contribute to equity in the schools, and make sure that the needs of “at-risk” students are met. The goal of the CSW position is to “develop, engage and participate in system-wide parent and community engagement/partnership initiatives that close the achievement gap and enhance student success.”

There are two main purposes of the Role of Community Outreach study: first, it is intended to understand how community support work operates in the context of specific underserved communities to address the needs of students, and what is the value added that community outreach brings to Model Schools. Secondly, this research will present a complete analysis of what strategies have worked best for each of the schools, the results achieved, and some of the lessons learned. The final report from this study will provide the TDSB Equity Committee Department, along with some indicators and tools that will ensure the Department’s own capability to gather relevant data and benchmark their achievements.

Funding: Toronto District School Board, Office of Student and Community Equity

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 The Urban Arts High Schools Project

Project Timeline: 2007 → Ongoing
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández
CUS Researcher(s):  Dr. Dominique Rivière
CUS Graduate student(s):  Kate Cairns, Yuko Kawashima, Jorge Arcila, Sarah Switzer, Lydia Menna, Elena VanderDussen, Zahra Murad, Salima Bhimani, Lia Gladstone
U of T Undergraduate Student(s): Harry Au, Jackie Howell
Research Theme: Artistic and Cultural Production

Toronto has the virtue of having the largest number of public arts high schools of any major urban region in the world. In the last twenty-five years there has been a veritable explosion of specialized arts programs. Often the rationale for these specialized programs is that they prepare talented students to become artists in the future. The literature is abundant regarding the importance of such programs for student learning, yet, there is little research done on the public role that these programs play or their significance for influencing educational reform. What public roles and responsibilities will these future artists fulfill? How might the experiences of students and teachers working in these schools inform the development of other arts programs in urban centres?

The Urban Arts High Schools Project seeks to document the structure of these specialized arts programs, their approaches to curriculum and pedagogy, their histories, and the experiences of their students. This project will generate themes and questions that will inform future research on public arts high schools and illuminate what actually happens in these settings. In addition, this research will inform policy discussions by documenting different approaches to arts-focused programs and how these are implemented in different schools. This documentation will act as a rich foundation for considering how to develop arts programs with different goals in other urban schools.

Funding: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Research & Development Initiative

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Urban School Performances (USP): The Interplay, through Live and Digital Drama, of Local-Global Knowledge about Urban Education

Project Timeline: 2008 – Ongoing
Principal Investigator(s):  Dr. Kathleen Gallagher
CUS Graduate Student(s):  Burcu Ntelioglou, Barry Freeman, Anne Wessels, Ivan Service, Sarah Switzer, Casey Scott-Songin
International Collaborators: Dr. Christina Marín (New York University, New York),
Dr. Urvashi Sahni (The Study Hall Education Foundation,India).  Dr. Sue Chien-ling (Ming-chuan University, Taiwan).
Research Theme: Artistic and Cultural Production

USP is an international research project examining how the relationships among culture, identity, multiculturalism and immigration policies play out differently in the lives of youth in schools and communities traditionally labelled “disadvantaged” in the cities of Kaoushing (Taiwan), Lucknow (India), New York City (USA), and Toronto (Canada). In these diverse contexts, USP engages youth, teachers and researchers in a creative inquiry using digital-drama research tools in order to examine the experiences and explore the performances of engagement/disengagement of youth. We are asking how
schools and young people “perform”, socially, academically, and artistically. To this end, the research studies both the cultural and everyday performances (of student/school life) and the artistic performances created by youth in the particular context of theatre work.

Funding: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Audrey's cuts-Nov/Dec 2013

The People of CUS


In this section, you will find biographical information for all staff, faculty, and students associated with the Centre for Urban Schooling.  Please use the links at the left to navigate these pages.



Knowledge Mobilization

OISE/UT Knowledge Mobilization Project

CUS at Work

Dr. Kathleen Gallagher introducting the Winter 2009 CUS Forum on Equity and Social Justice:  "Gender and School Violence" (February 2, 2009)               



CUS at Play

CUS End-of-Term Social at The Duke of York Pub


Kathleen Gallagher & Nina Lewis               Nicole West-Burns, Lance McCready 
                                                                               & Joe Flessa

2013-2014 A Social Justice Calendar

Our Stories, Past and Present

Canadian Social Justice Calendar


Calendar Order Form


CUS Activities Report for Academic Year 2012-2013 is now available for download.

Click on link below:

2012-2013 Annual Report


Take A Look At the Swiss Teacher Educator Visit to Toronto:

From May 21-24, 2013, the Centre for Urban Schooling hosted a group of teacher educators from Zurich, Switzerland. They worked with the Centre to learn about and better understand how teachers and schools in Toronto work to centre issues connected to equity and diversity.
For a view of what that week looked like, please click on the link to look at the blog that they created of their week in Toronto.  https://blog.phzh/ontario/



New! Call for Presentations, Performances, and Workshops - "Theatre and Learning" - University of Toronto, Festival of Original Theatre (F.O.O.T)  - submission deadline: September 30th, 2011. 

The annual Festival of Original Theatre (F.O.O.T) conference, held at the Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama at the University of Toronto,  seeks paper presentations, performances, and workshop proposals for its 2012 Conference. 

For More Information download:

Call for Presentations - FOOT2012 ;      Call for Papers - FOOT2012

in support of the tdsb model schools for inner cities

At the end of June, the Toronto District School Board will prepare its budget for the 2009 - 2010 academic year.  The Centre for Urban Schooling has written a letter of support for continued funding for the Model Schools:

Over the past three years, the MSIC program has made substantial gains in leveling the playing field for thousands of children who come to school everyday facing tremendous challenges such as hunger and homelessness.  CUS’ role in this endeavor has ranged from multi-site case studies that are documenting the processes of change in the Models Schools, with respect to student engagement and achievement, social equity, and school-community connections; to assessing the impact of the Community Support Worker position on the Model Schools and their cluster schools; to providing in-depth, evidence-based professional development for Model School staff, Lead Teachers and administrators on culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy.  As such, we have seen first-hand the substantial impact this initiative is having on the schools and communities that face the greatest challenges. 

To read the rest of the letter, click here

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