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Centre for Urban Schooling

Past Research Projects

Meeting the Needs of Students Facing Challenging Circumstances – A Secretariat and School Board/University Partnership

Project timeline:  2005 - 2006
Principal Investigator(s):  Dr. Doug McDougall, Dr. Eunice Jang, Dr. Joseph Flessa, and Jeff Kugler
Research Theme: Student Engagement and Achievement

The Ontario Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat contracted OISE/UT, along with two urban school districts, to determine the factors that contribute to success in schools facing challenging circumstances One school board used the Learning Opportunities Index in order to identify schools in these circumstances, while the other board studied schools which participated in a special school-community program that offered health care, dental, and other social services. The purpose of the Challenging Circumstances project was to add to the knowledge base regarding student success in such schools, with a particular emphasis on innovative leadership practices. 

Significant findings include: recognizing that students’ academic objectives could only be met once social and behavioural concerns were addressed; creating professional learning communities for teachers; and fostering supportive school/community partnerships. The findings of the Challenging Circumstances project have since been compiled into a research report that is now part of the Ministry of Education’s new website for principal leadership. (Click here to see the full report.)


Poverty and Education: Three Follow-up Case Studies

Project Timeline: 2008 – 2009
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Kathleen Gallagher

CUS Graduate Student(s): Ivan Service
Research Theme: Anti-opression policies and pedagogy

Following the impact evaluation of ETFO’s Poverty and Education Project (2007 – 2008),
three case studies from 2008 – 2009 are examining the important question of
sustainability, beyond the first year of the initiative. In particular, they are examining what participating schools learned, what the limiting factors were, and how school
communities are impacted by poverty differently, based on their own contextual features.

Funding: Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario


Socio-cultural Perspectives on Discipline and Classroom Management

Project Timeline: 2006 - 2007
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Lance McCreadyCUS Researcher(s): Dr. Dominique Riviere, Luisa Sotomayor
CUS B.Ed. Student(s):  Matthew Gilbert
Research Theme: Student Engagement and Achievement

This is a collaborative inquiry project being conducted in two of the Toronto District School Board’s Model Schools for Inner Cities. Its purpose is to generate a critical understanding of the ways in which teachers, staff, students and parents in Model Schools understand issues of discipline and classroom management within two of the schools. The project is designed to engage the school community in a process of critical inquiry regarding the frequency of discipline incidents, the types of incidents that occur, the actions that are taken as a result of the incidents, and the implications of these for building healthy student-teacher relationships. 


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