Transforming Education

We are at an important moment in history. We have the opportunity to transform public education and education systems broadly. Understanding that education systems have never served Indigenous, Black, racialized and marginalized students well, is the first step to reconsidering the possibilities and potential for all students and opens the door to innovation and innovative leadership. This will reconnect us to our daily practice with our purpose and the “why” we came to education. It is possible to create an education system that serves ALL students. Join the dialogue and journey and let us co-create new possibilities together.
Redesigning Education

Education System - Innovation & Transformation

For too long education systems have not been successful in addressing the needs of the most marginalized students. At no point has education systems been able to systemically challenge or close achievement and well-being gaps that have affected Indigenous, Black, racialized, 2SLGBT+, children with identified learning needs & non-neurotypical children and those coming from poverty. This requires bold leadership that does not continue to accept the status quo as ineveitable and begin to rethink, redesign and reimagine the possibilities for public education. I have been fortunate to work with amazing individuals - Dr. Camille Logan, Ms Camille Williams-Taylor to rethink the possibilities for public (and private) education. This was done in concert with Nick Bertrand and in consultation with Indigenous Educators to ensure that Inclusive Design was developed in a good way - one that understands the distinct status of Indigenous rights connected to Governance and Self-Determination and with the hope of addressing the Calls to Action - in particular calls to action #62 & #63.

Inclusive Design has the potential to address gaps in classrooms while it addressing systemic implications through intentional School & District Improvement.

Inclusive Design
We are working on something exciting to showcase an Inclusive Design approach to education- to address the ongoing systemic gaps that are overrepresented by Indigenous, Black, racialized, children with identified learning needs & disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+ identifying children, and those coming out of poverty among all marginalized groups. (a dedicated website coming soon...).

Recently, jeewan had the opportunity to do a TED Ed talk on this issue.

Watch jeewan's TED Ed talk here:

Its title is: The Importance of Affirming Student Identity – but it is about the need for education systems to challenge identity-based outcomes that are prevalent today.

Equity as a Leadership Competency

In order to challenge and close achievement & well-being gaps. We need to think about Equity as a Leadership Competency. While working in the role of Superintendent of Equity, Anti-Racism & Anti-Oppression in Canada's largest school board - Toronto District School Board, we worked on developing a document to support school and district leadership to grow their Equity Leadership. You can see a copy of the document here and learn more about it's context here. In what ways have you focused on your equity leadership competencies? What do we need to do to build these and effectively apply them in our daily practice as leaders?

School leadership - transformation & innovation

Inclusive Design, as a sound approach to school improvement, was realized during my tenure as Principal at Aldergrove PS. It was based on the belief that ALL 6 threads of Inclusive Design combined with critical consciousness and anti-racist/decolonizing pedagogy was necessary to change outcomes for the most marginalized students and would support success for ALL students.

The school had declining/stagnant scores for a period of approximately 7 years and characterized with a high immigrant population who were racially, religiously/spiritually and linguistically diverse and learning English as a 2nd, 3rd or 4th language. The neighbourhood was also characterized by hidden homelessness in terms of socio-economic status. Within two years of Inclusive Design work we began to turn things around and thereafter the school started to soar. Check out their youtube channel and twitter to see some of the work. This was the shared scholarship and practice of a dedicated team who were determined to transform and change outcomes- in short - gaps can be closed.

See the story of the school here:
Watch Now on Youtube

Establishing Environment as the 3rd Teacher: take a look at one of the 6 threads actualized:
Watch Now on Youtube

Inclusive Design in the classroom

What is the potential for Inclusive Design in a classroom context. It includes a strong focus on Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy tied to the 6 threads. Imagine students going through their education careers learning in this way from KG through Grade 12. Social Justice focused Inquiry based learning anchored in the real world that is Culturally Relevant and Responsive can help us do this. Take a look at an example from my classroom. Over time we will add examples from other classrooms and work to create a community of practitioners trying to do this.

Watch Now on Youtube

Conditions of Leadership for Transformative Action

In this conversation for FESI 2018 held at York University with Dr. John Malloy, former director of Toronto District School board, we explore some critical questions around the conditions and steps required to lead to critical transformational action and systemic change - one that comes from an Inclusive Design approach and centres the needs of the most marginalized students.

See the story of the school here:
Watch Now on Youtube