Back to school 2019

This past week, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg drew youth to a climate protest in New York and the crowd chanted “system change, not climate change” outside the UN building. In B.C., a stunned community mourned a 14-year old who died after footage of him struggling with the effects of drugs was shared over social media. And Canadians heard one university will be educating medical students about a former decades-long ban that excluded Black students from medical school.

What’s the role of educational systems when we consider the hopes, pains, joys and challenges of our times?

From our team at The Conversation Canada, in time for back-to-school, here are recent stories for your weekend reading. Stay tuned for more on school transitions, and how adults and educators can honour the work of responding to the beautiful young lives they face.

Have a great long weekend. We’ll be back in your inbox on Tuesday.

Susannah Schmidt

Education Editor

Long weekend reads

The crisis of anti-Black racism in schools persists across generations

Carl James, York University, Canada

Decades of inadequate teaching material and resources to support Black students in Ontario means they are severely underserved by their schools.

What does ‘We are all treaty people’ mean, and who speaks for Indigenous students on campus?

Paul McKenzie-Jones, University of Lethbridge

As students and faculty start a new academic year, it's a good time to highlight the barriers to Indigenizing the campus and the importance of Indigenous voices on campus.

Why cursive handwriting needs to make a school comeback

Hetty Roessingh, University of Calgary

Developing fluency in handwriting matters for literacy outcomes, and handwriting is an elegant testimony to the unique power of the human voice.

School fees undermine public education’s commitment to equity

Sue Winton, York University, Canada

Some parents in Québec are being reimbursed after a ruling that they were overcharged school fees. If taxes cover public schools, should parents have to pay at all?

Let’s change the ‘girls play flute, boys bash drums’ stereotypes

Robbie MacKay, Queen's University, Ontario

When children take up instruments they're not passionate about, most don't stick with music for long, and that's a shame.

The ‘slow professor’ could bring back creativity to our universities

Julien Lefort-Favreau, Queen's University, Ontario

Transforming knowledge and letting oneself be transformed by the knowledge of others requires slowness, almost an asceticism.

Doug Ford’s reboot of sex education in Ontario: Same as it ever was

Lauren Bialystok, University of Toronto

Doug Ford's unveiling of a new Grade 1-8 sex education curriculum is strikingly similar to the maligned 2015 version. The result is confused Ontario parents.

True or false? Men and women face violence in their relationships equally

C. Nadine Wathen, Western University

New national data, on campuses and elsewhere, can help shift our shared narratives about the root causes of gender-based violence.