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Schooling for Life

Schooling for Life: Community Education and Social Enterprise

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 336
  • Book Info
    Schooling for Life
    Book Description:

    Schooling for Liferepresents a blueprint for community education and development as society faces the challenges of social, economic, and political renewal.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9899-4
    Subjects: Education, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Dale E. Shuttleworth
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xv-2)

    In November 2008, Roy McMurtry, a former chief justice of Ontario and Progressive Conservative Attorney General, and Alvin Curling, a former Liberal Cabinet minister and Speaker of the Ontario legislature, delivered a report to the Ontario government on the roots of violence involving youth. This came as a result of the 2007 shooting death of a fifteen-year-old in the hallway of C.W. Jefferys Collegiate, which serves the Jane-Finch social housing area in northwest Toronto.

    In their report McMurtry and Curling found that ‘there is far too much poverty in Ontario and far too few services and supports for those struggling...

  7. 1 Embracing Diversity
    (pp. 3-9)

    According to the Statistics Canada 2006 Census, the City of Toronto has a population of more than 2.5 million, and the Greater Toronto Area about 5 million. The region receives about 110,000 international immigrants each year, the majority now coming from China, southern Asia, the Philippines, the Middle East, and Latin America. Within the next decade more than 50 percent of Torontonians will be visible minorities.

    Toronto has long embodied Canada’s commitment to cultural pluralism through its services to immigrants, migrants, and refugees. In 1976, the Toronto Board of Education published a report entitledWe Are All Newcomers to This...

  8. 2 Education for Community Living
    (pp. 10-16)

    In the early 1960s a rather inexperienced teacher undertook a learning project with his grade-seven class concerning the economy of Essex County in south-western Ontario. Of particular interest was the fact that this area had once been the bed of a great inland sea, resulting in a flat topography and a rich sandy loam ideally suited for agriculture. In addition, the comparatively mild climate in this southern-most section of Canada supported the establishment of a large greenhouse industry capable of producing market vegetables in the winter months.

    The best way to illustrate these features to the students, it seemed, was...

  9. 3 Learning in the Heights
    (pp. 17-35)

    Low-income migrants, immigrants, and refugees are often drawn to an inner city in search of relatively inexpensive accommodations that will accept children. They usually find crowded conditions, shared facilities, exorbitant rents, and indifferent landlords. What is anticipated to be a short transitional period while one finds a job and gets to know the city becomes a prolonged reality of failure and suffering. As so-called urban renewal takes place, even these humble dwellings are knocked down to be replaced by commercial development or high-rise apartments whose opulence, limited space, and astronomical rents are hardly designed for the people they so rudely...

  10. 4 Flemington Road Community School
    (pp. 36-52)

    John Dewey, an advocate of education as an instrument of social change, made the following statement: ‘The desired education cannot occur within the four walls of a school shut off from life. Education must itself assume an increasing responsibility for participation in projecting ideas of social change and taking part in their execution in order to be educative.’⁹

    Nowhere have the challenges of public education been more apparent, or the problems more acute, than in our cities. Urbanity has indeed become a way of life for the great majority of our families. The heterogeneous nature of urban life, the density...

  11. 5 Politics and Education
    (pp. 53-72)

    It was with a real sense of apprehension in the spring of 1970 that I applied for a leave of absence from my position as social services consultant with the North York Board of Education in order to enter the PhD program in the Adult Education Department at OISE. With a wife and two small children to support, I was not sure we could survive on a graduate assistant’s salary. Nevertheless, I knew that I had to find a way to translate all the profound learning and experience gained through five years in Lawrence Heights. Not only had I discovered...

  12. 6 Work Group Process
    (pp. 73-89)

    The Special Task Force on Education was unique in the history of the Toronto Board of Education because it represented an admission that problems and criticisms facing the system could not be dealt with internally. While some community activists saw this as a ploy to defuse the confrontation that had grown up around the Trefann Court issue, the task force did represent a potential mechanism to open up the system and make it more responsive to the needs of minorities within both the schools and the communities they served. The whole question of the use of community resources to support...

  13. 7 Learning Exchange System
    (pp. 90-131)

    As previously stated, action research is an ongoing study of a social process and its results, where accumulated findings are used to guide and correct the decisions of the continuing process. The following is a case study of such an action research process.

    On 18 December 1972 the first meeting of the Cooperative Education work group’s action committee on school community learning resources was held in the Inno-Space Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.iAttendance at that initial meeting consisted of persons from Adult Education, OISE; Inno-Space; and Metropolitan Toronto Planning Review; as well as Area 5...

  14. 8 Learnxs and Community Education
    (pp. 132-147)

    The demonstration project has traditionally not enjoyed a position of respect in either public education or the human services field in general. This type of project has often been identified with short-term funding from external sources, and, therefore, there has been a tendency to dismiss its usefulness as a legitimate method of influencing social policy and program development. This was particularly true of job creation schemes in the 1970s such as the federal Local Initiatives Program (or its successor, Canada Works) and the student employment programs of the Province of Ontario. These programs generally were initiated out of community interest...

  15. 9 Alternatives in Education
    (pp. 148-172)

    Subway Academy, as an outgrowth of the Learnxs Project, was but one example of the alternatives-in-education movement that influenced policy development at the Toronto Board of Education. With the termination of the Special Task Force on Education in June 1972, I had been assigned to the director’s office as a principal on special assignment to implement task force recommendations. In 1978, I was named Coordinator of Alternative and Community Programs in the Curriculum and Program Division, responsible for community education policies and programs in the following areas: inner-city schools, community school development, multiculturalism, day care in the school, community use...

  16. 10 Community Service Partnerships
    (pp. 173-184)

    In 1975 the Toronto Board of Education approved the Parallel Use of Vacant Educational Space Policy after a process of community consultation, which began in 1973 as an outgrowth of the report of the Task Force on Education. This policy was necessary because the general decline in student enrolments during the 1970s had resulted in vacant classrooms in many schools. During the same period there was an increased demand by citizen groups, organizations, and agencies to improve neighbourhood services. For example, the need for day-care services for working parents had corresponded to the vacancy rate among kindergarten and primary classrooms...

  17. 11 Youth Ventures
    (pp. 185-196)

    In April 1978 the Job Creation work group of the Community Policy Group on Unemployment of the Toronto Board of Education released a report recommending that the Board ‘undertake life skills teaching programs in the workplace.’ As described in chapter 8, the Board approached the Learnxs Foundation in the spring of that year to assume sponsorship of a feasibility study on the employment of early-school-leaving students (fourteen- and fifteen-year-olds), which was funded by the federal Local Employment Assistance Program (LEAP).

    In July, Learnxs received funding from LEAP to establish the Student Employment Experience Centre (SEEC) Project to employ school leavers...

  18. 12 The Communities of York
    (pp. 197-222)

    Since the Flemington Road days I had served as a volunteer on the boards of several non-profit community organizations and policy development committees. In addition to the Learnxs Foundation and Youth Ventures, they included North York Interagency Council (founding member); Curriculum Committee on Compensatory Education, Ontario Department of Education (founding member); Metro Toronto Youth Services Study, Ontario Department of Health; Children’s Day Care Coalition (founding member); and Task Force on Leisure Education, Ontario Ministry of Culture and Recreation (founding member).

    From 1975 to 1981, I was elected to the Executive Committee of the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto and...

  19. 13 Education for Economic Development
    (pp. 223-253)

    Two of the foremost innovations in York, during the 1980s, were the creation of the Adult Day School and the Learning Enrichment Foundation. These organizations formed a social enterprise partnership to address the literacy, language, skill-training, employment, and childcare needs among impoverished adults in the city of York. Many of the adult learners were also parents of children in York schools. Improving the education levels and economic opportunities for these families was seen as a key factor in boosting the achievement among children and youth in York schools.

    During the 1970s the need was first identified within the Borough of...

  20. 14 Building an Enterprising Culture
    (pp. 254-270)

    The York Model combining community education and economic development was beginning to be recognized both nationally and internationally. I had also written a number of articles published in journals and periodicals, and several chapters in books, relating to the York experience. One outcome (as previously described in chapter 12) was an administrative exchange between the City of York and the Metropolitan Borough of Bury (Greater Manchester), Lancashire, England. The Ministry of Education, the Ontario Association of Education Administrative Officials, and the Society of Education Officers in the United Kingdom sponsored the exchange. During the month of June 1985, I spent...

  21. 15 Training for Social Enterprise
    (pp. 271-312)

    Having taken my leave from the City of York, I was now seeking new career opportunities in the voluntary sector. At fifty-six years of age I was not ready to sit home and collect my pension. Previous experience in creating not-for-profit enterprises, such as the Learnxs Foundation and the Learning Enrichment Foundation, seemed to me the way to go. Both organizations, originally, had no endowment or ongoing stable source of core funding. Aside from some in-kind support from their arm’s-length association with the school boards, they were special-purpose entrepreneurial bodies depending, for the most part, on a series of short-term...

  22. 16 What Is Old Can Be New Again
    (pp. 313-338)

    In 1973, I had submitted an action profile to the Inner City Schools work group entitled ‘Cultural Immersion Program for Teachers in Immigrant Areas.’ It resulted in a series of professional seminars on Italian social, cultural, and political life offered during the fall of 1973 and winter of 1974. During the winter break a nine-day study tour was organized for seminar participants to visit schools, day nurseries, homes, and historic and cultural sites in cities, towns, and villages in the Abruzzi region. This area, on the Adriatic Sea in central Italy, had been a major source of newcomers emigrating to...

  23. 17 Blueprint for Renewal
    (pp. 339-348)

    My introduction herein outlined two provocative reports that were released in 2008. The McMurtry-Curling report addressed the issues of impoverished children and families, segregated social housing, racial conflict, youth violence, mental health problems, and lack of recreation and employment opportunities. The Campaign 2000 report focused on the inadequacies of social assistance and childcare, affordable housing, education, and training.

    My first stated objective was a historic overview of the impact on public education of theory and practice in the fields of community education, community development, community economic development, and social enterprise creation.

    The previous chapters have dealt with ways and means...

  24. References
    (pp. 349-356)
  25. Index
    (pp. 357-368)