Governments and school boards are facing challenges as they work to put equity policy into practice. To further this initiative, the Toronto District School Board hosted a conference called FUTURES – Equity and Inclusive Education.
Equity and Inclusive Education: From Policy to Practice
The conference had inspiring keynote speakers, such as Dr. Pedro Noguera – who asked:
How do we get kids excited about learning?
and Connor Steele – who said:
We’re all different and that’s OK
Now it’s time to take what we’ve learned back to the classroom and use it to support students.
How do we put equity in place to support all students?
The answer is simple and combines the Keynote address from both Dr. Pedro Noguera and Connor Steele:
How do we get kids to get excited about school?
Support students in building on their differences.
When we give young people a vehicle to apply the curriculum to:
- Meaningful experiences
- Real-life situations
- Future goals
Then we’re putting – what Craig Kielburger, founder of Free The Children, says best – Me to We into action.
When we support youth in doing something they love to do, like art, and using it to help someone they love, like animals, then we’re getting kids truly excited about learning, while impacting the community.
What could this project look like?
Creating awareness posters to collect blankets for the Humane Society.
Build an environment in the classroom that values interests
When we create a classroom that values interests and the power of interests in action, we level the playing field because:
You can’t buy interests
You can’t sell interests
Interests are there for EVERYBODY to discover and share!
Who Is NOBODY? is a practical tool that empowers students to impact their communities. And build self-esteem based on their actions.
When this group-based program has been implemented in inner-city schools (where students are often the recipients of donations) we’ve found that their stories and pictures include statements like:
I was a hero
This belief in self is the result of valuing interests in your classroom and putting equity into place within our schools.
Build equity by celebrating differences!
EVERYBODY is different.
EVERYBODY fits in by being different.
EVERYBODY uses their differences to make a difference.
Who Is NOBODY? helps students build their identity on their interests. We continue to be astounded by the incredible projects that more than 55 000 participating students have completed. These young people have each experienced why:
EVERYBODY is SOMEBODY
Change starts with kids.