36,000 Students We serve Pre-K to 12th grade students across 5 regions. By 2022, IDEA will operate 173 schools in 10 regions educating a hundred thousand students on their road to and through college. Read all about the road to college. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Why are schools brainwashing our children? To those who don’t keep up with education trends, certain recent events might appear to be unrelated.
In May, a Grade 3 class in Toronto took to the streets with signs and an oversized papier mâché oil pipeline to protest the laying of an actual pipeline in western Canada. These are just a handful of examples of the more peculiar by-products of a vision gaining ground among many education architects: an elementary school education rooted in social-justice principles. But social justice—which encompasses diversity, sustainability, global affairs and issues of race and class—is a broad term with varying interpretations. It can manifest in wildly different ways. In the hands of one teacher, social justice might entail teaching kids to care for the Earth by having them plant trees in the schoolyard.
When it comes to the question of what’s appropriate to broach with young children, conflicts abound. Last month, Toronto parents were incensed to learn that the Toronto District School Board web page promoting health education included a link to an organization that suggested kids explore their sexuality by experimenting with sex toys and vegetables. The board has since removed the link. Between the mounting examples of how social-justice education can go wrong, and the passionate defences from those responsible for training teachers, who believe their vision has never been more important, the fight is growing over what’s going on in primary school classrooms. It’s just the newest battle over an age-old question: who gets to decide the best way to educate our young?
What is not debatable is the growing commitment to social justice within our education faculties. Social justice in education is a trend that has come and gone over the past century, but nowadays one can specialize in it at teachers’ college, and there are courses and textbooks instructing teachers on how to approach the subject in the classroom. Rita Irwin, associate dean of teacher education at the University of British Columbia. We need to prepare teachers to deal with that.
To that end, the UBC faculty of education has implemented its revamped curriculum, which builds a social-justice component into every teacher-education course, so that would-be teachers can follow the same approach in their classrooms. Some advocates make more ambitious appeals for the importance of a moral education. Activism in Education: Pushing Limits in Increasingly Conservative Times. He reminded them that even well-educated people can be persuaded to do terrible things.
The University of Ottawa faculty of education prepares its teachers-in-training to tackle some of those controversial topics head-on. Several lesson plans written by its students are made available for teachers on its Developing a Global Perspective for Educators website. That may all sound like a lot to throw at grade schoolers, and the organization’s acting director, associate professor Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, acknowledges the potential for controversy but argues that real-world contention helps engage kids in the classroom—they’re intrigued, they listen, they participate. Indigo Esmonde, assistant professor at OISE, University of Toronto’s education faculty, raises a common criticism of the approach.
Esmonde, who specializes in math education. It raises an important question: in engaging in controversial topics, are children being taught a mix of perspectives? Andy Shapiera, a father of two in Toronto, was frustrated after learning that his son’s Grade 1 teacher had a poster for PETA hanging in the classroom. Not surprisingly, the new educational approach in the classroom and school hallways is starting to cause a small firestorm.