It is that time of year again when thousands of University graduates wear their gowns and receive their degrees of academic achievement.
I (Yiola) work in the most amazing graduate/teacher education program. The Child Study and Education program (MA CSE) that is part of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). The program’s vision, structure, and content, are premised on the child being at the centre of learning. How children learn and what research says about children’s learning are central to the program. The program looks at child development and learning and grounds these notions in the varied contexts (social, cognitive, spatial) that children experience. With this focus in mind, I teach a curriculum course and a teacher development/instructional methods course. Equity and inclusion, collaborative practice and professionalism frame my courses.
This two year Masters level graduate program prepares teacher candidates for teaching in elementary classrooms (early years to sixth grade). The program now admits sixty students per year. Included here is a photo of some of our graduates at our graduation reception last week. This photo is taken in front of our beautiful and unique building, the McCarthy house, located at 45 Walmer Rd. in Toronto. It is an old Toronto mansion that not only houses the MA CSE program but also contains the Toronto Laboratory School and the Laidlaw Centre (faculty from the University of Toronto).
As I watched and celebrated with our graduates this year I heard of the many journeys that were upcoming: many are now on the Toronto District School Board hiring list and will be occasional teachers in Fall, some are going on to PhD programs, a few are traveling to places around the world to explore and contribute to schooling systems abroad (India, Brazil), some graduates are entering the independent school system. I wish every graduate much success and happiness as they embark on new challenges and adventures.
Mostly, I wish the graduates of the MA CSE program a continued sense of commitment and passion for instilling a love of learning, a sense of confidence and an “joie de vivre” in the lives of all the children they teach.