Category Archives: celebrations

The University of Toronto turns 190!

I (Said) have been part of the University of Toronto system since I began my undergraduate degree in 2009. It has been quite the ride considering I was born in Lebanon & immigrated to Canada in 2003! This year, the University of Toronto is celebrating turning 190 & one of its satellite campuses in Mississauga, Ontario, is turning 50. The history teacher/student in me became curious and wanted to learn a little more about the school I attend and the community I belong to.

It all began on March 15, 1827, when a royal charter was formally issued by King George IV, proclaiming “from this time one College, with the style and privileges of a University … for the education of youth in the principles of the Christian Religion, and for their instruction in the various branches of Science and Literature … to continue for ever, to be called King’s College [before it was renamed University of Toronto on Jan. 1, 1850].”

Established in 1878, the School of Practical Science (now the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering) offered students instruction in mining, engineering, mechanics and manufacturing. New faculties were soon added, among them home economics (1906), education (1907), forestry (1907), social work (1914), nursing (1920), graduate studies (1922), hygiene (1926) and the School of Architecture (1948). There is definitely a rich history to explore if you are interested in the social, political, and religious influences on the development of post-secondary institutions in Ontario/Toronto. Isn’t it amazing how a once denominational college is now a collegiate university with over 85,000 students from at least 160 countries, over 500,000 alumni, and 2 satellite campuses?

More interestingly, new courses and disciplines will certainly continue to emerge in response to developments in our globalized society and contemporary culture. I wondered if there were courses that weren’t as predictable as “Introduction to Eco/Chem/Math/Psych” and here are two that stood out to me:

Feminism, Zombies and Survivalism (WGS334H1S)

  • In this course, we interrogate the gender, racial, and generational politics of survivalist fantasies while, at the same time, re-reading them for the alternative ethical frameworks and possible futures that they suppress.

The Beatles (MUS321H1)

  • The class tackles two main questions: Why were The Beatles so popular, and how did they become the soundtrack to the 1960s (with a little help from their friends, of course). This class has no prerequisites.

I definitely wish I could have written an academic paper discussing the context and influence of the song lyric, “All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.” 

In any case, happy birthday UofT. Here are a few pictures, taken from Student Life @ UofT.

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An intramural soccer game in 1951.
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Nursing students in 1920/1921 on the steps of University College.
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A tank on campus in 1950.

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Teachers go to the Academy Awards

I (Clare) was watching the Academy Award last night and I was struck by the image_academy_award_trophynumber of winners who thanked their teachers. I recently had an unusual experience. My nephew ran into a former student teacher of mine from 20 years ago and they started talking and somehow made the connection. The former student teacher said that I had had a profound
impact on him. Huh! So teachers and teacher educators you never know the difference you are making. You may be thanked at the Academy Awards. We make a difference often in ways we do not see or know.

We are back to blogging

Hi Literacy Teaching and Teacher Education Blog Followers

research team

We had a little hiatus from blogging. Clare was super busy with construction at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study; Pooja and Lydia both started new tenure-stream positions at Simon Fraser University and University of Alberta respectively; Cathy has been working on her thesis and teaching new courses;  and Clive and Yiola have been super busy. Lots has happened in our work and we will be updating you on our work ….

Team member: Lydia Menna

said-imageSaid (pictured to the right) will be joining our blogging team.

 

 

 

To those in Canada — Happy Family Day.

To those in the US – Happy President’s Day

To our friends around the world — looking forward to continuing our conversations.

 

A Successful Book Launch: Check out these Amazing Texts

It started as a little book launch that (I) Clare was organizing for our new book. It grew to IMG_1739include 4 “hot off the press” books. All of which I must read! The book launch was unique because it included authors from different departments and programs. And it was great fun!.

Building Bridges: Rethinking Literacy Teacher Education in a Digital Era by Clare Kosnik, Simone White, Clive Beck, Bethan Marshall, A. Lin Goodwin, and Jean Murray (I know this book well – tee hee!)

IMG_1742Taking Shape: Activities to Help Develop Geometric and Spatial Thinking by Joan Moss, Bev Caswell, Zack Hawes, Cathy Bruce, and Tara Flynn

 

 

Teaching Literature to Adolescents by Richard Beach, Deborah Appleman, Bob Fecho, and Rob SimonIMG_1741

IMG_1753The Pedagogy of Standardized Testing: The Radical Impacts of Educational Standardization in the US and Canada by Arlo Kemp

 

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A true milestone: Mom’s 90th birthday

IMG_1699Today we celebratedIMG_1713 my (Clare) Mom’s 90th birthday. What a milestone. She is a great Mom, Grandmother, and Greatgrandmother. Mom did it all (almost) – she was a successful business woman, volunteer at the Canadian Opera Company, Board Member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and volunteer at the IMG_1690Canadian Institute for the Blind. She was always up for a challenge – bringing Luciano Pavarotti to Toronto twice to support the Columbus Centre, helping at image1the local church, and always organizing family parties. We had a small family celebration for her birthday. Here are some pics. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Momsie! We are so lucky to have had you in our lives for so long.

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JICS: Outstanding Laboratory School of the Year Award

As many of the readers of this blog know, I (Clare) am the Director of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (JICS). It is an amazing place — Lab school, teacher education program, ICSand research centre. The Lab school has been given the Outstanding Laboratory School of the Year Award. A HUGE HUGE HUGE congratulations to our teachers and leadership team. I have looked at the list of lab schools in the association and there are some mighty prestigious schools in the group. And for our school to be given this award is truly an outstanding accomplishment.
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Below is the press release done by the OISE Communications Team
OISE/UofT’s Laboratory School Named World’s Best in 2016

The International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS) has named the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (JICS) winner of the 2016 Outstanding Laboratory School Award.

Richard Messina, JICS principal, will accept the award in Puerto Rico on April 27, 2016, at the International Association of Laboratory Schools annual conference.

“The JICS school community is very excited about this award. It recognizes the hard work and creativity of our teachers, the involvement of our parents, and the guidance we receive from our scholars,” noted Messina.

Watch JICS in action: https://vimeo.com/164037655 Password: kidscodingfinal

The Jackman ICS lab school, part of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and University of Toronto, is widely known for its innovative and integrated approach to applying the latest research evidence to ensuring leading edge teaching and learning.

A leader in education, the keys to its success are the partnerships among and between students, teachers, parents, and world-class professors from OISE and the University of Toronto.

For more information about the Outstanding Laboratory School of the Year Award, please visit: http://www.laboratoryschools.org/membership/awards-and-grants/80-outstanding-laboratory-school-award-new
For more on the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute for Child Study, please see attached for background details, or visit: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/ics/index.html

Media Contact Information:

Richard Messina, Principal, JICS: richard.messina@utoronto.ca or 416-629-1018
Chriss Bogert, Vice-Principal, JICS: chriss.bogert@utoronto.ca or 416-702-1093
Lindsey Craig, Media Relations Coordinator: lindsey.craig@utoronto.ca or 416-458-2136

Defining happiness: A child’s take on life.

IMG_0968From the mouths of babes. Motivational speaker Jay Shetty has some wise words for you on how to make the world a better place. A teacher asked her students to write down what they want to be when they grow up. There were the usual responses – astronaut, singer …. And one boy wrote down happy. When the teacher talked to the child suggesting he misunderstood the assignment, he responded. “Miss, I think you misunderstand life.” WOW!!!!

According to Shetty, it starts by pressing pause on your own life and improving the way you IMG_2826communicate with others.  The video is short but it reminds us about what is important in life. Well worth the time. In the video below watch him explain why it’s time for you to take a moment to become more conscious and aware. https://www.facebook.com/HuffingtonPost/videos/10153725769876130/

World Book Day

I (Clare) just found out that Thursday March 3 is World Book Day. What a wonderful event Image_WorldBookDayto celebrate. Check out this site from England: http://www.worldbookday.com which has lots of suggestions for activities for the day.

Thought you would like this picture of children dressed up as Pippi Longstocking and Burgler Bill!

Digital literacy conference in teacher education

 

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I (Yiola) am excited to share news on a technology conference hosted in the Child Study and Education program at OISE/UT last week.  The conference, Technology for Learning, was designed for our first year MA students. To develop the conference, we surveyed the students to better understand their knowledge of technology use in the classroom. We discovered that while most students were users of technology, very few used technology in the classroom and very few were familiar with educational approaches and applications for the classroom. The survey was helpful in developing the structure and content for the conference. We then carefully examined which technology based topics and themes  were covered in program courses and from there we decided which areas would be best for the conference.

Students expressed they lacked knowledge in, and seemed most interested in, applied uses of technology in educational settings so we decided to host sessions on: blogging, online literacy, assessment, social media in the classroom, gaming, formal and informal learning sights, coding, assistive/adaptive technologies. For a complete list of the sessions and their descriptions click on the website we designed for the conference here:

http://technologyforlearning2016.weebly.com/

Students signed up for the conference via the website and after significant planning, emails and bookings,  we were set to go.

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Ready for student registration. There were 77 students in attendance.

The full day conference included: an introduction, 2 one-hour sessions, lunch break, a 3rd one-hour session, student led poster presentations, Q & A and closure. The introductory session led by myself and Heather (co-designers and hosts) set the stage for the day. I introduced the notion of digital citizenship, its themes and local resources and Heather introduced theoretical frameworks for thinking about technology in education. She shared 3 frames: 1) T-Pack  2) Ed Tech Quintet and, 3) SAMR.  Each framework was explained and examples were provided. We left students with the suggestion to select one theme from digital citizenship and one framework that resonated with them and to think about them in relation to the 3 sessions there were about to attend.  Here are some pictures from the day:

We worked hard to include a variety of presenters, from a variety of settings. Included were the Director of OISE library, a lab school Teacher, Professors from the university, a Teacher from the public school board, and Doctoral students.The images above show some of our amazing presenters.

We provided a lunch where the presenters along with Department Chair Professor Earl Woodruff and Program Chair Professor Rhonda Martinussen gathered to share ideas regarding technology for learning.

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After lunch there was one more set of sessions followed by student-led poster presentations (see images below for student led poster presentations). Students submitted proposals which were reviewed and returned with feedback. The poster presentations provided a wonderful opportunity for students to share their expertise and knowledge in an academic setting. It was a moving and motivational part of the conference.The following 4 images show examples of the student-led poster presentations.

 

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We closed the conference with a Q & A and an unplugging of technology through the fun and fitting picture book “Good night iPad”.

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It was a wonderful day. The informal feedback from students has been positive. We plan to send out a post survey about the conference to deepen our understanding of student learning and to improve our own practice in the area of digital literacy teaching. For more information about our conference please feel free to contact us via our blog.