Understanding equity and engagement

Leading international researchers will visit Southern Ontario for seven days to share recent research findings and engage participants in discussions on how to create equity in schools, increase student engagement, and improve teaching and learning.

Project Category:
Visits by world-leading researchers
Topic Area:
Equity and Inclusion
Ministry Priority
(2011-2013):
Teaching and Learning, Equity, Engagement
Project Lead(s):
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Brief Background:
Leading international researchers will visit Southern Ontario for seven days to share recent research findings and engage participants in discussions on how to create equity in schools, increase student engagement, and improve teaching and learning. Researchers will visit Western, Brock, and U of T in the days prior to the conference.
Research Context:
Given the established link between student engagement and equitable and inclusive education (e.g., Bickmore, 2006; Miller, Brown, & Hopson, 2011; Portelli, Shields, & Vibert, 2007; Storz, 2008; Zyngier, 2008), it seems natural and necessary to link the two in this project. The key question that will guide dialogue in this area is how to meet the dual challenges of respect for students’ culture and the imperative for inclusion.
Knowledge Mobilization Activities:

Knowledge mobilization is inherent to this project. Prior to the conference, the world leading researchers and local scholars will each contribute recent research findings (in the form of journal articles , book chapters , etc.) that will be packaged and distributed on memory sticks to all participants and speakers for future use, along with the conference schedule, literature reviews on the four main topics of the conference, and speaking engagements and contact information for participants and speakers. Panel discussions and meetings will be taking place in Toronto (OISE/UT), St. Catharine’s (Brock University), London (UWO/Althouse), and one public school in each of the Thames Valley District and Peel District School Boards. During their visit, they will each take part in one larger conference and two panel discussions and meeting sessions. Local scholars, practitioners (teachers and principals), program and policy advisors/analysts, members of community organizations, and other interested parties have been invited (and confirmed) their participation in the conference, panel discussions, and meetings.

In addition, a conference website is being created that will be used for storing and disseminating data and information.

Outcomes:
The visits by world leaders will help practitioners find new ways to improve student achievement, particularly for students from marginalized groups. The visits will also facilitate the dissemination of knowledge from their research, make a positive contribution to improving teaching for learning, and will help mobilize knowledge through the new networks created at the conference.