SBL staff and teachers presented on a panel at York University’s 12 Annual Graduate Conference in Education. The panel consisted of 4 members affiliated with SBL, all of whom are community workers, educators and graduate students. Central to each panelist’s presentation was the work they do with SBL and in communities such as Lawrence Heights.
Panelists: Mohamed Ahmed, Abshir Hassan, Tesfai Mengesha, Sam Tecle
Abstract: Too often, the work of schooling in communities often lacks a serious engagement with the local realities of the contexts in which schools exist. This results in general approaches that lack specificities and relatedness. Our proposed panel consists of individuals who bring unique perspectives to the topic area of urban education and the role that space plays in schooling. Working from a social justice orientation and a diversity and equity framework our panel makes central how educators – informed by system-wide approaches implement general approaches to pedagogy, school planning and critical learning pathways void of serious analytical focus to the local realities that inform the spaces in which these schools are situated. Based on the communities in which they have worked each panel member will introduce how context heavily informs the way in which they have approached their work, schooling and the benefits and challenges associated with a specific and related orientation. Each panelist is, a certified teacher, a community worker as well as a graduate student and collectively our panel explores the myriad of ways that context and community impacts education and informs the daily realities of schooling in Toronto. Ultimately, the panel explores how responses and resistance to general approaches to schooling and education are being bred from the “ground-up” and redefining not only the contexts of these spaces, but the communities themselves.