2013 YCEC Summer Institute focuses on education and community

Hip Hop dancers

The York Centre for Education and Community (YCEC) is hosting its annual two-day summer institute Aug. 27 and 28 at the Keele campus.

The event, now in its fifth year, continues a long and successful tradition for YCEC. As in previous years, the summer institute will focus on school and community collaborations. “The YCEC summer institute has been planned by a committee that includes representatives from local school boards and community agencies, as well as the University, and is led by YCEC director Carl James,” says Louise Gormley, a research associate working with the centre. She is helping organize this year’s program.


“Every year, the summer institute focuses on some aspect of school-community collaboration,” says Gormley. “This year we continue to collaborate with teachers, administrators and community members, and to hold conversations on how to ensure that education is relevant to students and based on their community knowledge.”

“School-community partnerships can complement, enable, and support student learning,” says York education Professor Carl James (right), “and can provide growth opportunities above and beyond the school and classroom context.” The institute will be an opportunity to examine the complementary and inclusive ways in which partnerships between schools and community agencies can benefit students, parents and the wider community.

This year’s Summer Institute Planning Committee includes members from Toronto District School Board; Toronto Catholic District School Board; York Region District School Board; Black Creek Community Health Centre; Success Beyond Limits, Ontario Ministry of Education, the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, Harriet Tubman Institute and YCEC.

There will be 250 participants at this year’s event and they come from a wide variety of backgrounds. “The two main groups are educators and community members,” says Gormley. “There will be teachers, principals and those in other roles from local school boards, particularly the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the York Region District School Board and the Peel District School Board as well as other public and separate school boards in the GTA. Community members similarly have a wide range of backgrounds that include community health clinics, youth agencies and arts-based organizations.”

The 2013 YCEC Summer Institute features an expansive program, which includes a pre-conference program on Aug. 27 focused on African Canadian Literature and directed at middle school and high school teachers. The workshop will give participants access to a range of materials and curriculum related activities on African Canadians that can be used in middle and secondary curriculum in a variety of subjects. Leslie Sanders is a professor in the Humanities department at York University; her teaching and research focus on African Canadian and African American culture, is leading the pre-conference program with Mark Campbell, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Regina. Campbell is one of the co-founders of  Northsidehiphop and Nia Centre for the Arts, as well as a certified teacher. His research interest include; Afrodiasporic theory and culture, Canadian hip hop cultures, Afrosonic innovations and youth community development projects.

Gen-Ling-200x300The conference keynote opening address will be delivered by Gen Ling Chang (right), TDSB associate director.

Some of the other conference workshops include:

Who is NOT Here: A workshop that explores how school and community can work together to create a voice for the many groups whose voices are not heard in the traditional curriculum. It will look at creative ways in which Toronto-based educators and community members have collaborated to create spaces for those absent voices.

Community Role in Aboriginal Education: This workshop examines the importance in building and enhancing relationships between schools and Aboriginal communities in supporting student educational and social well-being. Aboriginal elders, cultural advisers, artists and other Aboriginal resource people play an integral role in creating inclusive environments. They provide opportunities for all students, staff, families and community members to learn from and within Aboriginal communities.

Hip Hop as Critical Pedagogy: This workshop explores the what, why and how of utilizing hip hop as critical pedagogy to support the engagement, academic achievement and activism of learners ages five and up. Participants will be provided with a theoretical grounding in hip-hop pedagogy and participate in activities and strategies that have been created collaboratively by teachers, hip-hop practitioners and community-based educators.

hiphopHip hop as a critical pedagogy is one focus in this year’s YCEC Summer Institute

Teaching & Learning African Canadian Experiences in the War of 1812: This workshop examines a new web-based historical and teaching resource on African Canadian experience both during and after the War of 1812.

For information on the full range of workshops including presenter biographies, visit the 2013 YCEC Summer Institute website  or contact York Centre for Education and Community at 416-650-8458.