Updated: Summer Institute looks at community-school partnerships

This month, the Faculty of Education’s annual two-day Summer Institute will explore the topic of “Education for Whom?” when it runs Aug. 27 and 28. The conference takes place at York U’s Keele Campus (Vanier College), and features a full-day program on Aug. 27 and a half-day program on Aug. 28. It is presented by the York Centre for Education and Community (YCEC) in collaboration with YouthREX.

The conference aims to bring together educators, teacher candidates, parents and community members to discuss and share insights on how community-school partnerships can transform practices toward more inclusive and equitable opportunities for teaching and learning.

Titled “Education for Whom? Mobilizing for Purposeful Schooling and Diverse Realities: Action, Conversation, Intervention, Collaboration”, the Summer Institute will present a variety of keynote speakers and workshops.

“The title of this year’s Summer Institute conveys motion and change,” said Salima Kassam, co-chair of this year’s organizing committee and a seconded course director and practicum facilitator in the Faculty of Education. “It raises the question of how are we going to create new communities with various stakeholders that are participating in the institute and then collectively take what we have learned over the day and a half back into our varied spaces. As individuals and as networks, we can then be accountable for transforming practices in teaching and learning.”

Now in its seventh year, the annual Summer Institute started with YCEC’s collaboration with teachers, students, parents and community members in schools in the Jane/Finch community.

“The Institute builds on our work with schools and communities in which we promote the significance of school-community relationships in enabling successful schooling for students. Our aim as a unit within the Faculty of Education is to facilitate conversations among stakeholders that generate the understanding that we’re all contributors to our students’ schooling and educational outcomes, and therefore must always be in conversations with each other,” said Carl James, director of the York Centre for Education and Community.

“We have close to 300 people registered for this year’s program and we hope for strong engagement in meaningful conversations that will serve to enhance schooling and education that are responsive to students’ needs and their academic successes.”

Susan Dion
Susan Dion

Features of the two-day institute include York University’s Dr. Susan Dion’s talk, “Stories We Tell // Stories We Hear – Indigenous People, Storytelling and Listening” as well as a keynote by Dr. Dana Fusco from City University of New York.

Thursday afternoon will include an interactive system analysis facilitated by YouthREX and Jermaine Henry from Spoke N’ Heard. The systems panel on Friday morning will include George Zegarac, deputy director of Education; Kaneka Watkins, program manager for Success beyond Limits; and the Honourable Jean Augustine, who has endowed a Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment at York University.

For information on the full range of workshops, visit the 2015 YCEC Summer Institute website (http://ycec.edu.yorku.ca/events/summer-institute-2015/). Follow the hashtag #ycecSI2015 on Twitter to be a part of the conversation.