"Opening the Schoolhouse to All," a special series on public education, starts Nov. 17

Enoch Turner schoolhouseYork University community members are playing a key role in a provocative four-part series on the challenges facing public schooling.

The Enoch Turner Schoolhouse – originally the site of Toronto’s first free school – is sponsoring a community conversation on a number of current educational concerns. Located at 106 Trinity Street between King Street East and Eastern Avenue in Toronto, Ontario. Canada. It is the oldest school standing in the city.

Coordinated by Paul Axelrod, emeritus professor and former dean of education at York University with York PhD graduate Jason Ellis, the series, “Opening the Schoolhouse to All,” poses a series of questions that panelists will take up in successive sessions beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 17 and concluding in January 2021.

Paul Axelrod

Paul Axelrod

“It’s quite a lineup of eminent speakers,” says Axelrod. “Concerns about education are front and centre these days, and this series will allow for a full airing of pertinent issues.”

How has the pursuit of wider educational opportunity evolved historically? How do educational experiences vary by race, gender, neighbourhoods, and disabilities? What kinds of teaching and learning will best serve individuals and communities in the years ahead? How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting access to schools and the experiences of students, teachers, and families? These questions and more will be considered in this fascinating series of public events. 

The first session, “The Promise of Equity: Race, Multiculturalism, and First Nations Education”  will take place Nov. 17 starting at 7 p.m. and will be offered online. The session features presentations by a panel that includes Faculty of Education Professor Carl James, who is the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora at York University, and Natasha Henry, president of the Ontario Black History Society, and PhD candidate in History at York. The session will be chaired by York grad and University of Toronto professor Funké Aladejebe. Gillian Parekh, Canada Research Chair in Inclusion, Disability and Education in York’s Faculty of Education will speak in a session titled, “Doing the Right Thing: Disability, Autism and Special Education.” President Emerita Lorna R. Marsden and Qiang Zha, an associate professor in York's Faculty of Education, will join a panel that addresses the question: “Does Liberal Education Matter in the 21st Century?” Former Premier and Education Minister, Kathleen Wynne, is a featured panelist in a session called “Are We Moving Closer to Gender Equity in Education?” 

The series, free of charge, and accessible online, is designed for a broad audience interested in the past, present and future of Canadian education. To register and to see the full program, go to https://enochturnerschoolhouse.ca/category/events/.

For more York University news, photos and videos, visit the YFile homepage