York’s UNESCO Chair will be a featured presenter during THE’s University Impact Forum, June 14

Charles Hopkins, York’s UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability, will be a featured presenter in the Times Higher Education University Impact Forum on Monday, June 14.

The event, which will be presented in a virtual format, is free for all York University faculty and staff to attend. The forum will look at the global inequities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and how this unprecedented health crisis has disrupted the education landscape and the opportunities to build back better and reimagine a new era for learning and pedagogy.

Charles Hopkins will be a featured presenter at the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Forum, June 14
Charles Hopkins will be a featured presenter at the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Forum, June 14

York University through Hopkins, who is a long-standing UNESCO Chair, will be the only Canadian University represented at the forum, which features an international cohort of 22 speakers. University delegates, including faculty and staff, can attend the forum free of charge. Register at https://www.timeshighered-events.com/impact-education-forum-2021/page/1801948/register.

During the forum, presenters will address the role of universities in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4 on quality education. Their comments will explore:

  • Universities’ commitment to improving access to education,
  • building inclusive models of education,
  • embracing a culture of lifelong learning,
  • a new era for micro-credentials,
  • the role of partnerships in delivering SDG4,
  • sustaining high-quality educational research with impact, and
  • is the future experiential?

Hopkins will participate in the discussion with Paul Basken, Times Higher Education’s editor for North America. They will discuss the topic “Quality education for a resilient recovery,” which will focus on how the pandemic has highlighted many of the inequalities among learners around the world and, those who do not have equitable access to remote learning. How can universities ensure that education is more effective, impactful and inclusive than it was before the crisis? Their discussion will take place June 14, from 9:30 to 10 a.m. EST (2 to 3 p.m. GMT+1).

More about Charles Hopkins

Hopkins holds the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability at York University in Toronto, Canada. This chair, established in 1999, was the first UNESCO Chair to focus on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as a central concept and a purpose of education. Since 2017, ESD has been recognized as an integral element of Quality Education and as a key enabler of all SDGs.

Hopkins coordinates two global research networks focused on ESD. One network is the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions (INTEI) focusing on reorienting teacher education towards a sustainable future. The second network, #IndigenousESD aims to engage ESD content and pedagogy in reorienting education and training for Indigenous youth. Both networks are each active in over 50 countries to address the SDGs, in particular SDG 4 and the Global Education 2030 Agenda.

In 2020, his Chair was appointed to serve as focal point for SDG 4 in the Global Cluster of Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD), hosted by the International Association of Universities (IAU) and Hopkins was invited to co-chair the York University President’s Sustainability Council Knowledge Working Group.

Hopkins is a founding developer of the UN University´s Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD and is advisor to the program. He is the Co-Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute on ESD in Beijing, China. The Chair also collaborates closely with UNESCO-UNEVOC and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) to enhance the Greening of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Four York professors receive awards from Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund

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Four York University researchers have received research awards from the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF)-Exploration stream.

Professors Cristina Delgado Vintimilla (Faculty of Education), Sarah Flicker (Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change), Matthew Perras (Lassonde School of Engineering) and Dayna Scott (Osgoode Hall Law School) are the principal investigators on the winning projects, which were announced in late May.

“York University is delighted to see Professors Cristina Delgado Vintimilla, Sarah Flicker, Matthew Perras and Dayna Scott receive these highly competitive NFRF Exploration grants. My heartiest congratulations to them,” said Vice-President Research and Innovation Amir Asif. “These grants allow Canada’s foremost researchers to build strength in high-risk, high-reward and interdisciplinary research for societal benefit – an historical strength for the University.”

Cristina Delgado Vintimilla
Cristina Delgado Vintimilla

Cristina Delgado Vintimilla is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education. Delgado Vintimilla’s project, titled “Ecological Devastation in Extractive Zones: Resistance, Recuperation and Regeneration,” received $248,053.00. Working with a multidisciplinary team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, artists and activists from across Canada and Ecuador, including Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies sociology Professor Denielle Elliott, the research team will explore what it takes to recuperate the devastation of the “Capitalocene.”

The project considers the urgent nature of ecological and environmental challenges posed by the devastation of blasted landscapes (Mountaintop removal mining, open-pit mining, strip mining). Women and children who are targets of annihilation through capitalism and colonialism, specifically, Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), understand the value of non-hegemonic knowledges/practices to heal ruined places. The challenge is in recognizing their unconventional ways of knowing and doing as legitimate healing alternatives to the technological “fixes” that damaged blasted landscapes.

This research will congregate a diverse team of scholars, students, Indigenous activists, Elders, knowledge keepers and healers to lead an interdisciplinary project that draws from and contributes to education, anthropology, biology and the arts. The researchers’ approach is to codesign recuperative practices in “blasted landscapes” in Canada and Ecuador in an urgent effort to address the damage of extractive capitalism and exploitative investments. The sites— built on the dispossession and enslavement of BIPOC—are connected through capitalist, extractive industries that have left the environments forever changed.

The ecological devastation of these sites is the point of departure for this project. The researchers will ask: How are women and children who identify as BIPOC staging unconventional relations with the land to regenerate “blasted landscapes”? And how are they activating alternative modes of belonging in the process? How can we approach blasted landscapes as sites for imagining other futures?


Sarah Flicker, a professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, is the principal investigator on the project “Transnational Perspectives on COVID-19’s Impact on Youth Sexuality, Risk and Relationships.” The project, which involves an international research team that includes Faculty of Education Assistant Professor Jen Gilbert, received $249,038.00 in funding.

COVID-19 has fundamentally altered nearly every aspect of youths’ relational lives; new norms regarding physical and social intimacy and access to public and private spaces affect family, peer, and sexual connections. The challenge of navigating this new terrain coincides with adolescence, a developmental period when choices regarding risk and well-being are already fraught and complicated. Though decisions around how to connect, date, and love continue to be influenced by factors including gender, race, sexual cultures, community, and space, pandemic logics cause a profound shift: behaviors that once sparked alarm are now endorsed as low risk (e.g., sexting); practices that were up for debate are now decidedly off limits (e.g., sleepovers); and what were idealized as innocuous romantic gestures are now the height of danger (e.g., kissing). Changing policies and regulations (e.g., wearing masks, keeping distance, forming pods) influence sexual and intimate possibilities in new and unanticipated ways.

The international and interdisciplinary team brings together scholars in education, psychology, public health, social work, sociology, and youth studies with expertise in participatory methods, sexuality, and global health research. The project’s multi-method, multidisciplinary, and multi-site research will examine how COVID-19 is redefining risk and re-forming youth sexuality in Australia, Canada, and the United States, all countries with liberal democracies with comparable discourses and debates surrounding youth sexuality, but starkly different experiences of and responses to the pandemic.

Results will be used to develop site-specific and transnational briefings, videos, podcasts, and other resources to help sex educators, parents and youth navigate social norms, health risks, and sexual relationships during (and, eventually, in the wake of) a pandemic.

Matthew Perras
Matthew Perras

Matthew Perras, assistant professor, Department of Civil Engineering at the Lassonde School of Engineering is the principal investigator on the project “Using machine learning to understand ancient climatic influences on the stability of cliffs and tombs in the Theban Necropolis of Egypt.” Working with an international research team that includes his colleague Usman Khan, also an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Lassonde, who is a co-principal investigator on the project, the research focuses on the Theban Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site comprised of tombs and temples near Luxor, Egypt. The project received $250,000 in funding.

The tombs in the Theban Necropolis are often shallow excavations with entrances at the base of cliffs. The tombs hold evidence of rock mass collapses during construction through to recent deterioration leading to potential instabilities. Climatic variations are known to cause rock to deteriorate, however, there is debate about the exact influence on crack growth rates. Due to lack of detailed observations and experiments on long-term crack growth in rock, since such experiments span many months or even years, current numerical tools are not capable of capturing the influences of climate change on crack growth. This leads to challenges in determining when instabilities will develop and problems designing preservation strategies. To address these challenges, Perras and the research team propose to utilize machine learning (ML) to aid in analyzing existing climate data and crack growth indicators to predict instability. A ML algorithm will be trained on current measurements (weather & crack movement), then on historic climate & photographs of crack growth.

Ancient climate records and models (Nile sedimentation, tomb flooding & collapses) could be used to back analyze the influence on crack growth with time. With the expertise of geotechnical engineering, geology, archaeology, data and climate science, the researchers will seek to understand the prevailing conditions that led to the current state of stability and develop guidelines for preserving the stability into the future. The novelty of this research is in the combination of machine learning with archaeology and geological engineering. Machine learning in both fields is in its infancy, however, such techniques allow for nuanced behaviors to be extracted from large and complex data sets as in this project. Understanding the current measurements, past influences and applying it to predict future instabilities will help to identify key areas for protection and aid in preserving this UNESCO site for generations to come.

Dayna Nadine Scott
Dayna Scott

Dayna Scott, York Research Chair in Environmental Law & Justice in the Green Economy; associate professor, Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, is the principal investigator of the project titled, “Jurisdiction Back: Infrastructure beyond Extractivism.” The project received $ 246,725.00 in funding.

Resource conflicts and legal uncertainties have dominated the political landscape over the last decade. From Standing Rock to the TransMountain pipeline, conflicts over extraction and its infrastructures have intensified, catalyzing a fierce Indigenous resurgence. As Scott and the research team conceived this project, Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders were blocking a pipeline company from accessing their lands, inspiring solidarity actions that blocked rail lines, ports, highways, and political offices. The situation dramatically demonstrated that when corporate interests thrust contested projects onto Indigenous homelands – even with governmental approvals – they must contend with Indigenous governing authority.

The research project offers a transformative way forward: a fundamentally new set of relations based on different underlying assumptions about law and land. It is a vision that insists the future is not foreclosed, but pregnant with potential for renewed relations of jurisdiction and infrastructure. If anything, the new COVID-19 reality has only made this more obvious. Will we rebuild? Should we rebuild? Or, even more importantly, what should we build anew? The ground-breaking 2019 Yellowhead Red Paper documents how Indigenous-led consent processes based on fulfilling responsibilities are already having the effect of restoring Indigenous jurisdiction and reclaiming Indigenous lands and waterways, foodways and lifeways. Scott proposes to systematically document, support, expand and evaluate this work to determine which strategies and approaches have the most success. How can remaking the material systems that sustain collective life enact Indigenous jurisdiction? What does infrastructure resilience look like for Indigenous communities emerging out of COVID-19 in an era of ongoing climate crisis? How can the “just transition” to sustainable economies be imagined and infrastructured to foreground Indigenous governance systems? This project offers an agenda for fundamentally re-making our socio-technical systems; for both conceptualizing and building infrastructure otherwise.

York University celebrates its researchers

Research Leaders FEATURED image 2021
Research Leaders FEATURED image 2021

One of the most anticipated events of the academic year, the York Research Awards Celebration, took place May 11. While the event was held virtually due to ongoing pandemic restrictions, the format still offered a wonderful opportunity for researchers to pay tribute to their colleagues and applaud the recipients of the 2021 President’s Research Awards.

This annual celebration was cancelled in 2020 due to the emerging crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. One year later, mass vaccinations are hinting that there will be an end of the pandemic. Organizers decided to proceed with the celebration, which was offered over Zoom and co-hosted by the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation.

Welcome remarks were delivered by President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton and Vice-President Research and Innovation Amir Asif. Lenton presented each of the 2020 President’s Research Awards. The 2021 award recipients were announced by Asif. The celebration also included a series of videos, which featured all of the 140 recipients from 2019 and 2020. Faculty of Health Professor Rebecca Pillai-Riddell, associate vice-president research, MCed the celebration.

The recipients of the 2020 President’s Research Awards are:

Christopher Perry
Christopher Perry

Christopher Perry, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, was selected for the President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award (PERLA) in Cluster 1: Engineering, Science, Technology, Health and Biomedicine, as a reflection of his outstanding leadership in and contribution to the fields of exercise physiology, metabolism and skeletal muscle health.

Since 2012, when he came to York University, Perry has contributed significantly to the success of the University, both internally and externally. He established the only human muscle biopsy lab at York, where he investigates the basic cellular mechanisms of muscle fitness and applies these discoveries toward developing novel therapies to treat muscle weakness disorders.

In 2016, he was elected to serve as a director, academic, for the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, Canada’s major authority in exercise science and prescription. This society focuses on integrating state-of-the-art research into best practice. It comprises professionals interested and involved in the scientific study of exercise physiology, exercise biochemistry, fitness and health.

Perry was the recipient of the 2017 Faculty of Health Research Award (early career). He has also received multiple internal and external awards, including funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Research Fund, the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada, the James H. Cummings Foundation, the Rare Disease Foundation and industry funding.

Theodore J. Noseworthy
Theodore J. Noseworthy

Theodore Noseworthy, Schulich School of Business, was chosen for the President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award (PERLA) in Cluster 2: Social Science, Art & Design, Humanities, Business, Law and Education Cluster), for his extraordinary leadership and contribution to the fields of marketing and consumer studies. As the Canada Research Chair in Entrepreneurial Innovation and the Public Good, he develops insights that inform business and policy-makers about the benefits of effectively communicated innovation and the potential costs to susceptible consumers and society. He examines how marketers can better communicate product and service innovations to maximize adoption and awareness. This work focuses on new product design and innovation, as well as product categorization, category ambiguity and visual processing.

In 2012, Noseworthy was appointed scientific director of the NOESIS Innovation, Design & Consumption Laboratory, a world-class behavioural lab at Schulich, to extend his primary research programs. The NOESIS lab is intended to foster innovative research into consumption, consumer behaviour and design. Noseworthy has developed this lab with the specific goal of conducting high-quality research, training skilled personnel and facilitating knowledge mobilization. Broadly speaking, Noseworthy’s research program is designed to help combat Canada’s innovation deficit by helping the private sector transfer knowledge into commercialized products and services to grow the economy.

Debra Pepler
Debra Pepler

Debra Pepler, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, was selected for the President’s Research Impact Award (PRIA) for her innovative contributions to psychology and mental health in the areas of bullying, aggression and violence, especially among marginalized children, youth and families.

In recognition of these contributions, Pepler was named an Officer of the Order of Canada by the Governor General. She is the only psychologist recognized by the Canadian Psychological Association for distinguished contributions to both psychology as a science and public or community service.

Pepler received a Network of Centres of Excellence grant to establish PREVNet – Promoting Relationships & Eliminating Violence Network, funded from 2006-19. She built this interdisciplinary network with her former PhD student Wendy Craig (Queen’s University), with over 120 researchers, 150 graduate students and 62 national organizations. PREVNet’s researchers and partners co-created over 150 resources for bullying prevention and healthy relationships. PREVNet was the culmination of Pepler’s decades of research linking science with practice and public policy for children’s healthy development and healthy relationships.

Pepler’s research embedded in clinical and community settings has real impact on the lives of children, youth and families. She has a strong publication record, having written or co-edited 10 books and more than 200 journal articles, chapters, and reports. In 2007, Pepler was recognized as a Distinguished Research Professor by York for her groundbreaking research.

York University Distinguished Research Professor Eric Hessels receives the 2020 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics. Photo by Paola Scattolon
Eric Hessels (image: Paola Scattolon)

Eric Hessels, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science, was chosen to receive the President’s Research Excellence Award (PREA) in the Engineering, Science, Technology, Health and Biomedicine Cluster, for his exceptional contribution to atomic, molecular and optical physics.

Hessels, York Research Chair in Atomic Physics and a York University Distinguished Research Professor, has led numerous research projects that have far-reaching consequences for the understanding of the laws of physics. He is leading a collaboration whose goal it is to use ultraprecise measurements of the electron to study one of the fundamental unresolved questions of physics.

In 2019, Hessels led a study published in the esteemed journal Science, which found a new measurement for the size of the proton at just under one trillionth of a millimetre. The study confirmed the 2010 finding that the proton is smaller than previously believed. The year before, Hessels led a team that achieved the most precise measurement of the fine structure of helium ever recorded. His researchers had been working on this for eight years.

Hessels is now leading a collaboration (EDMcubed) that is attempting to measure the shape of the electron – or, more specifically, whether its charge is evenly distributed. This measurement will try to shed light on one of the fundamental mysteries of physics: why the universe is made entirely of matter (electrons, protons etc.) and, unexpectedly, has no antimatter (anti-electrons, antiprotons etc.).

The recipients of the 2021 President’s Research Excellence Awards are:

Pouya Rezai
Pouya Rezai

Pouya Rezai, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering, was selected as the recipient of the President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award (PERLA) in Cluster 1: Engineering, Science, Technology, Health and Biomedicine.

The award demonstrates the complexity and relevance of Rezai’s research in utilizing science and engineering concepts built on the fundamentals of fluid mechanics, material engineering, electronics and microbiology to tackle pressing global challenges in both the health and safety sector, and in the field of bioengineering. His impact on his discipline is demonstrated by his receipt of funding as a principal investigator that spans Tri-Council, industry and provincial sources.

His research has resulted in 47 journal papers, seven book chapters, two issued and two submitted United States patents and 50 conference papers. His achievements were recognized by the prestigious Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade in 2019 as well as the I. W. Smith Award from the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering in 2021.

Rezai joined York University in 2013 and initiated a graduate program in Mechanical Engineering at Lassonde in 2015 while serving as the graduate program director since 2015. His work has earned four competitive best paper conference awards, the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada Visiting Fellowship in 2012, and multiple awards obtained by his students in the past five years. His work has also been recognized in 2017 and 2018 by the Early Researcher Lassonde Innovation Award and the Early Researcher Lassonde Innovation Fund. He provides leadership in his innovative research program and his mentorship and supervision. He has built international connections and his engagement has raised York University’s research profile.

Rebecca Bassett-Gunter
Rebecca Bassett-Gunter

Rebecca Bassett-Gunter, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, is the recipient of the President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award (PERLA) in Cluster 2: Social Sciences, Art & Design, Humanities, Business, Law and Education. The award illustrates her leadership in the field of research on the promotion of physical activity among children with disabilities.

Bassett-Gunter has developed an interdisciplinary program of research that has made contributions to the fields of behaviour change psychology, physical activity promotion, health communication and knowledge translation.

Since joining York in 2013, she has published 42 papers in leading journals, and she has shared her research at numerous conferences throughout Canada and internationally. In 2018, she earned the prestigious Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation.

Bassett-Gunter has secured significant external research funding in competitive, peer-reviewed grants as both a principal investigator and co-investigator from major granting agencies, including the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Her mentorship impact is evidenced by the success of her students, many of whom have had their research published in leading journals and have secured Tri-Council and other funding. Bassett-Gunter provides leadership in her innovative research programs and in her mentorship and supervision. She has built international connections and her engagement has raised the research profile of York University.

Carl James
Carl E. James

Carl E. James, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora, Faculty of Education, was selected as the recipient of the President’s Research Impact Award (PRIA). James is the senior advisor on equity and representation in the Office of the Vice-President of Equity, People & Culture.

James is a leading Canadian scholar and researcher in the areas of equity and inclusivity in education, community development, immigration policies and settlement, and critical ethnography. In relentlessly documenting and addressing inequities related to Black and other marginalized groups, James has become internationally renowned for tackling and naming issues of racial inequity, and forging evidence-based policies and actions through innovative participatory research.

His track record clearly speaks to his strong success in designing and carrying out funded programs of research, including ministry, Tri-Council, corporate, school board, foundation, and community-based grants and contracts. He successfully engages his graduate students, involving them in writing and presentations, as co-authors of scholarly work and as active partners in knowledge mobilization activities.

In 2008, he founded the York Centre for Education & Communities, which he directed until 2018. James’ impressive scholarly output includes over 20 authored and co-authored, edited and co-edited books; over 130 book chapters and articles in refereed journals; reports, reviews and educational resources; and hundreds of presentations and workshops. With research that reaches a wide range of audiences, from scholars to policy-makers to the public, and that has undoubtedly enhanced York’s research reputation, James is most deserving of the 2021 PRIA.

Jennifer Hyndman
Jennifer Hyndman

Jennifer Hyndman, Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change, was selected as the recipient of the President’s Research Excellence Award (PREA). The award is in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments and leadership as an internationally recognized scholar of human displacement, humanitarian response, feminist geopolitics and refugee subjectivity.

In January 2021, she was appointed associate vice-president research in the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation. Hyndman has been an exceptional leader in building research programs at York University and in training the next generation of scholars. From 2013 to 2019, she served as director of York’s Centre for Refugee Studies, expanding its mandate and strongly supporting faculty to compete successfully for funds to facilitate innovative research and publish in top peer-reviewed journals and books.

Hyndman is a prolific scholar whose list of publications – in peer-reviewed journals and with esteemed book publishers – is extensive. Most recently, she co-authored, with York Professor Emerita Wenona Giles, Refugees in Extended Exile: Living on the Edge (Routledge, 2017). She has two monographs, Managing Displacement: Refugees and the Politics of Humanitarianism (Minnesota University Press, 2000) and Dual Disasters: Humanitarian Aid after the 2004 Tsunami (Kumarian Press, 2011), plus a co-edited volume with Giles, Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones (University of California Press, 2004). She has conducted community-based research, applied work for the United Nations and governments, and is one of York’s most highly cited scholars in the social sciences and humanities.

To view the program for the 2020 Research Awards Celebration, click here. To view the program for the 2021 Research Awards Celebration, click here.

To learn more about Research & Innovation at York: follow us at @YUResearch; watch the new animated video, which profiles current research strengths and areas of opportunity, such as artificial intelligence and Indigenous futurities; and see the snapshot infographic, a glimpse of the year’s successes.

FGS honours four recipients with Faculty’s Teaching Award

lecture classroom teaching teacher

Four professors in the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) were honoured with teaching awards during a ceremony that recognizes the diverse and dedicated community of scholars housed at York University.

The unique celebration honoured professors Michaela Hynie and Mike Zryd as 2019-20 recipients, and professors Michele Johnson and Sandra Schecter as the 2020-21 award recipients. The event was held virtually, and was attended by more than 100 people over Zoom.

“It is so wonderful to see that all four recipients were able to join us today, and I would like to take this opportunity to personally recognize all of you for your exceptional contributions to graduate education at the University,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton during the virtual Faculty Council held on May 6.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies teaching awards recipients are: Professors Michaela Hynie and Mike Zryd for 2019-20, and Professors Michele Johnson and Sandra Schecter for 2020-21.
The FGS’ Teaching Award recipients are: (bottom) professors Michaela Hynie and Mike Zryd for 2019-20; and (top) professors Michele Johnson and Sandra Schecter for 2020-21

All awards were presented by FGS Dean and Associate Vice-President Graduate Thomas Loebel. He remarked on the vital work of the recipients. “The Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Teaching Award is bestowed annually on a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies who has displayed not simply excellence, commitment and enthusiasm to the multifaceted aspects of teaching at the graduate level at York, but rather excellence alliteratively, adjectivally qualified,” he said.

The celebration included recognition of the 2019-20 award winners, who were recognized this year due to the postponement of last year’s ceremony.

The 2019-20 recipients are:

Michaela Hynie
Michaela Hynie

Michaela Hynie is a professor in the graduate programs in Psychology, Health, Kinesiology & Health Science, Development Studies, Environmental Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies. Letters of support for her nomination noted her drive to provide students with fundamental skills needed to succeed outside of the classroom, such as becoming ethical researchers and creating projects that are meaningful to members of the larger community.

Hynie’s work to address the challenges faced by refugee students, from housing support to financial aid, was highlighted. Her research addresses the development and evaluation of interventions that can strengthen social integration and inclusion in communities that have experienced social conflict or forced migration, whether through political and economic conflict or environmental change.

“Thank you to the students who went through all the trouble of nominating me… that is the biggest gift of all. I’m very moved,” said Hynie.

Michael Zyrd
Michael Zryd

Mike Zryd is a professor in the graduate programs in Film, Communication & Culture, and Humanities, and was the second recipient of the 2020 award. He was noted for his intrinsic and internal pedagogical drive that supports students to reach the finish line in any endeavour they undertake. Zryd was recognized for his ability to motivate students in connecting critical course components to the advancement of their own research by providing them with the right tools and critical methodologies for their projects.

Nomination letters from current and former students highlight Zryd’s generosity of time in various graduate endeavours, such as his steadfast participation in the department’s Graduate Student Association events, including scholarship application support and TA training seminars.

“Grad teaching and supervision is always a collective activity. I want to thank the amazing staff, managers and decanal team at FGS, and all of the GPA and GPDs at the University,” said Zryd. “I also want to thank the students… not quite sure what I teach them, but I learn an enormous amount from everyone.”

The 2020-21 recipients are:

Michele Johnson
Michele Johnson

Michele Johnson, a professor in the graduate programs in Education, History, Social & Political Thought, and Theatre & Performance Studies, has served the University in a variety of important capacities. Her past roles include: co-ordinator of the Latin American & Caribbean Studies program; York’s affirmative action officer; and director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas. Currently, she is the associate dean, students, in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

Nomination letters emphasized Johnson’s dedication to support every member of the York community. She is descried as selfless by constantly supporting not only her official advisees, but anyone in need. Johnson provides extensive encouragement to students as they navigate the academy and adapt to the unique demands of graduate education.

Johnson expressed gratitude to her support system after accepting the award, saying, “I’d like to thank my family, some streaming in from Ontario, Saskatchewan and Atlanta. I’m profoundly moved to receive this award, because it is the students at this institution who hold my heart. It is to those graduate students, who have trusted me to contribute to their dreams, to whom I would like to give my thanks.”

Sandra Schecter
Sandra Schecter

Sandra Schecter is a professor in the Graduate Program in Education. She deserves equal praise for her contribution to the York community. Since joining the University in 1996, Schecter has made sustained contributions to multiple fields of inquiry and has promoted an enduring commitment to anti-racist and social justice education. Furthermore, her work at York has been instrumental in new program creation of degrees and diplomas in the Faculty of Education.

Letters of support from students praise her direct instruction style and note her energetic personality and good-natured humour that demonstrate her consistent dedication and care.

“I am honoured and appreciate how much work goes into these nomination files when time is so valuable,” said Schecter. “This award is just beautiful.”

Intrepid educators launch new resource for educational development

Often a faculty member with a passion for teaching will become an educational developer
University Students Attending Lecture On Campus

York is a leading international teaching and research university that provides a highly valued educational experience. The University is preparing students for meaningful careers and long-term success. One recent instance is exemplary.

Two educators, an ocean apart, have joined forces to create a new online resource for those considering becoming educational developers and those beginning this vocation. York University Faculty of Education Professor and the Founding Director of Teaching Commons Celia Popovic together with Associate Professor Fiona Smart, head of the Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at Edinburgh Napier University in the United Kingdom, created Educational Developers Thinking Allowed (2020).

Celia Popovic
Celia Popovic
Fiona Smart
Fiona Smart

“With this new resource, we aim to open up our work, to make it more accessible to those who might be interested in becoming educational developers and to help support those of us who are educational developers,” says Popovic.

“It provides answers to key questions such as: What are our key concerns and fundamental practices? Where can we get help? How can we help each other?” says Smart. “We want this resource to develop as an interactive, dynamic conversation.”

Popovic has helped to put York University on the map in higher education. A prolific author, she has provided extensive contributions to the fields of higher education and educational development. She has co-edited and/or co-authored several books, including Advancing Practice in Academic Development (with David Baume), Understanding Undergraduates (with David Green), and Learning from Academic Conferences: Realizing the benefits on individual and institutional practice.

Both Popovic and Smart believe there is a pressing need for this resource.

What is an educational developer?

A growing and vibrant field aimed at enhancing teaching, educational development is a relatively recent entry into the Canadian educational landscape. It has been described as “a key lever for ensuring institutional quality and supporting institutional change” (Sorcinelli et al., Creating the future of faculty development).

Popovic believes there’s a quickly growing appreciation for the expertise that education developers bring to the post-secondary landscape. This is because they offer support and guidance in all things relating to teaching and learning in post-secondary education.

Often a faculty member with a passion for teaching will become an educational developer
Often a faculty member with a passion for teaching will become an educational developer

This role varies from institution to institution and country to country. Popovic elaborates: “In most countries, educational developers are established in centres such as the Teaching Commons [at York University] or embedded in Faculties and departments. Often a faculty member with a passion for teaching will become an educational developer, either by switching roles to become a developer, or by incorporating elements of educational development into their day-to-day work with colleagues.”

New resource is both accessible and engaging

The 14-chapter tool the academics created, Educational Developers Thinking Allowed, is accessible and easy to follow. Popovic and Smart lay the groundwork in the introduction to the first chapter. Subsequent sections discuss working in groups and one-on-one, working online – ideal for today’s context, getting organized, making connections and even fake news. There’s also a link to a community site.

Importantly, many international experts contributed to this original resource, introducing and facilitating the best practices from around the world. These scholars include academics from Coventry University, the University of Edinburgh, the University of London and Brock University.

Vignettes open the chapters, while examples, tables, hyperlinks and photographs are woven into the material. Fulsome reference sections and source citations at the end of most chapters offer visitors the chance to dig deeper on certain subjects.

Illustrations assist accessibility and provide an visually appealing resource (Credit: Liz Smith designer)
Illustrations assist accessibility and provide an visually appealing resource (Credit: Liz Smith designer)

Videos are embedded in a few locations, where Popovic and Smart speak directly to their audiences about key issues in education development, making the topic all the more accessible. Illustrations, by designer Liz Smith, also add visual appeal and aid accessibility.

Engagement, dialoguing and reciprocity – truly connecting with the audience – was of paramount importance to Popovic and Smart, so they included sections for dialogue, questions and comments at the end of most chapters.

“Initially, we planned a book but, on reflection, we realized that what we wanted was something more open than a book, something that could be updated regularly and, possibly most importantly, would allow for dialogue,” says Popovic.

What they have created is an indispensable new tool for today’s and tomorrow’s educators.

To see the new resource, visit the website. To learn more about Popovic, visit her Faculty Profile page.

To learn more about Research & Innovation at York, follow us at @YUResearch; watch our new animated video, which profiles current research strengths and areas of opportunity, such as Artificial Intelligence and Indigenous futurities; and see the snapshot infographic, a glimpse of the year’s successes.

By Megan Mueller, senior manager, Research Communications, Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, York University, muellerm@yorku.ca

Professor Deborah Britzman’s new book explores field of psychoanalysis with foundations of education

FEATURED image Book Launch

York University Distinguished Research Professor Deborah Britzman, in the Faculty of Education, has published her ninth book, Anticipating Education: Concepts for Imagining Pedagogy with Psychoanalysis.

Deborah Britzman
Deborah Britzman

Britzman is the Tier 1 York Research Chair in Pedagogy and Psycho-Social Transformation and focuses her research on the histories of psychoanalysis with education.

Anticipating Education is addressed to teachers, professors and students engaged in the critical, conceptual study of subjectivity at the heart of education. Britzman writes of education as if it could be conducted as an uncertain search for concepts, ideas, histories, emotional situations, and states of becoming.

Readers will encounter surprising narratives, studied as lost memories, predicaments of trying to know, and desires for greater freedom, all treated as touchstones of old and new conflicts affecting university life.

Four themes of teaching and learning are analyzed: phantasies of education; difficult knowledge; transforming subjects; and psychoanalysis with education. Britzman joins the tenders of emotional situations of pedagogy as stretching from historical trauma, social change, sexuality, learning inhibitions, and dynamics of love and hate in group life. The book furthers Britzman’s highly influential and groundbreaking contributions to thinking broadly on the reach and limits of having education.

In her introduction, ‘Late Education,’ Britzman writes, “If one could return to the sources of education, to where it all began, where would one be and with whom? What causes could be remembered? Such questions imagine education as a state of mind and the object of our search…”

As one of the most cited and prolific scholars in education, Britzman is internationally known for her erudite writing in the fields of philosophy, psychology, history, teacher education, critical theory, and literary studies and for taking on the difficult knowledge of our time.

In addition to earning the Tier 1 York Chair, Pedagogy and Psychosocial Transformations in 2017, Britzman has previously earned awards and recognition, including: Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; and Hans Loewald Memorial Reward, Internal Forum for Psychoanalytic Eduction (2015).

For more on the book, visit this link.

Research Associate Emma Sabzalieva earns award for thesis

Image announcing Awards
Awards card

Faculty of Education Research Associate Emma Sabzalieva
Emma Sabzalieva

Emma Sabzalieva, a research associate in the Faculty of Education, has been awarded the 2021 Comparative & International Education Society (CIES) Eurasia Special Interest Group Dissertation Award for her thesis ‘Responding to major institutional change: The fall of the Soviet Union and higher education in Central Asia.’

The Eurasia Special Interest Group Dissertation Award aims to honour the best dissertation or thesis written by scholars working and studying in the Eurasia region. The evaluation criteria include originality of research, appropriate use of scholarly literature, and quality of writing.

In her thesis, Sabzalieva examines how higher education responds to major political, economic and social change. Based on a comparative case study of the responses of higher education institutions and systems in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the thesis finds a considerable array of responses by higher education to major change, from radical reform to remarkable durability. The discovery of variation is an important theoretical finding that serves to highlight the importance of comparative work. It is also significant because of what these divergences tell us about pre- and post-1991 schemas for higher education, about the similarities and differences between the three cases, and about the perceived value and purpose of higher education across settings.

“I have been a member of CIES since starting my doctoral work and consider the Eurasia SIG one of my academic families. The annual conference has always been a fantastic way to learn about others’ work, to meet up with global ‘relatives,’ and to make new connections,” said Sabzalieva. “Because it’s such a large conference, there are plenty of opportunities for the serendipity moment of stumbling onto new (for me) research/knowledge areas. Within that bigger network, I have greatly benefitted from being a member of the smaller Eurasia SIG and really enjoy getting to know other people who share my passion for higher education and for the Eurasia/Central Asia region.”

“Emma’s work is always brilliant because it explores new boundaries and new frames to understand the role and purpose of higher education within and across different states. Emma is an outstanding scholar,” said associate professor Roopa Desai Trilokekar. “Her research excellence and potential has been recognized through prestigious scholarships and awards such as a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (the first recipient in her department since 2012); Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Studentship (15 per cent acceptance rate); the UK Society for Research into Higher Education’s Newer Researchers’ Prize (2020) and the Excellent Paper Award for an Emerging Scholar from the Knowledge Politics and Policies Standing Group of the ECPR (2018). As two comparative and international educationalists, we share many common interests and I am thrilled to have Emma work with me as a research associate on several projects including on our mutual research interest in the new geopolitics of international education.”

The Eurasia Special Interest Group (SIG) brings together educational researchers and practitioners working on or in Eurasia and is part of the Comparative & International Education Society (CIES). CIES is the largest and oldest of 47 comparative and international education societies around the world and has more than 3,000 individual members.

York University posts top scores in Times Higher Education Global Impact Ranking 2021

THE Banner for Sustainable YU
THE Banner for Sustainable YU

For the third year in a row, York University has been ranked highly by the Times Higher Education (THE) global Impact Ranking, which classifies universities on their work towards the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year, York has placed 11th in Canada and 67th overall against 1,115 post-secondary institutions from 94 different countries.

Rhonda L. Lenton
Rhonda L. Lenton

“York’s strong performance in the rankings this year is a result of the extraordinary efforts of our students, faculty, course directors, staff, and alumni, whose dedication to our communities and our planet has helped us make great strides in furthering the UN SDGs,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton. “We are proud of the way our community members have come together in support of the SDGs, and grateful for their passion, enthusiasm, and continued commitment to driving positive change in our local and global communities.”

The THE Impact Rankings are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ranking compares universities on research, stewardship, outreach and teaching across 17 categories.

York ranked in the top four per cent globally in two SDGs that closely align with the strategic focus of the University’s Academic Plan (2020), including third in Canada and 27th in the world for SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals, which examines a university’s stewardship of resources and its preservation of community heritage, and fifth in Canada and 24th in the world for SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, which looks at how the University supports and collaborates with other universities in working towards the SDGs.

Lisa Philipps
Lisa Philipps

“The Impact Ranking is a strong reflection of York’s progress in advancing the University Academic Plan 2020–2025 (UAP), which challenges us to build a better future, bringing our unique capacities to bear on the most urgent issues facing the world, while deepening our collective contributions to the SDGs,” said Provost and Vice President Academic Lisa Philipps. “I am very proud of the significant contributions that have been made to advance our UAP and address complex global issues.”

Partnerships for the goals: Global hubs, partnerships and collaborations improved ranking in SDG 17

Hosting global hubs for international initiatives, sharing best practices, and partnering with the federal government to offer expertise improved York’s ranking to 27th overall in Partnerships to Achieve Goals − a major improvement over last year’s rank of 50th.

Driven by a welcoming and diverse community with a uniquely global perspective, York’s international network of partnerships helps our students and faculty make a difference across the world.

York hosts four significant global partnerships and hubs that contribute to the pursuit of the SDGs.

Charles Hopkins
Charles Hopkins

The UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Educations Towards Sustainability, held by Charles A. Hopkins, works in association with the many other entities, including the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions and the #IndigenousESD, towards achieving the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The Ecological Footprint Initiative, which hosts a data centre at York, focuses on researching, investigating, mapping, and explaining humanity’s ecological footprint on the planet.

Professor Steven Hoffman
Professor Steven Hoffman

The World Health Organization has recognized the work of York’s Global Strategy Lab team led by Director Steven J. Hoffman, a professor of global health, law and political science and the Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology, by designating it as the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance (WHOCC). The Glendon Accelerator for Innovation and Best Practices in French Teaching will also host a new knowledge mobilization hub to meet the need for French as a second language teachers at a time when they are in short supply.

In addition to these international hubs, the Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom won the 7th Airbus Global Engineering Deans Council Diversity Award for its efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in engineering education.

Deborah McGregor
Deborah McGregor

Finally, through the leadership of Osgoode Hall Law School Associate Professor Deborah McGregor, who is cross appointed to the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice, the Osgoode Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic intervened successfully with the federal government to obtain a regional impact assessment for proposed mining and road infrastructure in Ontario’s Ring of Fire.

Sustainable cities and communities: COVID-19 research and new green buildings recognized in SDG 11

New Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified buildings, timely COVID-19 research, projects funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and a new Charter Centre on Homelessness propelled York to 24th overall in the Sustainable Cities and Communities ranking. York University’s top ranking in this category is further proof of its commitment to make things right for our community, the planet and our future.

York’s researchers have also been helping lead the fight against COVID-19, with a pair of projects to simulate mass vaccination sites and model COVID-19 transmission.

Ali Asgary
Ali Asgary

Ali Asgary, associate professor of Disaster and Emergency Management, and Jianhong Wu, a Canada Research Chair in Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the NSERC/Sanofi Industrial Research Chair in Vaccine Mathematics, Modelling and Manufacturing and York Distinguished Research Professor in Mathematics, have together developed a simulation that models ongoing processes in a drive through vaccination clinic. The innovative approach is being used in Canada and the United States and has been listed as one of the best community models available.

Jianhong Wu
Jianhong Wu

Jude Kong, an assistant professor in Mathematics & Statistics at York, leads a team of 50 researchers from organizations across Africa and Canada to predict the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their project builds on a South African-led COVID-19 dashboard and combines modelling at York to inform and support national policymakers from across Africa manage the virus in real time.

Jude Kong
Jude Kong

Two SSHRC grants awarded to York professors will enhance the ability to preserve local heritage in communities around the world. Laura Levin, associate professor in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, and director of Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts & Technology, leads the “Hemispheric Encounters” partnership project to build a network of organizations across Canada, the United States, and Latin America, with the aim of sharing knowledge and strategies for positive social change. Linda Peake, professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and director of the City Institute, leads “GenUrb,” a research project aiming to build a network to examine the changing relationship between gender, poverty, and inequality across the globe.

Laura Levin
Laura Levin

In working to make their own community more sustainable to live in, York Faculty of Education Professor Steven Gaetz leads a collaboration between the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and A Way Home Canada, a successful partnership to prevent youth homelessness that was recognized by the United Nations.

The Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study and Research Building, part of the internationally renowned Schulich School of Business, became LEED Gold-certified earlier this year. The new site, which opened in 2019, features a glass solar chimney that provides natural ventilation for the facility.

Linda Peake
Linda Peake

Two more buildings under construction, the School of Continuing Studies at the Keele Campus, and the first phase of York’s Markham Centre Campus, are also aiming for the LEED Gold standard. The School of Continuing Studies features a high-performance prismatic façade, composed of photovoltaic panels and glazed openings to bring natural light into the building. The photovoltaic panels will also allow the building to produce its own power. The School of Continuing Studies is scheduled to open in the fall of this year, while the Markham Centre Campus will open in Fall 2023.

Steven Gaetz
Steven Gaetz

York’s ongoing success in the THE Impact Rankings is owed entirely to its community of positive changemakers. With so many projects, initiatives, and partnerships underway, and many more in development, York University continues to expand the work that makes the world a better place to live, learn and work.

York partners with Ban Ki-moon Centre and Austrian Cultural Forum for event on transformative education for the 21st century

glass planet in a forest with sunshine - Usa map
glass planet in a forest with sunshine

York University’s UNESCO Chair, together with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens will hold a virtual dialogue on educating future generations. The event will be hosted by the Austrian Cultural Forum at the Austrian Embassy in Ottawa on May 5 at 12 p.m.

Five years ago, the United Nations introduced a series of Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. This “call to action” addresses poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

Charles Hopkins and Katrin Kohl
Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability at York University, and Katrin Kohl, executive coordinator to the UNESCO Chair

Panelists will respond to central questions on the role of transformative education for all in achieving the UN SDGs. Hannes Machor, deputy head of mission at the Austrian Embassy Ottawa and director of the Austrian Cultural Forum will chair the discussion between Monika Froehler, CEO at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability. The event will be moderated by Andreas Strebinger, associate professor of marketing at York’s School of Administrative Studies, and Katrin Kohl, UNESCO Chair coordinator at York’s Faculty of Education. The event will include special guest, Austrian graphic recording artist, Lana Lauren, who will capture spoken content in real time and translate it into engaging visuals.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna was established in 2018 and is co-chaired by Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and Heinz Fischer, former president of Austria. The centre strives for a global respect for human rights, where sustainable development is achieved through global citizenship, shared responsibility, understanding and empathy.

Established in 1999, the UNESCO Chair at York University was the first UNESCO Chair to be created to support education for sustainable development (ESD). It now serves the UN SDGs through research and the coordination of the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions (INTEI) and the Indigenous ESD research network focusing on the education of Indigenous youth.

The event aligns with York’s commitment to the UN SDGs. The Academic Plan 2020-2025 positions York with distinctive capabilities to create positive change in a world facing an unprecedented convergence of complex issues such as climate change, a global pandemic, racism and xenophobia, poverty and inequality.

To join in for this important event, register here.

Report shows lessons learned from changes to sex ed curriculum relevant during COVID-19

online learning
online learning

Changes to health, sexual and physical education curriculums in Ontario had a dramatic effect on teachers, but those lessons are even more salient today, says York University Professor Sarah Flicker.

Sarah Flicker

The lessons learned from changes to these curriculums in 2015 and 2019 are outlined in a new report, Changing the Rules: Ontario Teacher Reflections on Implementing Shifting Health and Physical Education Curricula, launching April 27.

Although most teachers interviewed for this report welcomed changes to the 1998 health, sex and physical education curriculum, they felt highly surveilled and stressed, and frustrated with the way the new curriculums were rolled out without adequate supports, training and resources. In the space of several years, they were asked to teach three different curriculums.

The researchers wanted to know how teachers at the frontlines of this confluence of ideological battles between governments, parents, teachers, human rights and students were navigating this charged political environment, and what could be done differently next time.

“While we collected the data pre-COVID, in many ways I think so many of the recommendations that are coming out of this report in terms of the kind of supports that teachers need, and more supportive work environments, are even more salient today,” says FlickerYork Research Chair in Community-Based Participatory Research in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change. 

“They’re trying to navigate teaching and learning and communicating around health and safety in this new environment, in this very changed landscape, thinking about sexuality, risk and relationships. I don’t think public health has had a moment when more of us were paying attention to things like hygiene and setting boundaries, understanding consent, and understanding the well-being of ourselves and others.”

Health and physical education teachers play an important role in helping young people think about their bodies, their well-being, making safer decisions and reducing risks, but in many ways, teachers are even more surveilled now as they Zoom in from their homes into their students’ homes, says Flicker.

The report will launch at a virtual event – Teaching Health & Physical Education in Uncertain Times – on April 27, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The event will include a talk by Flicker on the key findings of her study, followed by Faculty of Education Professor Sarah Barrett sharing her final report, Emergency Distance Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Teachers’ Perspectives, released last month. To register, visit the Zoom conference registration website.

For the Changing the Rules study, Flicker and her team, including Faculty of Education Associate Professor Jen Gilbertinterviewed 34 teachers who had taught health and physical education in K-12 Ontario schools for at least five years. They hailed from 17 school boards, including public school boards, independent First Nations boards, Catholic boards, and French boards. 

Almost all teachers interviewed agreed the curriculum needed updating and the proposed changes were important. They felt young people need to be able to talk about how things like cell phones and the internet impact their lives, including sexually and romantically, and have teachers be able to discuss these issues with them as part of the curriculum. Many felt that sharing information about substance use, STIs, pregnancy, hygiene, and healthy relationships would help young people make decisions that would help them grow up to live happier or healthier lives.

Teachers said they need more resources particularly in the context of changing demographics in Ontario.

“As the province becomes more diverse, teachers need resources that reflect that diversity and help them have health and physical education conversations in ways that honour very different cultural traditions and understandings around the body and health, and well-being,” says Flicker.

Some of the suggestions for the future included changing the curriculum incrementally on a regular basis to ensure it remains relevant and responsive to the changing realities of Ontario students. Diverse stakeholders should be included in future consultations to ensure the curriculum is meeting the needs of all students and their communities. In addition, policies, templates and strategies need to be put in place to accommodate those students not participating in sex education classes. A culture of learning and support for teachers and students should be fostered.

Watch Flicker discuss the results of her study and their relevancy to today in the series of videos below: