The Future of Public Education: Lessons from the PandemicExport this event to calendar

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 — 7:00 PM EST

Event image with logos for Renison and WPL, and image of child in a classroom wearing a mask and looking at the camera.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
7:00pm ET

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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education systems in unprecedented ways. The crisis exacerbated long-standing inequalities, revealed the limits of technology, raised questions about learning loss and recovery, heightened concerns about corporatization, exposed the value of teaching, and much more. There is an urgent need to envision the future of public education for a post-pandemic world. What lessons have we learned from the pandemic for public education systems in Canada? Moderated by SDS Professor Dr. Kristina R. Llewellyn, this session engages with education experts to discuss the impact of the pandemic on public education and ways to move forward to strengthen public education for all.

This event is generously supported by the Equity Knowledge Network.

Moderator:

Dr. Kristina R. Llewellyn, Professor, Social Development Studies, Renison University College

Kristina R. Llewellyn is Professor of Social Development Studies at Renison University College and Affiliated Faculty in the Department of History and Games Institute at the University of Waterloo. She teaches and researches in the areas of equity, democracy, and education, with a focus on oral history and history education. She is the author or co-author of four books including of Democracy’s Angels: The Work of Women Teachers (McGill-Queen’s, 2012) and Oral History, Education, and Justice (Routledge, 2019). Llewellyn is the Principal Investigator of the SSHRC-funded project Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation: The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children History Education Initiative (www.dohr.ca), a member of the Executive for the SSHRC-funded project Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future (www.thinking-historically.ca) and a researcher with the Equity Knowledge Network (www.rsekn.ca). Llewellyn regularly comments on education issues for media outlets, including BBC, CBC, CTV, and Global News.

Panelists:

Dr. Vidya Shah, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, York University

Dr. Vidya Shah is an educator, scholar and activist committed to equity and racial justice in the service of liberatory education. She is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, and her research explores anti-racist approaches to leadership in schools, communities, and school districts. She has worked in the Model Schools for Inner Cities Program in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and was an elementary classroom teacher in the TDSB. Dr. Shah is committed to bridging the gaps between communities, classrooms, school districts and the academy, to re/imagine emancipatory possibilities for schooling.

Dr. Beyhan Farhadi, Postdoctoral Fellow at York University, TDSB Teacher

Dr. Beyhan Farhadi is a Postdoctoral Fellow at York University in the Faculty of Education, and a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. She researches online learning and its impact on equity in public education. Her current project with Dr. Sue Winton focuses on teacher policy enactment during COVID-19 in Alberta and Ontario. Beyhan is also a secondary teacher in the Toronto District School Board, and an advocate for a fully funded anti-oppressive public education system.

Dr. Joel Westheimer, University Research Chair in Democracy and Education, University of Ottawa, Education Columnist, CBC Radio.

Dr. Joel Westheimer is University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa and an education columnist for CBC Radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Author, speaker, and education advocate, he also co-directs (with John Rogers, UCLA) The Inequality Project, investigating what North American schools are teaching about economic inequality.

Westheimer grew up in New York City where he was a middle school teacher in the New York City Public Schools before obtaining his Ph.D. from Stanford University. His books include the critically acclaimed What Kind of Citizen: Educating Our Children for the Common Good, Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools (foreword by Howard Zinn) and Among Schoolteachers: Community, Autonomy and Ideology in Teachers’ Work.

In addition to researching the role of schools in democratic societies, Westheimer studies, writes, and speaks widely on global school reform, the standards and accountability onslaught, and the politics of education and education research.

He has two children and divides his time between New York City and Ottawa, Canada where, in Winter, he ice-skates to and from work. Find out more at joelwestheimer.org and follow him on Twitter: @joelwestheimer.

jeewan chanicka, Director of Education, Waterloo Region District School Board

jeewan chanicka is the Director of Education for Waterloo Region District School Board serving approximately 64 000 students and their families, 10 000 staff members, across 122 schools. Over his 20 years as an educator, he was a Principal in York Region District School Board, served as Superintendent, Equity, Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression and as Superintendent of Schools in the Toronto District School Board among many other roles. jeewan holds a Master of Education degree from York University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts from York University. He is recognized internationally for his work in innovation, social justice advocacy and anti-racism. He is one of a select group of global senior education leaders selected as a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and delivered his talk at the TED Summit in Scotland 2019.

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