Literacy

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What Happened When I Learned To Read My 'Mother Language'

In my classroom, there were a few precious books available in my local language. Those stories profoundly touched my heart, and I loved reading time at primary school. Children love stories, you see. Stories are the virtual window to their world of fantasy and reality. Children do not want to read just any story book, but story books that are engaging and connecting to their passionate souls.
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Should Teachers Bring Their Politics Into The Classroom?

Among the groups that I saw at the Toronto march was a contingent of elementary school teachers. As most people know, the great majority of elementary school teachers everywhere are women. As women, they have experienced more than their fair share of discrimination, pay inequity, and even violence in the workplace. But should teachers have the right to protest and then to bring their views and opinions into their classrooms? It might depend on the views and how they are expressed.
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What Teaching In Jail Is Teaching Me About Privilege

Four months ago, I began teaching inmates in two of Ontario's maximum security jails. The experience has taught me a lot in a very short amount of time. I'm learning about an alternative universe that exists in parallel to mine. I'm accessing a dimension which is completely divergent from the one I was born into, and I'm still trying to digest it all.
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Shockingly Low Literacy Rates Prove First Nations Kids Are Being Left Behind

Buried in a department performance report, we learned the shocking news of the failures of literacy and numeracy in First Nation schools. In the Ontario region, students who participated in provincial standardized testing in 2013-2014 ended up with an average literacy score of 21 per cent for boys and 32 per cent for girls. What are the results of educating children in a system that has been systematically underfunded for decades? Unless we are willing to break this cycle of underfunding and negligence, the question will need to be asked -- who will stand up to apologize to this generation of children who are being deliberately left behind?

We're Already Living in the Future

Escape From an Inhospitable Planet As a kid in high school, I was the one who was called out by other girls and beaten up by the boys in the school yard. Being the new kid in the hall, year after year...

Literacy Doesn't Mean What You Think

A quick search of web-based resources yielded 17 different types of subject-related literacy, but these initiatives are really more about promoting general awareness and knowledge of a specific subject area than they are about literacy as a foundational skill.
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Happy Birthday to a Woman of Honour

Mrs. Maryon Pearson, famously witty wife of Canada's 14th Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson, once said: "Behind every successful man, stands a surprised woman." Mrs. Pearson disliked politics and the demands public service placed on her husband and family. I wish she could have met my wife.
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How Literacy Has Evolved in Canada

International Literacy Day has been celebrated on September 8 since 1966. The aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies around the world. It's also an opportunity to reflect on how far we've come, and where we need to go next.
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How I'm Working With First Nations in Ontario

Living conditions on some reserves are now so dismal that they are routinely likened to those of the Third World. Needless to say, youth literacy and education have not thrived in this environment. Working together will not only hasten progress, but elevate the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Ontario to a new level of friendship and respect.