Posts tagged ‘Equity’

UNESCO: Making textbooks more inclusive

UNESCO  has released a new document titled Making Textbook content inclusive: A focus on Religion, Gender, and Culture (2017).

From page 8: “all users of the guide can expect to gain heightened awareness of how to promote peace, equality, and social cohesion in developmental and educational contexts. By illustrating the important work of shaping teaching and learning interactions that are free from prejudices and harmful stereotypes, the guide offers insights useful to all those interested in development and education.”

From page 12: “Quality textbooks should be free from divisive stereotypes and prejudices. This can be achieved by adopting a human rights based approach to textbook development and use. Such an approach emphasizes diversity and combats divisive stereotypes by applying the following three strategies:

  • Employing inclusive language
  • Representing diverse identities
  • Integrating human rights

Check it out! Rowan

March 2, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Ministry memo & letter on Anti-Racism and Islamophobia

The Ministry has sent a memo and letter to school boards emphasizing the need for schools to embrace diversity and be inclusive.  A page of resources is also attached [pdf].

From the Deputy Minister’s memo:


From Minister Hunter’s  letter:



Check ’em out! Rowan

February 17, 2017 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

Finding Your Inner Superhero: OLA jot notes

Fourth in a series by Natalie C., one of our fabulous reference librarians, who was lucky to attend 3 days at the OLA Super conference: 

In Bring Your Own Cape: Using Novels and Non-Fiction Narratives to Further Themes of Diversity, Equity and Social Justice, presenter and author Natasha Deen argued that by teaching kids the importance of reading and writing we could also teach them to be superheroes.

For Deen, being a superhero is not the same as just being powerful. Referencing the deaths experienced by Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne before they became Batman & Spider-Man, Deen asserted: “Finding the superhero within is not just about being awesome. It’s taking power from the terrible. The things that happen in your life that are terrible, they are there to help you rise.”

Deen believes that by sharing diverse stories, kids can learn to recognize the value in their differences — what the world often uses to put them down — and access their power.

By encouraging students to write, Deen says that we’re allowing students to “peek behind the curtain.” By writing, students can learn not only about how narratives in the stories they read are purposefully shaped and structured to convey specific messages, but how these messages can in turn shape and structure the story of their own lives. 

Through books with themes of diversity, equity and social justice, Deen believes that educators can teach students that they can all make a difference: “The world’s telling you to look a certain way to be powerful and yet the most powerful thing in the world is kindness. Why are we letting people tell us that only big things count? Little things matter. All of us change the world.”

So how can you help students find their inner superhero?Deen has compiled a list of texts that promote diversity, equity and social justice. Additionally, she has created several question sheets to help educators use some of these texts to inspire discussion.


February 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Disrupting Equity: November 2016 issue of Educational Leadership

The  theme of  the November 2016 issue of Educational Leadership (ASCD) is ‘disrupting equity’.  Here are some of the articles:

Some articles may be read from the ASCD website, others require a subscription. If you don’t have a subscription, TDSB teachers may access it full text in our Ebsco journal database. TDSB teachers can access the following Google document to obtain the TDSB Ebsco password: (remember to login using your TDSB login and not your personal gmail account). If you get stuck, contact the Professional Library at (416) 395-8289 or and we’ll email the articles to you.

Check it out! Rowan



November 23, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Peel DSB: Action plan to support black male students

The October 27 2016 Agenda for the Peel DSB Instruction Program/Curriculum Committee includes a report titled We Rise Together: The Peel District School Board Action Plan to Support Black Male Students (item 10.2, page 63).

From the report, page 63:  “The Action Plan has four key goals:

  1. Integrate the experiences of black Canadians into the curriculum
  2. Deliver bias and anti-racism professional development
  3. Engage with the community
  4. Inspire black student leadership and engagement”

Looking for more information on this action plan? Check out these:

CBC. Metro Morning. (October 24, 2016). Peel Black Students.  Interview with host Matt Galloway and Poleen Grewel, Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.  Podcast.

Gordon. A. (October 23, 2016). Peel School Board launches plan to support black male students. Toronto Star.

Spencer, J. (October 21, 2016). Report Outlining Plight of Black Males in High School Lauanches Peel Board into Action. The Mississauga News, Metroland Media. 

Spencer, J.(April 29 2016). Why the Peel Boards is Putting Black Male High School Students under the Microscope.  The Mississauga News, Metroland Media.

Check it out! Rowan






October 25, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Going Deeper: Ontario equity resource

The Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE) has introduced  “a complementary online component to the Going Deeper rubric. Here you will find practical information, tips, resources and “Look Fors,” conveniently broken down into modules reflecting the rubric’s eight areas of focus. It’s all designed to help guide your board toward effective implementation of Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario’s schools.

Here is the link to the site and rubric :

Check out their Resources page for a comprehensive list of Ontario resources

This website is based on the eight Areas of Focus of Equity and Inclusive Education:

April 12, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Canadian Children’s books celebrate diversity

Submitted & tweeted by Natalie C., one of our fabulous librarians: 



At the 2016 Ontario Library Association Superconference, Sheila Barry (Groundwood Books), Scott Robins (Toronto Public Library), Jenny Kay Dupuis (Hamilton-Wentworth DSB) and Fatma Faraj (Branksome Hall) led a lively discussion that touched on some of the best Canadian children’s books reflective of diverse populations and how librarians and instructors can promote and use these resources.

Key ideas:

  • When selecting materials, try to expand your concept of diversity to include different socioeconomic backgrounds, and types of families. Students want to see themselves, their families and community represented in the books they read.
  • “Diversity” should refer not only to the stories we tell, but also to the authors & illustrators telling these stories.
  • Diversity doesn’t have the be the primary theme of the books you select; diverse elements can be present without being overtly addressed.

How can you get started with diverse books?

Challenge students to read outside their comfort zone!  Follow #ReadHarder on Twitter and host a Read Harder challenge at your own school featuring diverse books. Check out the 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for inspiration.

Integrate resources into your classroom. Work with your school Teacher Librarian to ensure these resources are easily available in the school library/learning commons and integrate the literature into your classroom programming/activities.

Review the #WeHaveDiverseBooks resources at this websiteAnnotated by educators Fatma Faraj and Larry Swartz, this guide contains K-12 book selections that reflect a number of key diversity themes, including Abilities, Religion, Culture & Celebrations, and Gender Identity and Expression.  Browse categories of resources and reading lists at the 49th Shelf.

Check out these books recommended by the panel:





For a more comprehensive recap of the discussion, view tweets from the session. And contact the Library  for more information on culturally relevant – responsive literature and education. 

Natalie C., Reference Librarian


February 11, 2016 at 9:05 am 1 comment

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