The Diversity and Media Toolbox is a comprehensive suite of resources for teachers, students, law enforcement representatives and the general public, that explores issues relating to stereotyping, bias and hate in mainstream media and on the Internet. The program, which includes professional development tutorials, lesson plans, interactive student modules and background articles, is divided into two distinct but complementary topic areas: media portrayals of diversity and online hate.

Teacher’s Resource Catalogue

Trousse Éducative – Diversité et Médias here.

The Diversity and Media Toolbox was produced with the support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Justice Canada’s Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.

~text from the Media Awareness Network website

Read more about the new Aboriginal focussed school to be opened in Vancouver this September in The Vancouver Sun.
 
© The Vancouver Sun
 

It is easy to talk about what could be, what should be and what other people could do.  Instead, I would like to share what I have done, and what we are trying to do, as we engage in and embrace this learning evolution.

I began my career trying to emulate the teachers I remembered most, and through the stories I remembered from my school experiences.  The teacher was mixing content, stories and weaving a narrative. While hardly an actor, there was something about the performance of teaching I really did enjoy. I would organize the desks in a circle, and while this was great for students to engage with each other, it also gave me centre stage.  I was very focussed on the lesson plan and activities in the classroom.  I saw myself as the expert, and it was up to me and the textbook to help students understand the content. Now, here is a true confession — I loved being the ‘sage on the stage’. In my Social Studies and English classes I would often retell the stories my memorable teachers had told me.

As I became more comfortable, I tried to allow students more of an opportunity to tell their stories.  I worked to create situations where students could simulate the real world.  In History class this might have been a United Nations role-play lesson, or reviewing a series of case studies in Law class. Students loved the examples drawn from the “real world”.  In Law, we would study cases making headlines in the news, and other Social Studies’ classes leant themselves ideally to current events.  I loved the relevance that came from these lessons, as well as the engagement.  Combining my lectures with hands-on activities, like putting Louis Riel on trial, led to an even richer teaching and learning experience.

Read Chris Kennedy’s article here.

By Chris Kennedy, February 22, 2012 The cultureofyes Blog

In British Columbia, the Day of Pink 2012 is celebrated on February 29. Check out this link from the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation for more information.

DayofPink is the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia and Transphobia in schools and communities. We invite everyone to celebrate diversity by wearing a pink shirt and by organizing activities in their workplaces, organizations, communities and schools.

It is a day where communities across the country, and across the world, can unite in celebrating diversity and raising awareness to stop homophobic, transphobic & all forms of bullying. 

The International Day of Pink (April 11) was started in Nova Scotia when 2 straight high school students saw a gay student wearing a pink shirt being bullied. The 2 students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic & transphobic bulling. They decided to purchase pink shirts, and a few days later got everyone at school to arrive  wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was that an entire school stopped homophobic & transphobic bullying. 

The message was clear: anyone can bully, any can be victimized by bullying, but together we can stop it.

Why should you participate?

Have you ever seen a friend hurt because of discrimination? Have you been hurt yourself? Discrimination comes in many forms including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, agism and anti-semitism just to name a few. These social diseases create barriers, bullying, harassment, hate and violence. No one should have to experience the negativity created by discrimination. DayofPink is more than just a symbol of a shared belief in celebrating diversity – it’s also a commitment to being open minded, accepting differences and learning to respect each other.

~from the Day of Pink.org Website

Day of Pink Guidebook 2012

CKNW’s Pink Shirt Day Website

Creating a National Reading Strategy for Canada:  About the National Reading Campaign

The National Reading Campaign is about creating a reading strategy for Canada. It is about engaging Canadians in exploring what a Canadian reading plan would look like, and what we would expect the key outcomes to be. In short, it is a campaign to incorporate and promote reading as a central feature of 21st century Canadian citizenship.

The National Reading Campaign had its beginnings in 2008, when a coalition of readers, parents, writers, editors, librarians, bookstore owners, teachers, publishers and distributors came together to assess and consider the changing reading habits of Canadians. Learn more about the Reading Coalition here.

The first forum, held in 2008, proposed that a National Reading Campaign be developed over the course of three Reading Summits. The first Summit was held in Toronto in 2009, the second was held in Montreal in 2011 and the third will take place in May 2012 in Vancouver.

Why do we need a National Reading Campaign?

Becoming a reader is at the very heart of responsible citizenship. But as we find ourselves caught in the fierce updrafts of an information hurricane, we often lose sight of what reading — as an intellectual activity — contributes to our sense of self, our cultural awareness, our capacity for self-expression and, ultimately, our notions of engaged citizenship and the collective good. Reading, after all, is about so much more than a technical act that allows us to communicate, consume media and perform the activities of daily life. To be literate is necessary, but it is not enough.

Read more about the Summit here.

~information and links from the National Reading Campaign website

We all feel the need to belong.  The relationships we have built with family, friends and the community provide the roots that shape our character.  Positive attachments with those we care deeply about provide the foundation for our personalities.  When our parents demonstrate how proud they are of our achievements we feel special.  When our best friend runs to greet us we see the caring in their eyes.  When our soccer coach highlights our sportsmanship we strive to achieve even more.  When we have a strong sense of belonging we feel accepted.  All of our children deserve to be treated in this way.  They have a strong desire to be acknowledged as true individuals.

2012-psd-shirt.jpg

Do we always accept individuality?  When a person demonstrates behaviour that is outside established norms do we accept or do we ridicule?  Too often our children do not feel that their individuality is recognized.  They feel isolated and that strong sense of belonging, which they crave, is absent from their lives.  School grounds can sometimes be a place where this individuality is compromised.  Targeted bullying whether it is face to face or behind a screen can have devastating life long effects.  The following story illustrates the power of individuals to change attitudes.

Continue reading here.

by  Scott Wallace  on 2/5/2012 4:59 PM

~from the Gleneagles Elementary School Blog

The Huffington Post

Posted: 1/17/12 10:57 AM ET

Some of the Internet’s leading websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress, and BoingBoing, will go dark tomorrow to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The U.S. bills have generated massive public protest over proposed provisions that could cause enormous harm to the Internet and freedom of speech. My blog will join the protest by going dark tomorrow. While there is little that Canadians can do to influence U.S. legislation, there are many reasons why I think it is important for Canadians to participate.

Read full article here.

by Michael Geist

5:00 PM 01/10/2012

DELTA – A feast was held today to celebrate the signing of a second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA) for Delta, with partners committing to support Aboriginal student success and bring a greater awareness of Aboriginal culture and history to all students.

Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements are a commitment by school districts, local Aboriginal communities and the Ministry of Education to work together to support Aboriginal students. Delta’s first agreement was signed in 2005, and the initiative has proven to be successful. Over the past ten years, six-year completion rates have risen for Aboriginal students in the district from 37 to 60 per cent.

With the new AEEA, the commitment to Aboriginal students is being enhanced. During the past year, community members, students, parents and educators came together to develop this second AEEA for Delta. The new AEEA is based on information learned from the first agreement and answers to the question, “What would success look like for our students?”

Read full article here.

Province of British Columbia Newsroom: BC’s Online News Source

The Vancouver Sun  January 11, 2012. 2:59 pm • Section: Report Card

A second public forum on child poverty will be held in Vancouver this month to discuss B.C.’s dismal performance on this front.

It’s a continuation of a discussion sparked in September by Seymour teacher Carrie Gelson when she wrote an open letter to the people of Vancouver on behalf of her disadvantaged students.

The forum will be held Jan. 25, 7-9:30 p.m. at Langara College. Panelists include Gelson, Clyde Hertzman of the Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC and Dr. Barbara Fitzgerald, a UBC pediatrician, among others.

Find full details here.

Fitzgerald is behind a movement called Mom-to-Mom, which sees professional women, mainly from the UBC area, helping mothers living in poverty. Read about that here.

By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun 

jsteffenhagen@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Publically-funded schools in North America are often scary and dangerous places for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (GBLTQ) youth, and many teens suggest that the adults charged with ensuring their safety and learning often do little to promote their acceptance and safety among their peers. Educators need preparation to become more sensitized to GBLTQ teen issues and equipped with the empathy, knowledge, and skills to support and protect these marginalized students in their care. The Faculty of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island has introduced a number of initiatives into its pre-service teacher education programs to help new teachers unpack their own beliefs, attitudes, and personal experiences with gender identity and sexual orientation and prepare them to become advocates for their GBLTQ students.

Click here to read the article in the current edition of Canada Education.

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