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Welcome to the RSEKN blog! Here, you will see postings from our regional teams and partners throughout Ontario!  What you see below is a sample of RSEKN blogs that have been published since our network launch. But wait, there's more! Make sure to visit RSEKN's French site to read more blogs from our French partners!

Interested in submitting to the RSEKN Blog? Contact Network Coordinator, Noor, to see how you can post about you and/or your organization's work in equity!

How can students learn when they are being taken out of the classroom?

posted Aug 17, 2018, 2:24 PM by Ontario South   [ updated Aug 20, 2018, 8:16 AM by Noor El-Husseini ]

Last week, the RSEKN team met to discuss the progress made over the last year and Year 2 plans as of September! As a team, it is exciting to celebrate the successes and reflect on challenges in the first year of the network since the November 16 and November 17 RSEKN launches

What systemic barriers to equity exist in your school communities? By explicitly naming system barriers, our team can strategize and act with intention to promote and support equity for marginalized and racialized students. We strive to take a systems-approach to equity, so here are three examples our team named:

Representation: Seeing racialized and marginalized groups represented in society

Accessibility: Equitable opportunities for access to resources and inclusive spaces

Beliefs & Behaviours: What biases, assumptions and attitudes do stakeholders in education have about equity?

In 2014, the Minister of Education published a document entitled “Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario Schools; Guidelines for Policy Development and Implementation”. This document outlined systemic barriers to equity in education, with the goal to action plan on how to remove systemic barriers, discriminatory biases, and power dynamics that limit students’ learning potential and to promote inclusive education, and respect for diversity. 
     Students across Ontario continue to encounter discriminating barriers to learning. One barrier to learning involves suspension and expulsions. In June 2018, RSEKN’s Southern Regional team chose to focus their work on examining equity issues in the area of suspension and expulsions. As a PhD student in School and Applied Child Psychology, I observe barriers for children with disabilities; specifically, children with learning disabilities and ADHD experience frequent barriers in school. Evidently, their learning, attention and consequential behavioral issues impact their learning. However, in their latest Executive Summary, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) identified that these children also experience frequent suspensions, or suggested “school breaks”. In fact, students with these special needs are twice as likely to be suspended than other children. Parents have approached me with stories about receiving calls to pick up their child part way through the day, or told to keep them home for a week or two so that the school can “have a break”. But, how can this approach support a child’s success in learning?

Access Full Resource – Disability in Canada: A Complete Profile.

Well, to say the least, it doesn’t. The NCLD identified that frequent suspensions and “school breaks” lead to less time in class, disrupting potential learning success. Consequently, these students are more likely to dropout of school or are forced to repeat a grade

     The classroom is a place of learning. When you remove a student from the classroom, you remove them from the possibility of learning. This is even more troublesome for students who require additional time and support to achieve success in learning. Frequently removing students from the classroom also affects their emotional and social well-being, and disrupts their peer relationships. Further, suspensions may cause psychological and emotional damage to an already sensitive student with disabilities. This punitive approach is not the answer, and only further deepens the problem.

     Finally, we must consider the impact of suspensions or “school breaks” on parents, a group oftentimes forgotten when it comes to education stakeholders. Requiring parents to be available to pick up their child from school part way through the day, or to be home with their child for a week or more, interrupts occupational success and can breed financial instability and familial disruption to name a few stresses. Because of this, many parents are unable to hold a job if they are placed in this position. The punitive approaches produces more problems, than solution and, ultimately, more barriers to inclusion.

Are you a parent or educator? Have a look at the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario for educational resources.

“The disability is not the problem. The accessibility is the problem” 
– Mohamed Jemmi (TED, 2013).

Summer Institute 2018: Exploring Identity-based Data Collection to Highlight Gaps in Ontario Education Achievement

posted Aug 14, 2018, 11:57 AM by Ontario GRT - GTA   [ updated Aug 15, 2018, 8:01 AM by Noor El-Husseini ]

- Written by Dennis Bayazitov

This year, the annual YorkU Faculty of Education Summer Institute (FESI) has partnered with the Réseau de Savoir sur l’Équité/Equity Knowledge Network (RSEKN)The Institute, entitled Realities In Data: Who counts … What counts … Who's counting? will focus on identity-based data collection, integration and reporting in education. The two-day event will address one of four priorities articulated in Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan to explore the role of identity-based data in uncovering systemic barriers—specifically, the relationships between such data, student access, engagement, achievement and well-being. Posted on the FESI 2018 website are two guiding discussion questions for the conference. 

FESI 2017Day 1: “What are the present and historical challenges, opportunities, tensions and paradoxes of collecting, integrating and reporting on identity-based data?”

Day 2: “How has identity-based data been mobilized to support students access, engagement, achievement and well-being?”

“We do not focus the conversation on the ‘marginalized students’ and how to ‘fix’ those students”, says Jack Nigro, superintendent of First Nations Métis and Inuit Education at the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. “We look at it from the perspective of the system: Does it serve these students adequately?"

“We do not come together and say, ‘oh, if they only did this, they would be so much more successful. The focus is more. If we, as a system, only did these things differently, to better recognize societal conditions and reasons for marginalization, we could serve students better, giving them a better shot at success."

One example Nigro shares is how the Toronto District School Board collects systemic data and notices trends and patterns. Certain groups of students like Hispanic and black students do not achieve at the same rate as other students, he notes. Some groups of students are suspended more often than others. Other groups of students are over-represented in special education classes.

FESI 2017

"Data collection has the potential to provide great insights to everyone who has a stake in education; however, data collection may also categorize, label and further marginalize individuals," says YorkU Faculty of Education Practicum Coordinator Diane Vetter. "Focused conversation on ethical and socially just use of data is imperative when analyzing the huge amount of data available in the digital world."

Vidya Shah, an assistant professor, at YorkU's Faculty of Education and GTA Regional Team Lead for RSEKN adds, "there are further notable gaps in graduation rates for black students and Indigenous students, as well."

“FESI and other conversations about identity-based data collection allow us to build awareness of who is most marginalized in, and by, the system. It further provides political and instructional will for educators and organizations to engage in systemic restructuring and learning so that we do not ignore the problems, nor blame students, their families or communities for them.”

Naturally, school boards are at varying levels in their readiness with this kind of work. During the previous Wynne government, however, the province had made it a priority for all school boards to collect, integrate and report identity-based data, as outlined in the Ontario Education Equity Action Plan.

“FESI is really about recognizing that, as systems, we do not have the answers. If we did, our schools would look very different,” Shah says. “We wouldn’t have students who are excluded from educational spaces and activities. We wouldn’t have students dropping out or being pushed out at rates that are unconscionable. We need multiple voices and perspectives of community partners and agencies, families, educators, academics and the Ministry of Education to think about these very complex problems and take action collectively.”

“This is the type of data that, when collected, reveals major trends,” Nigro says. “The fact that only one or two boards in the province collect this data is a problem. In the world of demographic data collection, we say: ‘No data, No problem, No action.’”

As part of its knowledge mobilization plan, FESI is looking to create 3-5 page monographs this year: research briefs that take extensive research on particular topics and translate and disseminate it into language accessible for all to understand. Monographs will be based on identity-based data and will discuss the politics and pedagogy of the five attending stakeholder groups: English school boards; French school boards; parents and community partners; educators; and students.

“We want to help communities understand the power they have in making a change,” said Shah. "The power really does lie with the parents, communities and students, and that is a very important part of this process, and of the conversation.”

This year's conference is expected to attract 250 participants and welcomes all members of Ontario’s education community to contribute to the conversation. For more information, visit the Summer Institute website.

Learning With, Not Only From.

posted Aug 3, 2018, 9:12 AM by Ontario East   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 9:19 AM by Noor El-Husseini ]

- Written by Emma Griffin & Erin Bowdridge

Equity in education exists beyond the teaching and learning done in a classroom. In order to learn the work that programs and organizations are doing to contribute to equity education, graduate students enrolled in the course “Education of Marginalized Youth” at the University of Ottawa and conducted individual field studies. Erin Bowdridge’s investigation involved the Ottawa branch of Pathways to Education (PTE) organization at the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, while Emma Griffin’s engaged with the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.
PTE began in 2001 in Toronto and has since spread across Canada.  They have noted groundbreaking success in low-income areas, raising the high school graduation rate by an average of 85% in program areas (PTE 2018; Rowen 2012). Bowdridge focuses her examination on PTE’s four pillars of support for the programs: counseling, academic, social and financial (Oreopoulos et al., 2017, pg. 951). The academic and financial supports are particularly attractive to both students and guardians. Program managers meet yearly with all four Ottawa-based school boards (OCDSB, OCSB, UCDSB, and CDSBEO) as well as associates from Statistics Canada in order to receive the most up to date information regarding the populations served and specific needs of the various demographics of students. Bowdridge concludes that PTE contributes to the lifelong learning infrastructure that educators aim to instill in students, particularly marginalized youth. Because youth often use these after-school programs as a means to form ties with peers and workers, this approach also furthers their academic performance, and subsequently their academic success.  

     With focus on Youth Justice and Culturally Responsive Programming, Griffin’s engagement with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health starts with her questioning of what Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) is doing to implement culturally responsive programming in order to effectively aid adolescents and adults in rejoining society after incarceration. The answer is not a whole lot. There is a lack of variety in programs for former offenders now coming out of incarceration, and options are both hegemonic and lacking in cultural appropriateness, especially for those with Indigenous backgrounds. 

     One great example of what CSC could be using in the rehabilitation of youth offenders is the Centre’s Youth Justice program. Griffin frames her investigation of Wabano’s programs using five main elements: acceptable spaces; identity formation; structure, agency, capital; policy and context; and intervention and support. She notes that institutional and organizational linkages and relationships are important. Wabano does maintain connections with government bodies, as well as ongoing communication between the youths’ caseworkers and legal and social services, but more partnerships in culturally responsive programming would increase the effectiveness of the positive efforts already being made.

See Bowdridge’s infographic poster (see attachment link below) and visit Griffin’s website, Wabano: Culturally Responsive Programming. Although these projects were performed at a graduate level, the act of students researching organizations and creating connections within their communities is something that can be adapted for any grade level. If knowledge and education are relational, students must not only be taught using practices that embody these interconnections, but must also be given opportunities to seek out and build networks on their own.  


Oreopoulos, P., Brown, R. S. & Lavecchia, A. M. (2017). Pathways to Education: An integrated approach to help at-risk high school students. Journal of Political Economy, 125(4), 947-984.

Pathways to Education (2018). Pathways to Education. Retrieved from: 

Rowen, N. (2012). Pathways to Education and it’s accomplishments. In Cumming, A. (Ed.) Adolescent Literacies in a Multicultural Context (pp. 36-55). Routledge.

Race: Can We Talk About It?

posted Jul 27, 2018, 3:54 PM by Ontario South   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 9:19 AM by Noor El-Husseini ]

- Written by Noor E. & Olivia F.

“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason” – Abraham Joshua Heschel

     In my own experience, conversations about racial issues present themselves without warning. Racism happens in wildly forward ways, often referred to as overt or explicit racism. However, racism also occurs in subtle ways, otherwise known as covert or implicit racism. While the media sometimes covers stories of racism, the narrative is typically offered to the public as a singled-out, isolated event that generates, understandably, an overwhelmingly reactionary response. Dialogue and debate become secondary notions to opinion-driven conversations and the fuel of cyber-bullying, righteous condescension, or even hate-speech. Meanwhile, the chosen stories presented to the public become popularized, sensationalized and the buzz of any given day or week. I do not mean to suggest that they shouldn’t be. But what about the untold stories of everyday racism? What about the racism that isn't popularized enough by the media to have a seat at the table?

     Racism happens regularly – in broad daylight, through micro-aggressions, among friends and family, between colleagues and in groups, through the refusal of equitable treatment on the premise of difference and through both simple and complex acts of exclusion. How do we have conversations about racism that encourage us to open our minds and the minds of family members, colleagues, friends and neighbours who hold racist beliefs? How can we create room to challenge ourselves and each other, despite biases, privileges, assumptions, beliefs and political ideologies?

     As the Southern Regional Team Communication Officer, I have had the opportunity to look for organizations and community groups making strides to improve equity in our communities. I recently discovered London’s Community Forum on Racism held in September 2016. This event was run by the Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Oppression Advisory Community in partnership with the London Mayor’s Office and the Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion and the Canadian Labour Congress. The goal was to host conversations about identifying racism, interrupting it and creating actions for a more inclusive city. Fortunately for myself, and anyone else that missed it, the organizers prepared a resource that highlights key points and dialogue called “Anti-Racism Kitchen Table Conversation Guide Beyond London’s Forum on Racism”.

     What does racism look like, sound like, feel like? How should racism be interrupted? What are examples of individual racism? Systematic racism? This resource guides readers on how to navigate difficult conversations by sharing do's and dont's including: using current issues in the media, positive body language, paraphrasing counterpart's points, not belittling, blaming or undermining your counterpart, and not expecting one conversation to change their mind. It also suggests strategies to address pitfalls we may encounter in such conversations like the abuse of power, diminishing or minimizing the experiences of marginalized persons, white fragility and so forth. The Forum also offered definitions, guiding questions, next steps and recommendations in their Forum Summary.

     Conversations around racism are not easy, but they are necessary. I have found myself in heated debates where emotions run high and those involved feel targeted, helpless, or hopeless. More often than not, individuals may shut down or go silent, are shamed or put down, or simply block others out. In his talk "More Action Needed", Kevin Lamoureux (educational lead for the Truth and Reconciliation Committee) referred to the "mistake of omission" as being much more detrimental than the "mistake of trying to do something good" and being unsuccessful. Echoing his sentiment, I don't mean to suggest that there is a "tidy", simple approach and do recognize the process is likely to be a messy one. What I do know is that the greatest disservice to supporting and promoting equity and inclusion is to not have the conversations at all.

Relationships Make the World

posted Jul 6, 2018, 9:43 AM by Ontario East   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 9:19 AM by Noor El-Husseini ]

- Written by Alison Kinahan

Building relationships leads to building relational knowledge. We teach and learn through sharing experiences. Educational relationships can and should be built not only in schools but with the wider communities beyond the classroom walls. For this reason, it is important for educators, students, and members of the community to come together to learn from and with each other, to better understand and embrace each other, and to better develop healthy communities. Coming together can take different forms, and one way can be seen in Student Diversity Day events. 

Over 100 students from 13 Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) high schools came together on April 25, 2018 to celebrate Student Diversity Day at St. Paul High School in Ottawa. Guided by school and board leaders, the students observed a wide variety of activities promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion. After participating in a Welcoming Circle, students took in an inspiring keynote presentation by Justin Holness (performance name Jah’kota) who is of Jamaican and Nakota First Nation descent. He delivered an interactive presentation on the history of Indigenous people in Canada, and ended with an explosive performance of his single “Indigenize.”

Students were then given the opportunity to attend three sessions throughout the remainder of the morning. One of the sessions focused on abilities and inclusion, led by the OCSB’s Religious Education and Family Life Coordinator, Jan Bentham. Another session addressed gender issues, led by St. Mother Teresa and St. Paul High School students, along with the guidance and influence of their teachers. The third session explored cultural and religious diversity, delivered by the National Council of Canadian Muslims

After breaking bread together at lunch — also known as pizza — students assembled in smaller groups to debrief and reflect on the morning sessions before sharing highlights with the larger group. Sergeant Mahamud Elmi, of the Ottawa Police Service, concluded the day’s festivities with a closing address. As the first Somali-Canadian Police Sergeant in Canada, Sergeant Elmi’s message about acceptance and respect for others really resonated with both staff and students.

The OCSB’s Student Diversity Day left all in attendance with a better understanding of the complexity of diversity issues, and how to respect each other moving forwards towards a more inclusive world to live in. It is this idea of taking in what was shared through the day and then utilizing that knowledge moving forward that we hope students will dwell on. As knowledge is relational, it is fluid and ever-changing.  This means that what participants of the Student Diversity Day—that is students, educators, board members, speakers—learned that day is not a “once-and-done” lesson. The lesson is ongoing, making change in and being changed by the knowledge we create through our relationships. This understanding of one’s role in knowledge building can be easy to forget, but is an important and powerful tool in shaping our world with equity. 

Have a look at the OCSB website and the OCSB YouTube Channel to see more examples of great educators striving to provide equity in education. To reach the Ottawa Catholic School Board, connect with Alison Kinahan (Coordinator, Leading and Learning Department) and #RSEKN Eastern Ontario partner. 

How can we support children without recognizing their unique backgrounds?

posted Jun 22, 2018, 8:10 AM by Ontario South   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 9:02 AM by Noor El-Husseini ]

My name is Olivia, and I am the communication officer for RSEKN’s Southern Regional team. Over the last year, equity in education has become increasingly important to me. I am completing my first year of my PhD in School and Applied Child Psychology. That long program title means I am training to become a psychologist, working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings including the school environment. As a school and child psychologist, I will be working with children from various backgrounds, supporting them in their social, emotional and academic well-being. Throughout my learning, it is clear that assessment and intervention are not one size fits all. In order to provide each child and family with the best support, we must first consider who they are and learn their story. 

I have learned the importance of preparing each child in a way that best suits them and their needs. For example, when I received a referral for a child who had recently moved to Canada, I explored their culture to contextualize their lens, which both taught me more and helped me better understand the child. With this approach, I can better support and promote youth in a way that reminds them that they are valued. This same method should apply in all areas of my work. 

When we work with children, we must learn about what is going on in their lives in order to better support them. Classrooms were structured so that every child had to follow the same teaching and pass the same tests. I’d like to say that this has changed greatly. However, it is apparent that this continues to be an area of growth for our society. Each child comes into the school with their own story and their own needs. As educators, psychologists, support staff, principals and anyone else engaged in supporting children, it is our job to promote an environment that best reflects each of the children in our care. 

I work under the supervision of Dr. Jacqueline Specht, the director of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education. The goal of this center is to engage in research and work collaboratively with educators, organizations and agencies to encourage and support education for all students including those with exceptionalities. My personal experiences in volunteer and work have provided me with a unique understanding of the lives of individuals with exceptionalities throughout the lifespan. These experiences have lead to my research interests, which aim to develop greater knowledge for the social lives of adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Throughout my PhD, my goal is to increase my knowledge of the experiences of all individuals in order to be prepared to provide support in an equitable way. 

I believe in the RSEKN team initiative, to advocate and mobilize knowledge regarding best practices in equity. I hope this project will allow us to open up communication surrounding our guiding principles: race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, newcomer status, language, and disability. In my position as the RSEKN Southern communication officer, I am excited to meet new and diverse people, and learn about the work being done across Ontario to address systemic barriers for marginalized youth and students. 

“A strength-based classroom is a place where students with all sorts of labels come together as equals to form a new type of learning environment.”  - Thomas Armstrong,
author of 
Neurodiversity in the classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to help students with special needs succeed in school and life

Have a look at ASCD, an organization dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, where they support children through their interactive model “The Whole Child”.

Nitlze na nōtoca Ixchel!

posted Jun 15, 2018, 1:52 PM by Noor El-Husseini   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 9:01 AM ]

My name is Ixchel and I am excited to be part of the RSEKN team as the Greater Toronto Area Communications Officer. I believe that knowledge mobilization across the province is a great way to engage in conversations about equity, social justice education and challenge systemic barriers that impede student access, engagement, achievement and well-being. 

I am an Elementary Teacher with the Toronto District School Board for over 14 years, and my passion as an educator has provided me with a vast wealth of experience in the areas of Special Education, English as a Second Language, and interweaving Indigenous education into the curriculum and schools. As a Nahua, Indigenous educator from Tenochtitlán (Mexico City), I believe that teaching and learning begin with the self, Who am I as an educator? Who am I serving in the classrooms? What are my roles and responsibilities towards students, parents/guardians, the community I serve? How do power and privilege play a role in the classroom, school, community?  My Indigenous teachings have taught me to acknowledge the child (student) as a whole with physical, emotional, mental/intellectual, and spiritual needs. Therefore, I need to consistently address my biases and engage in reflexive practices to respond in culturally responsive and relevant pedagogical ways of being with students. 

My journey has led to work as a Student Work Study Teacher (SWST) with the Ministry of Education where I engaged in pedagogical documentation and collaborative inquiry research with teachers from Kindergarten to Grade 8. I am currently a seconded faculty member at York University in the Faculty of Education where I teach courses on equitable practices, inclusion, disabilities, English language learners, and Indigenous education. My passion for learning, unlearning, and relearning has led to continuing my journey in education and graduate with a Master of Education in Urban Aboriginal Education and in September 2018 I will begin a PhD on Indigenous Education at York University with Dr. Susan Dion. 

I am excited, for the second year in a row, to be co-chairing with Dr. Vidya Shah (also the RSEKN GTA Team Lead) the Faculty of Education Summer Institute (FESI) at York University. We have partnered up with RSEKN to plan this year's conference titled "Realities in Data: Who counts...What counts...Who's counting?" This year we will explore "the political and pedagogical challenges and possibilities of identity-based data collection, integration and reporting. This addresses one of the four priorities articulated in Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, which will explore the role of identity-based data in uncovering systemic barriers."  As the report states, "systemic barriers are caused by embedded biases in policies, practices and processes, and may result in differential treatment [of students]" pp.10 by challenging biases, power, privileges in education, I believe we will engage in brave and courageous conversations of changing practices starting with the self-as a teacher. Changes into practice can't happen if the self is not involved in the process. I look forward to continuing to be in collaboration with the amazing, dedicated, and passionate regional team leads and communication officers across the province to support student access, engagement, achievement and well-being. 

"If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change our lives." - Thomas King

I recommend readers to listen to the 2003 CBC Massey Lectures, "The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative" by Thomas King.
Cuallit tonaltzin!


People Shaping Knowledge Shaping People

posted Jun 8, 2018, 12:41 PM by Ontario East   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 9:01 AM by Noor El-Husseini ]

It has been said that, without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world.  At the same time, if you don’t engage the world, you’re missing out on an education.  I don’t mean that the only way to be educated is to circle the globe, although there is plenty to learn from such an experience.  What I mean is that ways of learning and knowing influence and are influenced by the world around us.  The world for one person may be their neighbourhood; for another, it’s the globe.  These worlds may grow or shrink.  Our settings change.  People move and change and interactions will create new knowledge.  With all the joys and pains of it, the world, no matter how it’s seen, is always in flux, which means learning and knowing  are also always in flux.  It is with this understanding of the world and of knowledge that I approach the work I do with RSEKN and with my own research.  My name is Mark Currie and I’m the RSEKN Eastern Ontario Communications Officer.
I joined RSEKN and instantly felt a strong relationship.  My role shapes and re-shapes my perspectives on issues of equity in education, and I contribute what I can to solidify and expand the content and partnerships of the Equity Knowledge Network.  I am currently in the second year of my PhD in Education at the University of Ottawa where I focus my research on antiracist education, specifically looking to contribute to the development of antiracist historical consciousness.  This work will be based within Ontario, but my previous research and experiences come from a range of locations and issues with education.

Prior to moving to Ottawa, I completed my Master of Arts in Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island.  My research focused on Postcolonial Education in relation to cultural identity and migration on the Caribbean island of Dominica.  Before that, I achieved my Master of Teaching from Griffith University in Australia.  For this degree, I conducted my research in South Africa and focused on in-class student motivation.  In all of these experiences I was using my formal education to travel and encounter ways of knowing that were different from my own, which provided me with new knowledge to contemplate.

I engage the world through my travels and interactions with people who see and know things differently than I do.  My point, however, isn’t that travel is the only way to interact with other people and places.  Rather, what I’m suggesting is that everyone must find ways for connecting with their surroundings, whether in small or large range, in order to understand that people learn and know differently, but all ways of learning and knowing shape the world.  Knowledge doesn’t exist as a universal ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.  Knowledge is created and recreated in different contexts at different times, and we must gather the courage to examine the changes, change ourselves, and embrace the world and its people for all there is to offer.    

Take a look at the TED Talk “Different Ways of Knowing” by Daniel Tammet, a resource that helps me consider and develop my own positioning. 

May 2018: RSEKN Update

posted May 2, 2018, 3:37 PM by Noor El-Husseini   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 9:00 AM ]

Don't forget to visit our French RSEKN blog for the French portion of this update!

RSEKN at OERSOERS RSEKN EquityPanelThe past four months have been action packed for the RSEKN team. During KNAER’s full-day pre-OERS meeting on February 28th, our RSEKN team had the opportunity to connect with representatives from  three other KNAER knowledge mobilization networks, communities of practice, and school board partners, the KNAER’s Secretariat evaluation team, and representatives from different branches of the Ministry. We then had an amazing time attending and presenting at the 12th Ontario Education Research Symposium (OERS) which ended on March 2nd!

During OERS, RSEKN led a workshop titled “Fondements pour la diversité et l’équité : Place aux connexions communautaires et aux voix de la diversité par le biais de la poésie parlée” (Staging Diversity and Equity: Community Connections & Diverse Voices through Spoken Word Poetry). Poet, Bassam and RSEKN Network Coordinator, Noor El-Husseini, facilitated discussions and activities on how spoken word can be used as a culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy to create spaces for marginalized voices to express the challenges they face in light of different systemic barriers. RSEKN also led an Equity Panel chat, featuring its three regional team leads – Nicholas Ng-A-FookJacqueline Specht and Vidya Shah – with questions facilitated by Noor E.

RSEKN also held a kiosk at the Forum Synergie 2018, which took place on March 28 and 29th! Co-director, Nathalie Bélanger, and Noor El-Husseini presented RSEKN, connected with new partners and built links to the work of other participants of the forum.

RSEKN received significant feedback from colleagues, partners, and stakeholders that are now part of the network’s structure. For example, since officially launching RSEKN, we have updated our regional team titles and priority area themes. We have now added the following 6th priority area: Income Inequality and Poverty. We also launched RSEKN’s official website in English, with the French website to follow in the coming weeks. 

RSEKN 6 Priorities New Regional Team Names

RSEKN is also excited to announce the winners of its student logo design contest! A big thank you to all those who submitted entries to help design our logo! The RSEKN logo contest winners are:

First place: Karen Onukagha - Sir Guy Carleton S.S.

Karen Onukagha






Second place: Olivia Tasset-Scherer - École élémentaire catholique Terre-des-Jeunes

Olivia Tasset Scherer








Third place: Kaleb Cardinal – École élémentaire catholique Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Kaleb Cardinal









To connect with RSEKN, please direct questions, ideas, and insights to the RSEKN Network Coordinator, Noor El-Husseini:
Connect on Twitter: @RECRAE_RSEKN / @KNAER_RSEKN

Project of Heart & Connaught Public School's Evening for Reconciliation

posted Apr 3, 2018, 5:48 PM by Noor El-Husseini   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 8:56 AM ]

On February 13th, Ottawa educators Kim Bruton and Amanda Anderson presented #RSEKN partner, Project of Heart, at Connaught Public School’s Evening Towards Reconciliation. Check out POH's most recent blog about this important event promoting reconciliation. 

Project of Heart brings together community members and their families to:

  • Examine the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada and to seek the truth about that history, leading to the acknowledgement of the extent of loss to former students, their families and communities
  • Commemorate the lives of the thousands of Indigenous children who died as a result of the residential school experience.
  • Call Canadians to action, through social justice endeavors, to change our present and future history collectively

For more information, visit Project of Heart.

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