Category Archives: Events

Educating for Peace and Justice Conference: Part 3

Here is Uthish wrapping up part 3 of the Educating for Peace and Justice Conference student reflections.

“At the Educating for Peace and Justice Conference (EPJ) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), I attended the “A Literacy Approach to Anti-Bullying” workshop. The presenter, Larry Swartz, explained how to generate awareness about bullying in the classroom and presented strategies to help educators have a greater understanding about bullying. Although I am in the Intermediate/ Senior stream, the resources provided, which included young-adults, drama-based guides, and poems can be used throughout all learning levels. One of the activities Swartz used in the workshop, to have participants understand the complexities of bullying, was having the participants use abstract drawing. The abstract exercise required the workshop attendees to draw a circle, square, and triangle on a sheet of paper and offer the role of the bully, bullied, and by-stander to one of the shapes. The activity allowed us to reflect on the relational power dynamics in bullying scenarios. As the role-relationships changed, we took factors of readiness, home-related issues, and methods of outreach. The EPJ allowed my colleagues and I to interact with working methods to reduce bullying in schools, which influenced and will continue to influence our own practices as we take on the role of the educator.” -Uthish


Uthish Ganesh

MT I/S English and History


Educating for Peace and Justice Conference: Part 2

Here is part 2 of 3 with Michelle DeFilippis.

“On January 21st, I had the opportunity to attend three very informative and wonderfully executed workshops as part of the Educating for Peace and Justice Conference at OISE. Choosing from the list of workshops was nearly impossible; each and every one had an intriguing title and I found myself trying to cover as many areas as possible in my choices. One of the workshops I attended was called Developing Strategies to Optimize Learning: Connecting with the Stillness Within. I chose it because it sounded like this workshop would focus on encouraging mindfulness in each individual student as opposed to the class as a whole, which I found interesting. The two presenters, Ella Karia and Julia Arbuckle, used their unique personal and professional experiences as educators to share relevant research, personal anecdotes, the teaching and practice of a breathing technique called The Victory Breath, and an outline of the resources and workshops for teachers and schools, for instance the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!). Their focus was on how to bring about more self-awareness in our students; they described the idea that most children and adolescents don’t actually know how they get angry or why, but that as educators we have the tools to help them in this process. The takeaway message was that the parents and grandparents of our students, may not have had the resources available to cope with their own stress and anxiety, but today’s educators have an opportunity to create a new model for kids to follow when they feel stressed.” – Michelle


Michelle DeFilippis

MT I/S General Science and Math

To catch on part 1 click here. To continue to part 3 click here.

Educating for Peace and Justice Conference: Part 1

This year, OISE brought back a sought after conference called Educating for Peace and Justice Conference. To show you a glimpse of the workshops that were offered, I asked some fellow MT candidates to give you their take on the conference. Here is part 1 of 3 with Abbey Ramdeo, enjoy!

“Hey friends! On January 21st, I had the pleasure of attending an EPJ Conference that hosted workshops with themes ranging from Social Justice to Mindfulness. With the quickly approaching deadline for the first draft of the Master of Teaching Research Paper in mind, I chose each of my workshops in order to expand my understanding on Global Citizenship Education (which is related to my own research on antiracist education). These workshops were chosen based on the title and not description– I am a firm believer that my first instinct is the best choice – so I had a limited idea of what to expect. But, I knew what I wanted to learn. Specifically, I wanted to learn strategies that would foster students with skills and competencies to be socially responsible, global citizens. This expectation is exactly what the first workshop (“Creating a World-Changing Classroom”, with Maria Vamvalis) I attended was able to satisfy. Maria provided strategies for grade 7 and 8 Geography, but I found that I could apply these in my own science classes (and even other disciplines, such as English). One strategy that surprised me and stuck with me is how to formulate questions in ways that would engage students in “critical, creative, and collaborative” thinking. As future teachers, it is our role to nurture these skills, and I discovered how something as simple as asking a question could support that.” -Abbey

Abbey Ramdeo

MT I/S Biology and Social Science

To read part 2 click here or to jump ahead to part 3 click here.

OISE’s Educating for Peace and Justice Conference

Hi everybody,

I hope that anybody reading this post is doing well. On Saturday, January 21st I had the pleasure of working at OISE’s Educating for Peace & Justice conference. I was there to help run the event, & to document it for this blog! ^_^

A picture of the itinerary for the day.

The day began with an Opening Plenary in the OISE auditorium, from 9 to 10:15 AM. OISE’s Dean Glen Jones started off the conference with a welcome & opening remarks. Merlin Charles, who was one of the organizers of the conference, served as MC. I wasn’t present for most of the Opening Plenary since I had to help register participants for the conference, but was fortunate enough to catch about 15 minutes of it. I thought that giving participants name tags to wear upon registration was a good way of promoting dialogue and helping people network with each other.

Imagine my surprise when I saw some of the participants I had helped register up on stage, reading lines from a script. They were participating in a performed ethnography called Hong Kong, Canada. I was initially confused, but quickly caught on to the meaning of the presentation after a few minutes. It was about how immigrant students who use languages other than English at school might experience racism & discrimination. The performance was about a high school setting where English-speaking students felt frustrated that immigrants from Hong Kong were seemingly getting preferential treatment. I think that the topic addressed was a very relevant one in a country as diverse as Canada, and very appropriate to the theme of the conference.

After the Opening Plenary, participants went to the first workshop of their choice from 10:15 to 11:45 AM. Workshop topics included being an ally in the social justice process, anti-bullying, children’s health, creating an inclusive classroom, and various other issues of interest. I didn’t get to attend the first or second round of workshops because I was needed to help run the conference, but I hope that all the participants enjoyed themselves & learned something useful.

There was a lunch break from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM

Conference Organizers Merlin Charles (bottom left) and Sheldon Grabke (bottom right) having lunch with presenters.

Presenters having lunch together.

More presenters having lunch together.

I think it’s absolutely fantastic that Sheldon & Merlin arranged for so many knowledgeable people to educate future teachers & community members on the same day! Educating about topics such as racism & how to be more inclusive ought to start young, and now so many participants are more informed about how to best support young people.

There was also a Resource Fair going on in the OISE Library from 10:15 AM to 4 PM. I got to meet & take pictures of some of the exhibitors.

Exhibitor Rogue Witterick introducing people to resources in the 519 in Toronto.

An exhibitor educating people about the Indigenous Education Network at OISE.

There was a second round of workshops from 12:45 to 2:15 PM. Topics included things like identity, stress reduction, and how to educate students about sensitive issues effectively. During this time, I was helping registering the last few participants who had come to the conference late, & registering presenters for the third & final session of workshops.

The third round of workshops went from 2:30 to 4 PM. Since I was going to be covering the conference for this blog, I got to attend a workshop called “Sit Still, Look Pretty”: Exploring Notions of Gender-Based Violence in the Classroom, Amongst Students and in the Community facilitated by Meccana Ali & Tamika Royes.

It was exciting for me to finally attend a workshop, and I used the opportunity to increase my knowledge and awareness of the topic presented.

Workshop presenter Meccana Ali talking about the various barriers that women in unhealthy relationships may face when trying to seek support.

I learned about why people leaving unhealthy relationships are in the most danger, that girls as young as 12 years old experience unhealthy relationships dynamics, and that it’s important to frame things in a positive light when trying to convince a vulnerable person to access resources.

Workshop presenter Tamika Royes discussing scenarios with workshop participants.

I think both Meccana & Tamika brought a lot of experience and insight  from working in the community that workshop participants really benefited from. I especially like that they included various scenarios that participants discussed in small groups, to give everybody there some ideas about how to effectively deal with students experiencing sexual harassment & discrimination. They were also very in tune to the fact that some of the material discussed could be triggering for some participants and encouraged us to step out of the room and/or check in with one of them if we felt unsettled.

Final Thoughts:

OISE’s Educating for Peace & Justice Conference is definitely an event that I want to fully attend next school year, as a participant. The organizers & the presenters all did a fantastic job, and I am proud to have played a (relatively minor) role in this event. It can be hard for educators & community members to help students dealing with harassment and discrimination. It can also be difficult to educate students about sensitive and/or controversial topics. Thankfully, OISE and various other organizations run workshops & have resources available to help with these monumental tasks. Together, everybody can help ensure that young people are more informed about how to treat others with respect and handle challenging situations.

La Decolonizing Conference- Guest Post by Roxana (EN ESPANOL)

Hi there! ^_^ As promised, here is former OISE Ambassador Roxana‘s post & thoughts about the Decolonizing Conference written in Spanish. If you’d like to read her post in English & hear my thoughts about her experience, please visit my previous blog post HERE.


La Decolonizing Conference


Del 3 al 5 de noviembre, el OISE organizó la Decolonizing Conference 2016, conmemorando el 20 Aniversario del Centro de Estudios Integrativos contra el Racismo (CIARS). La conferencia fue un gran éxito, y atrajo a estudiantes de todas partes de Canadá y diferentes universidades del mundo. Durante la Conferencia, muchas presentaciones y un panel fueron expuestos, así como sorprendentes meas magistrales. Los profesores Eve Tuck, Walter Mignolo y Joyce fueron increíbles. Sus ideas nos permitieron repensar el contexto político y social actual de Canada y el mundo, desde teorías decolonizadoras y pensamiento indígena.

Durante la Conferencia Pacha Arts, una tienda propiedad de activistas indígenas ecuatorianos, estuvieron presentes. El trabajo de ellos es muy importante, dado que su activismo se ve reflejado tanto en la lucha por la justica de poblaciones indígenas canadienses como para poblaciones indígenas en Canadá.

Tuve la oportunidad de presentar en un panel constituido por solo Latinx. Fue una oportunidad increíble para nosotrxs. Recibimos tanto amor después de nuestra presentación y múltiples comentarios de estudiantes diciendo que nunca habían visto una presentación conformada sólo por Latinx en universidades canadienses. Esos comentarios me hicieron apreciar aún más la existencia de la Decolonizing Conference y, por supuesto, la posibilidad que la OISE da a sus profesores y estudiantes para celebrar un evento tan maravilloso.

The Decolonizing Conference- Guest Post by Roxana

Hi there! ^_^ For this week’s post, I am including former OISE Ambassador Roxana’s thoughts on a conference that she attended, volunteered for, and was a part of recently at OISE. I will also be including my thoughts on her experience at the end.


The Decolonizing Conference


From November 3-5, OISE held the Decolonizing Conference 2016, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of The Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies (CIARS). The conference was a huge success, and it brought students from all over Canada and different universities around the world. During the Conference, lots of presentations and panel were exhibited, as well as amazing keynotes. Professors Eve Tuck, Walter Mignolo, and Joyce King were incredible. Their insights allowed us to rethink the current Canadian and worldwide political and social context, from decolonizing and indigenous knowledge backgrounds.

During the Conference, it was also really amazing to see the people from Pacha Arts, a store owned by Indigenous Ecuadorian activists, who are continuously supporting indigenous people in Canada as well.

I had the opportunity to present in a panel with all Latinx people. It was an amazing opportunity for all of us. We received so much love after our presentation and multiple comments from students saying that they had never seen a presentation by only Latinx people in Canadian universities. These comments made me appreciate even more the existence of the Decolonizing Conference, and of course, the possibility that OISE gives to its faculty and students to hold such a wonderful event.

– Roxana


Final thoughts from Anna

I didn’t attend this conference myself, but am glad that OISE as an institution is so open to a variety of perspectives and life experiences. This openness leads to a richer and more diverse academic life. Roxana’s involvement in this conference is also a good example of how somebody who is in a non-thesis graduate program can still get involved in the scholarly and academic life of OISE.

More information & pictures of the conference are available on Facebook HERE, & on the conference’s official website HERE.

You can read the Spanish language version of this post, also written by Roxana, HERE.

Professional Preparation Conference 2015: Summary

by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

At the end of winter semester, OISE’s Student Services department hosts the Professional Preparation Conference (PPC) to help ready all teacher candidates for post-OISE life.

I attended last years PPC and found it incredibly insightful. I wrote numerous blog posts about my experience and they can all be found here:

Since the schedule and structure of the PPC was similar to last year, I have written the following about my experiences as a second year student exploring the plethora of options:

Are you curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:


Professional Preparation Conference 2015: Life as an Overwhelmed 2nd Year

by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

I have just finished my fall semester and about to start the final chapter of my studies here at OISE. To be completely honest with everyone, I am overwhelmed. This semester was a lot of work, up until the week before Christmas. There was assignments due left, right and centre, I’ve been going through some personal issues and then the PPC was placed right in the middle of everything. Unlike last year, I was not prepared for the PPC with everything due on my plate.

So I am going to reveal to you, whether you are a first year or a second year MT student, the top tips to survive the fall semester and the PPC.

1) Prepare your resumés and business cards– There are tons of employers at the PPC. Most of the school boards and employment agencies are accepting resumés and business cards. So prepare yourself by reading the Teacher Employment Handbook and follow their tips to update your resumé and business cards! The above Handbook is the most current one produced by the  Student Services.

2) Bring your “A” game- The 3 days of the PPC and Building Futures Conference is jam packed! If you want to be completely ready and maximize your opportunities to talk to teachers, potential employers or panelists. In order to do this try and…
– dress professionally as you want to start with a great first impression
– bring your own lunch, and snacks because you have no time to get food in                           between sessions
–  bring a notebook and pencil/pen to write notes in, or potential questions you want to ask. This will help when there are millions of people in line to ask questions and you want your specific ones answered

3) Attend the sessions that appeal to you- Conference days are looooong, so pick the sessions that appeal to your interests and needs. Yes, it may be frightening to attend a session that your friends are not going to but be brave and I promise you won’t regret going to a session you were genuinely interested in. No one knows you better than you.

I hope my tips help you get sorted and ready for the next PPC! If you have any other questions please let me know and I will do my best to answer them!

Are you curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:


OISE Open House Dates

by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

Are you interested in graduate studies at OISE? Do you have questions about applying to your dream program? Did you want to talk to professors and/or current students about their experiences at OISE? Do you want to meet Anne or me in person?

I can assure you, all these questions, and many more can be answered during OISE’s Open House events. There are 5 event days where you can learn more about graduate studies here at OISE.

Academic Programs

Field of Study

Social Justice Education (Tuesday October 20, 2015)  Social Justice Education (MEd, MA, EdD, PhD)
Applied Psychology & Human Development (Wednesday October 21, 2015)
  • Child Study & Education (MA)
  • Counselling Psychology (M.Ed., EdD)
  • Counselling & Clinical Psychology (MA, PhD)
  • Developmental Psychology & Education (M.Ed., MA, PhD)
  • School & Clinical Psychology (MA, PhD)
Curriculum, Teaching & Learning (Thursday October 22, 2015)
  • Curriculum Studies & Teacher Development Program (MEd, MA, PhD)
  • Language & Literacies Education Program  (MEd, MA, PhD)
  • Master of Teaching (MT)
Leadership, Higher and Adult Education (Friday October 23, 2015)
  • Adult Education and Community Development (MEd, MA, PhD)
  • Educational Leadership and Policy (MEd, MA, EdD, PhD)
  • Higher Education (M.Ed., MA, EdD, PhD)
Teacher Education (Saturday October 24, 2015)
  • Child Study & Education (MA)
  • Master of Teaching (MT)

All events will take place at OISE (252 Bloor St. West).

Oct. 20-23: Event start time: 5:15 pm
Registration: 4:45-5:15 pm

Oct. 24: Event start time: 11:00 am
Registration: 10:30-11:00 am

If you are planning on attending, please RSVP and let us know you are coming:

I highly suggest for you to attend the events, especially if you have any questions about your perspective program. I remember attending the events when I was thinking of applying! They are extremely informative and people are there to answer your questions. I hope to see all of you there and bring your questions to me!

Are you curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:


M.Ed. Information Night on March 3rd

by Wook
Master of Education student
Developmental Psychology and Education

Get ready and get excited because M.Ed. Info Night is happening next week!  

Master of Education Info Night will take place at OISE on March 3 from 5:15 to 8 PM. Attend our event to learn about the degrees at OISE that can enhance your academic, professional knowledge and skills. Our M.Ed. programs are available on either a full-time or part-time basis. M.Ed. programs that are open for Fall 2015 intake are:

·         Adult Education & Community Development
·         Curriculum Studies & Teacher Development
·         Development Psychology & Education
·         Educational Leadership & Policy
·         Language & Literacies Education Commons
·         Social Justice Education
During the evening, you will have an opportunity to:
–  learn about admission requirements
–  break out into smaller groups for detailed program information
–  have the opportunity to ask questions about the program, financing, and applying 
–  hear and connect with a selection of current students and alumni

Come with your questions and your passion! Plus, you can visit our lovely Registrar’s Office’s table to say hi (I WILL BE THERE!). Details and RSVP about the event are available at: