Closed for the Canada Day weekend

The OISE Library will be closed Saturday July 1st, Sunday July 2nd, and Monday July 3rd for the Canada Day weekend. We will reopen Tuesday July 4th at 8:30am.

Wishing you a wonderful long weekend!

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Pride Month Seasonal Display

This month’s seasonal display is a celebration of Pride Month and the LGBTQ2S community. The OISE Library collections include materials which discuss LGBTQ2S issues both historic and contemporary. Additionally our Children’s Literature Collection contains books with LGBTQ2S themes appropriate for a wide variety of reading levels. Get the Pride Month party started by picking up one of these thought provoking reads.

Our Stacks and Curriculum Resource Collections feature a number of titles which focus on the experiences of LGBTQ2S students and teachers. Trans* in College: Transgender Students’ Strategies for Navigating Campus Life and the Institutional Politics of Inclusion by Z Nicolazzo is based on interviews with nine transgender college students, examining the realities of being trans in the classroom and on campus. Queer Girls in Class: Lesbian Teachers and Students edited by Lori Horvitz is a collection of personal stories written by queer women drawing on their perspectives as both students and educators. The collection touches on both personal experiences with homophobia and pedagogical techniques the writers have used to address discrimination and ignorance. “Don’t be so Gay!”: Queers, Bullying, and Making Schools Safe by Donn Short features interviews with queer youth in Toronto drawing on their personal stories of homophobic bullying to assess the effectiveness of existing safe-schools policies and legislation.

Looking to celebrate Pride Month with a story? The Children’s Literature Collection has materials ranging from graphic novels and picture books to novels and short story collections with with LGBTQ2S themes. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a Stonewall Book Award winning young adult novel. A coming of age story which focuses on two Mexican-American teens, Ari and Dante, following them as they deal with friendship, sexuality, and love. Love is Love: A Comic Book Anthology to Benefit the Survivors of the Orlando Pulse Shooting is a collection of comics focused on mourning the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting and celebrating the strength and resilience of the LGBTQ2S community. The collection features short 1-2 page comics with art and words contributed by more than 30 creators.  Wrist by Nathan Adler is a monster story with a plot spanning over a hundred years. In addition to its century-spanning narrative,  the story features a two-spirit character. Author Nathan Adler is also contributor to Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time,  another anthology featured in our Pride Month display. Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time, edited by Hope Nicholson, collects science fiction and fantasy stories by Indigenous writers, with all of the stories featuring LGBTQ and/or two-spirit characters.

There are a number of books focusing on LGBTQ2S history from our Stacks and Curriculum Resource Collections. Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington deals with gay men’s persecution and imprisonment under the Nazis. Writing for a teen audience, Setterington examines the tragic history of the pink triangle symbol. Awfully Devoted Women: Lesbian Lives in Canada, 1900-65 by Cameron Duder draws on letters and journals to tell the stories of Canadian lesbian and bisexual women prior to the rise of second-wave feminism. And They were Wonderful Teachers: Florida’s Purge of Gay and Lesbian Teachers by Karen L. Graves studies the period from 1956 to 1965 when teachers in Florida were subject to investigation and firing on the basis of their sexuality.

The display case on the Ground Floor of the OISE Library features these books and many more Pride Month related works. All items included in the display are available to be checked out, speak to staff at the library service desk if you need any assistance.


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Celebrate National Aboriginal Day (June 21st, 2017)

On June 21st, we celebrate National Aboriginal Day! This is an opportunity to engage in conversations that educate and reflect on the experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Join the OISE Library in honouring Indigenous communities across Canada. Check out this month’s lobby display for more classroom resources.

Alliances: Re/Envisioning Indigenous-non-Indigenous Relationships Edited by Lynne Davis

Published by the University of Toronto Press, Alliances features scholars that explore non-Indigenous and Indigenous relationships. The book discusses how non-Indigenous people, who define their work in the social and environmental justice fields, can work in solidarity with Indigenous peoples without replicating the continuing colonial relations that characterize the broader frame of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relationships in Canada today. Reflective of ontological, epistemological, and ideological framings in historical contexts and present day, individuals and the Canadian society have tried to make sense of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relationships. By exploring Indigenous paradigms of relationship, such as the Kaswentah, or Two Row Wampum, and practices of kinship, scholars in Alliances communicate how respectful relationships between Indigenous and settler society can operate, challenge state policies, and guide analysis as well as plan strategic action.

Aboriginal History and Realities in Canada: Grades 1-8 Teachers’ Resource by Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario

Written by experienced elementary educators and consultants, this teachers’ resource calls upon expertise concerning personal connections with First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities in Ontario. It supports elementary educators in building inclusive and safe learning environments for their students while sensitively, respectfully, and reflectively considering the histories and relationships of Canada’s First Peoples. To support curriculum development and classroom learning, this resource guide can be used as a tool to provide elementary students with a foundation of respect and acknowledgement of the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. Each lesson plan learning goals, success criteria, materials required for the lesson, background information for teachers, learning assessment, and activity worksheets.

Learning and Teaching Together: Weaving Indigenous Ways of Knowing into Education by Michele TD Tanaka

New to the OISE Library, Learning and Teaching Together seeks to inform educators on how to respectfully weave Aboriginal content into their lessons. Taking an Indigenist approach to education, the book recounts how the Indigenous peoples of both North and South America have developed a diverse variety of approaches to teaching and learning and more specifically “learning how to learn”. In this book authors highlight four areas of orientation: 1) the real and practical needs of the tribal society to systematically address physical, social, psychological, and spiritual needs of members; 2) the uniqueness of individual learning styles and encouraging development of self-reliance and self-determination; 3) the application of special intellectual, ritual, psychological, and spiritual “teaching tools” to facilitate flexibility, viability, and effectiveness; and 4) the honouring and facilitation of the psychological and transformational process of students’ opening up to a self-knowledge and natural capacities for learning.

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson

“A fierce scream echoed through the woodlands…” Everything Hiawatha had ever known had burned to the ground. Ridden with anger, hunger, and sleeplessness, Hiawatha meets the Peacemaker,  a spiritual leader who is known for his sacred powers. With him, he carries a message:

“I know of your pain. I know of your loss. I carry a message of healing. I have come to tell you of the Great Law: Fighting among our people must stop. We must come together as one body, one mind, and one heart. Peace, power, and righteousness shall be the new way.”

He asks Hiawatha to accompany him on his journey to unite the Five Nations of the Iroquois people who are at war: the Cayuga, the Seneca, the Oneida, the Mohawk and the Onondaga. Follow Hiawatha and the Peacemaker to discover if they can reunite and form the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, officially known as the Haudenosaunee or People of the Long House.

The First Flock: Certain Rights Based on Aboriginal Heritage by Dustin Milligan

The “First Flock” is an analogy to a First Nation and their experience after the arrival of Europeans. The narrative seeks to teach children about Indigenous rights in Canada. In reference to the definition of Indigenous rights, practices, customs, and traditions integral to the First Flock are a distinctive place and continuity with Canada’s history.

Follow Thanadel and her family amongst a flock of geese in the Northwest Territories as they fly from Bow River down to Colorado each season. However, over the years, their journeys grew more challenging than ever. The arrival of the crows expelled the “First Flock” from the land and resources in the Northwest Territories. They laughed at the flock’s tradition of flying in a “V” formation. Banished from their home land, some geese struggled from the difficulty to make the return flight. Find out if the crows allow the geese to land on their home land in the Northwest Territories.

For more recommended titles on National Aboriginal Day and Indigenous Peoples, please visit the OISE Lobby Display on the ground floor of the OISE building. Please see the OISE Library catalogue for additional resources.

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A Century of Ontario Normal School Yearbooks

With many of our students convocating this month, check out the glass display table on the ground floor of the OISE Library for a selection of historical yearbooks from Ontario Normal Schools! The Ontario Historical Education Collection has yearbooks from as early as 1909 and as recently as 1998, from Normal Schools and Teacher’s Colleges across Ontario. A full listing of the yearbooks in our collection may be found in the library catalogue.

Class photo of students attending the Peterborough Normal School, 1918

Today, future teachers study education at universities – but the earliest schools designed to train new teachers were called Normal Schools:

The word Normal signifies ‘according to rule, or principle,’ and is employed to express the systematic teaching of the rudiments of learning. …A Normal School … is a school in which the principles and practice of teaching according to rule are taught and exemplified.

— Dr. Egerton Ryerson, Chief Superintendent of Schools for Upper Canada, November 1, 1847.

The Toronto Normal School, the first in Ontario, was opened in 1847. This school admitted women who were 16 or older and men who were 18 or older, provided they could pass the entrance exam and produce a certificate attesting to their moral character from a member of the clergy.

Normal Schools in this period had strict rules. For example, students were only permitted to lodge in specific, pre-approved boarding houses. There was a strict separation of the sexes, and they were required to pass a medical exam before they could attend classes. Tuition in that period was also very different: in 1897, tuition for a Normal School was only $10 – adjusting for inflation, today that would be about $200!

When the first Normal School opened in 1847, courses of study were only 5 months long before the newly-minted teachers entered the classroom! This did not change until 1903, when the Normal Schools transitioned to a full-year session. A two-year course of study was introduced in 1927, although by the 1960s, this was only required for students who had not completed grade 13 – students with grade 13 enrolled in a one-year session.

In the earliest years of the Normal Schools, teachers were not required to have professional education – this requirement was only instituted after the Toronto Normal School opened, when it became evident that graduates of the program did superior work as teachers.

Class photo of students attending the University of Ottawa Normal School, 1942

As the demand for teachers trained in a Normal School increased, new schools were built. A second Normal School opened in Ottawa in 1875, and a third in London in 1900. 1907 marked the opening of four new Normal Schools (Hamilton, Peterborough, Stratford, and North Bay), and in 1927 the University of Ottawa Normal School was established to provide professional education to teachers in French-language schools. Still more schools were opened following World War II, with another four new Normal Schools established between 1959 and 1963 (Lakeshore, Lakehead, Windsor, and Sudbury).

The course of study in Normal Schools has changed substantially since 1845. The earliest Normal Schools were primarily academic in nature: a review of public school subjects designed to ensure that teachers had the requisite knowledge to pass on to their pupils. In the late 1800s, the focus shifted: emphasis was placed on methods of teaching, intended to prepare teachers to teach. Normal schools in this period were a training school, akin to an apprenticeship. By the 1950s, the focus had again changed: the emphasis was now on learning about child development, and extensive in-classroom experience had been added to their studies.

These books will be on display in the glass table on the ground floor of the OISE Library through the end of June.

Congratulations, 2017 OISE graduates!

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Featured Activity Kit: Prism Set

Learning about physics may seem daunting at first, but activity kits such as this Prism Set can make concepts as clear as the glass in these prisms!

The Prism Set contains four 6″ equilateral prisms. These prisms are excellent tools for investigating optics, a branch of physics that deals with the properties and behaviour of light. These prisms may be used to demonstrate effects such as light refraction and colour.

These prisms are a great addition to grade 4 science classrooms, when properties of light are introduced, as well as in grade 10 classes, where optics is explored in greater depth.

If you’re interested in finding more ways to use these prisms, the OISE Library has several books of experiments. Consider checking out The Optics Book: Fun Experiments with Light, Vision & Colour, Making Light Work: The Science of Optics, or Physics for Kids: 49 Easy Experiments with Optics for a wealth of innovative ideas.

The Prism Set is currently on display on the ground floor of the OISE Library, next to the Circulation Desk. Looking for more kits about physics? You can search our collections in the OISE Library K-12 Manipulatives Database! For more activity kits about light, colour, and optics, check out the Colour & Light Discovery Kit, the Light and Illusion Interactive Guide to Optical Tricks, and the United Prism Set.

Caution: These prisms are made of glass and may break. Please do not carry the container by the lid, as the lid may detach and cause the prisms to fall out!

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