A Focus on ESL & Social Justice Education Professional Development

November 2020 Edition of Partnership News by the Peterborough Immigration Partnership

Fall 2020 proved to be a month of professional development on a series of topics relating to English as a Second Language, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice. These opportunities were delivered through committees/working groups associated with the Peterborough Immigration Partnership.

Continuing an Annual Tradition: the ESL Forum PD

The ESL Forum is a working group of the Peterborough Immigration Partnership (PIP) and a knowledge transfer platform for ESL practitioners in our local community. Continuing with our tradition of offering an annual professional development day for our ESL community, the ESL Forum delivered two half-day online sessions in October 2020 with the support of Trent University and Fleming College.

Presentations included: Academic Integrity Online by Judi Brocklehurst (Trent University); Anti-Racism in the Classroom by Angela Connors (Community Race Relations Committee Peterborough); and Teaching Students with Undiagnosed Learning Disabilities by Cheryll Duquette (University of Ottawa). Download the handouts from Cheryll’s workshop.

35 ESL and ELL instructors from Trent ESL, Fleming LINC, ESL at PACE, the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board attended these sessions, in addition to NCC volunteer tutors and other ESL instructors in Peterborough. The online events received positive feedback and acknowledgement from our participants and ESL community who contributed with valuable information on advancing ESL instruction, both in class and through remote instruction.

TEACH Outside the Box: Social Justice Education

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the New Canadians Centre (NCC) was invited once again as a member of the organizing committee for the TEACH Outside the Box program. The program supports teacher candidates and community educators to become agents for change by inviting them to engage in social justice theory and practice. The program offers a series of 5 workshops on a range of topics that explore critical education theories from various perspectives. This year, the NCC helped deliver a 2-hour workshop entitled, Social Justice: Understanding and De-clustering Disadvantage

During this workshop, participants were invited on a journey that started with imagining what a just society could look like. We visited the difference between equality, equity, and justice, and related that to power and privilege. We also spent some time introducing the Capability Approach as an example of a social justice framework for grounding our policies, programs, and practices. And we ended with a case study about cash transfer programs that helped us continue the conversation from the first workshop in the TEACH series and connect it to a discussion around dominant narratives. 

Like many programs this year, TEACH shifted to an online format for workshop delivery and has been successful in attracting a committed and engaged group of students and community educators for its 2020-2021 cohort. Our TEACH placement student will start in January 2021 and will help the NCC develop strategies for volunteers to stay connected and share their experiences with one another in an effort to enhance their roles as well as their positive impacts on our clients. Stay tuned for more updates in the new year!

For more information on how this workshop on social justice can be catered and delivered based on your organization’s needs, please contact Reem Ali.

Established in 2008, the Peterborough Immigration Partnership (PIP) is a community-based partnership of individuals & organisations (including the NCC) which envisions a community where the meaningful economic, social and cultural integration of newcomers ensures a prosperous and inclusive community for all.

Please contact us for more information and to become involved in this partnership.