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Leadership Links

The message below was posted by the original creators of the information on these critical literacy pages. I feel this information is just as important for school librarians as it is for Language Arts teachers.  School librarians need the language these pages supply to help the students they serve and assist teachers and staff in their buildings but they also need this information to communicate with parents and the broader community when upholding the need for retaining controversial text in their collection holdings.

It is of general knowledge among Language Arts content instructors that critical literacy skills are needed to teach controversial materials of all kinds. A reader that is highly engaged in the text they are reading self-challenges themselves by placing themselves in the context for which the events in the text occur and questions themselves on the right and wrong of the choices made, the strategies laid out, and the historical and social factors that make an impact on the situation. All of this is done within the boundaries of their lived years and the resources they have in additional text and people for dialogue. When our students reach high school Language Arts and Social Studies classrooms they are hit with a plethora of text at a variety of densities and are expected to deconstruct and analyze them from a critical perspective.  It is not a possibility for this to happen successfully if students have not had chances to work critically on a gradual basis, just as we build them towards algebra, they are led in stepping stones towards critical literary analysis.

To block access to titles that are considered controversial and against personal beliefs is not only committing infringement on our youths’ 1st Amendment Rights, it also narrows their opportunities to analyze issues critically, as well as narrow their world focus and weakens their logic-building skills.

Sabrina Carnesi  July 21, 2018

Original Message – If you attended today, and work in a leadership role in your school or district, we have created this page to allow us to make links between this workshop and our work as leaders in the system. We don’t present the following as “assumptions or givens that they are occurring already in your contexts”. Rather, we see these as leadership challenges for all of us. We really hope this page will be a living collaborative document of our collective work as leaders in different schools and districts.

Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy

This strategy was developed by the Government of Ontario in 2009 with the vision that:

  • all students, parents, and other members of the school community are welcomed and respected

  • every student is supported and inspired to succeed in a culture of high expectations for learning

School Effectiveness Framework

In Ontario, we have recently developed a tool called the School Effectiveness Framework. It is a resource to help schools engage in dialogue around their work and their students. Some of the indicators relevant to our work in this workshop include:

Indicator 1.3: Students are taught, and regularly use self-assessment skills to monitor their progress toward achieving learning goals, and to set their own learning goals within the context of the Ontario curriculum and/or Individual Education Plan (IEP). (page 13)

Indicator 2.4: Job-embedded and inquiry-based professional learning builds capacity, informs instructional practice and contributes to a culture of learning. (page 19)

Indicator 3.1: The teaching and learning environment is inclusive and reflects individual student strengths, needs and learning preferences. (page 22)

Indicator 4.3: Teaching and learning incorporates 21st Century content, global perspectives, learning skills, resources and technologies. (page 28)

Indicator 4.4: Learning is deepened through authentic, relevant and meaningful student inquiry. (page 29)


Capacity Series Points to Consider

How do we as leaders help support staff to:

  • ensure that we honour the cultural capital and multiliteracies of all students?

  • build safe, inclusive classroom environments that promote risk taking and inquiry?

  • plan and implement units and tasks that incorporate thought-provoking multimedia and mutlimodal texts?

Are We Learners?

Richard Williamson has a great blog devoted to leadership and in this postasks us to consider ourselves as learners “in context”. How we learn with our teams in ways that engage us as critical thinkers?

Our thinking so far:

Here’s what worked for us:

Hmm…. I am still wondering about…


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