OTF Hosts Diane Ravitch at Symposium during Education Week

TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - Rian McLaughlin, President of the Ontario Teachers' Federation today said, "It is most appropriate that OTF and its Affiliates are hosting C4C21, Creativity, Community, Citizenship and Critical Thinking in the 21st Century during Education Week.  The theme this year is Learning Together, Succeeding Together.  We are hoping that the participants in C4C21 will learn a lot together today and tomorrow.  All of the learning is geared to succeeding together with students at the heart of success."

"We are especially pleased that Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education is our opening keynote speaker," she continued. "Dr. Ravitch is an outspoken defender of publicly funded education in the United States.  She is constantly in demand as a speaker and has also appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

The symposium is being held at the Westin Harbour Castle on May 5 and 6, 2011 in Toronto. Participants are a cross-section of people involved in education.  In addition to  Benoit Mercier, President of AEFO, Susan Swackhammer Vice-President of ETFO, James Ryan, President of OECTA and Ken Coran President of OSSTF, other teacher leaders from Nunavut, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec; parent representatives, student trustees; Ministry of Education officials; and school and school board administrators, are expected to attend.

"We will also be hearing from Dennis Shirley, a professor of education at Boston College.  His book, co-authored with Andrew Hargreaves, The Fourth Way, contains ideas for a different path forward in education," McLaughlin added.  "We are well into the second decade of this century and are asking what skills our students need to be successful.  We must also ask ourselves how we define success."

Other speakers include a panel of researchers from Ontario universities:

  • Diane Farmer, OISE/UT
  • Mélanie Girard, University of Hearst
  • Carl James, York University

McLaughlin said, "Each of these researchers will tie their own learnings into the themes of our conference.  Our final speaker Tom Wujec will talk to us about the particular importance of creativity in teaching and learning".

"There is no better time than Education Week for us to take time to think about the moral purpose of education.  Creativity, critical thinking, citizenship, and community are what we, as teachers, think should be at the heart of our classrooms, our schools and our society," McLaughlin concluded.

The Ontario Teachers' Federation is the advocate for the teaching profession in Ontario and for its 160,000 teachers.  OTF members are full-time, part-time and occasional teachers in all the publicly funded schools in the province—elementary, secondary, public, Catholic and francophone.

SOURCE Ontario Teachers' Federation

For further information:

Kathleen Devlin, OTF
(416) 966-3424

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