Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy: A Critical Analysis of School Board Policy Documents

Volume 8, Issue 3, June 2024     |     PP. 163-191      |     PDF (492 K)    |     Pub. Date: June 10, 2024
DOI: 10.54647/sociology841288    36 Downloads     1948 Views  

Author(s)

Soudeh Oladi, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. M5s 1A1 Ontario, Canada
John P. Portelli, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. M5s 1A1 Ontario, Canada
Maral Karimi, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. M5s 1A1 Ontario, Canada
Henrjeta Mece, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. M5s 1A1 Ontario, Canada
Tanitia Munroe, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. M5s 1A1 Ontario, Canada
Manuel Ellul, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. M5s 1A1 Ontario, Canada

Abstract
This SSHRC-funded study critically analyzes equity policies across 14 Ontario school boards, based on their engagement with equity-related concepts and data collection practices. The analysis reveals a spectrum of policies, from weak to robust, and the risk of perpetuating inequalities through diversity-heavy rhetoric. It explores how the absence of clear demographic data collection and reliance on school climate surveys in weaker policies can impede efforts to identify and address systemic barriers. It also emphasizes the need for adopting apophatic language, promoting transparency, and radically revising professional development for meaningful transformation. The study underlines the urgent need for a reflexive policy blueprint that adheres to the ideals of the Ontario Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy. Recommendations from this study offer pathways towards fostering authentically equitable educational environments.

Keywords
Ontario equity policy; anti-oppressive; anti-racist; decolonizing

Cite this paper
Soudeh Oladi, John P. Portelli, Maral Karimi, Henrjeta Mece, Tanitia Munroe, Manuel Ellul, Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy: A Critical Analysis of School Board Policy Documents , SCIREA Journal of Sociology. Volume 8, Issue 3, June 2024 | PP. 163-191. 10.54647/sociology841288

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