CASE & CSA Webinar Series: Minority Education

Date : Thursday, January 27, 2022 at 12 pm – 1:15 pm Eastern Time

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Presentation #1: Dr. Mélissa Villella, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

“And there was never an issue in that other school…’’ Deconstructing critical incidents in French language schools: what do interculturalism, antiracism, Langcrit and transformative leadership have to do with it?

In my recently defended doctoral thesis, I present how 9 experienced French speaking educational and systemic leaders who work(ed) in Ontario understand anti-Black racism through the examination of their critical incidents in leadership. A critical incident is defined as an experience that modifies, confirms or fragments a leader’s practices (Yamamoto et al., 2017). Not only is such an examination recognized as ‘’formational’’ for leaders (Sider et al., 2017), it is also ‘’informational’’ regarding the embeddedness of systemic anti-Black racism in education and in society (Villella, 2021). Specifically, I draw on Critical language and race theory (Langcrit) (Crump, 2014) to describe and understand anti-Black racism and antiracism within minoritzed French language education where language, identity and belonging are more often than not based on the history of white French colonizers and on current events of their white Canadian-born descendants. However, la francophonie has yet to adequately address the fixity of these notions. To counteract this fixity, my webinar proposes to introduce a combined intercultural and anti-racist theoretical framework that includes a Langcrit lens since the latter ‘’puts the intersection of the subject-as-heard and the subject-as-seen at the forefront of interpretation and analysis’’ (Crump, 2014, p. 207). The objective is to urge scholars and professionals alike, within education and Canadian society, to look differently at how the social construction of race, racism, and racializations intersect with critical incidents regarding language, belonging, and identity in order to then adopt a more transformative leadership model for the inclusion of Black children, families and communities.

Presentation #2: Dr. Sivane Hirsch, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and Devorah Feldman, CEO – Limmud Center

Homeschooling within a Hassidic community in Montreal: documenting social and pedagogical innovation

Since September 2018, after a considerable consultation, Quebec’s ministry of education has implanted new regulations in regard to homeschooling. Parents are now obliged to register and demonstrate their capacity to accompany their children through a learning plan that respects the ministry’s requirements. While Hassidic families, that send before their boys to unrecognized religious schools, also have to oblige to the new laws, the ministry seems to treat their cases more as a community affaire. In this context, Limmud Center’s approach to enable parents to take full responsibility on their boys’ education and to offer a full-learning program that respects the Quebec education plan’s requirements, is innovative in both pedagogical and sociological perspectives. Our research document since 2018 the activities in the centre by observing children in their learning, interviewing stuff and parents, and examining the legal issues that emerged since the new law has been implemented. In this session, I propose to discuss the articulation of new law and social innovation, the pedagogical obligations within the law and the negotiation that they impose on the system’s actors.

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