Our Schools/Our Selves: Winter 2014

Restacking the Deck: Streaming by class, race and gender in Ontario schools
February 12, 2014

Restacking the Deck: Streaming by class, race and Gender in Ontario schools includes contributions by editors George Martell and David Clandfield, and Bruce Curtis, Grace-Edward Galabuzi, Alison Gaymes San Vicente, D.W. Livingstone and Harry Smaller. The book speaks about the need for a destreamed schooling reform because many students are not being served well by the present streamed system.

The way the system has been structured by those in power and the ways in which teachers are required to work within these prescribed boundaries are mainly at fault: the grouping, selective treatment of students, differential program streams, differential expectations, the large classes, the pressure on teachers to cover a standardized curriculum, the lack of opportunities and resources for teachers to offer innovative curricula, courses and programs to students, not to mention the multitude of regulations, policies and procedures that determine where and how teachers will carry out their duties. These factors, and many more, result mainly from conscious decisions made by administrators and politicians, not by teachers.

Ironically, teachers are being held more and more responsible for the results of a system over which they are given less and less control. And while the chapters do contain an Ontario focus, they speak to trends taking place in other jurisdictions which make this book a vital resource for those following the education debates, regardless of location.