The Ursula Franklin Academy

An experiment in creative learning

By Murray Thomson | 1994-11-01 12:00:00

The Ursula Franklin Academy

In downtown Toronto, walk west from Dufferin along Bloor Street and you're in a marvelous global mix of cultures. In the small shops of this working class neighborhood you can buy imported dried fish or cassava roots from a Bangladeshi, hot spicy cashews from a Bombay family, and Vietnamese egg rolls. A corner bakery serves up Portuguese tarts and meat patties Caribbean style, its front window proudly displaying both a Canadian and a Portuguese flag. On the way out you can pick up free copies of Familia Portuguesa or Raices Latinas, a weekly in Spanish. Next door is an Indonesian drygoods shop.

In this neighborhood, are three schools that comprise what will be called the "Bloor Dufferin Education Campus." The centrepiece will be the old Brockton High School, renamed, refurbished, and refocused as the Ursula Franklin Academy. The school will emphasize the skills to deal with critical issues. Mathematics, science, and technology will be integrated in all subjects studied. Chemical reactions, for example, can be studied in food preparation, geometry through visual arts, and the effects of technology can be examined in history classes. Traditional subjects will be strengthened and enhanced by the development of an integrated core curriculum.

An International Language Program will teach the heritage languages of the area. An interdisciplinary curriculum in grades nine and 10 will begin in September 1995. Students will take part in shaping the school program as it grows. Several of the academy's features, like the person for whom it is named, are unique. It will have a staff-student-parent management council, with strong parental involvement. The students will participate in shaping the program as it grows and will deepen their commitment to community service, cooperative education and work experience in their area.

Joan Green, Director of Education and David Moll, Chairman of the Toronto Board of Education, welcomed Dr. Franklin to the school, saying: "Your work in the areas of peace, equity, technology, and academic excellence are highly regarded both in our country and internationally. These issues will be reflected in the goals and philosophy of the Ursula Franklin Academy."

Making Peace: A Teacher's Guide

Project Ploughshares has produced a documentary video and a workbook, both called Making Peace. The workbook material draws upon the documents compiled by the Citizens Inquiry, while Michael Connolly's video includes presentations in 12 communities across Canada. Contact Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel College, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3~. Phone 519/ 888-6541. Fax 519/885-0014. E-mail:

Chemical Weapons Proposals

The Markiand Group has been advocating provisions to strengthen the Chemical Weapons Convention. A 70-page document, with the full articles of the convention plus the annexes, are available for $10 (Canadian or US). Their 1993 Brief to the Preparatory Commission is also available for $10. Student rate: half price. Contact the Markland Group, 201-93 Bold Street, Hamilton, ON L6P 1T8.

Singing About Clayquot Sound

Bob Bossin and his friends have a terrific new songavailable on CD, video, or cassette. The Peace Magazine staff love it, It's Sulphur Passage, written and performed by Bob Bossin with Stephen Fearing, Roy Forbes, Veda Hille, and Ann Mortifee, Raffi, Rick Scott, Valdy, and Jenniifer West. The video was directed by Nettie Wild. Price by donation: at least $10 + $3 postage .The song also appears on Gabriola V0R 1X0, a C.D. produced by Pat Coleman and for Nick Records, distributed by Festival Distributing. To order the video or the CD, send to Bob Bossin, Site 24, Box 22, Gabriola Island, B.C. VOR ixo. CD is $15 plus $l.50 postage; supporter price $20; poor person's price $11. Cassette price $12 +$1 postage, supporter price is $20 and poor person's price is $10.

Study Peace In Austria

European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU) is a non-profit international institution with UNESCO status occupying a renovated castle on a hilltop 120 km east of Vienna. Students may enroll on a semester basis or for a MA program. Those completing a minimum of four three-unit courses plus an integrative paper receive a certificate of achievement in advanced international peace studies. The faculty includes distinguished international peace researchers and professors. Instruction is in English. Total approximate costs for one semester: 204,000 Austrian Schillings. Contact EPU Secretariat, A-7461 Stadtschiaining/ Burg, Austria. 43-3355-2498. Fax +43-335-2662.

Resources For The Young

Chidren and Peacemaking is a booklet prepared by the Peace Education Resource Centre, Toronto, for teachers and parents of children between preschool and junior high levels. It has been enlarged by 40 percent. $4/ copy or $31 per copy for over 10 copies. Call PERC 416-598-7985.

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1994

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1994, page 28. Some rights reserved.

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