Supporting Ontario EcoSchools: Developing Theory into Practice

Environmental education programs have become widely accepted and implemented throughout Ontario elementary and high schools. Ontario EcoSchools has and continues to play a vital role in providing environmental curriculum resources and support tools to promote ecological literacy, however research has shown that a gap between principle and practice remains. The proposed research project aims to address this challenge by examining existing school resources and programs and identifying and developing hands-on tools and activities to support student learning within environmental education.

Addressing Racism in Toronto

Addressing Racism in Toronto’’ is a one-year project to be conducted by Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR). The aim of this community-based research venture is to identify issues of access, equity and inclusion for two highly vulnerable and marginalized groups in Toronto: the Somali Canadian community and racialized LGBTQ persons who are homeless.

Exploring the digital divide: The use of digital tools in Ontario public schools

Governments around the world are investing to bridge the “digital divide,” which refers to the gap among populations in terms of ability to access digital tools and the Internet. This effort is especially evident in public schools, because education has been identified as one contributing factor of the divide. Thus, it is of great public interest to investigate whether schools are providing enough opportunities for youth to engage with ICT as an effort to bridge the digital divide. This proposed research seeks to develop a deeper understanding of ICT use in Ontario’s public schools.

Building Online Support for Parents of Youth and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

This project aims to provide crucial and much needed knowledge in the area of "innovative social support resources" for parents of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. To accomplish this, an online parent peer support group, facilitated by experienced  professionals, will be established. operated, and analyzed over a four month period, This expertly mediated network will serve as a forum through which parents can offer mutual support to one another via shared experience and knowledge in this domain.

CLICK (Community Led Inclusive Creation Kit)

This research will help to unplay and rewrite certain ideas of "assistive" technology by developing methods to engage children and youth in the process of collaborative, multi-media creation where captioning and audio description are used as creative tools. Successful approaches, workshop plans, DIY tools, discovery games and training methods will be accumulated in a playful kit called CLICK (Community Led Inclusive Creation Kits) and shared as an OER (Open Education Resource).

The Community Learning Hub Knowledge Mobilization

While the use of specific drugs including cannabis cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin by youth 15-24 in Canada decreased in 2011 (Health Canada), the rate of drug use by youth 15-24 years of age remains much higher compared to that of adults 25 years and older.  (Health Canada).  Early intervention and education for youth has been suggested to provide protective effect (Hurry & Lloyd), and interactive approaches to that education and intervention have been found to be beneficial (Shiner & Newburn).


Mapping Intangible Cultural Resources through Reading Culture Analysis

In 2011, the City of London started developing a cultural resource database and mapping capability to provide a calculation of the economic impact of culture in the city and an assessment London’s cultural facilities infrastructure, with focus on tangible cultural resources. Although potentially more valuable than the tangible cultural assets, intangible cultural resources have not been explored in equal depth as they require specific methodologies and approaches to be captured and mapped out.

Engaging youth in a developmental evaluation of Raising the Grade

Raising the Grade is an innovative after-school program launched this year by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) in 25 clubs across Canada. Through the use of online learning tools, mentorship, and the early promise of a scholarship, the program hopes to engage youth at risk of dropping out of high school and help them graduate from high school and enroll in post-secondary education. The proposed internship is part of a long-term developmental evaluation of Raising the Grade being conducted by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC).

A Leadership Development Model for Youth in Urban Communities

This internship will extend a research partnership between For Youth Initiative (FYI) organization and the Applied Social Welfare Research and Evaluation Group at the School of Social Work, York University. The internship project will build a comprehensive leadership development model that articulates best and promising evidence-based practices for engaging and building the leadership capacity of youth and youth-led organisations in urban communities. This model will be attentive to the structural constraints that youth in marginalized urban communities experience.

Social-emotional development in early childcare programs

The Teaching Pyramid Model (TPM) was designed as a promotion, prevention, and intervention framework to support the social, emotional, and behavioral development of young children. Successful implementation of the TPM in ELC programs requires staff capacity (e.g., professional development, refresher courses for staff, performance feedback, staff support and family engagement (e.g., providing families with training to teach their children SE skills at home, enhancing parent-staff relationships).