Prof’s research on poverty and schools gives examples for success

Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker

Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker will give a book talk Monday about Poverty and Schools in Ontario.

A Brock professor’s latest research looking at the impacts of poverty on schools and ways to improve education in Ontario is being met with calls of “it’s about time.”

Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker, associate professor in the Faculty of Education, recently co-authored Poverty and Schools in Ontario: How Seven Elementary Schools are Working to Improve Education.

“Teachers and parents want to talk about the challenges they face,” said Ciuffetelli Parker. “And they want to share their successes too.”

“They want to talk about opportunities for all students, no matter their background, and they want to talk about equal access to education. Parents and communities want to do what’s best for their children.”

Poverty and Schools in Ontario looks at approaches being used by seven elementary schools throughout the province. It uses wide-ranging case studies to provide blueprints for success for schools and learning communities impacted by poverty in Ontario.

One of the book’s key findings was how educators and parents from diverse communities work together to find collective solutions to the particular challenges they face in their schools.

Ciuffetelli Parker and her co-author Joseph Flessa from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, note that schools working collaboratively alongside their host communities was one of the positive strategies they encountered in their research.

They also point out that school systems cannot succeed on the super-human efforts of a few exceptional people. Educators and school communities have to work together to define problems and develop ways of addressing them.

Poverty and Schools in Ontario was published by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). The publication is one of the results of the ETFO’s Poverty and Education project, funded by the Ministry of Education.

The objective of the book is that it will be used as a resource for teacher development in school boards, teacher education and graduate programs, and community groups.

Ciuffetelli Parker will deliver a talk on Poverty and Schools in Ontario on Monday, Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Sankey Chamber. The event is free and everyone is welcome.

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