Foundations of Education


Introduces the major task for this week.

Graded Tasks

  • contribute to the LMS forums

History of Ontario Education: Close Reading Exercise

For your major graded task this week, you will read three articles and compare and/or contrast two of them. (It is your choice as to which two you focus on.) Each article chronicles the history of Ontario education, beginning in the 1800s. However, each article looks at the history of education from a different perspective.

Background Information

When reading a scholarly work, it is helpful to consider the background of the author, as well as the theoretical and/or ideological lens through which he or she is examining a topic or issue. Familiarizing yourself with the mandate of the place of publication can also be helpful. Below is some brief background information on the authors of the three articles you are going to read:

Article #1 is written by Xiaobin Li who is a Professor in the Faculty of Education, Brock University. Dr. Li's areas of scholarship include educational finance and educational law.

Article #2 is written by Julie Mathien who was a Masters of Education student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto when she wrote this introduction to her graduate thesis.

Article #3 is written by Barbara Richter for EFTO Voice, a magazine which is published by the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario. EFTO is the teachers' federation (i.e., union) for elementary teachers in Ontario.

After you have closely read the three articles, choose two of them to focus on. Log into the LMS and answer the following forum question which is a graded task:
Q7.2: Compare and/or contrast two of the three articles on the "History of Ontario Education" topic pages. Identify three similarities (comparing) and/or differences (contrasting) between the two articles in terms of their coverage of the history of Ontario education. Although you can choose to quote short phrases from an article, you should mostly paraphrase ideas from the articles (i.e., put them into your own words). (Actions: Post (Mon-Sun) | 250 - 300 words total)
Sakai Forum Question
📌 Below are three questions you might want to think about as you compare and contrast the two articles you have chosen to focus on:

1. Which stakeholder group (e.g., students, teachers, administrators, or parents etc.) does each article primarily focus on?
2. Does each article present a broad 'big picture' view of education or a personalized 'small picture' view of education?
3. Is each article largely complementary or critical of efforts to reform education over the years?

Feel free to pose your own questions as you think about the similarities and differences between the articles.

Suggested Strategies

Here are some suggested strategies for approaching this task:

1. Read all three articles twice - once for a general introduction and a second time for a more detailed review.

2. Choose the two articles you would like to focus on.

3. Read the first article you are comparing/contrasting and write down each of its major points in your own words. Tag each point with the article number (1, 2, or 3) so you can keep track of which article a point came from.

4. Read the second article you are comparing/contrasting and write down each of its major points in your own words. Write each point underneath the point from the first article that it most connects with, tagging the point with the article number. Add any new points to the bottom of your notes.

5. Drawing on your notes, write a draft answer to the forum question, highlighting three similarities and/or differences between the two articles.

6. Proof read and improve your answer before posting it to the LMS forums.

Example Answer Template

Here is an example template that you can optionally use for your answer to the forum question:

"My answer focuses on Article #1 and Article #3. I address one similarity and two differences between the articles.

Similarity 1: [Insert Text] For example, [Insert Text]

Difference 1: [Insert Text] For example, [Insert Text]

Difference 2: [Insert Text] For example, [Insert Text]"

Using the above template is completely optional. Format your answer in a way that is most comfortable for you, paying close attention to the requirements as noted in the question.
📌 You don't need to include a reference list at the end of your post as all three articles are embedded in the course content for this week. When referring to the articles, you can identify them as Article #1, Article #2, or Article #3.