Streaming in Schooling with York University

The Faculty of Education at York University’s 2020-2021 FESI webinar series wraps up with a dynamic, diverse panel that will explore streaming and educational pathways in Ontario schools. Ontario’s education policy states that the schools should keep “options open for all students,”. Some people assert that streaming allows students to choose subjects based on their interests and preferred career pathways. In reality, streaming closes many options to students and limits their life and career choices. Systemic bias, racism, ableism, and deficit thinking results in the streaming and sorting of students based on perceived academic abilities. In particular, Black and Indigenous students, students with disabilities, newcomer and refugee students, and students marginalized by poverty are disproportionately harmed by these processes and structures. Mechanisms for streaming and sorting happen as early as kindergarten and set students up for pre-determined pathways that impact academic options, career pathways, quality of life, financial security, and health. Join us for a conversation with educators and researchers that are grappling with these very issues to learn, challenge our practices, and reimagine future possibilities to support all students in Ontario.

Themes we will be exploring on this panel include:

  1. Impact of streaming short term and long term on minoritized groups.
  2. What are some of the myths, mindsets, frameworks that give rise to streaming?
  3. Problematizing streaming as a racist, oppressive, and limiting barrier.
  4. De-streaming in practice (what does it look like? What should people be aware of? How can we avoid creating more barriers to access in the process?)
  5. What potential does de-streaming offer? What would an ideal schooling structure that supported all students equitably look like?