Education and Equity

Aneel Brar, 2009 Fellow, IndiaEducational equity was chosen as a focus due to its importance as a central social determinant of health and major way to address poverty and inequalities. Full and equal access for all children is imperative, yet barriers related to gender, income, disability, race, ethnicity and language keep millions of children from receiving quality education every year.  

Fellow case studies focused on governmental and non-governmental policies and initiatives in Canada and abroad that have successfully improved educational equity for marginalized groups. Seminars, an expert advisory board, and an international conference brought together global leaders in international policy and education to present and discuss programs and policies that promote equity in education globally. Lessons in Educational Equality: Successful Approaches to Intractable Problems around the World highlights best practices for ensuring equity in all levels of education. 

2009 Annual Research to Policy Conference - Educational Equity: Global and National Strategies

2009 Conference

On Saturday, May 2nd, 2009, the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy (IHSP) hosted Educational Equity: Global and National Strategies. This conference was an opportunity for a group of leading international policy and academic experts, including representatives of the Canadian Government and non-governmental organizations, to present and discuss programs and policies that promote equity in education globally. Plenary and policy sessions addressed equity in pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education, focusing on socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, language, geography and disability.

IHSP Educational Equity: Global and National Strategies Conference Agenda [.pdf]

Welcome and Introduction

Jody Heymann, Founding Director, McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy and Principal Investigator, WORLD Data Centre. Welcome and Introduction [.pdf]

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Opening Keynotes: What is the Global Scale and Context of Inequity in Education?

Abhijit Banerjee, Founding Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab and Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The challenge of educational equity [.pdf]

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Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist of the World Bank's South Asia Region. Educational Equity in Africa and South Asia [.pdf] click here for video footage

Plenary Panel: Equity in Pre-Primary and Primary Education: The Critical Challenge of Simultaneously Improving Access, Quality and Inclusion

Jessica Ball, Coordinator, First Nations Partnership Programs and Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria. Promoting educational equity for Indigenous children in Canada through quality early childhood programs [.pdf] 

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Marcia Rioux, Director, Institute for Health Research and Professor in the School of Health Policy and Management, York University. Early Childhood Education: a rights approach to making it happen [.pdf]click here for video footage

Merle Froschl and Barbara Sprung, Co-Directors, Center for Educational Equity at the Academy for Educational Development. From Disengagement toEngagement: Educational Equity for Boys PreK-3 [.pdf]

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Marlaine Lockheed, Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development and Lecturer of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Gender and Social Exclusion in Education [.pdf] 

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Luncheon Keynotes: Innovative, Non-Formal Approaches to Educational Equity

Perri Klass, Medical Director, Reach Out and Read and Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at New York University. Early Literacy Development: A Pediatric Perspective [.pdf] 

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Sakena Yacoobi, Founder and Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning and Co-Founder and Vice President of Creating Hope International 

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Plenary Panel: Equity in Secondary and Tertiary Education: Consolidating Gains, Improving Transitions and Increasing Opportunities

Albert Motivans, Head of Education Statistics, UNESCO Institute for Statistics Expansion and inequality:changing global patterns in secondary and tertiary educational opportunities [.pdf] 

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Peter Evans, Senior Analyst, Education and Training Policy Division, OECD Directorate of Education. Inequities in secondary and tertiary education for students with disabilities [.pdf] 

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Fenella Mukangara, Director of the Gender Centre at the University of Dar es Salaam and former Chair of the Tanzania Gender Networking Program. Pre Entry Study as Affirmative Action that Works [.pdf]

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Closing Keynotes: How Do We Know What Works, and How Can We Reach Our Goals?

Fernando Reimers, Director of Global Education and of International Education Policy and Ford Foundation Professor of International Education, Harvard University. How do we know what works to promote educational equity [.pdf] 

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Robert Prouty, Manager, Education for All - Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI) and Lead Education Specialist at the World Bank. Putting Educational Equity on the Fast Track: Strategies to achieve equity in education — the only path to EFA [.pdf]

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Seminar Series on Equity and Discrimination (2007-2008)

Frédéric Mégret

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Frédéric Mégret, Assistant Professor of Law, McGill University, Canada Research Chair on the Law of Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

"Negative and positive discrimination in the UN Disability Convention"

View the presentation [.pdf]

Dolly Chugh

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dolly Chugh, Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Organizations, Stern School of Business, New York University

""I'm not biased"- or am I? The impact of implicit discrimination on decision-making and equality in the workplace"

Lucie Lamarche

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lucie Lamarche, Gordon F. Henderson Chair in Human Rights, University of Ottawa

"Human Rights Impact Assessment An effective new methodology for fighting discrimination?"

View the presentation [.ppt]

Ronald Niezen

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ronald Niezen, Department of Anthropology, McGill University, Canada Research Chair, Comparative Study of Indigenous Rights and Identity

"Self-Determination and the Health of Indigenous Peoples"

View the presentation [.pdf]

Jill Hanley

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Jill Hanley, McGill School of Social Work

Evelyn Calugay, Filipino Women's Association of Quebec (PINAY)

"Access to Health for Migrants with Precarious Status"

View the presentation [.pdf]

Grace-Edward Galabuzi

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Grace-Edward Galabuzi, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University, Research Associate, Centre for Social Justice, Toronto

"Social Inclusion as a Social Determinant of Health The Social and Economic Exclusion of Racialized Groups in Canada"

View the presentation [.pdf]

Morton Weinfeld

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Dr. Morton Weinfeld, Professor, Department of Sociology, Director of Ethnic Studies, McGill University

"New Challenges for Diversity in post- 9-11 Canada: Loyalty, reasonable accommodation, and ethnic match"


2008 Policy Fellows

EbonyEbony Bertorelli, Department of Political Science, McGill University

Providing Quality Education for Marginalized Children in Uttar Pradesh

Ebony Bertorelli pursued an MA in development politics at McGill University. She received her BA from the University of British Columbia in Film and Political Science, allowing her to balance her love of art with her passion for development. Her current research interests include how the developed world approaches issues of poverty and inequality, in addition to the role of states in the promotion of good governance.

AneelAneel Brar, Department of Political Science, McGill University

NGO-Government partnerships and universal access to quality primary education in Northern India (Himachal Pradesh and Punjab)

Aneel Brar received an MA in Political Science at McGill University. He received his BA Honours in Political Science and his BSc in Cellular Biology from the University of Calgary. His area of interest and passion is in the politics of health—specifically health as a security issue, as a factor in development, and as a central issue for those who are marginalised from adequate care.

Olivier Drouin

Olivier Drouin, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

Community-based organizations, children, AIDS and poverty: Lessons from Malawi

Olivier Drouin pursued medical studies at McGill. He received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry at Université de Sherbrooke and is completing a M.Sc. in the same field at McGill. He is active in the field of HIV/AIDS as well as access to treatment and care for underserved populations. He hopes to make policy making around those issues an important part of his future medical practice.

Brittany Lambert, Department of Political Science, McGill University

Intercultural Bilingual Education: A Strategy for Reducing Discrimination against Indigenous Students in Bolivia?

Brittany Lambert received an MA in Political Science from McGill. She completed her BA at the University of Ottawa, in International Studies and Modern Languages. She is interested in issues pertaining to gender and health in the developing world. She is particularly interested in the feminization of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and its social, political and economic impacts.

JoshuaJoshua Levy, Departments of Linguistics and Music, McGill University

Language and Educational Equity: New Mexico & New Brunswick 

Joshua Levy studied linguistics and music. He is interested in examining language and its use as a determinant of social exclusion. He spends his summers as a research assistant at the Massachusetts General Hospital Neuropsychology Lab.



Lauren Matheson, Department of Anthropology and Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University

Gender Equality and Early Childhood Education in Sweden

Lauren Matheson pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree at McGill, majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Social Studies of Medicine. She is interested in current understanding, applications and value of the broad idea of "health" in North American Society. Lauren hopes to pursue graduate studies in the field of Health Promotion and Education.

ShannanShannahn McInnis, Educational and Counseling Psychology, McGill University

Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in New Brunswick 

Shannahn Mcinnis is a Ph.D. student in Educational and Counseling Psychology who is specializing in Special Populations of Learners. Working with and advocating for individuals who have special needs has always been her passion. Pursuing first a Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy and then a Master's degree in Educational Psychology with a specialization in Inclusive Education, Shannahn has maintained her goals of investigating new dynamic practices in the field of disability and how both practice and policy affect the lives of these individuals and their families. She is active in the promotion of research and practices that consider the needs of persons with intellectual disabilities within a human rights perspective.

LauraLaura Pilozzi-Edmunds, Biomedical Sciences, Social Studies of Medicine and African Studies, McGill University

Increasing Gender Equity in Higher Education: A Case Study of the Special Pre-Entry Program for the College of Engineering and Technology of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 

Laura Pilozzi-Edmonds studied Biomedical Sciences, Social Studies of Medicine and African Studies at McGill. Her research interests include studying the vulnerabilities of specific social groups in HIV/AIDS policy in sub-Saharan Africa. Laura hopes to pursue studies in Medicine.

Lessons in Educational Equality: Successful Approaches to Intractable Problems around the World

“All children and youth, regardless of the situations into which they were born, deserve the opportunity to improve their life chances by acquiring the knowledge and skills that will help them thrive in the future. As the world lags far behind the Millennium Development and Education for All goals, swift, targeted and effective action is needed to improve both access and quality in education.

Bringing together evidence-based recommendations and in-depth case studies of successful programs from around the world, this edited volume details effective educational equity initiatives and assesses how these models could be improved, expanded and adapted to diverse contexts. Lessons in Educational Equality(Oxford University Press, 2012) is uniquely comprehensive in its scope and its focus on how best to increase educational equality from early childhood to the tertiary level, and in contexts that span the geographic and political spectrum.

The chapters in this volume offer concrete solutions to barriers based on gender, income, disability, race, ethnicity and language. Chapters on gender address equity for female students in tertiary science and engineering programs, primary and secondary education for socially excluded girls, and equitable early childhood education for boys and girls. Socioeconomic equity is examined in chapters on promoting equal opportunities in secondary school across social class, quality primary education for the poor, and early childhood strategies for closing the achievement gap. Chapters on disability detail strategies for making inclusive education a part of Education for All and for increasing access and achievement in tertiary education. Approaches to racial, ethnic and linguistic equity are presented in chapters on bridging the racial gap in higher education, improving primary level access and outcomes through home-language learning, and culturally-informed early childhood education.”

Discrimination and Equity Advisory Committee 2007-2009

Francois Benoit
Lead, National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy, Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec

Adelle Blackett
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University

Shari Brotman
Associate Professor, School of Social Work, McGill University

Richard Bourhis
Professor, Département de psychologie, Université du Québec à Montréal

Giovanni Burgos
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, McGill University

Angela Campbell
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University; Convener, McGill Research Group on Health and Law; and Director, McGill Institute of Comparative Law

Marie-Thérèse Chicha
Professor, École de relations industrielles, Université de Montréal

Tara Dawn Flanagan
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University; and Director of Social Policy, Advocacy, Research, Community (SPARC)

Fred Genesee
Professor, Department of Psychology, McGill University

Nazila Ghanea-Hercock
University Lecturer in International Human Rights Law, Kellogg College, Oxford University; and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Religion and Human Rights.

Ratna Ghosh
Professor, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University

Amanda Grenier
Associate Professor, School of Social Work, McGill University

Jill Hanley
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, McGill University

Jean-Claude Icard
Coordonnateur, Observatoire sur le racisme

Jean Lock Kunz
Associate Director, Policy Research Initiative

Micheline Labelle
Professeure, Departement de sociologie, Université du Québec à Montréal

Mike Loft
Professional Associate, School of Social Work, McGill University

Christopher McAll
Professor, Departement de sociologie, Université de Montréal; and Directeur, Centre de recherche de Montréal sur les inégalités sociales, les discriminations et les pratiques alternatives de citoyenneté (CREMIS)

Frédéric Mégret
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University; and Director of the McGill Clinic for the Sierra Leone Special Court

Claudia Mitchell
Professor, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University

Stéphane Moulin
Professeur adjoint, Departement de sociologie, Université de Montréal

Vrinda Narain
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Arts, McGill University

Ronald Niesen
Chair, Department of Anthropology, McGill University

Maryse Potvin
Professor, Département d'éducation et formation spécialisées, Université du Québec à Montréal

Amélie Quesnel-Valée
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Epidemiology, McGill University

Diane Richler
President, Inclusion International

Stéphanie Rousseau
Professeure agrégée, Departement de sociologie, Université Laval

Bill Ryan
School of Social Work, McGill University

Daniel Salée
Professor, Political Science, Concordia University

Shaheen Shariff
Associate Professor, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University

Colleen Sheppard
Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University
Director, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

Carolle Simard
Professeure, Département de science politique, Université du Québec à Montréal

Stuart Soroka
Associate Professor, Political Science, McGill University; and Director of the Canadian Opinion Research Archive

Frances Stewart
Director, Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity

Erin Strumpf
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Department of
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University

Wendy Thomson
Director, School of Social Work, McGill University

Morton Weinfeld
Professor and Department Chair, Department of Sociology, McGill University; and Director, Canadian Ethnic Studies

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