Oct. 19, 2021
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Education and the Waterloo Public Library are launching the second season of the Laurier EdTalks lecture series with a virtual lecture on the impacts of COVID-19 on learning in Ontario.
Six lectures are planned from October to April 2022 focused on this year’s theme, reimagining education, including students’ well-being and resilience, opportunity gaps for students in racialized, low-income communities, and international education.
“Laurier's Faculty of Education is very pleased to partner with the Waterloo Public Library to present a series of relevant and timely talks related to the theme of re-imagining education,” said Maria Cantalini-Williams, dean of the Faculty of Education. “The pandemic has taught us many lessons, which can be leveraged to envision educational systems that are more diverse, equitable and responsive. The range of speakers in the EdTalks series will undoubtedly inform and inspire participants.”
The EdTalks lectures will be held virtually until public health restrictions ease. The events are free and open to everyone, including educators, students, parents and the broader community, but registration is required. The lectures will be interactive, with opportunities to ask questions.
“We are very proud of the collaboration we have built with the Faculty of Education at Laurier as we have worked together to build our EdTalks series,” said Kelly Kipfer, manager of community engagement and children’s services at the library. “Moving into this second year, we know how important the topics and conversations of our planned sessions are to our community. How learning happens, what impacts the pandemic will have on kids long term, how the educational experience can grow to be more inclusive and positive for all learners – these are big themes and big topics for everyone who cares about kids, education and the future of learning.
“This series is timely and packed with great speakers who have made it their life’s work to unpack these questions. We are privileged to be part of the efforts to bring this series to our community and eager to see what comes from these conversations.”
In the first lecture, “Learning Our Way Out of the Pandemic,” on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., Kelly Gallagher-Mackay, assistant professor of Law and Society, will speak about how Canadian schools fared during COVID-19, the sometimes-unequal impacts on children, and ways educators can ensure a stronger and more equitable start in 2021-22.
Throughout the pandemic, Gallagher-Mackay has been working with school boards to understand the impact of COVID-19 on learning in Ontario. She was the lead author on the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table Brief on Emerging Evidence on Impacts of Education Disruption in Ontario.
Future lectures in the Laurier EdTalks series will include:
Last year, faculty members from Laurier’s Faculty of Education delivered lectures on the theme, innovation in education, including building resiliency, inspiring innovation, computational thinking, digital fluency, physical literacy and harnessing the power of stories. Past lectures can be found on Laurier YouTube EdTalks playlist.
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