Colloquium on French-language education
November 10, 2022
Comparative perspectives on French-language education in minority contexts in Canada. Today's challenges and tomorrow's issues
This symposium is part of the activities of the new Observatoire sur l’éducation en contexte linguistique minoritaire. The OÉCLM creates space for disseminating research and mobilizing knowledge for the benefit of those working in minority language contexts. This conference is supported by the University of Ottawa's Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation, the Faculty of Education and the Collège des Chaires de recherches sur le monde francophone (CCRMF).
Education is vital to the sustainability of minority language communities around the world. The same can be said for French-speaking communities in Canada. The demand for French-language education is growing and new schools are being built in many places, even though the demographic weight of these communities is declining in some regions of Ontario and elsewhere in the country, while the federal target for Francophone immigration has still not been met. In this context, the teaching profession needs to be better understood, given the minority language situation, the socio-demographic changes mentioned above, the evolution of labour markets and the transformation of the profession.
These new realities of the teaching profession are not unrelated to the shortages and retention problems that affect many parts of Canada. The situation is further exacerbated by the pandemic and new conditions of practice. The causes of these shortages and retention problems are more complex than they appear. While in many jurisdictions salary and professional conditions are cited, the causes are often also deeper and relate to the day-to-day work of teachers and the relationships with their student groups that are central to their practice. The accumulation of different factors can contribute to and explain the loss of appeal of the profession as a whole.
In minority language contexts, the causes and impacts of recruitment and retention problems deserve to be examined more closely and better understood so that valid solutions can be found. They particularly affect minority language settings because the pool of people trained to teach in this context and ready to join a school is smaller, despite a contingent of candidates from immigrant backgrounds who are available and trained to teach, but who all too often still struggle to fit in because of the exclusion they experience.
In order to better understand today's challenges, this colloquium opts for comparative perspectives by bringing together speakers from different backgrounds who will answer the following questions in their own way and from different angles: What will education in a minority language context look like in the future? What are the anticipated developments? What are the most pressing challenges? How do socio-demographic changes in the population affect schools and the actors who embody them? Why is a percentage of teaching staff leaving the profession? What are the causes? How can we think about and respond to the recruitment and retention needs of teachers in these schools? What are the major challenges of tomorrow?
9:45 a.m.: Welcome, coffee and pastries
10:00 a.m.: Opening of the conference
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Panel discussion on the challenges and issues of the future of education in a minority language context with Isabelle Levert-Chiasson (CCUNESCO), Peter Hominuk (AFO), Brigitte Bergeron (FCE) and Claudine Laporte (AEFO).
Panel moderated by: Nathalie Bélanger, Director of the OÉCLM.
12:00 pm: Lunch served on site
1:15 - 2:45 p.m.: Panel discussion on the challenges of teaching in a minority language context with Alice Fomen (CIRA), Mirela Moldoveanu (Faculty of Education, UO), Phyllis Dalley (Faculty of Education, UO) and Raphaël Gani (Université Laval)
Panel moderated by: Martin Meunier, Director of the Collège des Chaires de recherches sur le monde francophone (CCRMF).
Break and snack
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.: Panel discussion on data for a better understanding of the challenges and issues specific to education and teaching in a minority language context in Canada with Valérie Morand (FNCSF) and Brigitte Cyr (CLE)
Panel moderated by: Nathalie Bélanger, Director of the OÉCLM.
4:30 pm: Closing remarks
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.: Cocktail
Full Professor and director of the Observatory on education in minority language contexts
Nathalie Bélanger directs theObservatoire sur l’éducation en contexte linguistique minoritaire and is a full professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. From 2005 to 2020, she held the role of Research Chair on Education and the Francophonie affiliated with the Collège des Chaires de recherche sur le monde francophone. Her research interests include la Francophonie, inclusion/exclusion processes in schools, minority studies, public policy in education, the sociology of education and ethnography.
Director of the Collège des Chaires de recherches sur le monde francophone (CCRMF)
In addition to being a full professor at the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies of the University of Ottawa, E.-Martin Meunier holds the chair Québec, francophonie canadienne et mutations culturelles and is director of the Collège des chaires de recherches sur le monde francophone (CCRMF). His research interests range from the sociology of Quebec society to the sociology of religion, including the social and historical analysis of French Canada. Author of more than fifty scientific contributions, he has notably published Le pari personnaliste (Fides 2007), with S. Lefebvre and C. Béraud, Catholicisme et cultures. Regards croisés Québec-France (P.U.L. / P.U.R, 2015) and, recently, Le Québec et ses mutations culturelles (P.U.O, 2016). He directs the 21e - Société, histoire et cultures collection at the University of Ottawa Press.
Programme Officer in Education at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO)
Isabelle LeVert-Chiasson is a Programme Officer in Education at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO). Prior to joining the CCUNESCO, she worked in education in Canada and abroad with organizations such as World University Service of Canada (WUSC), Heartwood Centre for Community Youth Development, Katimavik and Canada World Youth. Ms. LeVert-Chiasson holds a Master of Arts in Education and Community Development from St. Francis University (Canada). She has extensive experience in youth engagement, partnership development, monitoring and evaluation and project management in education and related fields. At UNESCO-CC, she is responsible for the national coordination of the UNESCO Schools Network, the participation of Canadians in UNESCO's education programs in Canada and abroad, the provision of advice to various levels of government related to UNESCO's Education Sector, and the support to Canada's permanent delegation to UNESCO.
Executive Director at Assemblée de la Francophonie de l'Ontario
Peter Hominuk can be considered one of those people who, throughout his career and his community involvement, has defended Ontario's Francophone community and worked for its development. His professional career and his volunteer activities bear witness to his attachment to his language, his pride in his Franco-Ontarian origins and his contributions to Francophone community development. He has made an exemplary contribution through his work with community organizations to foster their development. Mr. Hominuk transformed the Francophone community organization La Clé d'la Baie into a dynamic social enterprise that has enlivened the Francophone community in this region by offering French-language services in the arts, culture, community radio, tourism, employment and training, daycare services and summer camps.
Director of the Francophonie Program at CTF
A teacher by profession, Brigitte Bergeron has over 30 years of experience in the world of education. She has been a special education consultant, director of student services and supervisory officer in French-language school boards in a minority context.
During her career, she has also held positions of responsibility within provincial and national organizations, including the position of Assistant Executive Director of the Centre franco-ontarien de ressources pédagogiques. At the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, she held the position of National Coordinator - Official Languages and at the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF/FCE), her current employer, she served as Director - International and Social Justice Program before obtaining her current position as Director - Francophonie Program.
Claudine Laporte has been working as a professional relations executive at the AEFO provincial office since 2010. She is mainly responsible for pedagogical and professional issues, including French-language education. Passionate about these issues, Claudine was a member of the strategic orientation committee and vice-president of the Association canadienne pour l'éducation en langue française (ACELF).
Claudine has a degree in sociology and also studied law. She worked for several years in the field of employability and social research before embarking on a career in teaching in 2004. Claudine has worked in various elementary schools in the Ottawa area. From the beginning of her teaching career, she has been involved with AEFO as a member of the Education and Professional Development Consultation Committee, as the AEFO liaison to the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and as the AEFO representative on the OTF Teacher Education Committee.
Doctoral student at Laval University
Alice Fomen was a teacher for ten years in a French language school board in Ontario and is now a doctoral student in educational technology at Université Laval. She Her research interests include the use of ICT in schools and digital inclusion. Ms. Fomen holds a Bachelor's degree in Education and a Master's degree in Human Rights. In 2017, she founded the Alliance for an Inclusive Educational Community (CIRA), an Ontario-based organization of ethnocultural minority teachers. CIRA develops programs and resources to promote equity and inclusion in schools, as well as resources to ensure effective transition for teachers from recent immigrant backgrounds. Ms. Fomen has co-authored four books on supporting recent immigrants, equity and inclusion in schools.
Associate Professor and Director of the Formation à l'enseignement program
Mirela Moldoveanu holds a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Education. Professor Moldoveanu has taught at several Quebec universities and her research focuses on issues related to the management of diversity in education, from an equity and social justice perspective. Professor Moldoveanu's research interests include the support of professional development of teachers from the perspective of the mobilization of research knowledge in teaching practice, and the integration of theoretical and experiential learning.
Professor and researcher at the Faculty of Education uOttawa
Phyllis Dalley is a professor and researcher at the University of Ottawa. Since the beginning of her career, she has worked for the recognition of linguistic variations in French in educational contexts. She is one of the first researchers to have taken an interest in the question of how French-language schools in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada welcome immigrants and refugees from Africa. Among her many publications, she recently co-authored a report for the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) entitled Le décrochage du personnel enseignant au Canada : une revue de littérature. She is also the founding director of the Action Group Against Black Racism in Education (GaCran).
Raphaël Gani is an assistant professor of education at L'Université Laval. He is interested in curricular activism, a transformative phenomenon which reflects the educational demands of Francophone minorities. His recent work, including his doctoral dissertation published in 2022, focuses on educational rights, curricular reforms, and the inclusion of Francophone and Anglophone minority perspectives in social studies and history programs.
Executive Director of the Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones (FNCSF)
Valérie Morand is the Executive Director of the Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones (FNCSF) and the Regroupement national des directions générales de l'éducation (RNDGE) since 2018. She sits on the board of directors of the pan-Canadian education network EdCan. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of School Board Administrators (CASBA). She studied literature and communications at the Université du Québec à Montréal and electronic journalism at Metropolitan Toronto University, formerly Ryerson. A journalist for 20 years at Radio-Canada in the French and English networks of the Société d'État and internationally (RCI), she was a parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa. In 1995, she founded the Guignolée des medias in the National Capital Region, which over the years has raised more than a million dollars for the underprivileged.
Consultant in education and evaluation
Brigitte Cyr has nearly 35 years of experience in the field of education. She works through the Centre for Leadership and Evaluation (CLÉ), and with other organizations, on the continuous improvement of education in Canada. She has extensive experience not only in education, but also in program evaluation and the use of evidence to inform decision-making. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology, a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education.