From the beginning, Our Schools / Our Selves has taken seriously the feminist imperative that we must link the personal and the political. Students need to be given an opportunity, in the context of school curriculum, to make sense of their own lives through various forms of creative expression. What we said in the first editorial still rings true today: “We must encourage students to be open about their lives, to work at imagining the lives of others, and to think about how they can make the world a better place for everyone. We must protect them when they do this. And we must persuade other parents and teachers that this is how kids get strong and smart.” (Editorial, OS/OS fall 2000)
Longtime readers of Our Schools / Our Selves, some of whom date back to its founding in 1988, will have noticed some fairly significant changes in its appearance, most recently from a journal to a magazine, and then to an online publication. This was done to ensure easier access and, in today’s online world, greater shareability. Through all of this, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives remains committed to thoughtful, critical and accessible analysis and commentary from and about schools and communities, to help drive a progressive vision for education policies and practices.
To that end, and because of the CCPA’s focus on education as both a fundamental public service and a process for civic engagement, we are working to highlight OS/OS as a key digital resource, ensuring it is featured prominently on our web site, and linked more effectively with our larger body of research. We’ve also been working hard to make the content more dynamic, and even easier to share—in standalone pieces, but also as shorter, more focused commentaries on our blog, behindthenumbers.ca.
We’re excited to continue to work with our readers, our supporters, and with communities across the country who have been vital to the success and longevity of OS/OS, bringing critical content and important stories to the forefront of the education debates.
I am so proud to have been part of this resource since we began publishing it in 2000. I continue to be, as we move forward together, and am excited to find new ways of working with contributors and reaching out to audiences with insightful research and timely, thought-provoking commentary. We need to build broad-based commitment to a public education system that supports students and meets their needs while respecting the expertise of education workers and is responsive to broader school communities. And as always, I look forward to continuing this dialogue with all of you.
Erika Shaker is the editor of Our Schools / Our Selves and the Senior Education Researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. You can find her on Twitter at @ErikaShaker.