2011 Summer Institute on Action for a Just Society: A Focus on Youth and Schools

July 4 – 15, 2011

This Institute is organized by the Centre for Education Law and Society (CELS) and supported, in part, with funding from the Law Foundation of BC. Drawing on research conducted by CELS over the past few years, participants will learn about the importance of engaging students with human and civil rights issues facing our community, nation and the world. The Institute will focus on developing understanding four key themes related to law, justice, society, and education: human rights, citizenship, identity, and sustainability. As well, participants will examine the implications and considerations required for teaching these themes in schools. Particular attention will be given to the role that law plays in addressing these problems, and ways in which citizens can become involved in changing laws or making new laws.

The Institute involves a series of public lectures, featuring prominent guests. These free sessions are open to the public – to students, staff and faculty, the educational community, and other interested persons.

All Public Lectures will be held at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, either at the Diamond University Centre (July 4), or the Halpern Conference Centre (July 6 – 14).

As seating is limited for these free lectures, please email us today at cels@sfu.ca to reserve your seat.

Note: The Institute also is offered as an intensive two-week credit course for SFU students (July 4 – 15), at the Graduate level (Educ. 711-5) or Undergraduate level (Educ. 448-4). The Graduate course runs from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm each day and the Undergraduate course from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm each day. Students registered in the courses will also attend the public lectures. Registration for these two courses is still open.

Public Lecture Schedule

Monday July 4, 1:30 – 3:00 pm

Action for a Just Society: Legal Literacy for Youth Documentary Film Screening by Michael Hawley Followed by a Presentation by Judge Patrick Chen

This film, produced by Michael Hawley, involves legal experts and academics and features BC teachers and students engaged in projects to promote young people’s understanding of law and its application to their lives and the wider society. Following the showing of the film, Judge Patrick Chen of the Provincial Court of British Columbia will speak on the topic of “Law, Youth, and a Just Society”.

Michael Hawley is a freelance photographer, cinematographer and director. Michael has had the privilege of working internationally, filming across North America, Europe, Africa and Central Asia. For the past decade, Michael has directed, lighted and photographed for documentaries, commercials, short films, video games, web-based media and stills. www.mdhphoto.net

Judge Patrick Chen is a Provincial Court Judge and the Administrative Judge of the Robson Square/Richmond Judicial District. After receiving his BA and LLB from UBC, Judge Chen practiced law for 20 years, and was managing partner of the law firm, Chen and Leung, doing both litigation and solicitor work. Prior to obtaining his law degree, he worked in Jamaica as a cartographer, a lecturer in Economic Geography, and as a high school geography teacher. He has served on a number of committees of the Canadian Bar Association, and was Chair of the BC Lottery Corporation and Director of the Board of Langara College.


Wednesday July 6, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

"Just" Volunteerism: A Global Perspective on Issues of Justice and Sustainability Presentation by Yoo-Mi Lee and Mark Jacobs

In this presentation, Yoo-Mi Lee and Mark Jacobs will examine the issues surrounding justice and volunteerism in global contexts. Drawing on their years of experience in a multitude of contexts, they will share some of the successes and challenges involved when working for justice in settings where complex cultural, social, and legal dynamics are at play. The presenters will also discuss how we might educate children (and adults) in ways that inculcate values of justice and sustainability by examining questions such as: Which values are sufficiently universal and unambiguously virtuous that they should be a part of institutional education; and which risk transgressing minority ethical norms or promoting an ugly hegemony of political correctness?

Yoo-Mi Lee and Mark Jacobs are full-time freelance volunteers whose projects are "all over the map", both literally and figuratively. Their principal projects in recent years have been in the fields of solid waste management, regional planning, development of fuel- efficient biomass cookstoves (development and humanitarian relief contexts), and a children's peace project in India and Pakistan. They have lectured and written on the dynamics of collective volunteerism in secondary schools, colleges, graduate schools, and international conferences. Yoo-Mi also manages a web portal for South Asian development news and information, a website that disseminates inspirational video content, and leads volunteer teams removing invasive species from Pacific Spirit Park. Mark practiced law for 19 years and, in addition to his other projects, manages a biotechnology start-up.

* There will be a reception following this presentation: 4:00 – 5:00 pm.

Thursday July 7, 1:30 – 3:00 pm

The Environment, Citizenship & Student Action: Law-making from the Ground Up Presentation by Joan Parsonson

Reflecting on the work of Sobel, Orr and others, this workshop is a visual sharing of several projects that engaged students to think “outside the box” and to challenge existing environmental policies and practices in their school and their community. Students worked in a cross disciplinary fashion involving multiple stakeholders to develop vacant land, foster a bee habitat, cultivate sustainable agriculture, change food practices, and to share their ideas internationally through a joint venture in China. This session examines the “why’s” and “how’s” of when to address sustainable issues in teaching practice and how an inquiry model can act as a guide for both student and teacher. It also addresses the laws that inhibit and the laws the enhance change, and how to go about influencing these systems.

Joan Parsonson holds a BEd in Policy and Administrative Studies from the University of Calgary, a Post Baccalaureate Diploma from SFU focusing on the Integration of First Nations and Multicultural Curriculum, and a Master’s degree from SFU with a focus on citizenship toward sustainable communities and effective decision-making. Part of SFU’s Centre for Education Law and Society research team, her focus is research-based learning – community- based environmental opportunities for citizenship development in Burnaby schools. A classroom teacher for 24 years, her students have been recipients of several Provincial and Civic Environmental awards and Joan has been awarded an Environmental Communications Award for her work with students and the community. She also has extensive experience in private sector training development, Ministry of Education curriculum writing and development and delivery of graduate diploma courses, Faculty of Education, SFU Field Programs.

Friday July 8, 10:30 am – 12:00 Noon

“You were born ugly and you’ll die ugly too”:
Online Freedom of Expression and Youth Culture Presentation by Wanda Cassidy, Karen Brown and Margaret Jackson

Technology is increasingly becoming the tool of choice for bullies, with over 35% of students in BC schools reporting participating in cyber-bullying activities. Not only are other students becoming the victims but teachers are as well. Cyber-bullying affects the health and wellbeing of recipients and this has consequences for school culture and society as a whole. This presentation reports on the results of two studies conducted in BC schools, which involved student surveys, educator interviews and a parents’ questionnaire. The extent of cyber-bullying, a description of who cyber-bullies and their victims, the means used for cyber-bullying, reporting practices, as well as solutions posed by students, teachers and parents are reviewed. The issue of freedom of expression is explored within the context of youth culture. An ethic of care theoretical frame is used to examine the solutions posed by participants.

Wanda Cassidy is an Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Education, Law and Society in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Cassidy’s work is in law-related education and social justice, the ethics of care, marginalized youth, and cyber-bullying/cyber-civility. She was recently awarded the 2011 Isidore Starr Award for Excellence in Law-related Education by the American Bar Association. Her research on cyber-bullying has been featured in the media, and with the recent award of a SSHRC Standard Research grant, she will extend this research in schools to examine cyber-bullying at the university level in Canada.

Karen Brown is a Criminologist who studies victims and perpetrators of anomalous behaviours. Dr. Brown has completed two recent studies (provincial and national) of violence, threats ad aggression against Canadian lawyers (Brown & McAllister, 2006a and 2006b), in addition to her research on cyber-bullying in the public school system. She is the Project Coordinator with the Centre for Education, Law and Society in the Faculty of Education at SFU.

Margaret Jackson is a Professor Emerita in the School of Criminology at SFU and is the Director of the Research Institute FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children. She was previously principal investigator for a Ministry of Justice study on child abuse and has been involved in most Alliance of Canadian Research Centres on Violence research projects. Other research areas of interest include criminal justice policy analysis; bullying and cyber-bullying and sociocultural factors impacting girls’ experiences of violence in their lives.

Monday July 11, 10:30 – 3:00 pm

Lesson Plan: The Story of the Third Wave*


Presentation by Executive Producer Philip Neel and two of the film’s participants: Ron Jones, teacher & Mark Hancock, student
Film and response (10:30 am – 12:30 pm)
Interactive workshop with Ron Jones (1:00 – 3:00 pm)

In this provocative 76 minute documentary, directors Philip Neel and David H. Jeffery look back at 1967's notorious Third Wave project. Originally designed by Cubberly High teacher Ron Jones to teach his well- heeled Palo Alto pupils (including a teenaged Neel) about the roots of fascism, the experiment proved to be more successful than anyone could have anticipated...or feared. Adopting a compelling oral history approach, the film’s narrative explores the five days of the movement, in which the students started out as a cooperative unit until informers were assigned by Jones. As members are recruited and trials were held, even non-informants quickly turned on other members in their quest to ace the assignment. Over the decades, the experience would inspire articles, movies, and a novel that has become required reading in several countries. In the introduction, Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who created the Stanford Prison Experiment, provides a succinct thesis for this fascinating film, “The human mind has infinite power to justify any behavior.”

Ron Jones is the teacher who conducted the “Third Wave” experiment with students and is featured in the documentary “Lesson Plan”. Removed from his job as a result of this experiment, Ron moved on to teach in other venues, in particular to work with the physically and mentally disabled in theater and sports, empowering the disabled to speak for themselves. He provided the disabled with a celebrated place in the community from which they were previously excluded. Today, Ron Jones volunteers teaching poetry for the mentally disabled in San Francisco at Creativity Explored and coaching his granddaughter’s 5th grade girls basketball team. He performs regularly on local stages as a poet and spoken word artist. Labeled the “Poet of Punk” Ron performs regularly in local bars, studios, and theaters.

Mark Hancock is an Associate Producer of the Third Wave documentary “Lesson Plan”, and one of the original students in the class. He is the class historian, and manager of the Wave FAQ resource site at wwwthewavehome.com. With a degree in Architecture from Cal Berkeley, he is in the midst of a career shift into community servce in the nonprofit sector from a previous career in real estate development. He will enter the Executive Master of Nonprofit Leadership program at Seattle University this fall.

Philip Neel is the Executive Producer of the Lesson Plan documentary and was one of the original 30 students from “The Third Wave”. Philip Neel graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Motion Picture/Television production. He started working at the CBS Network and later became the Co-Producer on David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. He is currently working on the series Franklin & Bash, and teaches editing at USC. This is his first feature film.

* Due to the two-part nature of this presentation, a light lunch will be served around 12:30 pm. Participants are welcome to only attend the morning session, if their time is limited.

Tuesday July 12, 1:30 – 3:00 pm

Law and Education: Natural Allies or Strange Bedfellows? Presentation by Michael-Manley-Casimir and Kirsten Manley-Casimir

Increasingly law and education intersect in matters of policy and practice. While both law and education are normative enterprises, their normative character suggest they are natural allies in the quest for social justice; sometimes, however, they seem to be strange bedfellows. This lecture discusses this tension with illustrations from case law.

Michael Manley-Casimir is a Professor and former Acting Academic Vice-President and Provost at Brock University. He received his Ph.D. (1976) from the University of Chicago. Prior to his appointment as Dean of Education at Brock in 1998, Dr Manley-Casimir spent 24 years in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. His particular interests lie in the intersection of law and educational policy. With Wanda Cassidy he established the Centre for Education, Law and Society at Simon Fraser University. He recently completed his LL.M. through the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia investigating the meaning of ‘freedom of conscience’ in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Kirsten Manley-Casimir is a research lawyer at the Law Commission of Ontario. At the LCO she has worked on projects relating to disability law, older adults and the law and vulnerable workers in precarious employment. Kirsten completed her degree in Honours English at York University and a Bachelor and Masters of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is currently completing her PhD in law at UBC. Her areas of expertise include Aboriginal self-government, the impacts of resource exploitation on Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal title and rights, and the duty of consultation and accommodation. Kirsten has acted as Co-Director of the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governance at Osgoode Hall Law School for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic terms.

Wednesday July 13, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Media Literacy for Social Justice Presentation by Paulina Semenec

This presentation will have students investigate the role of media literacy on student understanding of social justice. Because media and popular culture are all around us, and youth are engaged with, and invested in them, using media literacy to enhance social justice education is rich with potential. This interactive presentation will lead the group through a media analysis method with popular kid culture texts, and investigate the utility of these activities for working with youth. There will also be handouts available that overview some key ideas and resources in media literacy, an overview of copyright law and other legal issues related to using media with students.

Paulina Semenec is a graduate student in the Faculty of Education at SFU. Her research is in the field of media literacy with youth, and she utilizes visual methods in her research. She is currently working as a graduate facilitator at the Student Learning Commons at the University and as a research assistant on various projects.

Thursday July 14, 1:30 – 4:00 pm

Youth, Schools and Civil Rights Presentation by David Eby

Balancing the rights of students with the need for a secure and safe teaching environment is a challenge for teachers and administrators. Human rights lawyer and educator David Eby discusses teaching rights to kids, balancing rights in schools, and the BCCLA's free teaching resources. www.bccla.org

David Eby is the Executive Director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, a lawyer and an Adjunct Professor of Law at UBC, President of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The winner of the 2010 Renate Shearer award for human rights from the UN Association in BC and the Human Rights Coalition, David is a regular commentator on local and national news, and, among other reports and papers, is the author of The Arrest Handbook: A Guide to Your Rights.

Action for a Just Society Public Lecture Series Organizing Committee

Dr. Kumari Beck, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, SFU
Dr. Karen Brown, Project Coordinator, Centre for Education, Law and Society
Ms. Ann Cardus, SFU Administrator, Centre for Education, Law and Society
Dr. Wanda Cassidy, Associate Professor & Director, Centre for Education, Law & Society
Mr. Patrick Clarke, Educational Consultant (retired, Professional Development, BCTF)
Ms. Joan Parsonson, Teacher, Burnaby Mountain Secondary School
Dr. Özlem Sensoy, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, SFU

For information on the Centre for Education, Law and Society at Simon Fraser University, we invite you to visit our website at www.cels.sfu.ca or contact us at cels@sfu.ca.