Equity in Public Education in Canada – Engaging Marginalized Youth and Educators

Young Lives Research | We examine and support youth wellbeing on a complex planet


STATUS: Completed

Working with Concrete Roses Youth Services and Sick Kids® in Toronto, Ontario this project addressed inequalities in public education as experienced by marginalized youth.


Too many Canadian youth remain challenged in achieving academic success in public education based on socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, immigrant, Aboriginal, or mental health status. Decades of research have shown that low socioeconomic status remains the single greatest barrier to school success. Additionally, intersections of poverty, mental health and school disengagement show how poor youth struggling with mental health issues often experience compromised academic outcomes. Finally, teacher education is under examined as a potent location for forging new pathways to equity in public education.


The aims of the project were to:

a) develop and document a process for engaging marginalized youth in curriculum development and delivery in Faculties of Education and public schools,

b) initiate and document an innovative educational curriculum development process that partners stakeholders around youth using methods withfor, and by young people, and

c) develop and document potential impacts of the new curriculum on equity in education through a youth-led, ethnographic study.