Professor Emerita Esther Fine publishes new book exploring public alternative schools in Toronto

A new book co-edited by Professor Emeritus Esther Fine examines the unique phenomenon of public alternative schools in Toronto and other large urban areas.

Alternative Schooling and Students Engagement book coverAlternative Schooling and Student Engagement, Canadian Stories of Democracy within Bureaucracy provides a history of the alternative school movement in Canada and examines the ways in which the movement meets the needs of children and youth when traditional school structures fail to do so. The book addresses concerns raised over ‘traditional schooling’ ex. Common Core in the US and presents a comprehensive study of race and other factors that influence students who do not thrive in traditional settings.

Although schools of this nature have existed for more than a century, very little has been written about the alternative school movement. Many of the chapter authors and contributors are current and former York Faculty of Education faculty, as well as former graduate and pre-service students. The book draws attention to the issue of alternative schooling to help make it more accessible to a wider audience.

Fine’s scholarly interests include Peacemaking and conflict resolution, diversity and social justice, alternative models of schooling, language and literacy and creative writing. She taught in the Faculty of Education at York University since 1991 until her retirement in 2015. Prior to joining the Faculty of Education at York, she was an elementary teacher with the Toronto Board of Education where she taught in downtown public housing communities and alternative programs, including four years of teaching at the Downtown Alternative School.

She is the author of numerous publications, articles and papers and continues to speak on the topic of conflict resolution in schools.

An official book launch event will be held on Friday December 1st, 6:45 – 9:30pm in the Nexus Lounge (12th floor) at OISE UT – 252 Bloor Street West. All are welcome to attend.