Blog

Welcome to the blog for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Posts on this site are the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Federation, its staff or its board of directors. Entries are posted in the language of the author.

Members of the university research community are invited to make guest blog submissions on issues relating to the wellbeing of the humanities and social sciences research and learning enterprise in Canada. Click here to read the Federations’ blog policy. Please contact Lily Polowin at lpolowin@ideas-idees.ca if you wish to propose a blog article. 

Canadian researchers examine impacts of remote learning and rapid changes to education

This past year, policymakers and educators have scrambled to put online learning and radically altered classroom learning protocols in place. How have parents, students, and educators been impacted by these changes? What lessons can we find to guide long-term adaptations for a safe school year? Social science and humanities researchers across the country are seeking answers to these questions and more.

Professor Emma Duerden, the scientific lead of the Developing Brain research program at the University of Western Ontario, is an expert in child cognitive development. Since COVID-19, her research team has pivoted to studying optimal online learning methods for primary school children in Ontario and the impacts of changing school environments on parents’ stress and children’s behaviour.

The first phase of the project investigated children’s shifting behaviours and screen time use during the pandemic. By surveying parents, the researchers have learned that:

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Participation, Representation, and Trust in Racialized or Marginalized Communities as Weapons Against Systemic Racism

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Valerie Leow, J.D. Candidate, University of Alberta 

Systemic racism refers to racism that is embedded in the processes, laws, and regulations of an institution. It extends beyond individual attitudes or acts of racism to encompass broader patterns of harmful or exclusionary policies and treatment of individuals. As a settler colonial state, systemic racism is deeply rooted in every institution of Canada, and continues to be upheld and reinforced to the detriment of racialized and marginalized communities. “Systemic Racism Within the Justice System,” hosted by Correctional Service Canada, called upon a panel of practitioners and advocates who accept and admit that systemic racism permeates Canada’s criminal justice system to discuss the some of the challenges involved in addressing systemic racism and propose solutions to it. Warden Gary Sears and Assistant Warden Management Services Barbara Sagh from the Edmonton Institution,...

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Erasure, Denial and Ignorance

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Anurika Onyenso, Third Year General Management Major, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. 

The “Hedging, Erasing, Absolving, and Other “EDI” Pitfalls: Recreating Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policies, and Praxis” webcast at Congress 2021 was an open event hosted by the ReCreation Collective and University of Alberta. It featured a panel of speakers who discussed the production of EDI policy documents and frameworks and how the language of EDI can either enable or constrain significant institutional change. 

Drawing upon deeply intersectional and prefigurative methodologies and frameworks, panel members from the ReCreation Collective, a gathering of Indigenous, racialized, disabled, Muslim, 2SLGBTQIA scholars and invested practitioners, presented their research findings from a discourse analysis of 143 EDI policy documents from Canadian sport organizations.  

The findings from this research enabled...

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“We need to bring visibility to this issue” - South Ontario residents talk about the threat nuclear waste dumping proposes to their communities

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

A few years ago, the Ontario government committed to nuclear energy generation, with the promise of a thorough and safe plan for dumping nuclear waste in the province. Today, as waste mounts, so does the tension surrounding the incomplete and unsatisfactory waste management plan.  

In today’s session, “Northern Relations, Radiation and Nuclear Waste,” Ontarians talked about the pitfalls of the deep geologic repository site the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is proposing as the solution to Ontario's nuclear waste management.  

Deep geologic repository is a method of nuclear waste management where waste is buried deep underground and stored for hundreds of years as it decays. Dr. Richard Denton, Co-Chair, North America International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) (Nobel Peace Prize 1985)...

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Northern projects you should know about: young people lead change

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

“Northern Inspirations: A New Generation of Voices for Change” began by showcasing a variety of northern initiatives led by young voices. Here are some highlights: 

The Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship is a coalition of 20 youth that is set to last for 20 months, culminating in a Yukon First Nations Climate Vision and Action Plan, to be released in 2022. The fellowship is empowering youth to tackle climate change through collaboration and learning and sharing of traditional knowledge.  

Alaska Youth for Environmental Action Program is a program developed to bring...

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