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FROM THE OJEN BLOG

Courtrooms & Classrooms: Introduction to OJEN’s School-Based Programs

Ontario’s teachers are a tremendous asset in our mission to develop the legal capability of young people. By working with teachers, OJEN benefits from their pedagogical expertise, relationships with their students, and commitment to community life. This ensures that we share information about the law and the justice system in a way that prepares young people to engage with legal issues in their own lives, whenever they need to do so. Therefore, OJEN’s Department of Educator Support works to build relationships with teachers and to offer tools to support their programming, at the same time as they support our mission.

Courtrooms and Classrooms

OJEN’s most recognisable and broadest-reaching school-linked initiative is our Courtrooms and Classrooms programming. These programs reach hundreds of teachers and tens of thousands of students each year.
They entail facilitating school trips to local courts and arranging legal experts to speak in classrooms.

Goals of our Courtrooms and Classrooms programming include:
 

  • Providing teachers with an opportunity to engage students through new experiences
  • Supporting the capacity of teachers to teach, through building their own and their students’ understanding of the content and practice of the justice system
  • Being the focal points in a teaching unit or program, as central activities to guide topic areas and dictate teaching activities
  • Helping young people understand how they can use the justice system to contribute to healthy social engagement and community development, either as professionals or capable, knowledgeable and confident individual advocates and decision-makers.

Moreover, teachers bringing students to court expose them to real-life justice processes and the individuals working in the system. As a result, this interaction helps clarify students’ understanding of the system and how people can contribute to it.

Additionally, justice volunteers in classrooms provide teachers with clarity around employment pathways, complex legal questions and the concrete nature of their work. They can provide expert coaching and judging for teachers using mock trials and other experiential programs to engage students.

Participate in Our Program

Both branches of the Courtrooms and Classrooms program are available throughout Ontario. To request a speaker, visit our form. To book a trip to court, visit our courthouses page. For more information, please contact info@ojen.ca.

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