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Nat Paul

Director of Educator Support

What I do here:

I coordinate a small but feisty group of staff who work to bring meaningful justice education to Ontario classrooms. On a given day, this might mean working on curriculum-linked teaching materials, placing lawyers in classrooms to help with tricky areas of law, organizing mock trials, or running professional development sessions for teachers around the province.

Why I work at OJEN:

I spent quite a while involved with critical social and educational theory, one result of which was a pretty healthy skepticism about whether the formal justice and education systems could live up to their own social justice premises. Each of these institutions, though, provides a really promising site for developing critical thinking, community engagement, and mutual care. When teachers teach law, they teach how collective values are shaped, expressed, and changed. They have a rare opportunity to work at the ‘hearts and minds’ level of cultural change and I’m happy when we’ve made it easier for them to do that.

The most useful thing I learned in school:

The most important thing I ever learned was that all the really interesting conversations happen only after the group has given up on arguing whether something is ‘good’ or ‘bad.’

 

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