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Teach with context: Using theory for a deeper understanding of law

I used to teach sociology to university students, and one of the things that I liked best about it was the chance to get them to think about really deep connections between social institutions and the cultural values from which they develop. I have done it with secondary students too. With so many of them […]

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Learning Advocacy Skills to Challenge Stereotypes

Recently, I facilitated the culminating session of a six week, advocacy-based program with the residents of Humewood House Sheppard, a resource centre for young pregnant and parenting women. In this program, we worked towards applying some of the skills that professional advocates use, in order to challenge negative stereotypes and public perceptions of young mothers. […]

“Comfort with Conflict” for the Primary Grades

At the core of most legal issues is an unresolved conflict.  Indeed, conflict is an inevitable outcome of living and working with others, and whether or not it results in legal action, it affects everyone’s life at one level or other.  This is true whether one is 7 or 97 years old. Within the scope […]

This is Where We Live: Justice and Community – A Youth Perspective

This video features youth from several GTA neighbourhoods discussing their views on how the justice system impacts their own lives and their communities.  It also includes photographs taken in an OJEN/ROEJ project with Toronto Community Housing – Youth Safety Ambassadors. Funding for the video has been provided through the Vital Ideas Fund at the Toronto […]

The Importance of Justice Sector Volunteers in the Classroom

Aarika Heath practices criminal law in Brampton, Ontario but her first experience in a court room took place nine years ago as a student representing Brampton Centennial Secondary School in the Peel Region Mock Trial Tournament.  Although, at the time she was already passionate about law, she had never set foot inside a court room […]

Youth/Police Relations in Toronto: Young People Speak Out!

Police relations are a frequent topic raised by youth in OJEN/ROEJ sessions throughout the GTA.  Here are some excepts from conversations we’ve had with young people over the last few months.  All of them identified police as a negative influence in their communities and talked about a need to repair and refocus youth-police relationships in […]

The Law Teacher’s Challenge –The importance of Getting the Law Right

The job of teacher, as we know, is not just to transmit information, but of course to develop lifelong skills, engage students’ interest and build their capacity to be responsible citizens. I maintain that the challenge for the law teacher is a little bit more difficult than in other subject areas. Students in a law […]

Building a Better Mock Trial: Don’t Forget the Debrief

In the 8 months I’ve been at OJEN, we have run a lot of mock trials.  A lot of mock trials – dozens, maybe hundreds.  They make up only about a fifth of the programs run by our college and university volunteers (the group I work with most), but that still adds up.  And those […]

Volunteer testimony: why your students should propose “Canada’s Next Top Law”

This is a guest post from Nicole Waskul, a 3rd-year Justice Studies student from the University of Guelph-Humber.  Nicole facilitated 4 “Canada’s Next Top Law” programs in Toronto classrooms in March 2014. Hi there, my name is Nicole Waskul. I have been involved with OJEN as a student volunteer where I have facilitated a couple […]

Interview with Kaitlynn and Quenton – Violence Intervention Ambassadors

Quenton and Kaitlynn are among approximately 30 youth who attend IMPACT ‘n Communities Youth Violence Intervention Ambassadors program; an initiative with Operation Springboard and one of the many community organizations where OJEN/ROEJ delivers justice education sessions.  Their East Scarborough neighbourhood is often in the media due to violence and gang activity.  Quenton and Kaitlynn agree […]

What is Justice Education?

We can make the biggest difference by starting early, and helping people avoid scary, confusing or costly legal problems.  So how do we do that? En francais ci-dessous. This corner of the internet will be devoted to sharing ideas for effective justice education, youth experiences of the justice system, and strategies for making our system […]

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