Volume 2, Issue 4 (DECEMBER ISSUE 2021)                   johepal 2021, 2(4): 7-25 | Back to browse issues page

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Rezai-Rashti G, Zhang B, Abdmolaei S, Segeren A. A Critical Policy Analysis of the Ontario Equity and Inclusive Strategy: The Dynamics of Non-Performativity. johepal 2021; 2 (4) :7-25
URL: http://johepal.com/article-1-149-en.html
Abstract:   (1287 Views)
Institutions of higher education across Ontario are increasingly expressing their commitments to diversity and inclusion through the development of various initiatives, including the implementation of policies that elucidate institutional promises of equity. Few studies have examined such policy efforts in Canadian higher education, but we suggest that insights into school board policies can help to inform a critical analysis of equity policies in universities. This paper is part of a larger project that investigates the enactment of Ontario’s equity and inclusive education strategy across all school boards in the province. In 2009, the Ontario government mandated all 72 school boards to develop a policy on equity and inclusive education. Drawing on theories of critical policy analysis, this paper provides an analysis of the policies drafted by eight school boards in southwestern Ontario during 2019-2020. Our analysis suggests that these policies largely follow verbatim transcriptions of the Ontario Ministry of Education’s equity policy, and fail to construct localized policies that include procedures, enactment strategies, and evaluation methods that respond to existing challenges within each local context. Drawing on the work of Sara Ahmed (2012), and based on our review of policy documents, our analysis suggests that equity policies function to protect the institution and its image rather than challenging institutional inequities. Ultimately, we argue that these policies are “non-performative” and fail to address systemic inequities in the education system. The implications of this for higher education will be discussed.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2021/10/6 | Accepted: 2021/12/23 | Published: 2021/12/30

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