POL 397 Y1 (Y) Research Participation
Clinton Street School Project
Instructor: Professor Robert Vipond
This research participation course will engage students in helping to produce a history of Clinton Street Public School in Toronto’s west end. Founded in 1888, Clinton School has served as a “gateway school” for large numbers of first and second generation Canadian immigrants: largely Jewish in 1920s, 1930s and 1940s; mainly Italian and Portuguese in the 1950s and 1960s; and a more eclectic (and global) mix thereafter. The history of immigration and integration in Canada is broad, deep and contested. Yet despite the fact that schools are critical to the integration of potential citizens, historical studies of schools as institutions of integration are surprisingly few and far between. What was it like, as a student from an immigrant family, to attend school in Toronto? In what ways did efforts to “Canadianize” students change over the decades? Are there lessons to be learned from this historical experience that might inform current policy? These are the sorts of questions this history of Clinton School seeks to answer.
Seminar Structure: The first semester of the course will build students’ knowledge of the context that animates the history of Clinton School. Operating in seminar format, we will read and discuss literature on the history of Toronto, education, immigration and selected ethnic groups. We will also canvass various literatures (including works in political science, sociology and psychology) to find the appropriate theoretical lens (or lenses) to understand the experience of integration.
The second semester will begin with an introduction to various methodological issues that stem from research that mixes quantitative and qualitative methods. This will lead directly to the final (and principal) requirement for the course, namely an individual research initiative that contributes directly to the larger book project. In this regard, the “default” initiative will have students leave the classroom to organize and conduct a number of oral histories with Clinton graduates from various decades. But other sorts of research studies (for instance, ones that analyze census data or employ digital mapping techniques) will also be possible.
Eligibility: Students in the 3rd or 4th year of the POL program who have maintained a GPA of 3.5. Professor Vipond will accept up to a maximum of 8 qualifying students to participate in this work.
Note: Priority in enrolment will be given to students who have completed SSC 199Y1 Y (Public, Private, and the Liberal State).
Requirements: Students in the seminar will complete the following:
- 2 short papers (in the form of literature reviews): (20% each) due in the first semester/early in the second semester
- 1 major research project: (60%), due before Friday, April 5, 2013
Time: Tentatively, the class will meet weekly in the first semester. The time and place are to be agreed within the group. Students interested in participating should try to assure that they have a slot available in their schedules to accommodate such meetings.
Applications: Students interested in registering for this project should first contact Professor Robert Vipond by email (email@example.com) before August 20, 2012 for an interview. Professor Vipond will notify students of their acceptance no later than August 31. Those accepted will be required to complete the Research Opportunity participation form, which is available from the Undergraduate Office (3027 Sidney Smith Hall). This form must be approved both by the instructor and by the Undergraduate Director before registration for the course can be completed. These deadlines will be extended only if there are places available in the project after August 31st.
Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org