370: Youth, Education, and Marginality by Tilleczek and Ferguson

by Gerard


370: Tilleczek, Kate & H. Bruce Ferguson, eds. Youth, Education, and Marginality: Local and Global Expressions. Waterloo, ONT, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013. 247 pp. ISBN 978-1-55458-634-9.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Sciences
  • 370: Education

This is another one of those books that I will trudge through and no one will get very excited about. Editors Kate Tilleczek and H. Bruce Ferguson, in Youth, Education, and Marginality, bring together a collection of essays on social reform and education to highlight the issue of youth marginalization in Canadian schools. Their goal to pair both professionals’ views with that of the children themselves to show that while both groups understand the issues, it is up to everybody else to help them overcome them.

To be fair, I don’t really have a deep understanding of the education system in Canada completely, but the twin issues of privilege and access to education were easy to relate to. In Canada, indigenous populations get the short end of the scholastic stick, with many of their schools existing as run-down shacks. Learning in squalor is no way to convey the virtues of an education. But it’s not just the indigenous that are marginalized in Canadian society. Traditional minorities—gay students, black students, special needs students, and students from poor families—also bear the burden of social ills when it comes to their education.

Tilleczek and Ferguson inclusion of artwork, poetry, and conversations from actual youth is especially poignant. Their words and pictures reflect an ongoing issue with education, which usually manifests itself in the high school years in higher drop-out rates and teen pregnancy. Their answer to these issues is an environment where teachers, administrators, parents, and even the students are part of the education process, each hoping gain a bit of equity in the fight for a better tomorrow. While I wouldn’t rush around and recommend this book to everyone I meet, I would say that was unexpectedly eye-opening.