“Working to make public education everyone’s first choice.”

Special note: Uniting for Children and Youth – UCY

The founding members of Uniting for Children and Youth (UCY) are parents, students, educators, social workers, business people and seniors. They are concerned citizens who believe that we can be doing a better job of looking after our children and youth, and they want to make a difference. UCY is in its developmental stage with May 1st set to be its official launch date. A preliminary website and a FaceBook page give a preview of what to expect.

To support this worthy cause, and to be kept informed of UCY activities, please email contact@ucyottawa.com.

OPERI is supporting UCY, believing that education impacts children’s mental and physical health, and that there are concrete things we can be doing to help ensure every child is properly served by his or her community school.

Links to UCY online media:

You can also follow UCY on Twitter @ucyottawa.


If the traditional school model has outlived its usefulness, as many people are saying it has, then what is the new model, and how do we make the transition?

In searching for answers, it helps to think of education models in terms of a continuum from coercive to non-coercive learning, as shown in the figure below.

Today’s traditional education is not at the far right, and it is moving slowly towards the left. It is a movement with no clear vision of where it is headed, nor how to effectively manage change. OPERI is promoting a pilot program that serves as a starting point for determining the most suitable new model. It’s based on the idea of grounded theory, which in this case means arriving at a new education model through systematic research.

The current debate in education centres around progressive versus self-directed approaches to learning. Peter Gray’s article posted in the Psychology Today blog Freedom to Learn nicely defines the opposing views. The beauty in where we currently stand is that the two camps don’t need to compete against each other. They can work as partners progressing along the continuum until they reach the ideal stopping point. The progressives may realize that they can be less coercive than they originally thought, and those who believe in total non-coercion may realize that some coercion yields the best results. The model that most meets our needs will reveal itself through this process, and the process itself answers how we can make the transition.

The OPERI Facebook group is our primary tool for building awareness of the latest thinking on education. It contains a wealth of articles, videos and catchy quotes. The OPERI Recap is provided to help people manage and share the many items being posted to the group. Join our Facebook group and send us an email to be kept up to date on what’s happening – info@operi.ca.

Below is a sampling of views on the current state of education and what we need to see as important.

Short Videos

Videos from the Ottawa Community