During the past thirteen years, VIS has been at the forefront of pre-service teacher education and professional development. Voice Integrative School’s philosophy provides an ideal environment for student teachers from local universities to engage in educational research, undergo practicum placements, and develop cutting-edge ideas as well as practical teaching strategies and tools.
After 18 years, we have decided to sever our relationship with OISE and York University to make room for Masters and Doctoral researchers in education across Canada. VIS is always willing to review applications that reflect academic research in the field of education.
- From Dr. Susan Schwartz
I find VIS to be one of the most welcoming, engaging, and inspiring school environments – definitely one of my favourite schools and a highlight for me during the two month-long practice teaching blocks each year. Because of the exemplary leadership and teachers at VIS, our teacher candidates, who might spend one or more practicum blocks out of four at VIS, blossom into confident teachers and leaders. They always return from their teaching at VIS with greater depth of knowledge and many insights about teaching and learning, and they are often enthusiastic about continuing to work in this dynamic environment. In fact, over the years, a number of stellar teacher graduates have started their careers as teachers at VIS.
As a laboratory research school, VIS offers our teacher education program a warm, open, and flexible environment in which to see exciting and current educational initiatives in action, such as global education and the arts, issues-based literacy, mathematics, and science, current events and history coming to life through drama, critical thinking, media and technology, student-led conferencing, e-portfolios, and reflective practice. This year, a new professional development opportunity is in the planning stages. We at OISE are excited about the valued mentorship and rich teaching and learning experiences that our teacher candidates gain at VIS!
Thank you to all of the teachers at VIS for your passion and commitment to education, and for your strong support of our teacher education program and partnership!
- Esther Sokolov Fine - Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, York University
“I have been closely connected to Voice Integrative School since before it first opened in a church on Kingston Road. I have seen it sprout, grow leaves, and blossom. It is an exquisite flower. Whenever I visit the school I see creations and hear voices that surprise and delight me. VIS is education at its best. It is an ongoing and ever-growing demonstration of what kids and teachers can become and achieve, when circumstances encourage and allow. The school nurtures, challenges, promotes dialogue and inquiry, and models inspired ways of teaching and learning. There is an integrity in that building. Curriculum, democratic values and human interaction interconnect there in ways that make sense to me and to teachers and children. I love spending time at the school. I love sending student teachers there. I am not one to exaggerate.”
- Mark Young - Principal, The Abelard School
“Voice alumni have been coming to us for the last four years, and without exception, they have all been extraordinary students. Their approach to education is fresh and determined, but they are also citizens of the world: their framework is expansive, their personalities generous.”
- Amy Pitt - YorkU, Faculty of Education, Concurrent Program in Faculty of Children’s Studies, Honours 2011-2012
“From the moment I walked through the doors of VIS, I knew it was no ordinary school. The learning environment was truly holistic and inspiring. Every staff member and student welcomed me into their unique space and offered me numerous, meaningful avenues to grow and learn as a teacher candidate and lifelong student through a Global education perspective. I was given an opportunity to observe, conduct research and engage in conversation with, as well as facilitate extensive learning opportunities for a diverse group of students in a democratic way that honored their unique culture as individuals. The relationship I shared with my mentor teacher was dynamic and reciprocal. She was supportive of my unique and creative ideas and engaged with me in regular reflexive conversations before, during, and after lessons and units with our students. I had an amazing year at V.I.S that has forever changed me as a Global educator and as a person and I’m so grateful for that.”
- Katie Bruce - M.T. Program, OISE, University of Toronto, 2010-2011
“VOICE was an incredible place to come to work each day. As a student teacher from the MT program at OISE, I felt the environment, faculty and students provided the motivation and inspiration to be my very best each day. I felt supported to take risks in the classroom and to build meaningful relationships with my students and fellow teachers. Marie’s philosophy of education transcends each physical space and lesson, provoking reflection among students and teachers alike as they work through each day. The students are incredibly energetic, inquisitive, motivated and most importantly, content. Each aspect of the day, student trips, special events and sequencing of the school year has been purposefully thought out and designed to thoroughly address the academic and personal needs and goals of the students. VOICE truly is a place for adolescences to achieve the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to transfer to excellence in their lives. Likewise, VOICE has prepared me to be a confident and passionate leader in my classroom and school.”