What does teaching and learning entail in the twenty-first century – a century in which the X generation wants more from teachers than the usual open book styles of knowledge delivery?
Twenty-first century learning and teaching must be transformed to reflect the changes in Canada’s new urban environments. To do this, as educators we must engage in research, dialogue and activities that inform on what constitutes the urban as well as the encounters that young people have with it beyond the walls of the classroom. That is, in order to meaningfully teach the X generation, as sources of knowledge production, we must consider urban geographies, structures (e.g. buildings), together with other multidimensional sources of student engagements including networks of communication, histories, and the relationships learners develop with each other. The New Urban Environment brings to the fore all of the complex challenges and opportunities for diverse groups of people living productive democratic lives in an increasingly urbanized world. Named after the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first black woman elected to the Canadian Parliament, The Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment will enrich a multitude of activities at York University with research and academic expertise in the areas of educational policy and practice, immigration, community engagement, and cultural diversity. The Chair will support Canada’s next generation of teachers, educational leaders and researchers working to improve schooling in metropolitan cities.