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About Us

Address issues of inequity (social, economic, and political) for historically marginalized, and racialized youth and communities through the promotion of high expectations and individual student need.

In the context of COVID-19, it is important that educators, teacher candidates, and students address and acknowledge the difficulties and limitations of our current contexts and work to build healthy educational practices.

Engage deeply with teacher identity as a means to understand the decision-making process. Development of praxis that ensures families and communities and all of the cultural richness of the school are drawn upon in taking up curriculum

Prioritize and provide learning for teacher candidates to build professionally appropriate relationships built on care and compassion as a model for learning. Ensuring students understand their potentials and possibilities rather than enacting an educator's deficit thinking.

Utilizing Digital citizenship as something an ever-emerging form of curriculum where the personal and historical intersect. Asking why it matters to urban schools in Ottawa in the context of Covid 19

Acknowledge and address oppression in the curriculum and classroom such as racism, sexism, colonialism, classism, and ableism, and root practice in the continuous learning and unlearning of such concepts

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UCC Team Leads

Linda Radford

Linda Radford has been co-leading the Faculty of Education’s Urban Communities Cohort since 2015. Her certification as a teacher comes from Nova Scotia,  where she did both her B.Ed (St. Mary’s) and MA in English (Dalhousie).  After over ten years of teaching from the primary to secondary and college level in Nova Scotia and Ontario, she returned to graduate studies at the University of Ottawa to do her PhD in Education focusing on pedagogies of reading as a means of learning and unlearning by considering one’s own prejudices and attachments to certain ideas. 


Specializing in anti oppressive practices, Dr. Radford supports teacher candidates to design inclusive and dynamic learning environments. She has extensive experience in curriculum design (K-12) that takes an interdisciplinary, integrative approach and aims to open a range of entry points for learners, especially in regards to students exploring their own issues of living.  She brings theory to practice in her work with teacher candidates in her core courses PED 3141, 4141, 3150, 3151 and 4177.  In 2015, Dr. Radford’s work was recognized by a Faculty of Education teaching award.

In partnership with educational leaders in the field, Dr. Radford supports teacher candidates to participate in critical  social action projects that target equity and youth mobilization projects in school communities.  As a volunteer, Dr. Radford supports a number of community initiatives such as Hillcrest Antiracist Community council, Mamawi Together, the Equity Knowledge Network and Project of Heart.  Alongside her work in education, Dr. Radford is busy keeping up with her four children and the adventures of everyday life.

Shari Orders

Shari Orders has been teaching in the Faculty of Education since 2012 and assumed the role of co-lead of the Urban Communities Cohort in 2018.  An OCT certified Junior/Intermediate teacher with a specialist in Health and Physical Education, Dr. Orders has taught in two Ontario school boards. Dr. Orders is a former national high jump champion (1986), varsity athlete (UToronto), and track and field coach (Western U).

Dr. Orders’ journey as the mom of two exceptional learners prompted her to pursue a PhD in inclusive education. Her research interests focus on the social construction of exceptionalities, the advocacy and decision-making experiences of parents of children with identified exceptionalities, and the school experiences of students with diverse learning needs. A number of her publications have focused on the educational barriers experienced by exceptional and marginalized students, and the roles of administrators, educators, parents, and learners in facilitating student success and well-being. 

Trained in restorative practices, Dr. Orders strives to help teacher candidates create healthy, safe, and supportive learning environments using a proactive and inclusive approach.  Restorative practices are infused throughout her teaching and are the primary focus of an elective course offered to second year teacher candidates (PED3139).

In 2019 Dr. Orders was awarded Faculty of Education’s Part-Time Professor Award, recognizing excellence in teaching and contribution to student life. 

In the spring Dr. Orders is often found at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility where she shares her love of high jumping with local high school athletes and teacher-coaches. She also enjoys gardening, cooking, and canoe camping with her family.