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Showing posts from February, 2014

My Name is Dan and I'm a "Left-Wing Sports Fan"

With the Olympic Games in Sochi off to a start, I thought this would be as good of time as any to write this short confessional blog.


Dear "left-wing progressive" friends,

I like sports. I know you don't like to hear that or understand why someone such as myself would find sports appealing, but it's true. I was privileged enough to play on team sports for most of my childhood and loved that experience. I loved the camaraderie of my teammates, the competition, and the values of team work and cooperation that I learned from coaches, peers, and parents.

To this day, I still enjoy watching and playing hockey and baseball (I even watch the Olympics). However, I have a profound disdain for the culture that is created within sports by corporate mainstream society. The corporate controlled and hyper-masculine nature of major sports is disturbing and problematic. It justifies Marx's critique that cultural products like sports are a bourgeois distraction from the str…

Teachers and Twitter: What's the Point of Twitter Chats?

Twitter has been an invaluable resource for me since I began using it in April of last year. I have received support, shared resources, and learned a ton from peers and colleagues who I've had the chance to interact with. I've even had the chance to meet some educators here in Edmonton who I probably never would have known about if it wasn't for twitter.

One of the first things I learned about twitter was that many teachers participate in twitter chats about specific topics. I soon started to join education chats to interact and learn from others. However, what I've noticed, and why I haven't participated in many lately, is that teacher twitter chats do not have much room for critical dialogue on issues that impact education.

Too many twitter chats seem to be an exchange of platitudes and buzzwords without much meaning or critical lens. To be fair, I have been just as guilty as anyone with this, but as professionals we need to do a better job of embracing a critica…

Education and Poverty: A Call to Action

This article was originally published in Edmonton Social Planning Council's Spring 2013 fACTivist.  (

Picture yourself as a 17-year-old living in inner-city Edmonton. Due to family instability, you find yourself sleeping on the streets, in a shelter, or maybe in the river valley, if the weather is nice enough. You find it difficult to negotiate street life as you have constant insecurity around food and having a safe place to go. Since you are homeless, you find public places to spend your time, such as the library, parks, and the mall. However, since you don't have many clothes, your appearance can be deemed "unsightly" and you are constantly harassed by security and police officers for loitering. Despite the challenges that you face on a day to day basis, you are a survivor of your environment and believe that getting an education is your key to improving your situation.

Unfortunately, as you start to at…