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Ryerson Urban Water
Lynda McCarthy

Lynda McCarthy is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at Ryerson University, an Executive Member of Ryerson Urban Water, and National Co-Chair of the Water Dialogues Chapter, International Women’s Forum. Dr. McCarthy is a champion of water education in elementary and secondary schools and throughout life long learning. Dr. McCarthy spearheaded this community engagement on water education in Ontario schools.

Education Experts Workshop #2

The second Education Experts Workshop is being planned for April 2016. This workshop will gather experts on the front lines of environmental and water education in elementary and secondary schools to address the gaps in environmental education in Ontario. The workshop is being lead by Lynda McCarthy and Ryerson Urban Water educators and hosted by Ryerson Urban Water.

The first Education Experts Workshop was held on April 1st, 2015 and brought together principals and teachers from grade schools and high schools, personnel from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, professors from select Faculties of Education, and representatives from select NGOs, extracurricular education centres, and conservation authorities. Ryerson Urban Water educators facilitated roundtable discussions to identify obstacles in the way of children in Ontario receiving sound environmental and water education. A white paper summarizing the findings of the workshop can be found below. This second workshop coined “Roberta Bondar Revisited” will be held in April 2016 and aims to develop concrete recommendations for a shared blueprint forward.


The purpose of the Education Experts Workshop #1 was to produce a plan to advance environmental education in Ontario schools, with a special emphasis on urban water issues. This is part of a broader goal in educating school-aged children and ultimately the voting public on issues surrounding the development of a healthy urban water cycle.

In 2007, the Working Group on Environmental Education led by Dr. Roberta Bondar produced a report entitled “Shaping Our Schools, Shaping Our Future.” This report presented a vision, intended outcomes, and a series of recommendations for an integrated approach to environmental education in Ontario. However, these recommendations have not been consistently implemented. Often, our children are not receiving the environmental education that they need.

This Workshop brings together education experts from elementary and secondary schools in Ontario, the Ministry of Education, post-secondary schools with Education curricula, and community-based environmental organizations to identify obstacles in the way of our children receiving education on environmental issues. This Workshop will be the first in a series of dialogues that will examine these challenges with the intention of developing a comprehensive and shared blueprint to advance environmental and water education in Ontario schools.

The attached document is a white paper summarizing the key findings and suggesting a way forward for environmental and water education in Ontario.

Recommendations from Education Experts Workshop