Seeking equity for mental health in public education in Ontario: a critical discourse analysis of four policy documents
thesisposted on 2022-10-05, 17:38 authored by Shawna Lee
Through the use of critical discourse analysis (CDA), this research study conducts a comparative policy analysis which deconstructs the implicit and explicit policy components representing children‘s mental health in the revised Health and Physical Education Curriculum (2010), Realizing the Promise of Diversity: Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy (2009), Ideas and Shared Practices: Foundations for a Healthy School (2006), and Caring and Safe Schools in Ontario: Supporting students with special education needs through progressive discipline, kindergarten to grade 12 (2010). Underlying assumptions and contradictions regarding children‘s mental health in these policy documents are identified. Findings indicate that mental health remains misunderstood, poorly represented, and highly stigmatized in Ministry of Education policy documents, and that neither separately, nor together, are these policies sufficiently able to educate and address the reality of mental health challenges and mental illness among children.