Political and Social Affairs Division
OF CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION
Canadian History, Geography and Social Studies; Canadian Studies
B. Literacy: An
Essential Participatory Skill
C. Social Attitudes
and Values Education
and Global Citizenship
OF GOVERNMENTS IN CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION
A. Role of the Federal
Government in Canada
and Citizenship Canada
Department of the Secretary of State of Canada
3. Employment and Immigration
Participation in Citizenship Education
Public School Curricula
CONTINUING (ADULT) EDUCATION
CONTRIBUTION OF THE VOLUNTARY
INITIATIVES IN AUSTRALIA
AND THE UNITED
B. The United
for good citizenship is important not only for its effects on politics
and government, but also in relation to community and voluntary activities,
and social and international harmony. While always a general goal of educators
in Canada, this aspect of education did not receive a great deal of formal
attention in the past. Reliance was placed on the home and church, as
well as the school, to instil in young people the principles of loyalty
and adherence to duty that were considered the main components of good
citizenship. In today's rapidly changing world, however, the adequacy
of this traditional approach to citizenship preparation is being questioned
and there is evidence of renewed interest in the topic both in Canada
paper provides information on citizenship education in this country, touching
upon its various aspects and participants in its development and provision,
including governments and the voluntary sector. It is an introduction
to a complex subject, emphasizing its evolution in recent years. A brief
discussion is included of certain relevant developments in Australia,
the United Kingdom, and the United States.
the idea of citizenship was based on the concept of membership in a homogeneous
cultural group, and focused on duties pertaining to the well-being of
that group. In the modern world, however, immigration patterns and improved
international transportation and communications have brought about closer
relationships among different cultural groups within the global community.
With growing heterogeneity of populations and interdependence among nations,
new notions of citizenship are developing and citizenship education has
become an increasingly complex issue.
of citizenship education in Canada have evolved in recent years in step
with global trends. Ideas on the subject, however, were never completely
lacking in this country. From the time of Egerton Ryerson in the mid-nineteenth
century, there was some limited recognition that government in a democracy
had a responsibility for the education of the people who were the source
and, in some cases, administrators of the nation's laws, and who therefore
ought to be capable of enlightened decision-making. In 1848 he observed
that "public education and public liberty stand or fall together."(1)
Some of the school superintendents in Canada West at that time viewed
state education as a means of encouraging a sense of national identity.
Confederation, education developed as a provincial responsibility and
aspects of citizenship education were often related to various concepts
of allegiance (to the Crown, to Canada, and to individual provinces and
localities). With Canada's growth to full nationhood, however, the prevailing
concerns relating to civic education shifted from notions of a generally
passive loyalty to the idea of belonging to and participating in the operation
of an increasingly democratic state.
the 1950s, citizenship had become a concept with a history in Canada.
It could no longer be discussed as merely a legal status, but rather,
it was a composite of four elements: the civil element, concerned with
the rights necessary for basic individual freedoms; the political element,
incorporating the right to participate in political activity; social rights,
relating to standards of economic welfare and security, and finally, the
moral aspect, symbolized by the term "good citizen."(2)
was, therefore, recognized as a legal status conferring civil, political
and social rights, balanced by obligations. Increasingly, educators acknowledged
an understanding by the citizenry of these rights and obligations to be
essential for the maintenance of a democratic system of government.
models of citizenship education have been discussed and various approaches
developed in Canada and elsewhere, stressing to a greater or less extent
the perceived importance of components such as the development of the
capacity for critical participation in society and knowledge of basic
national history and geography, or "cultural literacy." Together,
these various aspects of education encourage the growth of the individual
potential for good citizenship. This entails a learning process that begins
in childhood but does not end there. While the training of children and
youth is an essential part of it, adult education, particularly in a land
of immigrants, is also fundamentally important in facilitating the full
participation of all individuals as citizens in our society. This purpose
of adult education has long been recognized in Canada.
recent years, both in Canada and abroad, the increased attention given
to citizenship education has revealed the wide variety of views that exist
on this subject. In the United Kingdom, Andrew Phillips stated in 1991
that "Citizenship by its very nature will always be a variable and
contested concept, subjected to much academic debate."(3) Similarly in Canada, citizenship has been acknowledged
to be an essentially contested concept.(4)
Citizenship education has come to be interpreted differently among diverse
groups within society, and to be presented from various perspectives in
school curricula across Canada.
efforts are being made in academic circles in this country to develop
a new consensus on the subject of citizenship, and an improved approach
to citizenship education. The Canadian Association for the Social Studies
(CASS) has formed a Committee for Effective Canadian Citizenship Education,
to work with various groups to develop a wider concept of this type of
education and to help coordinate federal and provincial educational initiatives
in this respect.
addition, during research carried out in the Delphi study on citizenship
at the Faculty of Education of the University of New Brunswick, a sample
of existing notions about the concept was surveyed in an effort to reconcile
the wide range of views and to provide some direction to those involved
in citizenship education. Another recent initiative has been the compilation
by Professor Alan Sears, at the University of British Columbia, of a review
of research on the subject in Canada. Although authorities in the field
have yet to reach a final consensus on its essentials, citizenship education
clearly entails a number of main aspects.
OF CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION
facets of learning have come to be associated in Canada with citizenship
education; it may, therefore, be considered from different perspectives.
These include the acquisition of knowledge of Canadian history, geography
and social studies, the development of participatory skills such as literacy
and desirable social attitudes, a respect for and commitment to the preservation
of the natural environment, and an understanding of one's place in the
world and the inter-relationship of nations.
Canadian History, Geography and Social Studies; Canadian Studies
elements of citizenship education were contained in school history courses,
to some extent in geography, and later in social studies. The objectives
of these courses were considered in Ontario by the 1961 Social Sciences
Study Committee. It found that schools tended to treat history as "a
body of knowledge that must be acquired by anybody who is to become a
good citizen" but noted that, in view of the complexity of world
problems, simply learning facts was not enough. The Committee stated,
"if we are thinking of producing responsible democratic citizens,"
students should be able to read currently available information and discuss
it "sceptically, and with some notion of the value of evidence, some
notion of relevance and irrelevance, and some discrimination between facts
and prejudices ... without some ability of this sort, they cannot pull
their weight in the democratic process."(5)
National History Project revealed in 1967 that Canadian students in general
were not achieving this level of understanding from history courses, and
that widely different versions of Canadian history were being taught in
Quebec and in the English-speaking provinces, none of which had much connection
with the world in which the students lived.(6)
there have been course changes since that time, the criticisms still appear
to have some validity. A common Canadian history textbook has not yet
been accepted by all provinces and the emphasis on this subject appears
to have declined. It has generally been subsumed under the rubric of social
studies. Some of these courses contain elements of civics education and
others do not. One authority has stated that, in general, the teaching
of social studies in Canada has tended to be "pretty haphazard and
probably not very well done."(7)
endeavouring to promote growth and achieve excellence in this area are
to some extent, however, swimming against the tide. During a time of rapid
scientific progress and restricted government spending capacity, there
has been a tendency to concentrate on the sciences and technical education
as being vital for the promotion of national economic well-being. Rapid
developments in technology, for example, have created the need for access
to education in computer sciences. During the past several years, provincial
governments have made substantial expenditures to ensure that computer
education programs are available and to keep up or catch up with new trends
and technological developments in that field.
the modern world, there are good reasons to emphasize the importance of
science, engineering and business education. Some educators, however,
including the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), have
warned that the value of studies in the social sciences should not be
underestimated. In a 1988 brief presented to a parliamentary committee,
the CAUT discussed the importance of the social sciences and humanities,
emphasizing their potential for interpreting the social and cultural impact
of technological progress. In addition to acquiring scientific capabilities,
the Association concluded, Canadians "must also know ourselves -
our history, literature, philosophy - if we are to have the self-confidence
to compete as an equal player in the world economy."(8)
the United States, scholars have stressed the significance of the study
of history in the development of individual judgment. The Bradley Commission
in 1988 concluded that learning history helps students to develop a sense
of "shared humanity," and "to question stereotypes of others,
and of themselves; to discern the difference between fact and conjecture;
to grasp the complexity of historical cause; to distrust the simple answer
and the dismissive explanation; to respect particularity and avoid false
studies in general have been a neglected field in this country. The Commission
on Canadian Studies, headed by Professor Thomas Symons, examined the state
of teaching about Canada in our schools and universities nearly two decades
ago, and found cause for concern. The Commission's 1975 Report recommended
that all students in the educational system be required to attain certain
levels of understanding about Canadian political institutions and background
before graduation from high school or university.(10) In 1992, Professor Symons again warned that the teaching,
in universities and colleges in this country, of Canadian subject matter,
"the knowledge base ... necessary if citizenship is going to have
any meaning," remains inadequate, and that it is "ghettoized"
by being taught in isolation, rather than pervasively, throughout the
B. Literacy: An Essential
recognizing the importance of civic education, the study of history and
the social sciences, the need to facilitate such study through the effective
teaching of literacy skills must also be addressed. These skills cannot
be taken for granted in Canada, where the 1987 Southam survey discovered
that about 4.5 million adults were functionally illiterate. In this
country, as throughout the world, illiteracy remains a major obstacle
to the development of the individual capacity for good citizenship in
the modern state.
democracy requires that citizens are able to take part in the nation's
decision-making, and a basic requirement for effective participation is
literacy. This fact was recognized by the International Symposium for
Literacy, held in Persepolis in 1975. Literacy, it has been said, empowers
the individual "both in the psychological and the social sense, and
... sharpens consciousness, creates discontent with the unacceptable,
and adds potential to individual capacity for participation"; in
short, literacy makes modern democracy possible.(12)
C. Social Attitudes and Values
the success of a modern participatory democracy, there are also other
requirements of citizens. They must be "engaged in a shared search
for the common good, and ... cooperate in trying to achieve it. It requires
values, not just of cooperation, but of mutual respect and tolerance for
fellow participants."(13) These
values are represented in democratic social attitudes.
moral aspect of citizenship is implied in the concept of being a "good"
citizen. "This evaluative adjective is not always mentioned, except
in election time and at high school closings. But its unacknowledged presence
is often present and turns the concept of citizenship into an ideal of
justice and duty against which the achievements of people can be measured
and towards which aspirations can be directed."(14)
are expectations in society that its members will not only fulfil the
formal political duties of citizenship, but will also appreciate and support
the established values of the society to which they belong and work toward
the common good. Educators have long struggled with the challenge of imparting
these attitudes to the young, along with formal learning.
Ontario Social Sciences Study Committee noted in 1961, for example, that
directives for teaching social studies included the inculcation in the
students of desirable social attitudes and principles of behaviour. Social
studies were to promote the development among students of "consideration
for others, willingness to accept responsibility and to work with others
..., attitudes of helpfulness and loyalty to friends, home, school and
community" and, in general, of qualities that enable the individual
"to be a good citizen." Co-operation in a democratic group,
these directives recognized, "requires self-control, intelligent
self-direction, and the ability to accept responsibility."(15)
Training to be loyal to school and community was viewed as preparation
for a broader loyalty and patriotism toward one's country. The Committee
observed that using the schools for "moral acculturation" appeared
to be an established custom, and one that was probably inevitable.
the trend in recent decades has been to avoid specific moral training,
some modern school curricula still include the promotion of moral values
as a goal. In the western provinces, for example, the core values of citizenship
education have been identified as "tolerance, cooperation, fair play,
moderation, rationality and critical thought."(16)
In Alberta, a stated secondary school goal is the development of "desirable
personal characteristics such as integrity, honesty, fairness, generosity,
self-esteem, respect for others, responsibility for one's actions, a sense
of justice, tolerance, open-mindedness, respect for the environment, sharing,
stewardship, and cooperation."(17)
Canadian School Boards Association in 1992 recognized that "personal
and social skills that promote self-esteem, individual responsibility
and respect for others should be taught. Graduates should be able to make
moral and ethical decisions."(18)
D. Environmentalism and
and ethical decisions today frequently relate to environmental issues,
often of international significance; respect for the environment, therefore,
and the acceptance of responsibility toward it, have come to be considered
as attributes of good citizenship, both regarding one's own country and
the world at large. The Government of Canada has affirmed, in relation
to its Green Plan, that caring for the environment is one of the responsibilities
of citizenship, and it has acknowledged the need for education that promotes
sensitivity to environmental issues.
environmentally responsible citizen must be not only scientifically informed
but also capable of applying moral reasoning in consideration of an issue.
It has been suggested, therefore, that more should be done in all fields
of study to prepare individuals to think "scientifically, philosophically,
morally, historically, and aesthetically."(19)
awareness of environmental issues encourages a sense of responsibility
not only to one's nation state but to the entire world. The development
of concern about issues that extend beyond national borders fosters international
cooperation and the ideal of world citizenship. An Australian parliamentary
committee considered the international dimension of citizenship in 1989
and recommended that young people "be encouraged to progress beyond
a purely insular view of the world and to become aware of the interdependence
of all nations - in short, to see themselves as `global citizens'."(20)
This has long been the point of view of some Canadian educators.
1958, for example, Dr. Brock Chisholm advised the expansion of school
curricula to include a more universal approach, in order to provide students
with some understanding of various world religions and systems of social
development. He reasoned that the existing barriers in people's minds
to world co-operation and peace are "the inevitable result of the
learning process to which almost all the world's children are subjected"
and that it should be possible to develop a system of education which
will not produce these barriers.(21)
recently, two Canadian writers have noted that Canada's citizenship education
continues to emphasize local, provincial or national perspectives at a
time when the world is becoming increasingly interdependent. Canada's
complex relationship with the rest of the world, they urge, should be
reflected in education that prepares Canadians to be world citizens, to
participate effectively in political and economic processes and to understand
and influence public policy "whether we are talking about energy,
free trade, agriculture, or the environment, in Canada or abroad."(22)
aspects of citizenship education may be included throughout public school
curricula and may also be incorporated in education programs for adults
who leave school early, and for those who are newcomers to Canada.
OF GOVERNMENTS IN CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION
federal and provincial governments in Canada play important roles as facilitators
of programs with citizenship education content or impact. Although education
is largely a matter of provincial jurisdiction, the federal government
is involved in many ways, both directly and indirectly. This paper only
touches briefly on some examples of federal and provincial activities
relating to citizenship education.
A. Role of the Federal
Government in Canada
federal government is responsible for setting the eligibility criteria
and controlling the process for granting Canadian citizenship. It has
also accepted responsibility for promoting citizenship awareness among
the population and working towards the elimination of barriers to full
participation in society. Multiculturalism and Citizenship Canada, the
Department of the Secretary of State, and Employment and Immigration Canada
play the leading roles in fulfilling these responsibilities.
1. Multiculturalism and
Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship "helps new Canadians
become part of Canadian society by promoting literacy, by working to eliminate
discrimination and racism, by educating the public about their rights
and responsibilities as Canadian citizens, by encouraging voluntary action
and by advocating human rights."(23)
1986, the Speech from the Throne declared Canada's commitment to cooperation
with governments, the private sector and voluntary associations to ensure
access to literacy skills for all Canadians. The National Literacy Secretariat
was established that year in the Department of the Secretary of State
to administer a literacy program and encourage cooperative efforts. Because
literacy is essential for full participation in Canadian society, the
Secretariat was subsequently placed within the Department of Multiculturalism
and Citizenship. The National Literacy Program, started in 1988 with funding
of $110 million over five years, has supported various literacy initiatives
including three major research studies on literacy in Canada. The federal
government has supported various literacy projects and activities developed
in cooperation with provincial and territorial governments, voluntary
organizations, business and labour.
Citizenship Registration and Promotion Branch of Multiculturalism and
Citizenship produces booklets and other material to help people applying
for citizenship learn something about the history, geography and institutions
of this country, and about the rights and responsibilities of its citizens.
Instructors' manuals have been prepared, for example, to assist teachers
of an official second language to convey some knowledge of Canadian citizenship
Department has also supported various undertakings and the development
of formal educational materials to foster understanding of multiculturalism
in Canada. Assisted projects include, for example, the production of a
training manual, with strategies in race relations, for the Canadian School
Boards Association, and the 1990-91 national survey of school board programs
addressing multiculturalism, which noted successful models that might
be copied in different parts of the country.
2. The Department
of the Secretary of State of Canada
goals of the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada include strengthening
knowledge about Canada, fostering mutual understanding, and supporting
the full participation of Canadians in their society. The Canada Student
Loans program, a major undertaking of this Department, increases the opportunities
for effective participation in society by making higher education more
accessible to those with demonstrated financial need. Federal statutory
expenditures for student loans increased from some $229 million in 1984-85
to about $456 million in 1991-92. (Funding is also provided for a separate
program in Quebec.)
federal government encourages students to learn both of Canada's official
languages. Federal support for this purpose is provided through inter-governmental
arrangements and through two national programs, the Summer Language Bursary
Program and the Official Language Monitor Program. In 1990-91, the national
contribution for official languages in post-secondary education amounted
to nearly $92 million.
programs supported by this Department include the Canadian Studies Program,
which assists in the development of materials for learning about Canada.
These include relevant books, videos, and computer-based and distance
education materials. The Canadian Studies Directorate, through its "Matching
Dollar" program, encourages private sector support for Canadian Studies
projects. The Knowing Canada Better program assists private, voluntary
initiatives for the promotion of knowledge about Canada and understanding
among Canadians. An example is the exchange of municipal leaders undertaken
with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Department has also, for many years, supported exchange programs for students
and teachers, helping Canadians from different regions to understand one
another better. Open House Canada, for example, has provided opportunities
for many young people to learn about different parts of this country through
reciprocal exchange visits.
3. Employment and Immigration
Department of Employment and Immigration Canada (EIC) provides integration
and settlement services, including reception, counselling and language
training, to new immigrants. Federal settlement programs have been designed
to facilitate their full participation in all aspects of Canadian life
- social, economic, cultural and political.
Department's 1991-95 Immigration Plan recognized the need to strengthen
settlement services to help immigrants and refugees adapt to life in their
new communities. The plan included the establishment of new language training
programs, increasing the number and kinds of opportunities for training.
It is expected that the proportion of new arrivals participating in these
programs will increase from about 28% in 1992 to about 45% in 1995. Under
the Federal Immigrant Integration Strategy and as part of the five-year
plan, new funds of $295 million were provided, in addition to annual expenditures
of $149 million (representing a 43% increase) for improved language training
and settlement programs for immigrants.(24)
(This does not include the funding for Quebec, which has a separate plan.)
language training alone, about $615 million is allocated for expenditure
over the five-year plan, exclusive of Quebec. This represents an increase
of about 60% over previous funding for language training for immigrants.
The new training policy, announced in January 1992, offers flexible training
options, including Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC).
This program, normally offered during an immigrant's first year in Canada,
will place more emphasis on introducing newcomers to shared Canadian values,
rights and responsibilities. LINC accounts for about 80% of EIC language
training funds. Another program, Labour Market Language Training, is geared
to meeting more specific labour marked language requirements.
has also recognized the importance of literacy for full participation
in our society, and has promoted it in activities such as its Stay In
activities of other federal departments may also contribute to various
aspects of citizenship education. Environmental responsibility, for example,
is promoted by Environment Canada. Two new programs of this Department,
with a combined budget of about $61 million, have recently been introduced
as part of the Environmental Citizenship Initiative. The Environmental
Learning Program provides information, encourages responsible habits,
and supports the Canada-wide Sustainable Development Education Program
in the schools. The Community Support Program assists voluntary and community
projects. It has three components: the Youth Environmental Action Fund,
the Volunteers Support Fund, and Community Planning.
addition to these particular programs, the federal government supports
post-secondary education through financial transfers to the provinces
and territories and through government tax allowances or special features
in the tax structure. In 1990-91, the federal government provided about
$5.6 billion in intergovernmental cash and tax transfers for post-secondary
education, not including transfers for official languages education.
Participation in Citizenship Education
Canada, education is a matter of provincial responsibility and the provincial
authorities, therefore, have a major role to play in the formulation and
provision of citizenship education.
Public School Curricula
on citizenship education in Canadian schools are directed by the provincial
ministries of education and there are, accordingly, some variations in
approach. At least to some extent, however, the objective of preparation
for citizenship has been addressed by all public school systems in Canada.
This paper briefly mentions some examples of provincial programs and policies
on citizenship education.
western Canada, school systems have stressed as a primary goal the preparation
of students to be good citizens.(25)
A statement of the "guiding principles" of secondary education
in Alberta, for example, includes "a commitment to meaningful participation
in our democratic society," and "a commitment to educating young
people to assume responsibility for themselves and for the future direction
Canadian school curricula, social studies is generally the home of citizenship
education. A survey of provincial social studies curricula, published
by the Council of Ministers of Education Canada in 1982, revealed that
social studies programs in all provinces appeared to share the main goal
of providing students "with the knowledge, skills, values and thought
processes which will enable them to participate effectively and responsibly
in the ever-changing environment of their community, their country and
the world."(27) In the past, social studies in some provinces
have been specifically linked to the concept of citizenship education.
The 1985 curriculum guide in British Columbia, for example, stated that
"the overall theme of social studies is one of responsible citizenship."(28)
practice, however, this goal of preparation for active citizenship is
often not fully achieved in Canada, partly because in some provinces (Ontario
for example) senior high school courses in the social sciences are optional,
and many students either do not participate in them or do so only minimally.
An Ontario study reported in 1988 that most students in that province
had completed their formal political education by the end of Grade 10,
having studied only one course at the intermediate level with specific
content on Canada's government and legal system. This aspect of the compulsory
history course was covered in some 15 to 18 hours, or only 15% of
the allotted instruction time for the course.
coverage of the subject at that level, the study found, did not ensure
an understanding of Canada's political or constitutional history or system
of government and, in fact, did not have that main goal; the emphasis
was on social history. Further findings were that after Grade 10, when
all history courses became optional, enrolment in them declined greatly;
in Grades 11 and 12, for example, more than double the number of students
enrolled in mathematics, also optional, than in history.(29)
The authors of this study recommended that students be required to demonstrate
a basic understanding of the reasons for Canada's existence and of how
it is governed, before graduation from secondary school.
has also been expressed that the current approach to presenting social
studies in the curriculum has tended to dilute the separate disciplines
of history and geography, each of which previously had a distinct subject
matter and time allotment, with an interdisciplinary mixture of studies
relating to various social science topics and contemporary problems.
including more history or social science in the curriculum, however, will
not of itself ensure adequate political education. The manner of teaching
is also important. The current method of teaching civics has been criticized
by one authority for stressing the structure and institutions of government
while ignoring the dynamics of politics, the role of debate, and the relevance
of politics to real life. He has suggested that reliance on the past interpretation
of "civics" for the citizenship component of education encouraged
a passive view of citizenship, one that should be replaced by a "genuinely
political education, if the schools are to produce informed, participating
Commission on Canadian Studies noted in 1975 the lack of attention to
Canadian content or context in most areas of teaching and research in
Canadian universities and colleges, and its Chairman recently observed
that in "the curricula, the teaching programs and the research of
our colleges and universities...there still are incredible areas of neglect
and imbalance in terms of attention to the Canadian component of the matter
under study."(31) Such neglect
has an effect on the training of teachers. If their perspectives are shaped
by knowledge more relevant to a country other than Canada, they will be
less able to give students an understanding of their own country, its
regions and particular problems. The warning sounded a quarter of a century
ago is still, to an extent, relevant today: "The ready acceptance
of American ideas may be warranted in administration or in the sciences
or mathematics, but in the social sciences it can be injurious to our
own best interests."(32)
there has been insufficient attention to matters of Canadian content or
relevance in higher education, this may also be reflected in the seeming
disinterest on the part of most Canadian historians, during recent decades,
in the development of school curricula, and also in the fact that university
history departments have "attached little or no merit to work with
are other important aspects of higher education relating to citizenship.
The emphasis in education today has changed and adapted to the new information
society, presenting the student with new options, specializations, and
a proliferation of courses. In writing of education needs for the new
technological age, an American university president has noted that information
is now regarded as society's one crucial resource and has questioned what
this portends for citizenship and for the education of citizens. He has
warned of the dangers of offering students a multiplicity of courses deemed
relevant to modern technological progress at the expense of instruction
in the liberal arts, and has explained the need for a new approach to
developing curricula. "Educators need to examine existing curricula
and develop a strategy for the period ahead. Both the liberal and vocational
aspects of our programmes need to evolve continuously as we progress into
the information-based technology age...... What is needed is an approach
to education that is relevant both to life and to work, in a rapidly changing
period in which uncertainty is the main planning factor."(34)
writer has noted that building curricula for the information age has become
a major issue in higher education and has warned that some aspects should
be retained and developed to link specialized and technical studies with
society, its concerns and its values. He has proposed five essential elements
for a new core curriculum, four of which are relevant to citizenship education.
These four are:
about the social goals, public purposes, costs, benefits and ethics
of citizenship to enable a person to judge the course of his actions.
capacity for self-analysis and identity through the study of heritage,
religion, philosophy, and literature.
practice in real-world negotiation, in the psychology of consultation
and in the nature of leadership in the knowledge environment.
global perspective and an attitude of personal responsibility for
the general outcome of public life.(35)
education, therefore, is promoted and carried out in numerous ways through
the formal education systems; it is also an inherent part of many education
plans for adults who left school early, and for those who are newcomers
to Canada. Various programs bring older workers back into the education
world; these include, for example, government-sponsored training, adult
basic education, and language programs. Continuing education opportunities
are offered in educational institutions, through distance education, and
by businesses and voluntary organizations.
1984 about one in every five adult Canadians was taking part in some form
of continuing education and, during the recent economic recession, increasing
numbers of discouraged workers enrolled in educational institutions and
training courses.(36) There are indications
that adult education will continue to be prevalent in the years to come,
particularly in view of changing labour market requirements expected in
the future high technology "information society." The term "lifelong
learning" has come into use in recognition of its importance as a
strategy for coping with technological, economic, and societal change.
has a long tradition of adult education, encouraged by voluntary associations,
such as the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE), and assisted
by governments. An important component of adult education, and what has
been called its "great tradition," is citizenship education.
This includes aspects of "education for immigrants and ethnic groups;
education about public affairs; and education for social transformation."(37)
National Conference on Adult Education in 1946 recognized this main purpose
of adult education: "to awaken people to the possibilities and dangers
of modern life, to help them with knowledge and leadership, and to provide
channels of communication between different cultural, occupational and
social groups so that the solution of human problems may be sought against
the broadest background and in the interests of all. In short, the task
is the imaginative training for citizenship."(38)
This primary purpose of adult education was reaffirmed a decade later
by a joint committee of the National Conference of Canadian Universities
and the CAAE in the following statement:
the voice of each Canadian can be freely heard in the affairs of his
country, the nature of the political, social and economic entity that
is Canada depends upon the judgment and will of all its adults. If their
judgment is to be intelligent in the rapidly changing world of the 20th
century, they must make use of new knowledge to revise their attitudes
and opinions as long as they are alive. There are other good reasons
for adult education, ... but the demands of citizenship are perhaps
the most compelling.(39)
about Canada and its history, geography, and institutions, is an important
component of many adult education programs, whether they be official second-language
programs for new Canadians or university courses for established ones.
Among the growing numbers of adults between the ages of 30 and 64 who
have participated in university studies during the past decade, for example,
most have taken some courses in social sciences, education, and the humanities.(40)
education is important in terms not only of the advancement of individual
and national interests, but of international harmony as well. The need
for adult education with a global perspective was eloquently stated at
the 1960 World Conference on Adult Education, in its concluding Montreal
requires that the countries of the world must learn to live together
in peace. "Learn" is the operative word. Mutual respect, understanding,
and sympathy are qualities that are destroyed by ignorance, and fostered
by knowledge. In the field of international understanding, adult education
in today's divided world takes on a new importance.(41)
CONTRIBUTION OF THE VOLUNTARY
is a close relationship between voluntary organizations, adult learning
and citizenship.(42) Among the several organizations working
in this area, some in the past made the promotion of good citizenship
a specific concern. These included, for example, the Federated Women's
Institutes, the Canadian Federation of University Women, the Canadian
Citizenship Council, the Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire, and
the National Council of Women. Numerous other organizations now participate
in offering some form of citizenship education.
particular, voluntary organizations play an important role in providing
various kinds of assistance for the settlement of new immigrants. A recent
survey has indicated that, although there have been major improvements
in government efforts to assist newcomers, the voluntary community still
provides a wide range of assistance both directly and indirectly by facilitating
access to government services.(43)
from the special services offered, such as the help and guidance for new
Canadians provided by the YW/YMCA and other organizations, the actual
participation of individuals in voluntary efforts also provides opportunities
for them to learn about public issues and the skills to deal with them
in ways appropriate for a democracy. Participation in voluntary activities
leads as well to increased understanding of the functioning of society
and its institutions, and a greater appreciation of the values that motivate
many organizations provide opportunities for adults to learn more about
the meaning of Canadian citizenship and to participate in public life,
others promote an understanding of Canadian society and its institutions,
and encourage the values of good citizenship, among children and young
people. The Rotary Clubs, for example, bring representative senior high
school students from all provinces to Ottawa each year, to gain an understanding
of Canadian parliamentary institutions and their operation. The Council
for Canadian Unity supports the annual Encounters with Canada/ Rencontres
du Canada program, to encourage mutual understanding among young people
from all parts of this country. One of the main objectives of Scouts Canada
and the Girl Guides of Canada is the training of young people to be responsible
citizens of their country and the world. These are only a few examples
of the many voluntary organizations contributing to citizenship education
Speaker's Commission in the United Kingdom in 1990 recognized the immense
value of voluntary citizenship activities and recommended that a comprehensive,
nationwide network of information be provided in that country, to direct
volunteers to where their skills can best be used. It also urged that
public broadcasting participate in this service.(44)
organizations have an important potential for the development of new guidelines
and resources for citizenship education, for use in formal learning institutions
and elsewhere. In the United States, for example, an ambitious project
was undertaken in recent years to improve civic education in that country
and, in particular, to develop a new civics curriculum for public school
classes, from kindergarten through grade twelve.
program, called CIVITAS (from the Latin word meaning "citizenship,
imparting shared responsibility, a common purpose and sense of community")
is a joint effort of the Centre for Civic Education in Calabasas, California,
and the Council for the Advancement of Citizenship, based in Washington,
D.C. The Council, founded by a retired senator, is a consortium of 75
national and regional organizations dedicated to the promotion of responsible
citizenship through citizenship education. Funding for the project has
been provided by a charitable trust.(45)
INITIATIVES IN AUSTRALIA
AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
western democracies have recognized the importance of education for citizenship,
and some reference has already been made to developments in the United
Kingdom and the United States. Citizenship education has been a matter
of national concern in recent years in these countries and in Australia.
1988, the Australian Standing Senate Committee on Employment, Education
and Training carried out an inquiry into education for active citizenship
in Australian schools and youth organizations. Its report is relevant
to the study of citizenship education in Canada because of the similarities
between the two countries.
Committee's report described as desirable an active kind of citizenship,
one not depending merely on a knowledge of politics, but encompassing
as well the motivation and capacity to make good use of that knowledge.
"Active citizenship is a compound of knowledge, skills and attitudes:
knowledge about how society works; the skills needed to participate effectively;
and a conviction that active participation is the right of all citizens."
The Committee warned that any democracy "neglects these matters at
noted indications within the population of ignorance and apathy toward
the nation's political and government systems, and recommended that measures
be taken to encourage people to recognize the significance of the system
in place, with its provision for their democratic right to vote.
the Committee recommended the initiation of a national program in education
for active citizenship directed at the whole community, the designation
of education for active citizenship as a priority for improvements in
schooling, and the encouragement by the national government of the adoption
of this priority by school authorities.
Committee urged that social studies receive greater attention in the schools,
beginning at the primary level, and that opportunities for citizenship
education be exploited in all existing courses throughout the school systems.
It noted, as well, that teacher education is "a key factor in bringing
about major improvements in education for active citizenship in schools,"
and recommended that the national government "ask all higher education
institutions with responsibility for teacher education to ensure that
education faculties recognise the importance of education for active citizenship
and make provision for it as a component in pre-service courses, particularly
for those teacher education students who are likely to teach in social
studies and related areas of the curriculum." It also urged the national
government to develop adequate resources to facilitate citizenship teaching.(47)
The United Kingdom
the United Kingdom, the 1990 Report of the Speaker's Commission on Citizenship,
entitled Encouraging Citizenship, recommended that the study of
citizenship should be "a part of the education of every pupil from
the early years right through to further and higher education," and
that every school governing body should request the development of a strategy
to incorporate citizenship studies across the curriculum, and should consider
a progress report regularly.(48)
Commission was concerned that teaching citizenship should be done effectively.
It should not be presented either as theory without practice, as in civics
courses, or as merely an experience, "practice without theory";
both elements were necessary for a balanced and effective course in citizenship.
The objective was for young people to be able to leave school "with
some confidence in their ability to participate in their society, to resolve
conflict and, if they oppose a course of action, to express that opposition
fairly, effectively and peacefully."(49)
The Commission contributed recommendations to the National Curriculum
Council in the course of the Council's preparation of a guidance document
on citizenship as a cross-cultural theme.
responding to a popular anxiety that the schools were not producing "good
citizens," the Secretary of State for Education, speaking before
a conference organized for the Speaker's Commission in 1990, stated that
home and school should share the responsibility of preparing young people
for citizenship in the future. He asserted that schools should be responsible
for teaching three "fundamental aspects of citizenship," which
he identified as "the individual's rights and responsibilities, within
a democratic society... the organisations and structures of society, including
the rules and laws within which it functions, ... (and) the role of the
paper has outlined some of the major aspects of citizenship education.
This multi-faceted topic may be viewed as one main current, joined and
strengthened by the contributions of many different tributaries, all directed
toward the achievement of common understanding among individuals and nations,
and the better functioning of democratic society. At different levels
and through various media, citizenship education enhances the development
of children, young people, immigrants, and all Canadians.
Ernest B. Discouraged Workers - Where have They Gone?" Perspectives,
Autumn 1992, p. 38-40.
Department of Education. Secondary Education in Alberta. Edmonton,
Robert M., and Kenneth W. Osborne. "The Role and Potential of Quasi-Autonomous
Non-Governmental Organizations in Canadian Education: The Canada Studies
Foundation As a Case Study." National Symposium on Federal-Provincial
Relations in Education, Vancouver 1981.
Education for Active Citizenship in Australian Schools and Youth Organisations.
Report by the Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training.
Australian Government Publishing Services, Canberra, 1989.
H.S., "Literacy for Survival and for More Than Mere Survival."
International Bureau of Education, UNESCO, Geneva, 1990.
Columbia Department of Education. Social Studies Curriculum Guide,
Grade Eight - Grade Eleven. Victoria, 1985.
John H., Jr. "CIVITAS: Civic Education to Inform and Involve."
National Civic Review, Vol. 78, No. 4, July 1989, p. 279-284.
Department of the Secretary of State. "Environmental Citizenship."
Bulletin No. 6, February 1993.
Department of the Secretary of State. Federal and Provincial Support
to Post-Secondary Education in Canada. Minister of Supply and Services
Brock. "Education for World Citizenship." Reprinted in Humanist
in Canada, Summer 1992, p. 13.
Bruce. True Government by Choice Men? Inspection, Education, and State
Formation in Canada West. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1992.
and Immigration Canada. Managing Immigration: A Framework for the 1990s.
Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1992.
Canada. A Framework for Discussion on the Environment. Minister
of Supply and Services Canada, 1990.
Northrop, ed. Design for Learning. University of Toronto Press,
Paul. "Why Study History?" The Atlantic Monthly, November
1988, p. 43-66.
Cynthia. "Lifelong Learning: Who Goes Back to School?" Perspectives,
Winter 1991, p. 26-27.
Ali. Literacy, Human Rights and Peace. International Bureau of
Education, UNESCO, 1990.
Derek. "Citizenship: A Remarkable Case of Sudden Interest."
Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 44, No. 2, p. 140-156.
A. B. What Culture, What Heritage?: A Study of Civic Education in Canada.
OISE, Toronto, 1968.
Michèle. Apprendre: une action volontaire et responsable: énoncé d'une
politique globale de l'éducation des adultes dans une perspective d'éducation
permanente. Commission d'étude sur la formation des adultes, Quebec,
Bob. "Environmental Education and Environmental Advocacy: the Need
for a Proper Distinction." Canadian Issues 13, 1991, p. 169-76.
J.R., ed. Learning and Society. Canadian Association for Adult
Education, Mutual Press, 1963.
Joseph M. "Education for a Technological Age." Futures,
October 1987, p. 555-565.
Keith A., ed. Canada and Citizenship Education. Canadian Education
Association, Toronto, 1989.
and Citizenship Canada. Canadian Citizenship: What Does It Mean To
You? Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1992.
Kenneth, "`To the Schools We Must Look for Good Canadians': Developments
in the Teaching of History in Schools Since 1960." Journal of
Canadian Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3, Fall 1987, p. 104-126.
Jon H. and Jean-Luc Pepin, eds., Political Education in Canada.
The Institute for Research on Public Policy, Halifax, 1988.
Jon H. and Michael S. Whittington, eds. Foundations of Political Culture:
Political Socialization in Canada. Macmillan of Canada, Toronto, 1976.
Andrew, "Citizenship and Youth." Parliamentary Affairs,
Vol. 44, No. 4, October 1991, p. 541-548.
G. Social Studies: A Survey of Provincial Curricula at the Elementary
and Secondary Levels. Council of Ministers of Education, Toronto,
Susan. "Encouraging Youth Community Service: The Broadening Role
of High Schools and Colleges." National Civic Review, Vol.
76, No. 4, July 1987, p. 288-301.
Gordon. Citizenship and the Adult Education Movement in Canada.
Centre for Continuing Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver,
of Canada, Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.
Roberta S. and Marilyn Hoskin, eds. Education for Democratic Citizenship:
A Challenge for Multi-Ethnic Societies. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,
Publishers, Hillsdale, N.J., 1991.
Canada. One In Every Five. Department of the Secretary of State
of Canada, Ottawa, 1984.
Kingdom. Report of the Speaker's Commission on Citizenship. Encouraging
Citizenship. HMSO, London, 1990.
(1) Egerton Ryerson, "The Importance of
Education to a Manufacturing and Free People," Journal of Education
for Upper Canada, Vol.1, No. 10, October 1848, p. 296.
(2) Aileen D. Ross, "Citizenship Today," in J.R.
Kidd, ed., Learning and Society, Canadian Association for Adult
Education, Mutual Press Limited, 1963, p. 389.
(3) "Citizenship and Youth," Parliamentary
Affairs, Vol. 44, No. 4, October 1991, p. 541.
(4) Alan Sears, Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs,
Science and Technology, Proceedings, 19 May 1992, 8:8.
(5) Report of the Social Sciences Study Committee, in Northrop
Frye, ed., Design for Learning, University of Toronto Press, Toronto,
1962, p. 88-89.
(6) A.B. Hodgetts, What Culture, What Heritage?: A Study
of Civic Education in Canada, OISE, Toronto, 1968, p. 24 and p. 32.
(7) John Grant, Standing Senate Committee, Proceedings,
17 March 1992, 2:49.
(8) House of Commons, Standing Committee on Secretary of
State, Proceedings, February 1988, CAUT Brief, p. 7.
(9) Paul Gagnon, "Why Study History?" The
Atlantic Monthly, November 1988, p. 43-66, at p. 44.
(10) T.H.B. Symons, To Know Ourselves: The Report of
the Commission on Canadian Studies, Association of Universities and
Colleges of Canada, Ottawa, 1975, discussed in Jon H.Pammett and Jean-Luc
Pepin, Political Education in Canada, The Institute for Research
on Public Policy, Halifax, 1988, p. 126.
(11) Standing Senate Committee, Proceedings, 17
March 1992, 2: 60-61.
(12) H.S. Bhola, "Literacy for Survival and for More
Than Mere Survival," International Bureau of Education, UNESCO, Geneva
1990, p. 7-8 and 13-14.
(13) Jon Pammett, in Pammett and Pepin (1988), p. 214.
(14) J.R. Kidd, ed., Learning and Society, Canadian
Association for Adult Education, Mutual Press, 1963, p. 389.
(15) Frye (1962), p. 90.
(16) Kenneth Osborne, "Political Education in the
Schools of Western Canada, in Pammett and Pepin (1988), p. 77.
(17) Alberta Department of Education, Secondary Education
in Alberta, Edmonton, 1985, p.17, quoted in Pammett and Pepin (1988),
(18) Jennifer Lewington, "Trustees Propose Education
Goals," Globe and Mail (Toronto), 10 April 1992, p. A6.
(19) Bob Jickling, "Environmental Education and Environmental
Advocacy: The Need for a Proper Distinction," Canadian Issues
13, 1991, p. 169-76, at p. 174.
(20) Australia, Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia,
Education for Active Citizenship in Australian Schools and Youth Organisations,
Report by the Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training,
Australian Government Publishing Services, Canberra 1989, p. 60-61.
(21) Brock Chisholm, "Education for World Citizenship,"
reprinted in Humanist in Canada, Summer 1992, p. 13.
(22) Patricia Schuyler and George W. Schuyler, "Thoughts
On Education for Global Citizenship," in Keith A. McLeod, ed., Canada
and Citizenship Education, Canadian Education Association, Toronto,
1989, p. 160-163.
(23) Multiculturalism and Citizenship Canada, "Canadian
Citizenship: What Does It Mean To You?" Minister of Supply and Services
Canada, 1992, p. 23.
(24) Information on integration and settlement funding
and programs is taken from Employment and Immigration Canada, Managing
Immigration: A Framework for the 1990s, Minister of Supply and Services
Canada, 1992, p. 25-26.
(25) Kenneth Osborne, in Pammett and Pepin (1988), p.
(26) Alberta Department of Education, Secondary Education
in Alberta, Edmonton, 1985, p. 7.
(27) G. Redden, Social Studies: A Survey of Provincial
Curricula at the Elementary and Secondary Levels, Council of Ministers
of Education Canada, Toronto, 1982, p. 4.
(28) British Columbia Department of Education, Social
Studies Curriculum Guide, Grade Eight - Grade Eleven, Victoria, 1985,
(29) John Ricker and Alan Skeoch, in Pammett and Pepin
(1988), p. 67-68.
(30) Kenneth Osborne, in Pammett and Pepin (1988), p.
(31) Thomas H.B. Symons, Senate Standing Committee, Proceedings,
(32) Hodgetts (1968), p. 93.
(33) Kenneth Osborne, "`To the Schools We Must Look
for Good Canadians': Developments in the Teaching of History in Schools
Since 1960," Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3,
Fall 1987, p. 123.
(34) Joseph M. Marchello, "Education for a Technological
Age," Futures, October 1987, p. 558.
(35) Harlan Cleveland, quoted in Marchello (1987), p. 559.
(36) Statistics Canada, One in Every Five, Department
of the Secretary of State of Canada, Ottawa, 1984, and Ernest B. Akyeampong,
"Discouraged Workers - Where Have They Gone?" Perspectives,
Autumn 1992, p. 38-40.
(37) Gordon Selman, Citizenship and the Adult Education
Movement in Canada, Centre for Continuing Education, University of
British Columbia, Vancouver, 1991, p. 21.
(38) J.R. Kidd (1963), p. 109.
(39) Ibid., p. 110.
(40) Cynthia Haggar-Guenette, "Lifelong Learning:
Who Goes Back to School?" Perspectives, Winter 1991, p. 26-27.
(41) Kidd (1963), p. 411.
(42) See, for example, Selman (1991).
(43) Roberta S. Sigel and Marilyn Hoskin, eds., Education
for Democratic Citizenship: A Challenge for Multi-Ethnic Societies,
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, Hillsdale, N.J., 1991, p. 190.
(44) United Kingdom, Report of the Speaker's Commission
on Citizenship, Encouraging Citizenship, HMSO, London, 1990, Recommendation
14, p. xx.
(45) John H. Buchanan, Jr., "CIVITAS: Civic Education
to Inform and Involve," National Civic Review, Vol. 78,
No. 4, July 1989, p. 279-280.
(46) Australia, Senate Standing Committee on Employment,
Education and Training (1989), p. 7.
(47) Ibid., p. 47, 48-49 and 62.
(48) Encouraging Citizenship (1990), p. xviii.
(49) Derek Heater, "Citizenship: A Remarkable Case
of Sudden Interest," Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 44,
No. 2, April 1991, p. 163-164.
(50) Heater (1991), p. 149.