<ul><li>2009 Winter Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Social Justice, Critical Thinking  </li></ul><ul><li>& the New Social Stu...
Evolution of the Curriculum <ul><li>During the early 90s the Common Curriculum was written aiming to develop equity, envir...
What does this have to do with finding Social Justice in the Curriculum? <ul><li>Find the Big Ideas in the introduction re...
Canada and World Connections Strand, Grade 6 : Canada’s Links to the World •  identify and describe Canada’s economic,  po...
Big Ideas are imbedded in the Overall Expectations <ul><li>Third OE [the application] is the main idea </li></ul><ul><li>S...
Not all Parts of the Curriculum  are created Equal <ul><li>Large gaps in the document </li></ul><ul><li>No clear Social Ju...
Global Education & Social Activist centred curriculum Which end of the spectrum do you think The Ontario Curriculum presen...
Heritage and Citizenship: Grade 4  – Medieval Times Overview Students discover the major features of daily life in medieva...
Fundamental Concepts Environment:  The natural and built elements of which the earth is composed, and the complex web they...
Evaluating Students Beyond Transmission & Regurgitation of Facts <ul><li>We want students to know about issues and injusti...
Critical Thinking   Scenario:  The students are hired as Anthropologists to return artefacts that were “confiscated&quot; ...
Repatriate this mask Make careful observations of the artefact to help you decide which of the Aboriginal groups we have s...
We also want students to be able to entertain  Ambiguity  & make  Judgments  based on  Evidence
Who  was Mathieu Da Costa? Where  might he have come from? When  was he in Canada? How  did he gain his skills? What  did ...
Systems Thinking Systems Thinking
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Social Justice and the Ontario Social Studies Curriculum

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This is the powerpoint that introduced some of the issues around the renewal of the Ontario Social Studies curriculum. For over a decade the curriculum has tried undergone many changes, sometimes encouraging the development of social responsibilities and sometimes not. Currently, we can decide whether we should focus on social justice or not. Either way we must enter a discussion of why and how.

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Social Justice and the Ontario Social Studies Curriculum

  1. 1. <ul><li>2009 Winter Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Social Justice, Critical Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>& the New Social Studies Curriculum </li></ul>
  2. 2. Evolution of the Curriculum <ul><li>During the early 90s the Common Curriculum was written aiming to develop equity, environmental awareness, citizenship, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>By the latter half of 90s Mike Harris’ Common Sense Revolution was in full swing & values were stripped in favour of promoting our military, entrepreneurship, and our American ties </li></ul><ul><li>2004 curriculum review resulted in compromised changes which preserved much of the old while including more global perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>2004 also promoted more diverse aspects of learning through the Achievement Chart, the Overall E’s and the Fundamental Concepts </li></ul>
  3. 3. What does this have to do with finding Social Justice in the Curriculum? <ul><li>Find the Big Ideas in the introduction relating to Social Justice & Citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>Option to read the Curriculum with a Social Justice and Environmental lense </li></ul><ul><li>Interpret the Overall Expectations with a Social Justice and Environmental lense </li></ul>
  4. 4. Canada and World Connections Strand, Grade 6 : Canada’s Links to the World • identify and describe Canada’s economic, political, social, and physical [environmental] links with the United States and other regions of the world; • use a variety of resources and tools to gather, process, and communicate information about the domestic and international effects of Canada’s links with the United States and other areas of the world; • explain the relevance to Canada of current global issues and influences .
  5. 5. Big Ideas are imbedded in the Overall Expectations <ul><li>Third OE [the application] is the main idea </li></ul><ul><li>Specific expectations help to develop understanding of OE’s </li></ul><ul><li>Specific expectations may or may not do a good job at getting to Big Ideas, depending on how students use them </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. listing trade goods does not help understanding the relevance to Canada of current global issues </li></ul>
  6. 6. Not all Parts of the Curriculum are created Equal <ul><li>Large gaps in the document </li></ul><ul><li>No clear Social Justice issue in some units </li></ul><ul><li>The Fundamental Concepts are supposed to be the organizing Ideas of the units, but Social Justice may not apparent </li></ul>If you were rewriting the curriculum, how would you modify it to make Social Justice more clear?
  7. 7. Global Education & Social Activist centred curriculum Which end of the spectrum do you think The Ontario Curriculum presently lies? Inclusion * * * * * * (“other peoples and other cultures”) (“we/some of us”)
  8. 8. Heritage and Citizenship: Grade 4 – Medieval Times Overview Students discover the major features of daily life in medieval European societies. Students investigate the major events and influences of the era and determine how they shaped medieval society. Students apply their understandings to compare communities in medieval times with their own communities today. Overall Expectations By the end of Grade 4, students will: • identify and describe major features of daily life and social organization in medieval European societies from about 500 to 1500 C.E. (Common Era); • use a variety of resources and tools to investigate the major events and influences of the era and determine how they shaped medieval society; • relate significant elements of medieval societies to comparable aspects of contemporary Canadian communities.
  9. 9. Fundamental Concepts Environment: The natural and built elements of which the earth is composed, and the complex web they form. • human and natural systems • human and natural patterns • exploitation and utilization of resources • regions • ecosystems • urbanization Gd 2 • explain how the environment affects people’s lives and the ways in which their needs are met. Gd3 • explain how communities interact with each other and the environment to meet human needs. Gd 4 • use a variety of resources and tools to determine the influence of physical factors on the economies and cultures of Ontario and the other provinces and territories;
  10. 10. Evaluating Students Beyond Transmission & Regurgitation of Facts <ul><li>We want students to know about issues and injustices </li></ul><ul><li>Being on one side of issues is usually a foregone conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing the causes of and solutions to issues is complex </li></ul><ul><li>So how do we prepare students for complex thinking? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Critical Thinking Scenario: The students are hired as Anthropologists to return artefacts that were “confiscated&quot; by the government from their rightful owners. First students do research on different Aboriginal groups. Then they examine the artefacts and infer who the artefacts belong to. In writing, they contact the communities, apologize and ask if the artefact belongs to them and ask them what should be done with them. Some of the communities want them back. The owners of the others cannot be identified. Students decide what to do next. <ul><li>Research the Potlatch laws </li></ul><ul><li>Create a visual display </li></ul><ul><li>Create a memorial </li></ul><ul><li>Decide on a message/apology </li></ul><ul><li>Decide why it is important for the public to know </li></ul>
  12. 12. Repatriate this mask Make careful observations of the artefact to help you decide which of the Aboriginal groups we have studied would likely have produced this artefact? How are Aboriginal cultures and ways of life unique in each of the western, northern, central and eastern regions of Canada? Critical Thinking Consortium www.TC2.ca
  13. 13. We also want students to be able to entertain Ambiguity & make Judgments based on Evidence
  14. 14. Who was Mathieu Da Costa? Where might he have come from? When was he in Canada? How did he gain his skills? What did he do? Could he have been enslaved or was he a free man? Was he a valuable person to the French and Dutch and why ? What business activities might Da Costa’s skills be important for?
  15. 15. Systems Thinking Systems Thinking
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