Ontario Secondary School Diploma graduates must earn a 0.5 credit in Civics. This course is often taught by teachers who see it as a chore and it becomes repetitive lessons in memorizing party leaders, riding statistics and municipal responsibilities.
Does any of this help us to produce more active, engaged global citizens? Probably not. Also, Social media does not voters make.
The Toronto Sun addressed this in a recent article, concluding the youngest voters are Spectators. According to the author, “They don’t believe in status buying. Or consuming for the sake of consuming. They also don’t believe in many of the touchstones of Canadian society — like democracy. And Parliament.”
Thanks, Tom Conklin, for reminding me this course deserves more study.
Here’s Hans Rosling, creator of Gapminder, using statistics to demonstrate some clear changes in regional wealth, health and life expectancy over the last 200 years.
Some great online resources for Civics:
Bit-size, Young Person Friendly ‘Types of Government’ from CBBC
TVO’s Singing and Dancing Approach to Ontario Government (You tube channel)
‘Teacher Support.ca – ‘just add a classroom’ resources for studying citizenship, human rights, government workings etc
Political Cartoons in the classroom – why read when you can interpret?
Antz-EnglishVersion – Chart and worksheet to work with film, “Antz”