Keynote: Civics Day 10
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. This study also argues the course has not increased the number of youth voters in Ontario.
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:
‘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-English Version – Chart and worksheet to work with film, “Antz”
Think about what we need to do to encourage ‘Active Engagement.”
**reposted from December 2013