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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Global content in Canadian social studies curriculum guides Haskett, Roger Andrew


The purpose of this study was to determine how Canadian social studies curriculum guides portray global education, broadly defined as the study of foreign countries, cultures and landscapes; universal or international issues; and connections or comparisons of Canada/Canadians with other countries/citizens. Forty-seven provincial and territorial documents, current in 1988 for grades one through 12, were analyzed around the following questions: 1. What rationales and goals are used to justify and guide the pursuit of global education? 2. What is the recommended content (concepts, topics, geographic coverage, global problems, extent of global/local connections, disciplinary orientations, and overall amount) of global education? 3. What characteristics of a global perspective are advanced? To pursue these questions, a 16 page analysis instrument was developed in light of the varying definitions, rationales, and concepts evident in the global education literature, and to allow for a wide-ranging analysis of the nature and extent of global education recommended in the curricula. According to the analysis there is considerable space for the pursuit of global education within classrooms across Canada. There is little indication of a lack of overall support for such endeavours. If a teacher has the knowledge and inclination, a significant amount of global studies could be pursued in the classroom, as there are few constraints imposed by most curricula. Overwhelmingly, positive rather than negative characteristics of a global perspective are evident. However, the rationales and goals used to justify and guide the pursuit of global education, as well as the range of recommended concepts, topics and geographic regions, differ considerably across curricula. Current controversial topics are ignored in general, and value reasoning, while identified as a goal by many provinces, is not adequately supported with instructions or examples.

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