Exploring Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan over the Past Ten Years: of the Concentus Citizenship Education Project
Societies have a continuing interest in the way that their young people learn to engage in public affairs or, in other words, how young people are prepared for citizenship. In this rapidly changing world, with growing population heterogeneity from immigration, with improved international transportation and communications, there is a need to develop new notions of citizenship education. A primary concern of citizenship education is what type of future we want. In Canada, citizenship has been a contested concept and there is no agreed upon conception of what exactly constitutes democratic citizenship. In Saskatchewan, citizenship education is apparent in the social studies curriculum of the Ministry of Education. In addition to the Government oversight of curriculum, the Concentus Citizenship Education Foundation (CCEF) has been involved in the development of citizenship education. The Concentus Citizenship Education Foundation was incorporated as part of the Citizenship Education Project (CEP), an initiative of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the Government of Saskatchewan, in 2012. The SHRC initiated the CEP to address societal-concerns where the future of democracy was believed to be at stake. It was believed that human rights and human responsibility are two key elements of citizenship education that will help to maintain democracy. Concentus efforts aim to support kindergarten to grade 12 citizenship education in a fashion that develops students’ understanding of values, including human rights, respect, and responsibility. Concentus has launched citizenship education projects to aid social studies in educating a new generation to be participants in a pluralistic society. Citizenship and human rights education curriculum development generally consists of curriculum policy, including frameworks, learning areas, associated syllabi and the learner outcomes to be assessed. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore, describe, and analyze the efforts during the past 10 years to establish, enhance and advance citizenship education, with democratic values and principles, in Saskatchewan. This study explored the strategies and actions of initial proponents and then the Concentus CEP in their initiation, implementation and institutionalization of citizenship education over this ten-year period.
citizenship, citizenship education, human rights education, Concentus, curriculum development
Master of Education (M.Ed.)