Advertisement

Be a Good Citizen or Else! Neoliberal Citizenship and the Grade Six 2013 Revised Ontario Social Studies Curriculum

  • Ardavan EizadiradEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Through document analysis, this chapter critically analyses the language, ideologies, and conceptual frameworks in the 2013 revised Social Studies curriculum in Ontario, Canada with a focus on the Grade 6 content. The analysis is guided by two central questions: (1) how is citizenship defined and conceptualized, and (2) how is citizenship suggested to be taught pedagogically. It is argued the new curriculum predominantly promotes citizenship embedded with neoliberal ideologies equating citizenship with personal responsibility, complicity, and civic participatory engagement. Within this paradigm, being a responsible, active citizen means being complicit and outspoken only to the extent that it does not challenge state authority and its hegemonic policies and practices. There are great additions to the new Social Studies curriculum which include promotion of a student-centred, inquiry-based model of learning and introduction of the Citizenship Education Framework. It is suggested to promote citizenship education for the development of a justice-oriented global citizen educators should teach citizenship through the lens of Human Rights rather than personal responsibility. Youth for Human Rights educational materials are proposed as effective resources to holistically teach about citizenship and difference, through the vantage point that prioritizes social justice and equity.

References

  1. Althusser, L. (2006). Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes Towards an Investigation). The Anthropology of the State: A Reader, 9(1), 86–98.Google Scholar
  2. Andreotti, V. (2006). Soft Versus Critical Global Citizenship Education. Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, 3, 40–51.Google Scholar
  3. Apple, M. W. (2004). Ideology and Curriculum. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Au, W. (2013). Hiding Behind High-Stakes Testing: Meritocracy, Objectivity and Inequality in U.S. Education. The International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 12(2), 7–19.Google Scholar
  5. Basu, R. (2004). The Rationalization of Neoliberalism in Ontario’s Public Education System, 1995–2000. Geoforum, 35, 621–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Block, S., & Galabuzi, G. (2011). Canada’s Colour Coded Labour Market: The Gap for Racialized Workers. Wellesley Institute. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Retrieved from http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Colour_Coded_Labour_MarketFINAL.pdf.
  7. Bourdieu, P. (1999). The Weight of the World, Social Suffering in Contemporary Society. Palo Alto, CA: Polity Press. Google Scholar
  8. Education Quality and Accountability Office. (2013). EQAO: Ontario’s Provincial Assessment Program—Its History and Influence 1996–2012. Toronto: Queen’s Printer for Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.eqao.com/en/about_eqao/about_the_agency/communication-docs/EQAO-history-influence.pdf.
  9. Fraser, N. (2004). Recognition, Redistribution and Representation in Capitalist Global Society. Acta Sociologica, 47(4), 374–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  11. Giroux, H. (2003). Spectacles of Race and Pedagogies of Denial: Anti-Black Racist Pedagogy Under the Reign of Neoliberalism. Communication Education, 52(3–4), 191–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grosfoguel, R. (2011). Decolonizing Post-colonial Studies and Paradigms of Political-Economy: Transmodernity, Decolonial Thinking, and Global Coloniality. Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World, 1(1), 1–38.Google Scholar
  13. Janmaat, J. G., & Piattoeva, N. (2007, November). Citizenship Education in Ukraine and Russia: Reconciling Nation-Building and Active Citizenship. Comparative Education, 43(4), 527–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kennelly, J., & Llewellyn, K. (2011). Educating for Active Compliance: Discursive Constructions in Citizenship Education. Citizenship Studies, 15(6–7), 897–914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mosley, W. (2000). Workin’ on the Chain Gang: Shaking Off the Dead Hand of History. Toronto: Random House of Canada Limited.Google Scholar
  16. Mundy, K., & Manion, C. (2008). Global Education in Canadian Elementary Schools: An Exploratory Study. Canadian Journal of Education, 31(4), 947–974.Google Scholar
  17. Ontario Ministry of Education. (2004). The Ontario Curriculum Social Studies Grades 1 to 6, History and Geography Grades 7 and 8. Retrieved from https://www.uwindsor.ca/education/sites/uwindsor.ca.education/files/curriculum_-_social_studies_1-6_history_geography_7-8.pdf.
  18. Ontario Ministry of Education. (2013). The Ontario Curriculum Social Studies Grades 1 to 6, History and Geography Grades 7 and 8. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/sshg18curr2013.pdf.
  19. Pinto, L. E. (2015). Fear and Loathing in Neoliberalism; School Leader Responses to Policy Layers. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 47(2), 140–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Portelli, J. P., & Konecny, C. (2013). Neoliberalism, Subversion, and Democracy in Education. Encounters, 14, 87–97.Google Scholar
  21. Portelli, J., & Sharma, M. (2014). Uprooting and Settling in: The Invisible Strength of Deficit Thinking. LEARNing Landscapes, 8(1), 251–267.Google Scholar
  22. Razack, S. (2004). Dark Threats & White Knights: The Somali Affair, Peacekeeping, and the New Imperialism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  23. Suárez, D. (2008). Rewriting Citizenship? Civic Education in Costa Rica and Argentina. Comparative Education, 44(4), 485–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tupper, J., & Cappello, M. (2008). Teaching the Treaties as (Un)usual Narratives: Disrupting the Curricular Commonsense. Curriculum Inquiry, 35(1), 559–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Westheimer, J., & Kahne, J. (2004). What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for Democracy. American Educational Research Journal, 41(2), 237–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Youth for Human Rights. (2018). Our Purpose. Retrieved from http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/about-us/purpose-of-youth-for-human-rights.html.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations