Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Are We History?

Do we as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians learn enough about NL in our K-12 curriculum? Do we as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in Canada know enough about the country we joined in 1949?

The Dominion Institute gives us a big fat "F" on the later question. The department of Education gives an enthusiastic "Yea!" to the first question.

It is interesting to hear of the new "Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 2205." A previous encarnation of NL studies "Newfoundland and Labrador Cultural Heritage" was piloted back in the 80s. Does it take twenty years to form curriculum?!

So what do you think? Has the department of education struck the right balance in our knowledge of Newfoundland and Labrador in general as well as the country that has been our address for the past 60years?

A response to the "F" is for History article of June 15:

"Content related to Newfoundland and Labrador is addressed in several places in the K-12 social studies program.

This September a new course, Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 2205, is being implemented. This course enables students to examine the culture, heritage and history of the province, as well as creating opportunity to explore topics of local interest.

Other courses that address Newfoundland and Labrador social studies content specifically include:

Grade 3, Newfoundland and Labrador communities
Grade 5, Newfoundland and Labrador early history as well as economic, political and social infrastructures is addressed.
Grade 8 Newfoundland and Labrador History was implemented in 2005, examining Newfoundland and Labrador history from 1800 to present.

Additional there are other courses which include some content related to Newfoundland and Labrador :

Grade 7 Social Studies – examine Canadian History from 1800 to 1920, including some topics which are relevant to Newfoundland and Labrador during this time period, such as the First World War.

Canadian History 1201 – this course includes examination of Newfoundland ’s and Labrador’s contribution to the First and Second World Wars, as well consider confederation with Canada

Canadian Geography 1202 and World Geography 3202 examine (i) the physical geography of the province and (ii) consider the issue of resource management, allowing opportunity for discussion that connects those ideas to the context of our province

As well, the Cultural Connections Strategy (a program designed to expand NL and Lab culture and heritage throughout K-12 schooling) is providing additional supports and resources which relate to the teaching of Newfoundland and Labrador culture and heritage at all grade levels, when appropriate. The Department also is a primary supporter of the provincial annual Heritage Fairs program, which in recent years has involved over 8000 Elementary and Intermediate students annually."

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