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The Global Ed Yellow Pages

» Canadian Ministries of Education

At least three attempts were made to acquire information about initiatives in global/international education from each of the 50 state departments of education in the U.S. and 13 provincial or territorial ministries of education in Canada. In the end, responses were received from 40 states and all but two provinces and territories. As readers shall see, these responses varied from very minimal to very thorough. An unfortunate conclusion is drawn from these responses. That is, currently there is an inordinate preoccupation with accountability and standards, so much so that in many departments and ministries there no longer are people assigned to be in charge of usual curriculum areas such as social studies education or even science education.  This preoccupation, of course, is caused in the U.S. by the federal No-Child-Left-Behind Law (NCLB) and federal funding and testing strings attached to it.
It is assumed that the Canadians have been influenced by NCLB, also. If one were inclined to track this movement back, probably it could be determined that an over- reliance on minimal outcome measurements came from two sources: (1) the Thatcher reforms in U.K. education in the late 80’s and (2) the libertarian economic policies spawned at the University of Chicago in the U.S. and carried forward by the subsequent emergence of neo-right wing politics in the 90s in both nations. Unfortunately, one outcome of this movement has been to limit the ability of states, provinces and territories, school districts and schools to implement badly needed global and/or international education programs for the children and youth of North America.
In this environment, three kinds of responses were received from departments and ministries of education, as follows:
1. No response (10 states, 2 provinces and territories).
2. Responses that indicated that standards (with associated assessment), while mostly focused upon national studies, do include some global/international education content. In addition, they often have web links with global/international education content; and they support the training of teachers in the use of instructional technology (6 states). This is referred to below as the “standard” response (no pun intended).
3. Responses that, in addition to what is stated in #2 above, describe additional department global/ international education initiatives (34 states, 11 provinces and territories). These, of course, are of most interest to global/international educators and offer some guidance for state departments and ministries that would like to encourage more of a global perspective in the schools of their states.

+ - Alberta

Alberta Education website - Standard response. In addition, a vision statement was developed in 2002 including Alberta’s International Education Strategy which states:
Alberta will be internationally recognized as a leading provider of education, skill development and industry training, and Albertans will be well-prepared for their role in the global marketplace and as global citizens.

Activities set forth to reach this vision are spelled out as including more international content in the curriculum, emphasis upon second language acquisitions, and increased travel and exchange opportunities for educators and students. In addition to the International Education Strategy, Alberta is emphasizing environmental education and the Ministry of Education lists a variety of educational materials on its web site. Finally, the Ministry has worked hard to integrate Francophone and Aboriginal Perspectives into Canadian History. 

+ - British Columbia

British Columbia Education website - Standard response. In addition, second language study is mandated at the 5th and 8th grade levels. Languages approved by the BC Ministry of Education include American Sign Language, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Punjabi, and Spanish.

In addition, there is a Programme Francophone for students whose parents are educated in French and there is a French immersion program. International Language Integrated Resource Packages can be viewed on line at the BCED websiteEnvironmental Concepts in the Classroom is an on-line publication that presents guidelines and a rational for the integration of environmental and sustainability concepts into daily lesson plans at all K-12 levels of schooling. It also contains sample lessons and references for further information.

The Ministry no longer arranges student exchanges. That is now done by the BC Heritage Language Association. There is a special focus in the Ministry on Aboriginal Education including language, culture, and history. The Ministry promotes the integration of multiculturalism and antiracism education into a variety of curriculum areas.

+ - Manitoba

Manitoba Education and Literacy website - Standard response. In addition, one of six General Learning Outcomes for social studies education from K-12 is Global Interdependence. Grade 3 students spend the entire social studies year focused on “Communities of the World.” The Department of Education, Citizenship and Youth has an International Education Branch (IEB) which is part of the Federal-Provincial and International Relations Division of Manitoba Intergovernmental Affairs and Trade. The IEB develops international education policy, and responds to inquiries and requests from international students, agents, and institutional partners, It also works with Manitoba institutions and organizations to coordinate international student recruitment, offer marketing assistance, and build capacity for greater involvement in international education.

The Ministry site also has curriculum resources for sustainability education, multicultural and antiracism education, and aboriginal education.

+ - Newfoundland

Newfoundland Department of Education - Standard response. In addition, the new Social Studies Foundation Document which was part of the CAMET project (where all four Atlantic provinces worked together to develop a common Social Studies Framework in 2000) emphasizes the importance of global studies at all levels of schooling. The new grade six program focuses on World Cultures. The current k-12 religious education focuses upon world religions where students examine specific tenets of all world religions. The literature based literacy program works to include resources and stories from various world cultures and emphasizes both English and French language. Language/culture studies in Spanish, Russian and German are also available. A new high school graduation requirement includes two credits in the area of World Studies. The department has been working with the provincial Association of Human Rights to provide locally developed resources called Peace Prints. The Department also collaborated with Friends of India to develop and distribute an educational kit called Discovering India. The Department operates under a 1990 Multicultural Education Policy that authorizes resources and instructional strategies for multicultural education.

+ - Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories Education, Culture and Employment webpage - Standard response. The student population of the Northwest Territories is linguistically diverse with eleven official languages used across the territories. To meet the diverse cultural needs of the students the curriculum documents Inuuqatigiit (Eastern Arctic) and Dene Kede (Western Arctic) were developed to enhance subject curricula and make programming more culturally relevant to the students. In primary grades, content is taught in any of the official languages. At the junior high and senior secondary levels instruction is predominantly in English with integration of the other official languages of the region. The secondary social studies curriculum which has a significant amount of global education content is borrowed from the province of Alberta. There also is a required Northern Studies course that teaches students about the cultures of the NWT. The social studies curriculum for elementary and middle school students is under revision. There are civics courses at both levels. Elementary and middle school students are encouraged to participate in school-based, regional and territorial Heritage Fairs.

+ - Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Education Ministry - Standard response. Particular emphasis is given to Citizenship Education, Environmental Studies, Global Education, and Multicultural Education. Students graduating from high school must receive a global studies credit in either Global History 12 or Global Geography 12 --- i.e., a global studies credit is compulsory. Advanced courses in these areas are under development. As part of an initiative of the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training, Nova Scotia is implementing a grade 9 global course, Atlantic Canada in the Global Community. It also has a new World Cultures course in Grade 6. In cooperation with a number of NGO’s and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Department of Education is producing a student resource package for the grade 12 global studies course centered around the authentic voices of youth from around the world.

+ - Nunavut

Nunavut Department of Education - Standard response. The Alberta program of studies forms the basis of the Nunavut curriculum. In addition, it includes a grade eight module on active citizenship titled Take Action that assists students in examining how they can make a difference in their communities; a ninth grade module titled Say Yes to Children that examines human rights and responsibilities in conjunction with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Principles; a grade nine module titled Turning 16 that focuses on issues of gender, race, class, equity, politics, and peace in six countries around the world and asks students to reflect on how these plan out in their own lives; the grade 12 Aulajaaqtut curriculum that focuses on how to become a true Inuk and how to explore global issues and means of contributing to a better world for everyone (this involves a compulsory practicum that involves students in active participation in global issues). Also, the Ministry sponsors in depth language programs in Inuinnagtun and French.

+ - Ontario

Ontario Ministry of Education - Standard response. In addition, while the Ministry of Education is not involved directly in international education or student exchanges, some of the autonomous boards of education in the province are very involved in these activities. Many foreign students attend publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario and pay the school boards for that privilege. About 30 private schools outside of Canada offer the Ontario curriculum and the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. These schools are regularly inspected by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry welcomes education-related visits by international delegations of educators.  The Ministry actively supports instruction in a variety of World Languages as well as Native Studies.

+ - Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Department of Education and Early Childhood Development -  Standard response. In addition, in 2004, the PEI Department of Education and Can-Achieve established the PEI-China Public High School Program in which Can-Achieve delivers the PEI Public High School Curriculum to selected schools in China. Its teaching materials are taught in English by PEI certified Canadian teachers. As a result, after successfully completing a minimum of ten credits in the Core Curriculum (English, math, science and social studies) and ten more credits in Chinese, students obtain dual high school diplomas. Since 2000, the Department has engaged the services of Study Abroad Canada to recruit students for the PEI International Senior High School Program, to coordinate home stay arrangement for these students, and to provide extra ESL programs and cultural activities after school.

+ - Québec

Québec Ministère de Éducation Loisir et Sport - Standard response. In addition, the Ministry has taken a strong position on the importance of developing the educational system within a “global context.” Also,  the importance of a strong multicultural/multilingual education program, including: (1) facilitation of the integration of all newly arrived students into their school; (2) learning how to live together in a fracophone, democratic, pluralistic society; (3) ensuring that school staff receive appropriate initial and ongoing training, and setting up an exchange network; and (4) follow-up and evaluation of this plan of action. The ministry of Education does not produce or publish educational resources for teachers; but, at the K-12 levels, it issues guidelines hat private publishers must follow in developing pedagogical materials which schools can purchase. Also, teachers produce their own resources (printed, audio, video and digital). Outside of the Ministry, the contact for materials for international education is Education internationale, the Federation des commissions scolaires du Québec. Also, in 2003, the Ministry produced a strategy concerning international education which can be found on its web site.

+ - Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education - Standard response. Also, there is a major effort to promote the learning of French by all students, as well as encouraging exposure to other world languages. Saskatchewan is a large province with many rural schools in remote locations. A major outstanding support system provided for K-12 teachers by Saskatchewan Learning, the Ministry of Education, is a system of scheduled telecasts. There are literally hundreds of scheduled broadcasts available to teachers (these also can be duplicated and used at unscheduled times). Many of these telecasts have global/international content found under such topics as Native Studies, Social Studies, History, Science, Art, Music, etc. Each telecast is supported with teaching guides and supplementary materials. In addition, Saskatchewan Learning operates an on-line Resource Center with textual, media and digital materials keyed to grade level units, many of which have global/international education content. In summary, Saskatchewan Learning strives for a Resource Rich service to provincial teachers.

+ - Yukon

Yukon Department of Education - Standard response. Also, the Government of Yukon is a full partner in the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol (WNCP). This protocol supports the development of common curriculum frameworks for Western and Northern Canada. Within these frameworks, the British Columbia program of studies forms the basis of the Yukon curriculum. The Department of Education provides extensive curriculum support to Yukon schools. Curriculum consultants with varied specialties, expertise and experience are in regular contact with schools. They visit schools frequently and provide resources and in-house training of teachers. The Education Act mandates an emphasis on First Nations’ language and culture, not just for Yukon First Nations’ students, but for all students in Yukon schools. The Yukon First Nation Population represents about 23% of the territories population, including in the schools. The Department employs about thirty full-time equivalent native language instructors who teach First Nations languages in 19 of the 28 Yukon schools, including all rural schools. The Department is involved in the development of a number of First Nations curriculum materials and resources.
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