» Canadian Ministries of Education
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 website. Environmental 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.
+ - New Brunswick
+ - Newfoundland
+ - Northwest Territories
+ - Nova Scotia
+ - Nunavut
+ - Ontario
+ - Prince Edward Island
+ - Québec
+ - Saskatchewan
+ - Yukon