Social Studies Saskatchewan update!
Hello everyone. I hope that your school year has started on a positive note, and that your students are actively engaged enquiring about the world around them.
On September 29th and 30th Social Studies Saskatchewan held its annual learning opportunity in Regina. Friday evening we heard from Dr. Michael Cappello, who challenged us to be fully engaged in acknowledging the relation of location on the process of reconciliation. At the end of the day, the process depends on us building strong, lasting, meaningful relationships with each other. Cathy Currey shared a detailed, newly-commissioned map that presents First Nations’ land holdings with the colonial settlements of today. The evening ended with Ray Funk sharing Reserve 107, a documentary about the efforts of the people of Laird to build lasting relationships, and address the wrongs of the past, in respect to the people of the Young Chippeweyan Band. Saturday started with the AGM, followed by a tour of the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan and an introduction by Nadine Charabin to the myriad of resources available to students and teachers. After a delicious lunch at The Willow on Wascana, SSS Executive member Brett Kirk led the group through a lesson using primary sources. The lesson led to deep discussions and generated some possible applications for our classrooms.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the event; SSS wants to provide its members with opportunities that meets their needs. Please let us know what you want to do/see; we will do our best to make it happen!
As most of you are likely aware, the Government of Saskatchewan has lifted the pause on curriculum renewal for the secondary social sciences. A Curriculum Reference Committee was appointed, and I am happy to be a part of that group. The following is a brief recap of salient points from the initial meeting from September:
• As curriculum is renewed, there are multiple ways for stakeholders, including teachers, to be involved, such as vetting, evaluating resources, supporting implementation, etc.
• The scope of this committee is to guide renewal of secondary social sciences for English, French Immersion and Fransaskois. Opportunities for change include re-imagining the current menu and configuration of course offerings. Possible approaches could include renewing existing Saskatchewan curricula, developing new curricula, and adapting curricula from other jurisdictions.
• The September meeting was a first step in a multi-year process. Reference committees typically meet two or three times a year. It is anticipated that the reference committee will operate for approximately two to four years.
• We discussed our role and place in shaping societal change through curriculum renewal.
• Emerging themes to address in curriculum renewal discussed included:
• social and ecological justice
• human rights
• historical thinking
• critical thinking
• engaged citizenship
• place-based knowledge, and
• de-colonizing and indigenizing curriculum.
• We will be considering local value systems and local knowledge as well as pan-Canadian trends.
A point of interest to some of you may be that the Ministry has indicated that it will be a teacher group writing the curricula, incorporating feedback from stakeholders around the province. I encourage those of you interested in shaping curriculum for the next 20+ years consider applying to be a writer.
The next meeting of the Committee will happen in November or December; I will share the results of that meeting in a future newsletter.
Please check our our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/socialstudiessk/?ref=bookmarks – for updates and current information.
Best wishes for a successful school year!
Social Studies Saskatchewan
Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan
The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan has learning resource packages available which tie directly to Grades 4, 8 & 12 curriculum. http://www.saskarchives.com/collection/history-youth/archives-classroom/learning-packages
Some really great primary resources are available, such as Saskatchewan Historical Newspapers. The entire collection of newspapers from the First World War have been uploaded: http://sabnewspapers.usask.ca/
A Story of Reconciliation…
Indigenous rights and title to the land remains a taboo topic for many across Canada, but in the small town of Laird, Saskatchewan, an old injustice is providing new opportunities for dialogue, friendship and a fierce determination to right the wrongs of the past. Click on the picture for resources and the full film.
SSS President Rob Jardine outlines the parallels of teaching about the Holocaust and the history of residential schools in Canada.