Unpacking The Curriculum

The grade 5 Social Studies curriculum has a strong emphasis on diversity in Canada. The stories that are being shown are the First Nations peoples, the Metis people and other cultures that have immigrated to Canada. The curriculum attempts to demonstrate a deep understanding of Aboriginal heritage. A lot of the indicators in the curriculum are about the First Nations people’s life prior to contact with the European people. The curriculum represents a good connection between the histories of First Nations people but does not continue to build on the topic after contact with the Europeans.

 

In the Treaty Education curriculum, the outcome for grade 5 is “Assessing the Journey in Honouring Treaties” which does not align the Saskatchewan grade 5 Social Studies Curriculum (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2013). One indicator in the Treaty Education curriculum is “Examine the concepts of colonization and decolonization and analyze their effects”(Saskatchewan Curriculum, 2010). Decolonization and colonization are apart of the First Nations people’s history; therefore I am surprised that it is not an indictor in the Saskatchewan curriculum when the outcome states, “Demonstrate an understanding of the Aboriginal heritage of Canada” (Saskatchewan Curriculum, 2010). I believe that the curriculum is singled sided because it is leaving out important parts of their story.

 

One outcome in the Saskatchewan grade 5 Social Studies curriculum that I believe is extremely important is “Analyze the evolution of Canada as a multicultural nation ” (Saskatchewan Curriculum, 2010). Seeing that we are a multicultural nation, I believe it is beneficial that the curriculum touches on how these refugees and immigrants are impacting Canada. The population of refugees and immigrants in Canada is increasing dramatically and therefore there will be a lot of students coming into the classroom with a variety of different cultural backgrounds. It is important to acknowledge immigration in the classroom, to help all students understand and feel comfortable around different cultures represented in their classroom or in society.

 

The outcomes and indicators presented in this curriculum are from a Eurocentric worldview. Having the curriculum told in one viewpoint, makes it impossible to gain a deep understanding of the other cultures. The cultures that were recognized in the curriculum are told from a white perspective, leaving parts of their stories out. The main goal of this is to see Canada as a diverse nation. The curriculum shows Canada as a diverse nation by pointing out people of different races; for example First Nation people, Metis people, refugees and immigrants. The indicators that are being used are to explore the history of these cultures and how it shaped Canada in becoming a diverse nation. The curriculum does not acknowledge much of the European history and how that impacted Canada but attempts to explain the impact of other cultures.

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