Elementary School, I Vaguely Remember
I don’t really remember my elementary school teaching (K to 6), but what I can remember the citizenship was more focus on the personally responsible citizen and the participatory citizen. We learn a lot about volunteering and involve in the community. Recycling is really important and everyone should do that. Helping others, respecting the rules and valuable behaviour were really important. We also learn a lot how the municipal government work and a bit on how provincial government.
High school, the World Is Not Fair
In high school (7-11), I realized with all teaching I received that world is not fair. Corporate has huge advantage in our system and our actions is only a drop in the ocean. After high school, my position was only laws and the government have the power to rebalance our system. Individual actions like the recycling is somewhat important, but I thought people were overvaluing the importance of it compared to corporate actions.
2012, Maple Spring
I lived the Maple Spring as a Cégep student and it was provincial shattering events. My opinion on the strike was that the cause was good, but the strike is not the right way to expose the problem. It will only lead to a backlash for us. My Cégep went on strike debates were all over my school and the news. We vote each week if we should continue the strike. One day, we have a vote. I vote no for the continuation and we came back to class. This vote was important, because we have to come back to class by only one single vote. A single vote out of thousands changes all fates of students, teachers and by extension the province. This event change my view on the participatory citizen. This day I learn that every vote/political actions matter. The Maple Spring end and tuition fee froze again. Strike matters and work. No backlash happens. I was wrong.
I still think our actions are a drop in the ocean, but we never know if we will be the drop the make the vase overflow. Corporate still hold the power, but we can all change it. By living your life and making decisions with your conviction, I believe we can change thing even a little.
Sorry this blog post was a bit more focus on the evolution of my belief than the way we can exploit it in the classroom.
Westheimer. J. Kahne. J. (2004) What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for Democracy. American Educational Research Journal.41(2), 237–269