Expanding Civic Literacy
The definition of civic literacy is often confined to learning the political processes of Canada. Yet, there is much more we can learn to be effective Canadian citizens. There is certain knowledge and skills that we can foster—as both newcomers and established citizens—to help us contribute to our society in positive and productive ways.
“We all have a role to play in helping our students better parse the growing landscape of misinformation, privacy and ownership.” – Mason Pashia
A lack of knowledge about the history, institutions and procedures of the political system, as well as the modern issues that stem from them, has been identified as one of the crises in citizenship. The citizenship study guides, while many include a section on Indigenous history, largely focus on settler history. This is important to learn, but it is not the complete story of Canada. The experiences of many minority groups are minimized in most resources. Canadians need to learn our complete history, including from an Indigenous perspective, and fully absorb how that history is still impacting the people of Canada today. We must learn this history so that we can contribute to improving life in Canada for all.
Misinformation and disinformation have become increasingly problematic around the world. Having strong digital literacy skills is now imperative to stay informed and balanced while participating in society. Learning about what misinformation and disinformation look like in the digital realm can help us become more effective citizens.
A rise in political extremism has been identified as another crisis in citizenship. The ability to have a civil dialogue, which includes respectful political and social engagement, is a great tool for civic literacy. Civil dialogue is an effective skill to learn outside of just the political sphere, including in the workplace and at home.
“…organizations that can integrate citizenship skills into their pathways will support both a robust and well-informed workplace and vibrant communities.” – Mason Pashia
Check out the resources below for tips, lesson plans and ideas about how to foster these skills to expand our definition of civic literacy.
- 10 Tips for Successful Conversations in a Heated Political Year
- Apathy is Boring
- Black History Educational Package
- Citizenship: Measuring What Matters domain paper
- Citizenship Skills Support Durable Pathways
- Civil Dialogue (lesson plan)
- COR – Learn to think like a fact checker
- Digital Media Literacy
- Facing History & Ourselves – Canada
- History of Indigenous Peoples in Canada
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