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Reconsidering Social Studies Education

January 23,2017

Symposium at Congress considers the future of the subject in the classroom

By Betty Rice, Werklund School of Education

Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz discuss the post-secondary experiences of women from 1850-1970.

Introduction by David Scott

Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz discuss the post-secondary experiences of women from 1850-1970.

Panelists prepare to present their perspective on social studies education

On June 1, 2016, the Werklund School of Education, in partnership with the Canadian Association of Foundations of Education and the Alberta Teachers’ Association, hosted an evening symposium at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning entitled Reexamining Foundations in Social Studies Education in Canada: An Invitation to Dialogue.

The theme of the evening centred around key issues, opportunities, and challenges in social studies today, as well as what foundations in social studies should look like in the coming decades.

To help the over 60 attendees, including teachers from as far away as Edmonton, and top ministry officials, discuss these questions, the Symposium brought together key researchers and curriculum leaders in the area of social studies education including Dr. Dwayne Donald and Dr. Carla Peck from the University of Alberta, Dr. Hans Smits from the University of Calgary, Raphaël Gani from the University of Ottawa, and Lori Gale from Robert Thirsk High School in Calgary.

As Alberta Education continues to move forward with its ambitious plans to introduce new K-12 curriculum framework for six core subject areas including Social Studies, it is essential that the University provide a space where academics and professionals in the field can dialogue and ultimately lend their voice to the direction and nature of what this curriculum reform should look like.