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ERIC Number: EJ924985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Multiculturalism and Human Rights in Civic Education: The Case of British Columbia, Canada
Bromley, Patricia
Educational Research, v53 n2 p151-164 2011
Background: This paper considers how textbooks resolve the tension between contradictory goals of promoting a cohesive national identity while teaching respect and equality among diverse social groups in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada. Purpose: The article presents preliminary results of a larger study examining the content of required civic education textbooks in Canada to examine whether and how notions of national identity incorporate the principles of human rights and multiculturalism. Sample: The study draws on curricular material for required high school social science courses in B.C. The sample includes textbooks starting the first year of high school (Grade 8) and covers each year through high school graduation (Grade 12). The central analyses examine the content of 17 core textbooks approved by the provincial government for these courses. Design and methods: This research systematically examines the content of currently approved textbooks for high school social science courses in B.C. A questionnaire designed using the principles of content analysis measures textbook emphases on content relevant to human rights, multiculturalism and national identity. Results: This study finds that traditional notions of national identity are reshaped in response to the rise of emphases on human rights and multiculturalism. Rather than depicting national identity as stemming from a common race, ethnicity, language or history, the government pursues four main strategies to simultaneously promote human rights, multiculturalism and a shared national identity: (1) framing human rights and multiculturalism as part of national identity; (2) using pedagogical approaches that promote multiple perspectives; (3)celebrating social and scientific figures and accomplishments as a main source of national pride; and (4) drawing on exogenous sources to affirm state legitimacy. Conclusion: In a context that values diversity and human rights, contemporary sources of national identity can stem from facets of society that can transcend many cultures and emphasise organisational aspects of the nation-state. A main implication is that the inclusion of principles of human rights and multiculturalism into civic education is changing traditional conceptions of national identity. (Contains 2 figures and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada