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Constructing national identity in a context of intercultural and human rights education: The case of British Columbia, Canada

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Abstract:

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. In a complex and globalizing social context, the question of what it means to be “Canadian” and how to balance diversity with national unity is one of increasing concern for citizens, scholars, educators, and policy-makers. And in a global context of increasing migration and globalization, the parallel question is rapidly becoming relevant for countries worldwide. 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 seventeen core textbooks approved by the government for these courses. This study finds that when emphases on human rights and intercultural education are high, as in B.C., national identity is still also emphasized, but in a different form than traditional civic education. Rather than emphasizing a national identity that stems from sharing a race, ethnicity, language, or history, the government pursues four main strategies to simultaneously promote human rights, interculturalism, and a shared national identity. A main implication of the study is that not only is civic education changing to incorporate greater emphases on supranational issues like human rights, the inclusion of these broader principles of human rights and interculturalism is also changing the traditional model of national citizenship.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492983_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bromley, Patricia. "Constructing national identity in a context of intercultural and human rights education: The case of British Columbia, Canada" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492983_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bromley, P. "Constructing national identity in a context of intercultural and human rights education: The case of British Columbia, Canada" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492983_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: 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. In a complex and globalizing social context, the question of what it means to be “Canadian” and how to balance diversity with national unity is one of increasing concern for citizens, scholars, educators, and policy-makers. And in a global context of increasing migration and globalization, the parallel question is rapidly becoming relevant for countries worldwide. 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 seventeen core textbooks approved by the government for these courses. This study finds that when emphases on human rights and intercultural education are high, as in B.C., national identity is still also emphasized, but in a different form than traditional civic education. Rather than emphasizing a national identity that stems from sharing a race, ethnicity, language, or history, the government pursues four main strategies to simultaneously promote human rights, interculturalism, and a shared national identity. A main implication of the study is that not only is civic education changing to incorporate greater emphases on supranational issues like human rights, the inclusion of these broader principles of human rights and interculturalism is also changing the traditional model of national citizenship.


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