Becoming citizens: High school students and citizenship in British Columbia and Québec

Stéphane Lévesque

Abstract


This article explores how British Columbia and Québec high school students construct and understand their citizenship in light of their history/social studies experience. Two multi-ethnic high schools, one in Montréal and one in Vancouver, provided a window into Québec history (grade 10) and B.C. social studies (grade 11). Key citizenship concepts (rights, participation, cultural pluralism, and identity) developed in political theory guided this study. Using a multiple case study design, this qualitative study employed multiple data collection: document analysis, school and classroom observations, and semi-structured interviews with key participants. The findings suggest that, despite different programs and teaching approaches, students in both sites accord an importance to citizenship. Yet, contrasts emerge between francophone Québécois and anglophone British Columbians, particularly in terms of identity.

Keywords


citizenship education; social studies; history; curriculum

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