Citizenship 9 is a recently developed course for all Nova Scotia schools. It’s origin began as part of the Nova Scotia Action Plan for Education where public consultation called for the development and areas of focus for a completely new course. Teachers from across Nova Scotia were brought together to develop the curriculum outcomes, participate in resource development and selection, and pilot the course. Experts and community interest groups were consulted and provided valuable input. This two year process led to the full implementation of the course in the 2018-2019 school year. Engaged citizenship, financial and digital citizenship, as well as governance and global citizenship work together to create a robust course where teachers and students can explore the world around them through a modern and responsive citizenship lens.
The course pedagogy utilizes inquiry-based learning and service learning to contribute to student centered and culturally responsive learning environments. Both inquiry-based learning and service learning promote problem solving, student efficacy, and challenge students to address real needs in their school or community. In this way, they contribute to the development of skills and competencies of students as young citizens. Teacher acting as facilitators during classroom instruction is also an important aspect of course delivery. Students have the opportunity to design big questions and seek sources that are relevant to them to become informed on issues in citizenship that they feel connected to.
Citizenship 9 includes a learning management system that provides almost all learning resources in one online location. The e-learning component includes an e-book with supporting learning material, guides and case studies in French and English. There is also a blended learning component for teachers to integrate in their class work. This focuses on financial literacy and provides opportunities for robust discussion and reflection. The blended components were all designed by our media team with input from teachers and students.
In a classroom or outside of class, students and teachers can access learning experiences, digital activities, as well as videos and discussion forums. Teachers can collaborate through this platform as well as share and consider their thoughts on the course as they develop their own approaches to citizenship education. As part of the resource roll out classrooms were provided with chromebooks to support more opportunities to develop digital skills through collaborative sharing tools, online research, and the exploration of digital citizenship. This focus on digital citizenship is meant to be an area of study for the course but also an approach to learning that is fully integrated into the program curriculum.