What does every Canadian need to know today?

Mr. Richards,

Thank you very much for getting in contact with me and taking an interest in the Canadian curriculum. You have asked what I believe every Canadian needs to know today. I will do my best to answer this very complex question as concisely as possible; however, I must tell you that this is only my personal perspective on this issue.

I believe, first and foremost, that critical thinking is the most important skill we can teach Canadian children. Critical thinking skills enhance all other subject areas in our curriculum. Additionally, students need to know the importance of inquiry and research. They need to be taught to take responsibility for their own learning. By giving them the tools to carry out student-lead inquiry projects and helping to facilitate their own research, we leave them with the skills to think critically.

Students must also discover the importance of personal and social responsibility. Through the processes of critical thinking and student-based inquiry, the aim is for students, along with teachers and other members of the community, to bring to light social issues and injustices present in the local community.

I believe it is also important to provide students with the opportunity to practice mindfulness and to begin to feel in control of their personal, mental, and physical well-being. Through subjects such as art, music, and physical education, we can teach children the importance of self-care and self-expression.

Of course, it is also crucial for children to gain a certain level of content knowledge in all of the subjects taught in Canadian schools. Of highest importance to me is that all students attain high proficiency in reading, writing, and communication. It is also important that they acquire basic skills in both science and math, as well as a general understanding of historically significant events on the local, national, and international scale. Students should also be made aware of current events and of issues facing today’s society.

I look forward to working with you and learning what you believe is important for this generation to know.

-Isabel Cirka

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