Dear fellow teacher,
I am very grateful for your interest in Canadian education. Now, to answer your question, what every Canadian should know is difficult, as there is, in my opinion, no right answer, but there are a multitude of opinions on the subject. As you have asked me however, I will endeavor to write you on what I personally believe should be taught, and how I include this into the lessons I plan around our curriculum.
First off, each province has its own ministry of education, which is responsible for providing a general curriculum to the public schools. In British Columbia, this curriculum can be found online. This curriculum shows the basic subject matter taught: math, art, science, language arts and physical education. I believe that all these subject matters are important. Most importantly, I think all Canadians should be able to read and write in order to successfully communicate information but also find and synthesize new information. Furthermore, in British Columbia we have an inclusive school policy, which means that there might be children in the class with severe learning disabilities. These children should be included in as many in the activities as possible through special adaptations. If you are at all concerned about what that may look like, we can discuss more at length the principles of universal design. All Canadian schools therefore put an emphasis on literacy.
Secondly, in my personal teaching philosophy, I think that the curriculum should be taught with the children in mind. Children’s natural curiosity (and energy levels) should influence the pedagogical methods used in class. Thus, if the children are keen on reading a particular book, this may be used in order to keep them enjoying their learning. If for some reason the children are particularly hyper, a quick in class physical exercise (perhaps a math quizz in which the answer should be given out by a number of jumping jacks) is encouraged.
Therefore, all Canadians learners in my classroom should be given the best chances at delving into the curriculum through a pedagogical approach that works for them. Although this curriculum is subject to change, the most important lesson that one can draw from the classroom for me are literacy, and respect of those with whom they share their environment.
I hope this helps and do not hesitate to contact me with further questions,