In elementary school, the new Culture and Citizenship of Quebec course, which will replace the controversial Ethics and Religious Culture course, will make room for digital education from the third year of elementary school.< /p>
In total, 14 themes are on the menu of this new course which will be tested in around thirty primary schools from the start of the school year, in the form of a pilot project. Quebec aims to have it implemented in all Quebec schools at the start of the 2023 school year.
According to the provisional primary program available online, self-knowledge and relationships between individuals will be addressed from the start of the primary while identity and ecological transition carve out a place in the fifth and sixth years (see box).
Sexuality education, which was already taught in schools, will also be integrated into these new contents.
This lesson will occupy the same place in the subject grid as that of Ethics and religious culture, which had attracted much criticism in recent years. In secondary school, around ten themes will be covered, as Le Journal reported at the end of June.
One of the novelties of this program is to make a formal place for digital education on school benches, from the third year of primary school. Students will learn how to research reliable information on the Internet while the following year, they will try to understand how social media works and the type of information circulating on it.
Stéphane Villeneuve Professor at UQAM
In fifth and sixth grade, young people will be invited to reflect on “the omnipresence of digital technology in everyday life” and to the “conditions of balance to be maintained to avoid situations of dependence” in order to understand the “benefits and risks associated with it”.
“Self-representation on the Internet” and issues related to “online sociability” will also be part of the reflections, as will behavior in cyberspace, in particular cyberbullying and respect.
Stéphane Villeneuve , a professor at UQAM who is interested in digital education and cyberbullying, considers that this content, which will soon be taught in all Quebec schools, represents “very good news”.
He is particularly pleased that cyberbullying is explicitly mentioned in the program, since it is a “big problem among young people”, he says.
From the first year?
Mr. Villeneuve considers, however, that digital education should begin in the first year of primary school, since tablets, cell phones and other screens are already very present in the lives of students at this age.
“Already in kindergarten, parents fight with their children to control addiction to electronic devices. The rituals of life and daily life are among the themes covered in first year, so you would think that the habits surrounding digital devices could easily be part of it, “he says.
The issues surrounding advertising, which abounds on online gaming sites, could also be addressed from the start of primary school, according to this expert.
In order for this content to be well taught, teachers should also have access to solid training, adds Mr. Villeneuve.
“Not all teachers have a great interest in technology. We will have to give them access to continuing education so that they are up to date with everything that is happening on the Internet”, he underlines.
THE CULTURE AND CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM
* Content in sexuality education must be integrated into these themes.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128