Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 2, 2009
Canada’s schools are flunking history
A recent Harris-Decima survey found that nearly half of Canadians polled in May think Canada’s educational systems don’t adequately prepare people for the demands of contemporary economic reality, just 37 per cent believing high schools do their job of preparing people for the workforce “very well.”
On June 15 the Dominion Institute, an organization dedicated to promotion of Canada’s history, shared citizenship and democratic institutions, released its latest Canadian History Report Card survey, the 2007 version of which had found 82 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 24 unable to pass a simple 30-question “exam” about Canadian history.
Another Dominion Institute survey by Ipsos Reid released this week for Canada’s 142nd birthday found that while 88 per cent of Canadians polled recognized pop star Celine Dion’s photo, 77 per cent Wayne Gretzky’s image, and 73 per cent could identify former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, only 19 per cent were able to name father of Medicare Tommy Douglas and 27 per cent Metis leader Louis Riel from their photos, and substantially fewer than half recognized either Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald (41 per cent) whose visage graces the $10 bill, or current Governor General Michaelle Jean (49 per cent).
The report abstract observes: “It seems difficult to comprehend that recent graduates of high school know so little about Canadian history…. What exactly do we require our students to learn about our country’s past?” This year the Institute examined history taught in Canadian schools, grading provinces and territories on their Canadian history curriculum’s quality at the high school level. (Source: Telegraph Journal)
Link to: 2015 Canadian History Report Card