Project 3: Canadian Issues - A Student Perspective

Logo General Information
Project Overview
Curriculum Connections
Resource Connections
Evaluation

Lead Teachers:Shirley Brown

Douglas Mercer

Claude Bishop - (Canadian Issues Teachers)

Victoria Pennell - (Learning Resource Teacher)

Grade Level:Level I & II Senior High School
Number of Students:150 (approx.)
Project Start and Finish Dates:January 1997 - June 1997 will be the initial phase, with the project continuing into the following years with new groups of students.

  Project Overview

The primary aim of the Canadian Issues 1201 course is to expose students to the nature of political, geographical and socioeconomic problems in Canadian society and to explore possible solutions to these problems. This project "Canadian Issues - A Student Perspective" will give students the opportunity to interact with students in a variety of locations across Canada - eg. large cities, small rural towns, native communities, coastal communities, prairie towns - to discuss some of these issues and provide feedback through the creation of World Wide Web pages. Through this interaction students will be able to recognize that people have differing perspectives on these issues because of such factors as their background, their location, their race, their socioeconomic conditions, etc. and that there are no easy answers.

It is the intent of the project to have student make links with other students who are studying similar courses in various locations and have them compare and contrast their feelings, ideas and positions on a variety of relevant Canadian issues through e-mail connections. Students would be responsible for researching selected issues - eg. Canadian Unity; Multiculturalism; Canada-U.S. Relations; Rights; Laws; the Canadian Economy; Canada's Role in the Global Society (Peacekeeping, Human Rights, etc.) - to provide background information as a starting point for the project. Some of this research will be done using Internet sources. Students would then be responsible for compiling questions relevant to particular issues for presentation to other students to stimulate reaction and response through e-mail contact. The students would then be responsible for evaluating the responses and compiling them into Web pages for posting on the Internet.

  Curriculum Connections

This project is directly linked with the course Canadian Issues 1201 as well as various English courses which require students to conduct research, assess information, organize it and compile it into some form of presentation.

Canadian Issues 1201 Objectives:

  1. Students will understand the nature of the political, geographic and socioeconomic problems in Canadian society.
  2. Students will explore possible solutions to these problems.
  3. Students will develop the ability to gather and organize information about issues of national interest.
  4. Students will develop the ability to engage in written expression, arguments and creative thinking.
  5. Students will develop the ability to participate in group-decision making through the use of analysis, reasoning and expression.
  6. Students will learn to appreciate the impact of social and cultural issues - equality and human rights, racism, aging, multiculturalism - on Canadian society.

"Canadian Issues - A Student Perspective" Objectives:

  1. students will develop skills in research, problem solving, questioning, writing, editing, evaluating and publishing through Internet use.
  2. Students will use a variety of technologies to develop skills in information retrieval and analysis, word processing and web page creation.
  3. Students will develop communications skills through using e-mail, gopher, World Wide Web, uploading, downloading, etc.
  4. Students will become familiar with a variety of Search Engines (Alta Vista; Lycos; InfoSeek Guide, WebCrawler, Yahoo) to aid in their search for information on the Internet.
  5. Students will learn how to evaluate sources of electronic information using established criteria.

  Resource Connections

Having a STELLAR School Internet connection will enhance this project by providing simultaneous access to Internet searching for large numbers of students as well as e-mail capabilities for students. It will allow students to:

  1. access various sites to find information relevant to various Canadian issues
  2. access search engines to assist with information retrieval
  3. access sites to assist with the evaluation of information
  4. communicate with students across Canada to discuss relevant issues
  5. access tools and programs necessary for the construction of Web Pages and multi-media presentations
  6. allow students to post their completed Web Pages for public access and interaction

Other resources which are being brought into the school will also assist this project. Some of these resources are:

  1. a network version of Microsoft Office
  2. electronic encyclopedias and other data-base programs on CD-ROM
  3. electronic magazine indexes

While these resources are not specific to this project, they will contribute to the research and presentation aspects, by giving students access to additional resources, desktop publishing capability, multi-media presentation capability and html programming.

  Evaluation

Student evaluation for this project will be part of the on-going evaluation of Canadian Issues 1201. In the context of the issues assignments which students complete they will be evaluated on the following skills in addition to the ones already identified in the curriculum guide.

  1. use of the Internet as a source of information
  2. the creation of Web-Pages and multi-media presentations as a means of sharing research findings
  3. the ability to develop pertinent questions to stimulate discussion and reaction
  4. the ability to assess information received and compile it into a presentation which will be of benefit to other students.

The impact of the project on the school will be measurable by teacher's and student's increased facility with the use of Internet resources. It will also be measured by the increase in accessibility to resources from within the Learning Resource Centre and the school in general. The number of schools and students who join the project and the quality of the Web Pages created will also be an indication of the project's success.

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