Junior High Social Studies - General Statement

This is a unified course in geography, history, and citizenship. It is a new departure in curriculum-making and, for the present, must be regarded as a tentative programme. Class-room experience may prove that the work has been unevenly distributed amongst the different half-grades. It is only through class-room experience and experimentation that a thoroughly satisfactory course can be evolved, and to accomplish this end each teacher of Social Studies, during the pioneer days of the Junior High School in British Columbia, should lend his co-operation.

In the development of the content of this course socialized methods and procedures should predominate. The course is arranged in large units lending themselves to the project-problem method of treatment and suggestive of a great variety of pupil activities.

As no Canadian texts have been written in anticipation of this unified course, a fairly wide range of reference books should be provided in the class-room. Each student should provide himself with a good atlas; The Canadian School Geography (Cornish); a New History of Great Britain and Canada, Revised Edition-Wallace (Macmillan); and Studies in Citizenship-McCaig.

Dent's Canadian History Readers, Books Four to Eight, inclusive, will be found to be of much assistance and should be placed in the class-room numbers sufficient to take care of the needs of a class of average size. A new series which is just being published by Gage & Co., entitled “The Canadian Geographical and Industrial Readers” and containing five books (The Maritime Provinces, Quebec, Ontario, The Prairie Provinces, and British Columbia), also gives promise of being very useful.

It must not be forgotten that the great purpose in all our work in social studies is to develop intelligent, responsible, and socially conscious citizens. There are, therefore, certain general objectives leading toward the achievement of our fundamental purpose.

A. Power, Skill, and Right Habits of Study to be established.

  1. Ability to study through a simple geographical, historical, or civic problem.
  2. Ability to gather reference material, evaluate it, and draw conclusions that will help in interpreting life of to-day.
  3. Ability to see related facts, cause and effect, comparison and contrast, as one reads.
  4. Increasing the ability to observe and interpret environmental factors in their geographic, historical, and civic relations.
  5. Habits of using good English in both oral and written work.
  6. Habit of reading the best books and magazines.
  7. Ability to interpret maps and globes.
  8. Ability to get the thought rapidly from the printed page to express it in a variety of ways; ie., oral and written reports, graphs and illustrations.
  9. An interest in source material and an ability to discriminate as to the varying reliability of sources.
  10. Ability to discover the qualities of character which have made men great and led them on to great achievements.

B. Right Ideals and Attitudes to be developed.

  1. Love for the other nations of the British Empire and for our constitutional monarchy.
  2. An appreciation of the necessity for government; the meaning of liberty, of citizenship, and of co-operation.
  3. A sincere appreciation of our great pioneers of empire, government and reform, science and invention.
  4. Tolerance and respect for other nations and races.
  5. A willingness to submit to the rule of the majority and a respect for the rights and property of others.
  6. A recognition of civic responsibilities and a willingness to respond to them with the appropriate action.
  7. A respect for the rights and property of others.
  8. An attitude of open-mindedness and an appreciation for truth.
  9. An appreciation of the dignity of labour and its part in the development of character.
  10. Recognition of the fact that the British and Canadian tradition is to abide by the law, and that when one desires changes to be made in the law he should employ only lawful and constitutional methods of effecting such changes.
  11. Recognition of the fact that every Canadian, whether he be such either by birth or by adoption, should have a wholehearted love for Canada, a reasoned but deep-seated patriotism, and that a Canadian can best serve other nations of the British Empire and the rest of the world by doing what it is in his power to do towards making Canada greater and nobler.

Source: British Columbia. Department of Education. Programme of Studies for Junior High Schools of British Columbia, 1927-1928 (1928), pp. 5-6.
Transcribed by Kelsey Diaczek and Megan Cameron, History 349, Malaspina University-College, March 2001