Bridging the Gap: Towards a Cosmopolitan Orientation in the Social Studies Curriculum in Saskatchewan High Schools
Vital to Canadian social and cultural cohesion in a globalized world is an urgent need to enact new social and educational discourses and initiatives essential to expand an understanding of our interconnected relationships that coalesce with the key tenets of cosmopolitanism. Cosmopolitanism is a theory that endorses a sense of global responsibility and connectedness, respect for human rights and difference inside and outside our borders, and detachment from our communal, national, religious, ethnic, as well as other forms of particularities. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to investigate to what extent the social studies curriculum in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 in Saskatchewan integrates or reflects cosmopolitan perspectives in an increasingly interconnected world. Thus, data collection consists of content analysis of the Saskatchewan curriculum and five interviews with social studies teachers in Saskatchewan high schools. Data analysis is guided by the literature review on cosmopolitanism that operates as the theoretical framework of this study and by critical discourse analysis. This research contributes to our understanding of what cosmopolitan education can offer in terms of possibilities to the social, cultural, educational, and political configurations of Canadian society. Emphasis is also on the need for future implementation of courses focusing on cosmopolitanism in higher education to raise awareness among students, prospective teachers, policy makers, curriculum designers, educational administrators, and government agencies about cosmopolitanism as an active agency to alleviate social ills. In conclusion, I offer suggestions for strengthening the social studies curriculum in Saskatchewan high schools to promote cosmopolitan values. Thus, the significance of the study lies in its theoretical and practical implications for social and educational policies in Canada and internationally.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorOrlowski, Paul; Wason-Ellam, Linda
CommitteeWotherspoon, Terry; McMullen, Linda; Wills, Jeanie; Fowler-Kerry, Susan
Copyright DateSeptember 2016
cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, globalization, critical discourse analysis, critical theory, citizenship education, global ethics, curriculum studies, teacher education