The treatment of women's history in the grade ten Ontario curriculum and selected textbooks

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Cosentino, Christine Danielle
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As a teacher of Canadian History, I am deeply concerned with Ministry-approved textbooks. I am frustrated by the poor representation of women's history in both the Grade 10 Canadian History curriculum as well as the textbooks. This study's intent is to raise awareness about how problematic the use of Canada: Face of a Nation and Canada, Continuity and Change is in Ontario classrooms from a feminist perspective. This study seeks answers to the following questions: 1.) Is women's history a priority? 2.) Who is represented? 3.) How are those who are represented presented? To answer these questions, an analysis of the Ontario Ministry of Education Grades 9 and 10 Canadian and World Studies Curriculum and the two aforementioned textbooks was conducted. Data analysis concluded that women's history is not a priority, that those who are present belong to the dominant social class and that there is misrepresentation of key female figures. This study recognizes that change to curriculum will be slow to come on account of the overarching cultural model, patriarchy, which is at work in the expectations outlined in the document, and subsequently reflected in the textbooks. In order to make use of the resources given to them, teachers are encouraged to embrace critical pedagogy and feminist pedagogy to return the ownership of teaching to teachers and learning to students.
Women's history , Curriculum , Secondary education