Mandated citizenship: facilitating and reflecting on the development of citizenship through the Ontario mandated high school community service requirement
Young, Thomas Adam
Master of Education
SubjectMandatory community service (Education)
Ontario high school community involvement program
Community-based learning and civic education
Community involvement (Education)
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Civic education and community service are widely viewed as worthwhile educational pursuits. Recent Canadian studies have shown that youth are now engaged in voluntary service more than any other age group in Canada. A key contributing factor to youth involvement has been the development of community service requirements for high school graduation; Ontario is a current example. This research sought to develop a better understanding of the effectiveness of the Ontario high school community involvement program through a qualitative case study of one Northwestern Ontario high school. Multiple sources were accessed including: civic educational philosophy, academic best practices, curriculum documents, and interviews with key high school educators. A particular interest was dedicated to identifying the factors within the Ontario program that promote and inhibit community-based learning and civic education. The following key findings are offered as a result of this case study investigation: - Emphasis is often placed on only one type of responsible citizenship, - Tension exists between the initiative’s written purpose and how it is practiced, - The program is inconsistent in offering meaningful opportunities for all students, - Guided reflection has been overlooked as an integral program requirement, - A need exists to renegotiate the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, - The program’s structure must be revised to support its written purpose.
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