Social Studies 11 in 2018/19
In 2016, the Ministry of Education postponed implementation of revised Grade 10-12 curriculum by one year. In 2017, there was a further postponement of the Grade 11-12 portion for an additional year. This means that many schools will be running some version of Social Studies 11 for one last time in 2017/18, and perhaps some into 2018/19. On the books, there is a new course "Social Studies 11 Explorations, : an elective that will fill the gap for school that want something for Grade 11 students that is not simply a Grade 12 elective taken a year earlier. This site provides some discussion and suggestions for what that might look like. Teachers might not all agree with how this has rolled out, and how new course designations and requirements will impact Social Studies education, but we must also do what we can with what we have. Let's look at the problems and possible solutions.
Important parts of the old SS11 curriculum have been missed by a cohort of students.
Most teachers have piloted versions of a revised SS10 with their SS10 classes. Many of these chose a hybrid approach -- some of the old SS10 and some of the old SS11. Reports from these teachers conclude that many did not bring the “history” focus of their courses much beyond WWII, and also hit-and-miss for including Human Geography and Environment units. History from Confederation to WWII got better traction and most included a unit on Politics and Government.
The future of a Social Studies 11 course is uncertain.
A new Social Studies 11 course - an open-ended general studies approach, has been proposed by the Ministry of Education but not fleshed out or officially on the books as of October 2017. It was certainly too late for inclusion in 2017-18 calendars, yet some schools have scheduled their last go at the old SS11 as a chance to pilot this new “shell” course.
Loss of teaching blocks
Some schools have made SS11 mandatory in 2017-18 but have already “done the curriculum” with SS10 so they need something new to teach. Some teachers see any new SS11 as a competition for their Grade 12 electives. Whatever happens in SS11 in 2017-18 needs to lead to something (so that teachers aren’t inventing a one-off course that ends after one year) and ideally something that spurs students to take another elective in Grade 12 rather than sign off on their grad credits with the SS11 course.
Encourage wide-spread use of a hybrid SS11 in 2018-19
For sake of argument, this would be half old SS11 (the parts that were missed by many of the current SS10 students) and half new stuff. The new stuff could draw from any “Study of Society” -- history, geography, political science, anthropology, sociology, etc. The focus could be local/regional, national, global. It could centre around current events, issues, concepts or competencies, projects, place, etc.
Pull in units from courses your school does not normally offer
This could include courses or new Grade 12 electives that don’t have the numbers in your school to make a go of it -- Economics, Social Justice, First Nations Studies, Human Geography, etc. It could also include material from locally developed (BAA) courses -- Cultures in Conflict, Middle Earth, etc.
Encourage sharing of sample units and lessons
So many wheels to be reinvented -- let’s share the burden. Whether through TeachBC or other vessels, please consider sharing your lesson and unit ideas. Let us know if you'd like to share them here.