January 6, 2009

Newfoundland and Labrador Subject of New Social Studies Course

An innovative new social studies course focused solely on Newfoundland and Labrador is offering high school students a unique view to understanding this province�s history, culture and current affairs. The development and implementation of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 2205 is the result of a $900,000 allocation by the Provincial Government. The course is in the final year of a two-year pilot and will be fully implemented September 2009.

"Up until now, there has been no course specifically geared toward issues affecting Newfoundland and Labrador," said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education. "It�s important we give our students the opportunity to learn not just about our history, but about how decisions we make today affect the future. And that is exactly what this course delivers."

Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 2205 is designed as a Level II course and fulfills the Canadian Studies graduation requirement. It is organized around four key themes � culture, fishery and economic diversification, governance, and sustainability. In this way, the course takes an historical perspective, while examining current affairs and sustainable development.

Student resources have a strong research focus and there are a series of case studies providing in-depth treatment of the province�s history and culture. Minister Burke said that by designing the course this way, students can examine issues that are of particular interest to them, or explore challenges affecting their town or region. Extensive on-line support, including a database of primary source material, is under development in consultation with The Rooms, Memorial University�s Centre for Newfoundland Studies, and Newfoundland and Labrador academics and historians.

"The strength of this course is that it allows students to examine the culture and history of our province through a local or regional lens," said Minister Burke. "Issues affecting rural areas of the province are different from those affecting urban areas and this course reflects that. Its design allows for flexibility and for adjusting topics to reflect regional interests. By doing so, the course can continue to grow over time, and remain fresh and relevant for successive students."

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Media contact:

Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 689-2624

2009 01 06                                                      11:10 a.m.

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