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TEACHING PUBLIC ISSUES IN A CANADIAN CONTEXT

Edited by Donald C. Wilson.

Toronto, OISE Press, c1982.
(Curriculum series #47).
194pp, paper, $19.50.
ISBN 0-7744-02474.


Professional.
Reviewed by Howard Hurt.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.


In the decade after the publication of What Culture? What Heritage? several professional texts and a number of sophisticated curriculum materials were produced that included discussions of the various domestic and international "issues" facing Canada. Some of these provided some very practical suggestions for the choosing of teaching strategies. Still, many social studies teachers continue to feel that they lack a comprehensive awareness of the major decisions facing their country and are hesitant about presenting matters that could be seen as controversial.

This resource book was written by academics from three west coast faculties of education. It attempts to create a basic framework that could help such uncertain educators design instructional approaches and classroom materials suitable for any "issue."

It does this by example rather than exposition. Four issues— the quality of life, multiculturalism, global problems and Canada/U.S. relations— were isolated from the many concerns discussed in Teaching Canada for the '80s* by Hodgetts and Gallagher. Each topic was developed by a different writer and each demonstrates a different methodology. Secondary teachers, for whom this book is intended, are invited to extract specific ideas or to read the work as a whole in order to gain a feeling both for what constitutes a genuine issue and for ways they might be imaginatively presented.

Teaching Public Issues answers a real need and, therefore, makes a valuable contribution to the professional literature of the social studies. The price of $19.50 set by a "non-profit" publisher seems somewhat excessive, but it should be purchased by every faculty of education library, teachers' centre, and high school social studies department. It might even be useful for those public libraries serving particularly interested parents.

*Reviewed vol. VII/3 Summer 1979 p.140.


Howard Hurt, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.
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