For more than 20 years, Elections Canada has provided elementary and secondary teachers with educational resources.
To better meet the needs of the modern classroom, we have just launched a series of new resources to complement our tried-and-true teacher tools. These resources are linked to curriculum outcomes and learning competencies in all provinces and territories.
Through this renewed program, our aim is to work with educators to prepare and engage future voters to participate in electoral democracy.
To develop our new educational resources, Elections Canada worked in collaboration with educators across Canada. We undertook extensive research and consultations to determine and respond to teachers’ needs. What we learned helped us to establish a framework for our new materials:
- Pedagogically sound resources that are inquiry based, cross-curricular, and student centered
- Quality content that is non-partisan, accurate, bilingual and accessible to various literacy levels
- Adaptable materials that are available in both digital and print formats, as well as being engaging, short and easy to use
We worked with expert teachers to take those concepts into reality, seeking feedback from educators in every province and territory along the way, through a national advisory committee. Finally, we pilot tested the resources in real classrooms across Canada. We continue to work with educators as we look to expand our program offering in the years to come.
These resources have a lot of integrity and would be very progressive and very modern, in keeping with all the goals of 21st-century learning. – Ontario high school teacher
Advisory Circle of Educators
We are committed to working with educators in everything we do. The Advisory Circle of Educators (ACOE) was formed in 2017 to advise Elections Canada on best practices in the development of new educational resources, future directions for its civic education program, and ways to ensure uptake by teachers.
Membership includes representatives from each province and territory and First Nations schools. The committee includes Anglophone and Francophone classroom teachers, school administrators, curriculum consultants and academics to provide a broad range of perspectives.
In this process, I had a real sense that we were being asked for our input and our input was being taken seriously. I could see the materials take shape as we gave feedback. – Alan Sears, ACOE Member
Collaborating with Others
Elections Canada works with like-minded organizations who support democracy education. Among our collaborators are the Library of Parliament and Provincial and Territorial electoral agencies. We also engage non-governmental organizations like Encounters with Canada, Forum for Young Canadians, CIVIX and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society on a variety of initiatives. Finally, we collaborate with educators and education administrators at all levels. Together, we can help build young people’s knowledge, understanding and interest in elections and democracy.