As a follow-up to teacher Jeff Itcush's insightful exposé on the teaching of racism and the Quebec Education Program (QEP) [September 9], it is also important to note that the new secondary IV history program offers little room for any discussion not specifically targeted within the official course of study. Previously, the secondary III and IV History courses were linked and studied over a two-year period. In this new revision, the time frames have been severed into two separate parts with only the secondary IV portion ("1840 to the Present") being examined via the uniform examination system for certification purposes.
History teachers have just 100-hours of in-school time to deal with a very dense program filled with Quebec trivia. Instead of engaging large issues, such as racism as raised by Itcush, students are often bogged down in memorizing names of successive Quebec premiers along with minor figures of no real historic value.
The maximum 100-hour time allotment is simply insufficient for adolescents to grasp the large and interconnected global issues now impacting Canadian youth. As aptly stated by the recent EMSB "History Experts Report", the mandatory student text is long on propaganda with specific political orientations and short on studies into relevant societal concerns.
Jon G. Bradley
Associate Professor (Retired)