Teacher Professional Stance in the Québec Ethics and Religious Culture Program

Type of resource
Teacher Professional Stance in the Québec Ethics and Religious Culture Program
The author notes that 2008 saw the implementation of a new Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) program in Quebec classrooms. She explains that the ERC program replaced the former religious and moral instruction courses and had the potential for being ground-breaking and transformative. In order to teach this program teachers were required to adopt a professional stance of objectivity and impartiality. In 2007, the author was chosen to become one of fifty Anglophone facilitator teachers invited to participate in two years of training for a new ERC program who would then train the teachers from their respective school boards. While in the facilitator training group, the author was invited to join the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport as the representative of the Anglophone teaching community in the ERC dossier. The author argues that cultural norms of Whiteness among teachers and pre-service teachers was impeding the successful implementation of the new ERC program. The majority of pre-service teachers were white, Christian and female who were unaware of privilege and who enter teaching with “the objective to civilizing their students” (the author’s words). Her observations of and discussions with both pre-service and classroom teachers indicate a dialogue had begun and that more self-examination and critical reflection was necessary before the ERC program could experience success. (In 2020, the Ministère de l’Éducation decided to replace the ERC program with a new controversial program titled Culture and Citizenship in Québec, to be based on three main areas, namely culture, citizenship in Quebec and dialogue and critical thinking.)
Master's Thesis
McGill University
# of Pages
Knott, Natalie Kay. “Teacher Professional Stance in the Québec Ethics and Religious Culture Program.” Master’s Thesis, McGill University, 2010. https://escholarship.mcgill.ca/concern/theses/8w32r5994?locale=en.
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