Engaging with Students About Democracy and Governance
Originally published August 2022
This post is sponsored by Library of Parliament
Governance. Democracy. Citizenship.
Stop for a moment and try to explain these ideas in plain language. It’s hard to do.
You might find yourself stumbling over words like “parliament,” “elected representatives,” “constituency,” “bill,” “amendment,” “committee” or “caucus”.
Every year, teachers all over Canada need to make these complex ideas of democratic governance understandable and relatable to students at all grade levels. Whether they are educating students about the helpers in their neighbourhood or showing how a bill becomes law, K–12 teachers in every province and territory help shape the engaged citizens of tomorrow.
Teaching social studies, civics, history and the concept of citizenship in an accessible way is difficult. Knowing the challenges teachers face, the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons, in collaboration with the Library of Parliament, have developed the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy.
The Teachers Institute is a week-long professional development opportunity for educators that is held at Parliament in Ottawa. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allows teachers to engage directly with parliamentarians, exchange best practices with peers and return to the classroom with renewed energy.
Educators who attend the Teachers Institute:
- meet parliamentarians, officials and experts who share valuable insights into the inner workings of Canadian governance;
- learn through hands-on experience how to run parliamentary simulations, such as debates, question period and committee meetings; and
- receive resource materials from the Parliament of Canada and partner organizations, such as the Office of the Governor General of Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada and Elections Canada, that support their teaching.
Applications for the 24th edition of the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy are now open. New and experienced teachers are encouraged to apply, regardless of their core subjects. The program aims to bring together a diverse group of 85 educators from all provinces and territories to create a balanced mix of Canadian perspectives.
Curious? Teachers Institute program details and a variety of teaching and curriculum resources can be found on the Teachers Institute web page.