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Bring Parliament to Your Classroom

Bring Parliament to Your Classroom

This post is sponsored by Library of Parliament

Originally published March 2024

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” and “caucus.”

Every year, teachers all over Canada must make complex ideas about democratic governance understandable and relatable to students at all grade levels. Knowing the challenges this can present, the Parliament of Canada offers educational resources and professional development opportunities to support teaching civic literacy in K-12 classrooms.

Parliament: The Classroom Experience is a new travelling classroom program, which takes students into the heart of democracy in virtual reality (VR). Using the provided equipment, learners go on an immersive journey inside Centre Block – the historical seat of Parliament, which is now closed for long-term rehabilitation. VR Classroom Kits can be booked for a one-week period, free of charge, and include all the equipment needed to run the experience – no internet connection or other devices required.

Educators hoping to deepen their understanding of Canadian civics can also apply to the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. This once-in-a-lifetime, week-long professional development 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 free educational resources 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.

Applications for the 25th 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. Interested educators can find the program requirements, application, and dates on the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy web page.

To learn more about educational resources and programs from the Parliament of Canada, visit