In a new opinion to the Minister of Education, the Superior Council of Education of Quebec deals with the review of the Ethics and Religious Culture (ECR) program, issues recommendations to ensure its success and makes certain caveats. concerning the process currently carried out.
Let us first recall that the review of the ECR program was announced at the beginning of 2020 by the Minister of Education. Extensive consultation has started, but has been slowed down somewhat by the pandemic. The goal is now to offer the new course from the 2023-2024 school year.
The eight themes under study with a view to creating a new program are as follows.
- Citizen participation and democracy
- Legal education
- Sexuality education
- Self-development and interpersonal relationships
- Digital citizenship
- Corporate culture
Moreover, the Council expressed certain reservations, expressed by the actors consulted, as to the number and scope of the themes envisaged for the new program. These are considered too large “for the time slot currently devoted to ECR, especially as some of them could require the use of specialized personnel (eg: legal education and sex education) ".
During the work that led to the production of the opinion, the Board carried out an analysis in order to demonstrate possible links between the proposed themes and the current components of the Quebec Education Program (PFEQ).
In the end, he underlines in particular an overlap between themes, in particular as regards “citizenships” (citizen participation and democracy, eco-citizenship, digital citizenship). He also mentions the fact that the proposed themes overlap with several learning already provided for in the PFEQ within the general areas of training, transversal skills and learning areas or prescribed content.
“The Board notes that many more or less close links exist between the themes envisaged and the PFEQ. These links should be considered to ensure that the whole curriculum is coherent, that complementary learning is ensured and that duplication is avoided. Taking eight diverse themes into account also requires attention to the internal coherence of the new study program and the presence of a clear common thread ”, we read in the report.
Ethical reflection and dialogue
The Council recommends considering ethical reflection and the practice of dialogue as the foundations of the new program. “For the Council, ethical reflection and the practice of dialogue seem to be the best tools for both dealing with the themes envisaged in a coherent manner for the pupil and bringing him towards the recognition of the other and the pursuit of the common good, which are the two goals maintained for the upcoming program (MÉES, 2020a) ”.
Subject Matrix and Assessment
Beyond the content of the new program, the Council highlights the fact that the issues around the subject grid (versus the amount of content that one wishes to include in the future program) are important (approximately one hour of lessons). per week is currently devoted to ECR) and that the evaluation of learning should be carefully considered.
Read the full report Revision of the Ethics and Religious Culture program: towards a successful transition.