Fall/automne 2010

“There is no magic whereby such qualities will be acquired at the voting age”: Teachers, curriculum, pedagogy and citizenship

Lorna McLean
University of Ottawa
Published January 7, 2011
  • education policy in Canada,
  • citizenship education,
  • curriculum
How to Cite
McLean, Lorna. 2011. “‘There Is No Magic Whereby Such Qualities Will Be Acquired at the Voting age’: Teachers, Curriculum, Pedagogy and Citizenship”. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire De l’éducation 22 (2). https://doi.org/10.32316/hse/rhe.v22i2.2388.


This study asks: What did it mean to be a Canadian citizen in the late forties and fifties? Who were considered good citizens, what were their qualities, and how did the teaching of citizenship relate to notions of identity, nation(alism), belonging and international development within a postwar liberal democracy? Finally, how did educational and policy materials as reflected in the curriculum and pedagogy of the day represent citizenship? Recent studies of this period emphasize diversity and dissent among educators who challenged the status quo, despite pressures to conform to societal norms and to produce workers with skills and attitudes that would benefit the modern economy. This research on citizenship, youth, and democratic education suggests reasons to re-evaluate our understanding of what is considered the legitimate domain and purpose of citizenship education along with the possibilities of teaching citizenship within a school/classroom setting.