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Kelly Lamrock is New Brunswick's child, youth and seniors' advocate. Image: Submitted

Less Civics, History Education In Schools Worries Advocate

By Brad Perry Nov 28, 2022 | 6:18 AM

New Brunswick’s child and youth advocate is expressing concern about a reduction in civics and history education in schools.

The issue was one of three challenges raised by Kelly Lamrock in his latest report released earlier in November.

Lamrock said recent data from his office shows the current generation of young people are engaged, compassionate and desirous of becoming citizens.

However, he said those children are not being given the tools to understand the democratic institutions and how they shape them.

“We’ve reduced the number of civics and history education in schools. We’ve reduced the specialization in history and social studies so it’s lumped in with fine arts,” Lamrock said in an interview.

“We don’t expose children to the kind of instruction about the democratic institutions that grew out of the post-World War II era and why those are important and what sets a democracy apart from an authoritarian government, what the responsibilities of a citizen area.”

Lamrock described it as a “real crisis” noting that children are dealing with the need to process information in an online world where there is often disinformation, yet the current social studies curriculum predates the online and social media explosions.

“Democratic education should be more common than driver’s education. It should be just as important to learn how to shape your community as it is to drive a car, yet we aren’t doing that,” he said.

Lamrock encouraged leaders to revitalize civics education from a citizenship lens, place topics such as diversity and human rights within the historical and social context that explains our democratic institutions and how they work, and encourage active citizenship through school community engagement, entrepreneurial learning and volunteer education.


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