Lesson One: Equity
Duration: 1-6 Class Periods
Grade Level: 9-12
Welcome to The Canadian Studies Project. In successive issues of TEACH Magazine, you will find four lesson plans that explore the following themes: Equity, Diversity, Interdependence and Peace. Due to limited space, the curriculum links and additional content will be posted to the Web site: www.teachmag.com/canadianstudies. The content of The Canadian Studies Project is also connected to a television series called Get Outta Town! (www.getouttatown.tv), where the hosts travel the world and meet up with teenagers to experience the life and culture of different communities from the local teenager's point of view. Video content from the series is posted on The Canadian Studies Web site.
Canada is a country of diverse peoples. Through the activities detailed in the following lesson plans, we are confident that you and your students will enjoy and celebrate Canada's unique status among nations.
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KEY CONCEPTS AND ISSUES
This lesson plan explores the idea of Equity as it relates to ensuring that everyone in a given society has access to all the rights and freedoms available to them under the law without favouring one group over another.
Students will learn:
* To appreciate the freedoms they currently enjoy and/ or take for granted
* To recognize the different positions people occupy in a society or culture
* To assess challenges and determine solutions for those in inequitable situations
* To understand that many people on the planet live in difficult circumstances
* To deal with real world issues
* To work together in teams
* To sharpen critical assessment skills
Eighteen-year-old Juan comes from a family of small landholders in Argentina. He came to Canada to live with relatives when he was 14.
Here is Juan's story:
Many families in the Argentinian countryside farm or operate ranches. Like many countries, there is a hierarchy of social classes in Argentina.
The elite are called "Caudillos," those who own large estates (estancias) throughout the land. For many years, the Caudillos ran the country as an oligarchy through much of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Caudillos obtained their land holdings through royal grants or as a reward for being supportive of the government or ruler of the day. They controlled wages and contracts and as a result of their overall influence, the Caudillos influenced social, political and economic policies in the country. Not surprisingly, many of these policies favoured those in their own class. Comprised of cattle barons and merchants, the Caudillos acquired more and more land, squeezing out the smaller landholders like Juan's family.
Those opposed to the rule of the oligarchy, and subsequently the rule of the military-style junta that came afterward, attempted to enact reform. Some joined labor unions to help consolidate their influence, to see if they could make a difference in government policy that gave some control back to the smaller landholders.
The Caudillos realized their position was being threatened by the social activism of the smaller landholders and moved to neutralize this threat. Unofficially, this involved acts of violence against the leaders of the labor unions and those who spoke out against the Caudillos or challenged them for power.
Juan's father, Miguel, was just such a man. Miguel was afraid but reasoned he had no choice. …