The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


Multicultural education or is it possible to create a common cultural space?
A proposal for the reading of educational systems in Ontario and Québec

Chair of the section/Suggestions, Abstracts, Contributions to:
Email: Mirela Moldoveanu (Ottawa, Canada)

ABSTRACT: The identity of today's Canada depends strongly of the evolutive dynamics of the cultural groups. Recent statistics show that the percentage of children and young people who are indigenous or born into recent immigration families varies from 16% (New Brunswick) to 85% (in the Territories of North-West). This percentage is at 58% in Ontario and 22% in Québec (all data are referring to people under 25 years of age). The educational system in each province should be in connexion with the needs of a students population getting more and more diversified from the etno-cultural point of view and should assume a capital role in the creation of a common cultural space. But is it really the case? The studies from the last two decades dont stop to give alarming signs of the incongruity existing between the social demand and the political answers.

In this context, we started a comparative study of the educational systems in Ontario and Québec at the level of evident policies and of the curricula in the initial teachers' training program, trying to answer the following questions: 1) What kind of educational poicies did Ontario and Québec develop in order to manage the challenge of multiculturalism? 2) How do the programms of the teachers' initial training contribyte in Ontario and Québec to the imolementation of multicultural policies? 3) What kind of acculturation profiles do emerge from these policies among pupils who are members of cultural minorities?