Document of Learning 1: Postnationalism

“There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. Those qualities are what make us the first postnational state.”

-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (2015)

  1. Choose an event from Canada’s past or present (social, political, environmental, or economic) and describe/illustrate (show cause and effect) how this event influenced / influences all four of the quadrants. Provide images / primary source evidence where possible.
  2. Does your event represent a step towards creating and maintaining a coherent Canadian identity, or does it move Canada more clearly in the direction of Trudeau’s discussion of a “postnational” state?
  3. In your opinion, is there any value in trying to define a specific Canadian identity, or should we abandon this idea towards a more open and global idea of nationhood? Why?

 

One of the key events that has shaped Canadian identity and affects all aspects of our lives is the right to universal health care. Tommy Douglas (NDP) first proposed it as premier of Saskatchewan in 1947, urging for free basic hospital care. All of the provinces and territories soon followed, helping Canadians across the country live without fear of health issues regardless of their wealth. The medical program soon expanded and improved to include more treatments covered, leading to the Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act in 1957 and the Medical Care Act in 1966. This is a political event, but its far-reaching consequences are definitely affecting all four quadrants. This decision definitely affected the social aspect of Canadians, helping equalize people to make sure they have the same access to important social services. It is also an important step forward in making Canada the accepting, unbiased nation that it is now. It is a statement made by the government that symbolizes their determination to support all their citizens and provide them with the same fundamental rights regardless of poverty or social standing. On the economical side, the government’s decision to “reimburse, or cost share,

one-half of provincial and territorial costs for specified hospital and diagnostic services” will have an impact on the other expenses of the country. The free medical services are, after all, not cheap, knowing that the average household pays $11,320 per year in tax money. The money spent on providing care may be withdrawn from important funds, like ones set up for the environment. The Conservative party is not known for renewable energy and the like, so the health care funds may reduce environmental funding not supported by the government. Also, the fact that people won’t have to pay for healthcare will mean that a lot more people will use the system, increasing strain on the system and usage of medical supplies, creating more waste that may harm the environment.

This act has moved Canada closer as a nation by emphasizing to the world the values that Canadians are proud of. Even today, free universal health care is not the case in many countries in the world, and the fact that Canada is part of this group says something about our stand regarding human rights. From the women’s rights movements in 1929 to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, Canada has shown itself to be a nation that embraces change to accept all races, genders or social classes. Canada’s decision to spend valuable funds on the universal health care system to provide access to a healthy life for everyone states its priorities to the world. At that time, not many countries would use big sums of money to help the poor, but we did, and that action at the time made millions of Canadians proud. It is actions like this, ones which distinguish Canada from the rest, that shapes Canadian identity, and I believe that everyone, whether then or now, would see us Canadians as open and tolerant people.

I firmly believe that we, as Canadians, should have a collective identity that overarches on the sea of different values and beliefs. It is only through this sense of being “Canadian” that we could be united as a nation and a country. Canadians in this country may have distinct values and beliefs, but just like how Americans are united by the idea of “freedom and ideas”, we should be people drawn together by something as well. This something, I think, is the strive for equality. As a nation, the Canadian identity is gender equality (LGBTQ + as well), immigration and refugee help, First Nations support, and multiculturalism. Regardless of whether the government is doing well to actualize those things, they are the things that Canadians care about and believe in. This is what makes Canada the nations that it is, huge ideas that support and protect the multitude of small, individual ideas, knowing that our differences can’t break us, but only unite us.

Historical Thinking: What is Important in SS 10

Based on our conversations in class today, your prior experience, and the “Guideposts to Historical Thinking” handout, which historical thinking question do you believe is the most important to consider for a vibrant and challenging Social Studies experience this year? Why?

I believe that the most important question to ask in our Social Studies experience is that of how the history, on paper, relates to our lives in the 3-dimensional world. Anything that we learn in the classroom needs to be applied to our lives in order to make a difference. If history remains history and not experience, they are just stories to entertain, pedantic knowledge that does nothing except to showcase memory. It may sound easy, but it actually requires us to build connections with the text and to be careful not to impose current values on past societies. A guidepost to historical thinking states that “a fair assessment of the ethical implications of history can inform us of our responsibilities to remember and respond… [to] the past.” Understanding the context of why people did what they have done will present to us what has happened in its truth. It is important that we try to give credit to the wronged and shed light on the past, not just for history’s sake, but for our sake too. Our understanding of history can help us make informed decisions about issues in our own society, and that is what ultimately matters.

In-Depth 4.0

At this time in my mentoring relationship, I am at the end of the negotiating stage with my mentor according to Zachary’s model of mentorship. The reason that negotiation took a very long time was because meeting and actually discussing the details of our expectations and goals turned out to be hard. Due to our shifting schedules, we often had to make amendments to our agreements. I had troubles at the beginning regarding the role of my mentor in this project, specifically how he can support me and what he should teach me. This unclearness leads to a lack of goals and criteria for success. While I got more into gears as I gained knowledge about my topic, I have a better idea of how exactly my mentor can support me in the process of this project.

Our mentor meetings now are actually quite productive now. I would have some questions that he can answer, and he would then talk about specific things that he wants me to think about or just life experiences that shows something about the stock markets. The first part would take around 30 minutes, and depending on how much my mentor wants to talk about, we could be together for up to 2 hours. The meetings are turning out to be great.

The only thing that I would like to happen would be to establish a closer relationship with my mentor. Right now, we are in a kind of teacher-student relationship. I sometimes feel that I am troubling my mentor everytime I needed him for something. To build friendship, I need to gain mutual respect in the first place. This respect is not one of being polite, but more of respect for other’s abilities and ideas. What I will have to do will be to make the meetings not just a learning experience for me, but my mentor as well through teaching a mind without pre-assumptions. The simplest thing to do right now is to get ready for each meeting, to make sure that I am prepared with questions and to be attentive and focused during my meetings.

For a progress update, I am currently still watching Khan Academy videos. I will finish in around 2-3 weeks.