World Cultures (HSC 4M)

Course Overview

Course Title: World Cultures
Course Code: HSC 4M
Grade: 12
Course Type: University/College, Mixed
Credit Value: 1.0
Prerequisite: Any University, College, or University/College(Mixed) preparation course in Social Sciences and Humanities, English or Canadian and World Studies
Department: Social Sciences and Humanities
Tuition Fee (CAD): $639

This course examines the nature of culture; how cultural identities are acquired, maintained, and transformed; and theories used to analyse cultures. Students will explore world cultures, with an emphasis on the analysis of religious and spiritual beliefs, art forms, and philosophy. They will study the contributions and influence of a range of cultural groups and will critically analyse issues facing ethno-cultural groups within Canada and around the world. Students will develop and apply research skills and will design and implement a social action initiative relating to cultural diversity.

Overall Curriculum Expectations

By the end of the course, students will gain proficiency in the following areas:

Research and Inquiry Skills
  • Exploring: explore topics related to world cultures and/or cultural groups, and formulate questions to guide their research;
  • Investigating: create research plans, and locate and select information relevant to their chosen topics, using appropriate social science research and inquiry methods;
  • Processing Information: assess, record, analyse, and synthesize information gathered through research and inquiry;
  • Communicating and Reflecting: communicate the results of their research and inquiry clearly and effectively, and reflect on and evaluate their research, inquiry, and communication skills.

The Concept of Culture
  • Understanding Culture: demonstrate an understanding of the elements and functions of culture and of the nature of cultural influence;
  • Cultural Dynamics: analyse how cultural identities are socially constructed, preserved, transmitted, and transformed;
  • Theoretical Analysis of Culture: demonstrate an understanding of theories and concepts related to the study of culture, and apply these theories to analyse various cultures.

Cultural Experiences
  • Understanding Culture: demonstrate an understanding of the elements and functions of culture and of the nature of cultural influence;
  • Cultural Dynamics: analyse how cultural identities are socially constructed, preserved, transmitted, and transformed;
  • Theoretical Analysis of Culture: demonstrate an understanding of theories and concepts related to the study of culture, and apply these theories to analyse various cultures.
Critical Cultural Issues
  • Power Relations: demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of power relations within specific cultural groups and between minority and majority cultures;
  • Policies and Issues: demonstrate an understanding of past and present policies and issues affecting cultural diversity in Canada, and compare approaches to such policy in Canada with those in other countries;
  • Social Action and Personal Engagement: design, implement, and evaluate an initiative to address an issue related to cultural groups or promoting cultural diversity.

Unit Overview

Unit 1: Culture as a Construct 25 hours
Unit 2: Culture as an Expression25 hours
Unit 3: Culture as a Dynamic25 hours
Unit 4: Culture as a Social Action20 hours
Unit 5: Culminating Activity
15 hours
Total Hours110 hours
Teaching and Learning Strategies

Enthusiastic teachers and instructors bring unique teaching and assessment methods to the classroom because students learn best when they are engaged in a range of different learning techniques. The activities allow students to apply learned concepts to current world social, economic, and environmental issues which impact daily life. Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills to these wider contexts will motivate students to learn in a meaningful way and to become life-long learners. Instructors also inspire students to become successful problem solvers by investigating, providing alternative reasoning and solutions to problems as well as dedicating time and energy to the tasks at hand.

Effective instructional techniques utilize students’ existing knowledge and by capturing their interest and engaging in meaningful participation. Students will be engaged when they are able to see the correlation between the learned concepts and their ability to apply them to the world around them and in real-life situations. Students will have the chance to learn using a wide range of methods which include self-learning, cooperative learning as well as learning through teacher guidance as well has hands-on experiences. The methods and strategies teachers implement will be tailored to the learning requirements and the individual needs of the students. Teachers will achieve effective instruction in an online environment by using videos, interactive animations and virtual labs and discussion forums and video conferencing/live chat.

Individualized Accommodations for Students

Our methodology for student assessment follows the Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12 (2010) manual published by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course. Assessment tools are designed to improve student learning which includes descriptive feedback, coaching, observations and self-assessments. In addition, student can be independent and set individual goals, monitor progress against these goals, determine next steps and reflect on their thinking and learning.

For a student with special education needs who requires modified or alternative expectations, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the modified curriculum expectations or alternative expectations outlined in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Accommodations required to facilitate the student’s learning may be identified by the teacher, however recommendations from a School Board generated in the form of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) should be used, if available. 


For a student with special education needs who requires “accommodations only”, as described in his or her IEP, assessment and evaluation of achievement will be based on the appropriate subject/ grade/course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in the curriculum documents.

A student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) describes his or her educational program and any accommodations that may be required. The IEP specifies whether the student requires:
accommodations only; or
modified learning expectations, with the possibility of accommodations;

Assessment accommodations are changes in procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his
or her learning. These may include:
visual supports to clarify verbal instructions, assistive devices, or some form of human support;
alternative methods for the student to demonstrate his or her achievement of expectations (e.g., allowing the student to take tests orally) or the allowance of extra time to complete the assessment;
alternative settings that may be more suitable for the student to demonstrate his or her learning.

If accommodations are required to assess and evaluate student learning, the strategies to be used are outlined in the student’s IEP.
For further details about the different types of accommodations, modified learning expectation and alternative programs please refer to Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12 (2010)

Materials Required

Standard Computer Requirements for all courses:
-Processor speed of 2 GHz or faster
-Memory of 4 GB RAM or greater
-A high speed internet connection with a connection speed of 10 MB/s or better.
-Monitor and video card with 1024×768 or greater resolution
-Keyboard and Mouse is recommended
-Speakers/Headphones