Equity and Social Justice: From Theory to Practice (HSE 4M)

Course Overview

Course Title: Equity and Social Justice: From Theory to Practice
Course Code: HSE 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 enables students to develop an understanding of the theoretical, social, and historical underpinnings of various equity and social justice issues and to analyse strategies for bringing about positive social change. Students will learn about historical and contemporary equity and social justice issues in Canada and globally. They will explore power relations and the impact of a variety of factors on equity and social justice. Students will develop and apply research skills and will design and implement a social action initiative relating to an equity or social justice issue.

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 equity and social justice, and formulate questions to guide their research;
  • Investigating: create research plans, and locate and select information relevant to their chosen topic, 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.

Understanding Social Construction
  • Approaches and Perspectives: demonstrate an understanding of a range of perspectives on and approaches to equity and social justice issues, and of factors that affect inequity and social injustice;
  • Power Relations: analyse, in historical and contemporary contexts, the dynamics of power relations and privilege as well as various factors that contribute to power or marginalization;
  • Media and Popular Culture: assess the impact of media and popular culture on equity and social justice issues.

Addressing Social Equity and Justice Issues
  • Historical and Contemporary Issues: analyse a range of historical and contemporary equity and social justice issues and the impact of economic and environmental factors on these issues;
  • Leadership: evaluate the contributions of individuals and groups and/or movements identified with specific aspects of the struggle for equity and social justice;
  • Policies, Strategies, and Initiatives: compare policies, strategies, and initiatives used by various groups, including indigenous peoples and women, to address equity and social justice issues in a variety of jurisdictions.
Personal and Social Action
  • Promoting Equity and Social Justice: demonstrate an understanding of how personal values, knowledge, and actions can contribute to equity and social justice, and assess strategies that people use to address equity and social justice concerns;
  • Opportunities for Participation: describe a variety of careers and volunteer opportunities in fields related to equity and social justice, and demonstrate an understanding of the skills and knowledge they require;
  • Social Action and Personal Engagement: design, implement, and evaluate an initiative to address an equity or social justice issue.

Unit Overview

Unit 1: Foundations15 hours
Unit 2: Indigeneity16 hours
Unit 3: Race and Ethnicity16 hours
Unit 4: Gender16 hours
Unit 5: Disability16 hours
Unit 6: Environment
16 hours
Unit 7: Culminating Activity15 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