Culture and Citizenship in Québec Program

The Ethics and Religious Culture program (ERC) is being substantially reworked. This process, which started in January 2020, aims to establish new and enriching themes to replace the content associated with religious culture. Therefore, the Culture and Citizenship in Québec program will replace the Ethics and Religious Culture program at the start of the 2023-2024 school year. The terms and conditions outlined in the Basic school regulation (hours, evaluation, etc.) for the Ethics and Religious Culture program will continue to apply to the Culture and Citizenship in Québec program. The program content for the six years of elementary school and for four years of secondary school has been revised. The program is not and will not be offered in Secondary III.

Following extensive consultation in the winter of 2020 as well as preparatory work, the Minister of Education announced in October 2021 that the new program would be organized around three main areas:

  • Culture, to enable students to understand culture in Québec, its foundations, evolution, ambassadors and major works
  • Citizenship in Québec, where the fundamental values and principles of civic life will be explored, as well as the open questions of our times, such as freedom of expression, state secularism, gender equality, representations of sexuality in the public space, racism, sexual and gender diversity, the use of social media and sexual consent
  • Dialogue and critical thinking, ideas which transcend the program

For more information on the process, see the document Processus d’élaboration du programme d’études Culture et citoyenneté québécoise (available in French only).

The program

Objectives of the program

  • Prepare students to exercise citizenship in Québec society
  • Help students learn to recognize themselves and others
  • Equip students to pursue the common good

The competency in elementary school

  • Evolves from one cycle to the next
  • Prepares students for the development of the two secondary school competencies

Dialogue and critical thinking will be gradually integrated from one cycle to the next

The competencies in secondary school

  • The first competency is based on sociology (understanding of culture, relations between individuals and between groups).
  • The second competency is based on ethics (reflection regarding the influences underlying choices, which also involve the application of values and norms).

Throughout the program, dialogue and critical thinking are fostered as part of developing the two competencies.

The learning content

The learning content integrates the themes submitted for public consultation in 2020 (citizen participation and democracy, legal education, green citizenship, sexuality education, personal development and interpersonal relationships and digital citizenship) into the overall thematic structure of the program. Knowledge related to the competencies, dialogue and critical thinking is also integrated into the learning content.

Program development process

Completed steps

  • Consultation and report on implementation (2020-2021)
  • Definition of the ministerial guidelines (2021)
  • Writing of the draft programs for elementary and secondary school (2021-2022)
  • Validation process with various partners (experts, universities, teachers, educational consultants, etc.) (2021-2022)

Forthcoming steps

Starting at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, the draft programs will be used to carry out pilot projects, in which teachers who have volunteered will participate. Support meetings have taken place. More are planned for the future.

Once the new program is approved, it will be implemented in all elementary and secondary schools across Québec, starting in the 2023-2024 school year.

Training on the different aspects of the program will be gradually provided starting in January 2023.

Instructional materials will be gradually produced by publishers.

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