Learning Goals for Canadian Studies
- A thorough grounding in the salient facts of Canada: geography, history, culture(s), economics, literature, politics, and social issues. Throughout, particular attention paid to the ongoing and defining fact of Canada’s founding language-based groups, the French and the English, especially now when their relations have been made much more complex by the Multicultural fact of present-day Canada;
- A recognition that, especially for United States citizens, Canada represents an alternative North American experience—“the road not taken.” Thus all discussions of Canada and the Canadian point-of-view proceed in some sense from a comparative critique with the U.S., one in which similarities and differences between the two countries are emphasized. Such comparisons encourage students to turn a critical lens on the United States. Equally, as with a succession of “Canadian” FYPs which compare the two countries (as immigrant nations for instance), opportunities for thematic comparison should be pursued whenever possible;
- Given our close proximity to Canadian centers, as many courses as possible—offered within the program and without—should avail themselves to appropriate resources in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, and points in between. Outside of the program, such connections should be suggested and facilitated by the members of the program;
- Given the perpetual ignorance most Americans reveal toward Canada and things Canadian—a form of disdain, really—one of the program’s major goals is to touch as many of our students’ academic programs as possible. Thus our interest has always be enrollments, not combined majors—thirty to forty students in Introduction to Canada each semester and the new course, Canadian Studies 202: Québec, which we expect to have equal appeal; other course enrolled at levels appropriate to their departmental offering and level;
- A sharp focus on those students with a serious interest in Canadian Studies, tailoring their courses, research, and Senior Year Experience to each student’s particular interests. Getting students off to Canada frequently during their junior and senior years, especially through internship opportunities, is especially significant.