07 May 2008

2457) Genocide Course Approved in Toronto Now - Soon in USA-AU-UK . .

Can You See The Implications in Other States & Countries? : Genocide Course in Toronto Approved Now, and it's coming to your neighborhood in USA, Australia, UK, . . soon.

The Director has made a decision regarding the recommendations accepting all but recommendation 9, regarding the name change.. . .in Toronto Canada

Other Educational Boards / Institutions worldwide can easily be convinced into similar decisions without much trouble, right?


Director Reviews Course CHG38M, Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications

The TDSB is planning to introduce a new 11th grade History course, CHG38M Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications approved by the Ministry of Education for the 2008-2009 school year. The course focuses on three genocides: The Holocaust of WWII, The Rwandan genocide, and the Armenian genocide of WWI.

A review committee was established under Board Procedure 532 to examine the course content and has provided a report, including 9 recommendations, to the Director of Education. The Director has made a decision regarding the recommendations accepting all but recommendation 9, regarding the name change. The Director has requested that the name of the course be changed immediately (rather than in three years time as per the recommendation) to: Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.

PDF 1 Content : Director's decision
Report of the Genocide Curriculum Review Committee, April 23, 2008
E03(R:\Secretariat\Staff\e03\genocide\080502 Genocide Dir Dec.doc)sec.1530

Director’s Decision re a Learning Resource

Course CHG38M: Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications

In accordance with Operational Procedure PR.532: Handling Concerns About Learning Re-sources, I have considered the report of the Genocide Curriculum Review Committee, dated April 23, 2008 (attached), and have decided:

(a) That the Review Committee’s Recommendations 1 to 8 be approved;
(b) That Recommendation 9 be replaced with the following:

That the Ministry of Education be requested to immediately change the title of course CHG38M to “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.”

Therefore, the Director decided:
1. That a course on Genocide be taught by the TDSB at the Grade 11 level;

2. That the module on the Armenian genocide be included in the course as a case of genocide, but note taken that some respected scholars disagree;

3. That the number of actual case studies not be expanded at this time;

4. That a teacher course review committee be set up in the third year with a view to re-examining the curriculum content and the course description;

5. That Barbara Coloroso’s book, Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide, be re-moved from the resource list;

6. That the resources be reviewed by a committee of academic experts as determined by Pro-gram staff and in alignment with Board procedure with a view to deleting some items and adding others;

7. That the bibliography be separated by topic as well as by nature of the work (i.e. memoirs, encyclopedia, social psychology, theoretical work) and that the resource list be grouped in items recommended for use by teachers and items recommended for use by students;

8. That a course on genocide be taught at the Secondary school level given that the genocide-related decisions of governing bodies are irrelevant to the consideration of course appro-priateness;

9. That the Ministry of Education be requested to immediately change the title of course CHG38M to “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.”

Gerry Connelly
Director of Education

Attachment

MEMORANDUM
Date April 23, 2008
To The Director of Education
From Melanie Parrack, Chair Genocide Curriculum Review Committee
Subject REPORT OF THE GENOCIDE CURRICULUM REVIEW COMMITTEE
REVIEW OF COURSE CHG38M: GENOCIDE: HISTORICAL AND CON-TEMPORARY IMPLICATIONS

BACKGROUND
Ministry approval was received in August 2007 to implement the course “Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications”. Subsequent to that, TDSB received concerns from members of the public regarding the development and content of the course.

A number of submissions was received from members of several specific communi-ties, some advocating for the course and others objecting to the course, either in part or in its entirety. The submissions are listed in Appendix A.

In accordance with Operational Procedure PR.532CUR System Superintendent Nad-ine Segal received hundreds of completed Forms 532B – Request for Reconsidera-tion of a Learning Resource. In response to these concerns and in accordance with Board approved procedure 532 “Handling Concerns about Learning Resources” the Associate Director of Education established a Review Committee in February of 2008.

CRITERIA FOR THE SELECTION OF REVIEW COMMITTEE
TDSB Program and Equity Department staff members were selected based on Pro-cedure 532. Additionally, specific criteria were used to determine the selection of community resource personnel who could address the issues in an impartial way:

• At least 2 external resource persons from legal, political or academic areas;

• Background in policy and curriculum development;

• Consultation with universities that have departments of genocide studies in his-tory, faculties of law or human rights for recommendations of scholars: McGill, Concordia, OISE, U of T, Nipissing, Western, Queens, Virginia, and Minnesota. Consultation also occurred with history departments in Ontario universities;

• Community members who previously responded either orally or in writing and members of the steering committee that developed the course were not eligible for the Review Committee.

COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
Melanie Parrack, Chair, Executive Superintendent, Student Success, TDSB
Karen Grose, Superintendent of Program, TDSB
Patricia Hayes, Manager, Human Rights, TDSB
Professor Howard Adelman*, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy, York University
Professor Doris Bergen*, Faculty of History, University of Toronto
Professor Darryl Robinson*, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

REVIEW COMMITTEE PROCESS
Meetings were held on March 3, 2008 and April 9, 2008.
The Committee was provided with an extensive summary of the materials received
by the staff and the Board of Trustees and was afforded the opportunity to review
in depth all materials received.
Online collaboration and communication among members of the Committee was
ongoing.

TERMS OF REFERENCE
The Review Committee took as its terms of reference that it would only deal with the issues raised by community responses to the approved course that were appro-priate to a pedagogical review. Upon review of the submissions of various aca-demic, political and community inputs, the Committee summarized twelve issues that emerged from the materials received:

1) Members of the Turkish and other communities and some academics do not accept the Armenian Genocide and want either the course cancelled or the module removed from the course.
2) A claim was made that the course was based on Barbara Coloroso’s book Ex-
traordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide and that Barbara Coloroso is not considered to be a historian.
3) The Ministry of Education guideline for approving a locally developed course was not followed.
*Academic Biographies are found in Appendix B
4) Representatives of the Turkish community were not consulted in the develop-ment of the course.
5) 1915 events regarding the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian population are disputed by historians as is the validity of some documentation.
6) The Government of Canada is considering changing its commitment and sup-ports the formation of a historical commission to study the Armenian Geno-cide.
7) Armenian texts and bibliography are one-sided. Turkish resources and per-spectives were not included in the course outline. Recommended historians disputing that the deaths of the Armenians constituted genocide include:
• Justin McCarthy
• Bernard Lewis
• Heath Lowry
• Barbara Lerner
• JC Hurewitz
• Guenter Lewy

8) Turkish children will be victimized.
9) A similar course prepared by the Ottawa Board of Education was shelved.
10) The United Nations did not acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
11) After WWII the authorities in Great Britain advised against any prosecution of Ottoman officials for want of reliable evidence of complicity in Armenian mas-sacres.
12) Members of other communities advocated for inclusion of additional examples of genocides and crimes against humanity, for example the Ukrainian Famine and the mistreatment of First Nations.

METHOD OF THE PROCEDURE OF THE COMMITTEE
The members of the Committee were provided with an overview and background on the development of the curriculum for the genocide course, the guidelines for course approval provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education, a set of procedures provided for selecting, approval and handling concerns about learning resources and how to deal with controversial and sensitive issues, various submissions and responses by academics, politicians and community organizations and individuals as well as some newspaper articles.

After surveying the material, Review Committee members agreed to review the ma-terial in depth and the expert academic members of the Committee agreed to un-dertake different specific assignments relative to the agenda items and write drafts on those different issues for distribution to the whole Committee which, upon re-view and revision of those drafts, would prepare its report.

The Committee determined that it would not deal with such issues as who was con-sulted, what other educational jurisdictions decided with respect to the Armenian deaths in the first World War, and what different levels of government or interna-tional bodies have decided about whether the Armenian deaths were defined as a genocide. The course would be assessed on it academic merit rather than on the current political context and debates.

The Review Committee decided to address the twelve issues under the following topics:
• Rationale for the Course
• Course Description and Content
• Resources for the Course
• Supplementary Issues
• Title of the Course

RATIONALE FOR COURSE
Members of the Toronto educational community including teachers, administrators, trustees, students, parents, and community groups believe that the study of the tragedies and horrors of genocidal acts in the past and present must be studied and addressed. Democracy, justice, and the rule of law must be understood, claimed, and defended by each generation of citizens if we are to confront this demonstra-tion of human evil. It is believed that a full-credit course will engage students and allow them to study genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in a sys-tematic and thoughtful way.

Many students within the Toronto District School Board and their families have ex-perienced bias, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination both in their home coun-tries and here in Canada. Our community includes refugee students, as well as the children and grandchildren of people who have experienced genocidal acts and extreme human rights abuses. Given the specific multi-cultural and multi-ethnic diversity within Toronto, it is felt that it is essential that students born within and outside Canada have the opportunity to explore in depth the causes and conse-quences of genocide and the lived realities of the aggressors, targets, bystanders, and resisters to these horrific acts of violence. A study of these experi-ences will help foster a sense of empathy for the targets of these violent acts and encourage students to understand the connections they have to their fellow human beings.

The Review Committee believes that a full-credit course on genocide will foster an open exploration of the controversial and sensitive issues surrounding genocide. The course as proposed has not only pedagogical and historical value, but would be of interest to students and would possibly support the development of civic virtues in students. This exploration will provide a context for students to begin to think critically about the world they have inherited and in which they currently live. This critical reflection will provide a context for students to begin to understand the no-tion of moral judgment in relation to history. As well, it will allow students the op-portunity to understand their rights and responsibilities as global citizens and chal-lenge them to take action to ensure that human rights are protected and that geno-cide be confronted.

As a record of the human past, history reflects the full range of individual and col-lective behaviour. It might be comforting to create a version of the past that tells us only what we want to hear, but doing so is not only dishonest, it is self-defeating. Studying history can only help deepen our understanding of the present if it is done with an open mind – and that means a mind open to acknowledging the painful realities that are part of every human life and every society. It is essential to approach the past, like the present, with respect for the complex situations that ordinary people and leaders faced and sensitivity to the impact that our depictions
of individuals, events, and societies can have on our view of the world.

It is also important to recognize that any historical account is incomplete. There will never be access to every piece of information about the past, nor will there ever be the wisdom to understand perfectly what is known. Given that, history can-not be revised in order to remove reference to acts of violence and destruction or to expunge the memory of people’s victimization and suffering at the hands of others. This approach might serve the short-term interests of some people but could not be defended in the long run.

While it is recognized that Ministry expectations for the course include the teaching of empathy and engendering responsible citizenship, the Review Committee ex-pressed some skepticism whether these high expectations could be realized by a single course. They are laudatory goals that might need to be recalibrated.

Recommendation 1
It is recommended that a course on Genocide be taught by the TDSB at the grade 11 level.

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND CONTENT
This course investigates examples of genocide in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including the Holocaust, Armenia, and Rwanda. Students will investigate the terms genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes and explore them through the lens of historical analysis. Students will examine identity formation and how “in groups” and “out groups” are created, including an analysis of how bias, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination impact on various groups. As the course unfolds students will be challenged to draw appropriate connections between the history of genocide and Canadian history and between the lives of the people they are investigating and their own lives. Students will use critical thinking skills to look at the themes of judgment, memory, and legacy and will evaluate the ways in which active citizens may empower themselves to stop future genocides. Throughout the course, students will gain an understanding of the role of perpetra-tor, victim, bystander, rescuer, opportunist, and resister.

From the course description two issues were discussed in response to concerns raised:
1) Inclusion of the Armenian case study as a Genocide.
2) Exclusion of the Ukrainian Famine and other cases, such as the treatment of First Nations.

1) Inclusion of the Armenian case study as a Genocide
The Committee believes that Grade 11 students can appreciate and, more im-portantly, should appreciate that history is a contested area without making everything relative. There are legitimate and illegitimate disputes. Holocaust de-nial is an illegitimate dispute. The labeling of the Armenian massacres as a genocide is a legitimate dispute, with reputable historians denying that the deaths of the Armenians during Word War I should be characterized as a geno-cide. This is also true of contemporary slaughters where some scholars and members of the international judiciary dispute the characterization of the deaths of Darfurians from 2003 until the present as a genocide. Such disputes, how-ever, do not in themselves provide reasons for not teaching a course which characterizes the atrocity as a genocide. Further, the Committee noted that cur-rently the conclusions of the vast majority of scholars who have studied the Ar-menian case, particularly those who have specialized in the study of genocide, support characterizing what occurred as a genocide. Genuine historical contro-versies do belong in a high school curriculum and can be very beneficial in giving students an in-depth understanding and in teaching students critical thinking. Students should be taught the importance of establishing intent when character-izing a crime against humanity as a genocide, and the various indirect as well as direct ways that can be established in order to draw a conclusion whether or not a case constitutes genocide.

2) Exclusion of Ukrainian Famine and other cases, such as the treatment of First Nations
As a study of the dynamics of extreme violence, the course, “Genocide: Histori-cal and Contemporary Implications”, is built around three cases: the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, the Holocaust and Rwanda. These are not the only his-torical cases that might have been included, but, in the assessment of members of the Review Committee, this selection is appropriate for a number of reasons. Given the complexity of the subject matter, it is essential to examine specific historical cases to give concreteness to the general concepts involved. It would be very difficult to cover more than three cases in the level of detail required in a year-long course. These particular cases range geographically and chronologi-cally from the early decades of the twentieth century to its end, from Central Asia to Europe and Africa. There is adequate documentation for each of these cases so that students and teachers can work with a variety of types of materi-als: eyewitness accounts, government records, and after-the-fact representa-tions. Each of the cases is distinct, and the particularities of the historical con-texts allow certain themes or patterns to be investigated and assessed. Exam-ples of these themes and patterns may include the role of pre-existing preju-dices, the role of the state and the government and international responses. Students will be expected to study other examples of genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, war crimes and human rights abuses in the 20th and 21st centuries based on their own personal interest and appropriate academic resources. These examples might include Cambodia, Aboriginal Peoples in Can-ada, Ukrainian Famine, Bosnia, Darfur, the former Yugoslavia and others. While it is noted that more people died in the Ukrainian Famine than in all of the geno-cides that are included in the course, the Review Committee did not recommend altering the course at this time but this should be considered when the course is
reviewed.

Recommendation 2
It is recommended that the module on the Armenian genocide be included in the course as a case of genocide, but note taken that some respected scholars disagree.

Recommendation 3
It is recommended that the number of actual case studies not be expanded at this time.

Recommendation 4
It is recommended that a teacher course review committee be set up in the third year with a view to re-examining the curriculum content and the course description.

RESOURCES FOR COURSE
A concern was raised regarding the appropriateness of Barbara Coloroso’s book, Ex-traordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide. The Committee determined this was far from a scrupulous text and should not be on a History course although it might be included in a course on the social psychology of genocide because of her posited thesis that genocide is merely the extreme extension of bullying.

There is a recognition that as this is an extremely complicated subject matter and that the resources that underpin this course will need to be regularly reviewed and updated.

Recommendation 5
It is recommended that Barbara Coloroso’s book, Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide, be removed from the resource list.

Recommendation 6
It is recommended that the resources be reviewed by a committee of aca-demic experts as determined by Program staff and in alignment with Board procedure with a view to deleting some items and adding others.

Recommendation 7
It is recommended that the bibliography be separated by topic as well as by nature of the work (i.e. memoirs, encyclopedia, social psychology, theo-retical work) and that the resource list be grouped in items recommended for use by teachers and items recommended for use by students

SUPPLEMENTARY ISSUES
The Committee responded to two supplementary issues:
1) The relevance of government decisions
2) Consultation

1) The relevance of government decisions
Some petitioners have argued that, although Canadian Parliament has passed a motion recognizing the Armenian genocide, the governmental posi-tion may be changing. However, the current or future position of the federal Parliament or executive branch does not appear to be germane to the ques-tion at hand. The study of history must be based on the evidence and the quality of the critical assessment of that evidence. No legislature, in Canada or elsewhere, has jurisdiction to legislatively determine the past. Legislative motions and executive statements are, however, of interest as they can pro-vide insights into the politics of denial, acknowledgement and debate that surround contested historical events. In this sense, the reactions of the Ca-nadian, Turkish, Armenian and other governments are a valuable topic for inquiry and discussion in the described course.

In addition, some petitioners have argued, as a reason to withdraw refer-ences to the Armenian genocide, that the events of 1915 have not been offi-cially recognized by the United Nations as a genocide. The premise of non-recognition is empirically open to question.1 In any event, and more impor-tantly, while there are many organizations and offices of the United Nations that may take action in response to evidence of genocide,2 none are charged with making exclusive authoritative determinations of genocide, particularly with respect to events that long preceded the existence of the United Na-tions. A United Nations determination is not a legal prerequisite to recogni-tion of genocide, nor is it an empirical prerequisite to evaluation and discus-sion of historic events in terms of the concept of genocide.

2) Consultation
Many complainants argued that members of the Canadian Turkish community had not been consulted in the preparation of the course materials. Some of

1 UN Doc. E/CN.4/Sub. 2/416/1985/6, 2 July 1985, adopted by the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimina-tion and Protection of Minorities.

2 Examples include the General Assembly, the Security Council, the International Court of Justice, the Office of the Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide, and the Human Rights Council.


the requests for reconsideration objected that Ministry procedures had not been followed. The Review Committee found that such procedural questions fell outside of its mandate and expertise and should be addressed to the To-ronto District School Board. In the course of its work, the Committee did however review the objections, the responses from the TDSB, as well as the relevant procedures – such as the Ministry of Education Guide to Locally De-veloped Courses, Grades 9 to 12: Development and Approval Procedures, and found no indications of departure from the prescribed procedures. For example, some complaints or requests for reconsideration note that the course of study mentions consultations with post secondary and community partners, and raise the objection that members of the Canadian Turkish com-munity were not consulted. As the Ministry of Education Guide to Locally De-veloped Courses, Grades 9 to 12: Development and Approval Procedures make clear, however, consultation with partners refers to “appropriate post-secondary partners (i.e. universities, colleges, trade associations or work-places)” in connection with “destination-related courses (i.e. university, uni-versity/college, college or workplace preparation course)” . The course of study reference to community partners involved in the writing of the courses refers to organizations with teacher education outreach programs (e.g. UNI-CEF, Facing History and Ourselves, the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, the Canadian Centre for Genocide Education).

Recommendation 8
It is recommended that a course on genocide be taught at the secondary school level given that the genocide related decisions of governing bodies are irrelevant to the consideration of course appropriateness.

TITLE OF COURSE
The Committee considered whether the course should be called “Genocide” or “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity”. Objections to adding “Crimes Against Humanity” to the title had largely to do with the length and awkwardness as well as a reluctance to make unnecessary changes.

On the other hand, given the origin of the course, there was a determination to cre-ate a course on crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as genocide. The Committee suggests that a course entitled “Genocide and Crimes Against Human-ity” might be more appropriate if only to understand that some cases of Crimes Against Humanity took far more lives than the Holocaust. Further, by inclusion in the title the phrase “Crimes Against Humanity”, one is better able to distinguish be-tween different types of atrocities. Finally, the foremost encyclopedia on the subject is entitled Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.

Recommendation 9
It is recommended that the course title be changed when feasible and practicable to “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity”.

A further discussion of the issues by the Review Committee should be pursued in
Appendix B of this report.

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendation 1
It is recommended that a course on Genocide be taught by the TDSB at the Grade 11 level.

Recommendation 2
It is recommended that the module on the Armenian genocide be included in the course as a case of genocide, but note taken that some respected scholars disagree.

Recommendation 3
It is recommended that the number of actual case studies not be expanded at this time.

Recommendation 4
It is recommended that a teacher course review committee be set up in the third year with a view to re-examining the curriculum content and the course description.

Recommendation 5
It Is Recommended That The Barbara Coloroso’s Book, Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History Of Genocide, Be Removed From The Resource List.

Recommendation 6
It is recommended that the resources be reviewed by a committee of aca-demic experts as determined by Program staff and in alignment with Board procedure with a view to deleting some items and adding others.

Recommendation 7
It is recommended that the bibliography be separated by topic as well as by nature of the work (i.e. memoirs, encyclopedia, social psychology, theo-retical work) and that the resource list be grouped in items recommended for use by teachers and items recommended for use by students.

Recommendation 8
It is recommended that a course on genocide be taught at the secondary school level given that the genocide related decisions of governing bodies are irrelevant to the consideration of course appropriateness.

Recommendation 9 [amended, see the Director’s decision]
It is recommended that the course title be changed when feasible and practicable to “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity”.

Appendix A: Submissions from Community Representatives
Appendix B: Community Resource Personnel

Submissions from Community Representatives
Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations
Turkish – Canadian Society in Vancouver
Canadian Turkish Cypriot Association
Turkish Society of Nova Scotia
Council of Turkish Canadians
Turkish – Canadian Cultural Association of Calgary
Representatives from the Turkish Community: Toronto, Ottawa, Markham, Bramp-ton, Mississauga, Pickering, Kanata, Windsor, Turkey
Ukrainian National Federation
Canadian Ukrainian Opera Association
Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada
Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society
League of Ukrainian Canadians
Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Ukrainian Youth Association of Ontario
Representatives from the Ukrainian community: Toronto, Windsor, Kitchener
Canadian Croatian Congress
Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Union of Canada
Azerbaijani Community Association
Canadian Arab Federation
Canadian for Genocide Education (Canadians for Genocide Museum)
North American Bosniaks
Bosnian Islamic Association
Lithuanian Canadian Community
Serbian National Shield Society of Canada
Association of Serbian Women
Cypriot Federation of Canada

APPENDIX B
Community Resource Personnel

Professor Howard Adelman
Professor Adelman was Professor of Philosophy at York University where he was the founding Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. His many books and articles are on topics related to genocide, with a special focus on Rwanda, theories of explanation and the role of bystanders regarding prevention and inter-vention. He has written extensively on the Middle East, humanitarian intervention, membership rights and ethics.

Professor Doris Bergen
Professor Bergen is the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Stud-ies, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on issues of religion, gender and ethnicity in the Holocaust and World War II and comparatively in other cases of ex-treme violence. A winner of prestigious research grants and awards for excellence in teaching, Professor Bergen is author of numerous books and articles. She has held many grants and fellowships and has taught at the Universities of Warsaw, Notre Dame and Vermont.

Professor Carole Anne Reed
Professor Reed has been Co-Director of the graduate diploma program of Holocaust and Genocide Education at Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. She is well known and respected in human rights circles for her work as Director of the Toronto Holocaust Centre and has years of experience as a curriculum developer and au-thor. She has co-authored “Pax Warrior”, (a teaching module on the Rwandan genocide.)

Professor Darryl Robinson
Professor Robinson currently teaches the international human rights law clinic in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and will soon join the law faculty of Queen’s University. He has served as Legal Officer at Foreign Affairs Canada, working on international criminal law, human rights law and humanitarian law. His primary focus was international criminal justice, including the negotiation of the Statute of the International Criminal Court and the development of Canadian legis-lation on genocide and crimes against humanity. He received a Minister’s citation and Minister’s Award for Foreign Policy Excellence.


PDF 2 Content: Questions and Answers
Governance Procedure for Appeals of the Director’s Decisions re Learning Resources
As adopted April 16, 2008

1. Publication of the Director’s Decision
A decision of the Director, made as a result of a recommendation from a review committee that was convened under operational procedure PR.532, Handling Concerns About Learn-ing Resources, will be posted on the Board’s website as soon as practicable. The posted decision will be accompanied by the report (if any) and recommendation of the review committee.

2. Receipt of Appeals of the Director’s Decision
As per PR.532, any individual or group that disagrees with the Director’s decision may ap-peal to the Board through the Program and School Services Committee. The individual or group must submit the request to appeal in writing to the Associate Director no later than two weeks following publication of the Director’s decision.

3. Timeline for Hearing Appeals
It is expected that the Program and School Services Committee will consider such appeals
within 30 days of receipt of the appeal. If there is an aspect of urgency, a special meeting
of the PSSC shall be convened to consider the appeal.

4. Documentation
Trustees will be provided access to written submissions that are received by Board Ser-vices by 2 p.m. of the day prior to the Program and School Services Committee meeting that will consider the matter.

The agenda to PSSC will include the following:
• The requestor’s initial request for removal of a learning resource (in summary form, if necessary, as determined by the Associate Director);
• The report of the review committee;
• The Director’s decision;
• The requestor’s written notice of appeal of the Director’s decision (in summary form, if necessary, as determined by the Associate Director).

5. Oral Presentations

(a) If more than one individual or group has submitted an appeal, and the nature of the appeals is similar, the Associate Director will determine the individuals who will make a presentation. Total time shall be no more than 20 minutes.

(b) If more than one individual or group has requested an appeal, and the nature of the appeals is significantly different, the Associate Director will categorize the appeals that have similar concerns and identify one or more individuals to represent each category. Each category of appeal will have a total of no more than 20 minutes to make the presentation.

(a) If neither of the above two options are practicable, as determined by the Associate Director, due to the number and/or diversity of individuals and groups that have re-quested an appeal and difficulty determining representatives of the groups, the Pro-gram and School Services Committee will consider the matter based on the written submissions received.

6. Staff Resources Available to the PSSC

The Chair of the review committee and the Director will be available at the Program and School Services Committee meeting to answer the members’ questions, if any, following the presentations.

7. Program and School Services Committee Decision

The Program and School Services Committee will consider the appeal and make a recom-
mendation to the Board.


PDF 3 Content
Questions and Answers re the 11th grade History course, # CHG38M

Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications Review Committee report, recommendations and the Director of Education’s decision

Background:
TDSB is planning to introduce a new 11 grade History course, # CHG38M Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications approved by the Ministry of Education for the 2008-2009 school year. The course focuses on three genocides: The Holocaust of WWII, The Rwandan genocide, and the Armenian genocide of WWI.

This course has drawn both criticism and support from representatives of various communities - some demanding that TDSB remove the course from the curriculum or remove any discussion of the Ottoman-Armenian conflict from its content. Representatives from the Ukrainian and other communities have expressed their wish to have their genocide included in the history course.

A review committee was established under Board Procedure 532 to examine the course content and has provided a report, including 9 recommendations, to the Director of Education. The Director has made a decision regarding the recommendations accepting all but recommendation 9, regarding the name change. The Director has requested that the name of the course be changed immediately (rather than in three years time as per the recommendation) to: Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.

Questions and Answers:

Why has the TDSB developed this new course on genocide and crimes against humanity?
This course originated with a Board motion and decision:

• June 2005: That previously written documents on the Holocaust and its contemporary implications be revised to reflect the current high school program and recent global events such as Rwanda.

• December 14, 2005: Board decision to integrate the Armenian Genocide into high school level history curriculum.

• March 2006: Board report on the Armenian Genocide

The review committee examined the rationale for the course and found it to be convincing. The first recommendation in its report to the Director of Education is that a course on genocide be taught by the TDSB at the grade 11 level.

How were members of the Review Committee chosen?
In accordance with procedure 532, consultation was undertaken with the following universities that have departments of genocide studies in history, faculties of law or human rights: McGill, Concordia, OISE, U of T, Nipissing, Western, Queens, Virginia, and Minnesota. Criteria used were that the committee members be persons of stature in academic, legal or world affairs and that they be familiar with public policy and curriculum development. None of the persons chosen has previously responded on this issue.

Why has the TDSB limited the course to only three genocides and why among those three has the Armenian conflict with the Ottoman Turks been included. Surely the situation of the former Yugoslavia in the early '90's would have been an obvious choice for inclusion on the grounds that it was a tragedy of very recent memory?

This course investigates examples of genocide in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including the Holocaust, Armenia, and Rwanda. Students will be expected to study other examples of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The course is 110 hours and not every tragedy can be honoured in its entirety. There is no intent to undermine the suffering of any one group by studying 3 case studies.

The Review Committee recommended that the number of actual case studies not be expanded at this time citing that it would be very difficult to cover more than three cases in a year-long course. These particular cases range geographically and chronologically from the early decades of the twentieth century to its end, from central Asia to Europe to Africa.

Why doesn’t the course include the mistreatment of Canada’s Aboriginal people?
Under the Ministry of Education Guidelines for locally developed curriculum, there must not be any overlap with existing courses. The mistreatment of Aboriginal peoples in Canada is addressed in the compulsory history courses in grades 7, 8, & 10 as well as the grade 12 Canadian history course. However, the mistreatment of Aboriginal peoples in the Americas and elsewhere would be an appropriate area of study for interested students taking this course.

One of the criticisms against the TDSB is that it did not follow the Ministry of Education Guidelines for approving the course. What did the Review Committee decide regarding this issue?
The Review Committee found that such procedural questions fell outside of its mandate and expertise and should be addressed by the TDSB. However, during the course of its work, the Committee found no evidence that the correct procedures were not being followed.

The Board’s own Equity Foundation Statement says: “The Toronto District School Board values the contribution of all members of our diverse community of students, staff, parents, and community groups to our mission and goals. We believe that equity of opportunity, and equity of access to our programs, services, and resources are critical to the achievement of successful outcomes for all those whom we serve, and for those who serve our school system”.

Why weren’t representatives of various communities consulted in the development of this course?

The Ministry of Education Guide to Locally Developed Courses, grades 9 to 12: Development and Approval Procedures makes clear that consultation with partners refers to appropriate postsecondary partners including universities, colleges, trade associations or workplaces. The course of study reference to community partners involved in the writing of the courses refers to organizations with teacher education outreach programs such as UNICEF and Facing History and Ourselves.

Who will be responsible for writing the course content?
The course is being written by a team of certified history teachers in the TDSB with considerable expertise.

Some complainants argued that the Government of Canada supports the formation of a historical commission to study the Armenian Genocide and the United Nations does not officially acknowledge the Armenian genocide so why is this course, particularly the Armenian Genocide, still being proposed?

The study of history must be based on the evidence and the quality of the critical assessment of that evidence. No legislature, in Canada or elsewhere, has jurisdiction to legislatively determine the past. However, solid, political debate that surrounds contested historical events is an essential part of the critical process that produces serious history. There are many organizations and offices of the United Nations that may take action in response to evidence of genocide; none are charged with making exclusive authoritative determinations of genocide, particularly with respect to events that long precede the existence of the UN.

A similar course prepared by the Ottawa Board of Education was shelved. Why is the TDSB course allowed to move forward?
The course in Ottawa was developed 20 years ago and was not written to Ministry of Education guidelines or approved by the Ministry. The federal government of the day intervened and asked the Ottawa Board to withdraw the curriculum. Since then, the Government of Canada, House of Commons, Senate of Canada and Province of Ontario have publicly recognized the Armenian Genocide. The federal government later apologized to the Ottawa District School Board for its intervention in curriculum development.

The Review Committee has recommended that the course title be changed if feasible and practicable to Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity at the time of course review in three years. Why has the Director decided to have the name of the course changed immediately, rather than wait for the three year review as recommended?

The Review Committee recognizes that the intention of the course is to create a course on crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as genocide. In that perspective, the Committee has suggested that a course entitled Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity would not only be more appropriate, but would also underscore that some recognized cases of crimes against humanity took more lives than many or even any recognized cases of genocide. The use of the term Crimes Against Humanity would also better enable students to distinguish between different types of atrocities. The Director accepts this rationale for the course title change and felt that this was the appropriate time to make that change prior to the course being finalized for next school year.

Barbara Coloroso’s book: Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide has been rejected by the Review Committee to be on the resource list. Yet wasn’t this the book that became the basis for the curriculum?
No. Ms. Coloroso’s book was a consideration to be on the resource list because the author is a renowned educator and the subject matter was relevant to the course. However, as the Review Committee has concluded, while the book is not necessarily the best example of rigorous historical scholarship, it could be included among readings on the social psychology of genocide as the extreme extension of bullying. The removal of the book from the resource list will not impact on the development of the curriculum in any way.

Why is the TDSB intent on including the Armenian/Ottoman Turk conflict in the genocide course when there is so much debate as to whether it truly was genocide?
As the Review Committee has noted, there is a vast number of scholars who have studied the case and concur that what had happened in 1915 was genocide and as such, the module should be taught as a case of genocide. At the same time, students should be taught the importance of establishing intent, and the various indirect as well as direct ways that intent can be established in order to draw a conclusion whether or not a particular case could be considered genocide. They should also be taught that a crime against humanity can be just as horrific, criminal and deserving of attention. The Committee further notes that disagreeing about the appropriateness of the label of genocide is not the same as denying the killings occurred. Genuine historical controversies and debate do belong in a high school curriculum and can be beneficial in giving students an in-depth understanding of complex events and in teaching students critical thinking.

Is the decision of the Director with regards to the Review Committee’s recommendations final?
Yes. However, those that disagree with the Director’s decision can appeal to the Board. On April 16th the Board adopted a governance procedure to facilitate the process required by the operational procedure.
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