Course: Food and Nutrition

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Food and Nutrition

This course focuses on guidelines for making nutritious food choices. Students will investigate factors that influence food choices, including beliefs, attitudes, current trends, traditional eating patterns, food-marketing strategies, and individual needs. Students will also explore the environmental impact of a variety of food choices at the local and global level. The course provides students with opportunities to develop food-preparation skills and introduces them to the use of social science research methods in the area of food and nutrition.

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  • Department: Social Sciences and Humanity
  • Course Developer: The Educators Academy
  • Development Date:
  • Revision Date: 2021
  • Course Title: Food and Nutrition
  • Course Reviser: Dhwani Goga
  • Grade: Grade 9
  • Course Type: Open
  • Ministry Course Code: HFN1O
  • Credit Value: 01
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Ministry Curriculum Policy Document: The Ontario Curriculum, grades 9 and 10, 2013 (Revised)

Overall Curriculum Expectations

Nutrition and Health

    i. Exploring: explore topics related to food and nutrition, and formulate questions to guide their research; ii. Investigating: create research plans, and locate and select information relevant to their chosen topics, using appropriate social science research and inquiry methods; iii. Processing information: assess, record, analyse, and synthesize information gathered through research and inquiry; iv. 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.

Food Choices

    i. Canada’s Food Guide: demonstrate an understanding of the nutritional and health recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide; ii. Eating Patterns: demonstrate an understanding of eating patterns that contribute to optimal physical health; iii. Body Image and Attitudes about Food: demonstrate an understanding of factors that contribute to a positive body image and healthy attitudes about food.

Local and Global Foods

    i. Food Needs: demonstrate an understanding of factors affecting people’s food needs and of ways of meeting those needs; ii. Influences on Food Choices: demonstrate an understanding of various factors that influence food choices iii. Media, Advertising, and Food: demonstrate an understanding of how media and advertising messages affect food choices.

Food-Preparation Skills

    i. Availability of Food: demonstrate an understanding of where various foods are produced; ii. Food and Environmental Responsibility: demonstrate an understanding of how various food-purchasing choices and food-preparation practices affect the environment; iii. Food Security: demonstrate an understanding of issues related to food security.

Unit Outline

# Unit Approx. Time
1 Food Choices and Influences 23 Hours
2 Health and Well-being 21 Hours
3 Production and Consumerism in Canada 22 Hours
4 Canadian Heritage and Global Connections 22 Hours
5 Course Culminating Activity 20 Hours
6 Exam 02 Hours
Total 110 Hours

Unit Description

Food Choices and Influences

Students create a pamphlet to inform/promote healthy foods and eating habits among specific groups (diabetics, hypertension etc). It would be in the form of an individual presentation.

Health and Well-being

Students make collages of healthy vs unhealthy body images and food items with a supporting rationale explaining choices. Students will also do a Media/Print Comparison

Production and Consumerism in Canada

Using a RAFT board, students market a food item based on techniques and information learned in this unit. This would be a good example of a Marketing Product.

Canadian Heritage and Global Connections

In this unit, students will work both on Group Assignment and Newspaper Article. Students select a popular recipe in a specific region in Canada. They create a written reflection and explain how the recipe connects to Canadian heritage as well as produce the product. For the newspaper article, Students read Watermelons exploded in Chinese Farms and write a report on the issues and suggestions.

Course Culminating Activity

In this unit, students will perform and do written work related to any activity assigned at the end of the course.

Program Considerations

Assessment and Evaluation

An understanding of students’ strengths and needs, as well as of their backgrounds and life experiences, can help the Educators Academy teachers plan effective instruction and assessment. The Educators Academy teachers continually build their awareness of students’ learning strengths and needs by observing and assessing their readiness to learn, their interests, and their learning styles and preferences. As teachers develop and deepen their understanding of individual students, they can respond more effectively to the students’ needs by differentiating instructional approaches – adjusting the method or pace of instruction, using different types of resources, allowing a wider choice of topics, even adjusting the learning environment, if appropriate, to suit the way their students learn and how they are best able to demonstrate their learning. Unless students have an Individual Education Plan with modified curriculum expectations, what they learn continues to be guided by the curriculum expectations and remains the same for all students.
In order to ensure that assessment and evaluation are valid and reliable, and lead to improvement of student learning, The Educators Academy teachers will use a variety of the following strategies to assess student learning and to provide them with feedback: 
  • Safety Awareness (Kitchen Safety, Food Safety, Accident Prevention)
  • Technological Literacy (Internet Research, PowerPoint Presentations, use of Appliances) 
  • Career Exploration (Culinary, Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Science, Product Development) Cooperative Learning (Group Food Labs, Oral Presentations, Demonstrations) 
  • Note-Taking Skills (Organizers, Lab Reports, Research Notes) 
  • Media Analysis (Videos, Magazines, Advertisements, Product Packaging) 
  • Numeracy (Measurements, Recipe Conversions, Temperatures) 
  • Connecting Ideas and Concepts (Mind Mapping, Time Planning Charts) 
  • Authentic Tasks (Menu Planning, Food Budgeting, Food Preparation) 
  • Environmental Awareness (Local Food Supply, Organic Foods, Agricultural Issues, Household Product Safety & Disposal) 
  • Global Understanding (Culture, Religion, Food Customs, Hunger, Food Security)

Teaching & Learning Strategies

The policy aims to maintain high standards, improve student learning, and benefit students, parents, and teachers in the Educators Academy. Successful implementation of this policy depends on the professional judgement of educators at all levels, as well as on their ability to work together and to build trust and confidence among parents and students. 

The Educators Academy’s theory of assessment and evaluation follows the Ministry of Education's Growing Success document, and we follow it because it is beneficial to the students. Our teachers design assessment in such a way as to make it possible to gather and show evidence of learning in a variety of ways to gradually release responsibility to the students, and to give multiple and varied opportunities to reflect on learning and receive detailed feedback.
Growing Success articulates the vision the Ministry has for the purpose and structure of assessment and evaluation techniques. There are seven fundamental principles that ensure best practices and procedures of assessment and evaluation by The Educators Academy teachers. The Educators Academy’s assessments and evaluations are,
  • are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
  • support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
  • are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students; 
  • are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course; 
  • are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning; 
  • provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement; 
  • develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.
Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a course. The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is seen as both “assessment for learning” and “assessment as learning”. As part of assessment for learning, The Educators Academy’s teachers provide students with descriptive feedback and coaching for improvement. Our teachers engage in assessment as learning by helping all students develop their capacity to be independent, autonomous learners who are able to set individual goals, monitor their own progress, determine next steps, and reflect on their thinking and learning. The Educators Academy’s assessments and evaluations are,
  • are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
  • support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French)
  • are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
  • are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the course and at other points throughout the school year or course;
  • are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
  • develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.
All work submitted in this course will be assessed and evaluated using the standards set by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Each unit will include a variety of formative assessment activities from the four major categories that provide students with the tools and the practice required to demonstrate their learning in Summative Assessment activities. Student’s performance is evaluated by:
  • Assignments (oral and written)
  • research projects
  • reports
  • presentations
  • co-operative learning group work
  • practical applications
  • quizzes and unit tests
Evaluation refers to the process of judging the quality of student learning on the basis of established performance standards and assigning a value to represent that quality. At The Educators Academy, student’s achievement of the overall expectations is evaluated on the basis of his or her achievement of related specific expectations. The overall expectations are broad in nature, and the specific expectations define the particular content or scope of the knowledge and skills referred to in the overall expectations. Educators Academy uses their professional judgement to determine which specific expectations should be used to evaluate achievement of the overall expectations, and which ones will be accounted for in instruction and assessment but not necessarily evaluated.
Assessment Strands:
The Educators Academy will ensure that student’s work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories.

Knowledge and Understanding (K/U)

Thinking and Inquiry (T/I)

Communication (C)

Application (A)

Assessment Strands 

Student achievement is communicated formally to students and parents by means of the Provincial Report Card. The report card provides a record of the student’s achievement of the curriculum expectations in every course, at particular points in the school year or semester, in the form of a percentage grade. Report cards are issued upon completion of the course. Each report card will focus on related aspects of student achievement. The percentage grade will represent the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations for the course and will reflect the corresponding level of achievement. The Educators Academy will record a final grade for every course, and a credit is granted for the course in which the student’s grade is 50% or higher. 

Final Assessment and Evaluation = 100%

The teacher also provides written comments concerning the student's strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps (E–Excellent, G–Good, S–Satisfactory, N–Needs Improvement). The report card indicates whether an OSSD credit has been earned or not. Upon completion of a course, Educators Academy sends a copy of the report card back to the student's home school where the course is added to the ongoing list of courses on the student's Ontario Student Transcript. The report card is also sent to the student's home address for parents’ communication.

Evaluation Instruments/ Strategies:

  • Rubrics Observation
  • Checklist Project Work
  • Peer Interviewing
  • Self Researching
  • Group Conferencing
  • Technology Application

Assessment and Evaluation:

Final Assessment and Evaluation = 100%

A Summary Description of Achievement in Each Percentage Grade Range
and Corresponding Level of Achievement
Percentage Grade Range
Achievement Level
Summary Description
Level 4
A very high to outstanding level of achievement. Achievement is above the provincial standard.
Level 3
A high level of achievement. Achievement is at the provincial standard.
Level 2
A moderate level of achievement. Achievement is below, but approaching, the provincial standard.
Level 1
A passable level of achievement. Achievement is below the provincial standard.
below 50%
Level R
Insufficient achievement of curriculum expectations. A credit will not be granted.

THE ACHIEVEMENT CHART: Social Sciences and Humanities, GRADES 9–12
(Level 1)
(Level 2)
(Level 3)
(Level 4)
Knowledge and Understanding - Knowledge and Understanding – Subject-specific content acquired in each course (knowledge), and the comprehension of its meaning and significance (understanding)

The student:
Knowledge of content (e.g., facts, terms, definitions, safe practices and procedures, use of technologies)
– demonstrates limited knowledge of content

– demonstrates some knowledge of content

– demonstrates considerable knowledge of content

– demonstrates thorough knowledge of content
Understanding of content (e.g., concepts, theories, ideas, processes; relationship between theory and action)
demonstrates limited understanding of content
demonstrates some understanding of content
demonstrates considerable understanding of content
demonstrates thorough understanding of content

(Level 1)
(Level 2)
(Level 3)
(Level 4)
Thinking – The use of critical and creative thinking skills and/or processes

The student: 
Use of planning skills (e.g., formulating questions, identifying problems, generating ideas, gathering and organizing information, focusing research, selecting strategies)
– uses planning skills with limited effectiveness
uses planning skills with some effectiveness
uses planning skills with considerable effectiveness
– uses planning skills with a high degree of effectiveness
Use of processing skills (e.g., analysing, detecting point of view and bias, interpreting, evaluating, synthesizing, forming conclusions)
uses processing skills with limited effectiveness
uses processing skills with some effectiveness
uses processing
skills with
uses processing
skills with a
high degree of
Use of critical/creative thinking processes (e.g., goal setting, decision making, problem solving, invention, critiquing, reviewing)
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with limited
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with some
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes, with considerable
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with a high degree of

(Level 1)
(Level 2)
(Level 3)
(Level 4)
Communication – The conveying of meaning and expression through various forms

The student:
Organization and expression of ideas, information, and understandings in oral, visual, and/or written forms (e.g., oral: role plays, interviews, presentations, debates; visual: demonstrations, multimedia presentations, posters, graphic organizers; written: pamphlets, journals, reports, web pages)
organizes and expresses ideas, information, and understandings with limited effectiveness
organizes and expresses ideas, information, and understandings with some effectiveness
organizes and expresses ideas, information, and understandings with considerable effectiveness
organizes and expresses ideas, information, and understandings with a high degree of effectiveness
Communication for different audiences (e.g., peers, adults, younger children, community members) and purposes (e.g., to inform, instruct, persuade) in oral, visual, and/or written forms
communicates for different audiences and purposes with limited effectiveness
communicates for different audiences and purposes with some effectiveness
communicates for different audiences and purposes with considerable effectiveness
communicates for different audiences and purposes with a high degree of effectiveness
Use of conventions (e.g., research conventions such as surveys, documentation conventions, communication conventions), vocabulary, and terminology of the discipline in oral, visual, and/or written forms
uses conventions, vocabulary, and terminology with limited effectiveness
uses conventions, vocabulary, and terminology with some effectiveness
uses conventions, vocabulary, and terminology with considerable effectiveness
uses conventions, vocabulary, and terminology with a high degree of effectiveness

(Level 1)
(Level 2)
(Level 3)
(Level 4)
Application – The use of knowledge and skills to make connections within and between various contexts

The student:
Application of knowledge and skills (e.g., concepts, procedures, processes, methodologies, technologies) in familiar contexts
applies knowledge and skills in familiar contexts with limited effectiveness
knowledge and
skills in familiar
contexts with
knowledge and
skills in familiar
contexts with
knowledge and
skills in familiar
contexts with a
high degree of
Transfer of knowledge and skills to new contexts (e.g., other subjects; experiences in the family, community, society; using theory to help understand personal experiences)
transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with limited effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with some effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with considerable effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with a high degree of effectiveness
Making connections within and between various contexts (e.g., past, present, future; environmental, personal, social, religious, cultural, socio-economic contexts)
makes connections within and between various contexts with limited effectiveness
makes connections within and between various contexts with some effectiveness
makes connections within and between various contexts with considerable effectiveness
makes connections within and between various contexts with a high degree of effectiveness

Submission of Assignments
  • All assignments should be submitted for grading on the stated due date.
  • Any late assignments may be subjected to a 10% penalty.
  • Work not submitted within 5 school days after the stated due date will be assigned a mark of 0.
  • If a student is ill or away for a documented reason, all assignments must be submitted upon return to class, unless arrangements are negotiated with the teacher.
  • It is vital that the student realize the potential consequences of incomplete work and absences, including failure to gain the cred for the course. It is the responsibility of the student to catch up on all work missed from being absent.

Program Planning Considerations

Effective instruction is a key to student success. To provide effective instruction, the Educators Academy teachers need to consider what they want students to learn, how they will know whether students have learned it, how they will design instruction to promote the learning, and how they will respond to students who are not making progress.

Instructional approaches should be informed by the findings of current research on instructional practices that have proved effective in the Educators Academy classrooms. For example, research has provided compelling evidence about the benefits of explicit teaching of strategies that can help students develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Strategies such as “compare and contrast” and the use of analogies give students opportunities to examine concepts in ways that help them see what the concepts are and what they are not. Although such strategies are simple to use, teaching them explicitly is important in order to ensure that all students use them effectively. 

Instruction in social sciences and humanities help students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attributes that they need in order to achieve the curriculum expectations and be able to think critically throughout their lives about issues related to the subjects in social sciences and humanities. The Educators Academy provides effective instruction in these subjects to motivate students and instils positive habits of mind, such as curiosity and open-mindedness; a willingness to think, question, challenge, and be challenged; and an awareness of the value of listening or reading closely and communicating clearly. To be effective, instruction, we believe on that all students can be successful and that learning in social sciences and humanities is important and valuable for all students.

Planning Program for Special Education Needs 

The Educators Academy teachers are the key educators of students who have special education needs. They have a responsibility to help all students learn, and they work collaboratively with special education resource teachers, where appropriate, to achieve this goal. The Educators Academy teachers commit to assisting every student to prepare for living with the highest degree of independence possible. 

The Educators Academy teachers planning social sciences and humanities courses pay particular attention to these beliefs, which are as follows:

  • All students can succeed. 
  • Each student has his or her own unique patterns of learning. 
  • Successful instructional practices are founded on evidence-based research, tempered by experience. 
  • Universal design and differentiated instruction are effective and interconnected means of meeting the learning or productivity needs of any group of students. 
  • Our classroom teachers are key educators for a student’s literacy and numeracy development. 
  • Classroom teachers need the support of the larger community to create a learning environment that supports students with special education needs. 
  • Fairness is not sameness. 

At the Educators Academy, students demonstrate a wide range of strengths and needs. Our teachers plan programs that recognize this diversity and give students performance tasks that respect their particular abilities so that all students can derive the greatest possible benefit from the teaching and learning process. The use of flexible groupings for instruction and the provision of ongoing assessment are important elements of programs that accommodate a diversity of learning needs. 

In planning Social Sciences and Humanities courses for students with special education needs, The Educators Academy teachers begin by examining both the curriculum expectations in the course appropriate for the individual student and the student’s particular strengths and learning needs to determine which of the following options is appropriate for the student: 

• no accommodations or modified expectations; or 
• accommodations only; or 
• modified expectations, with the possibility of accommodations; or 
• alternative expectations, which are not derived from the curriculum expectations for a course and which constitute alternative programs and/or courses.
Providing accommodations to students with special education needs is our first option considered in program planning. Instruction based on principles of universal design and differentiated instruction focuses on the provision of accommodations to meet the diverse needs of learners. There are three types of accommodations: 
  • Instructional accommodations are changes in teaching strategies, including styles of presentation, methods of organization, or use of technology and multimedia. 
  • Environmental accommodations are changes that the student may require in the classroom and/or school environment, such as preferential seating or special lighting. 
  • Assessment accommodations are changes in assessment procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his or her learning, such as allowing additional time to complete tests or assignments or permitting oral responses to test questions 

If the student requires either accommodations or modified expectations, or both, The Educators Academy will take into account these needs of exceptional students as they are set out in the students' Individual Education Plan. Our courses offer a vast array of opportunities for students with special educations needs to acquire the knowledge and skills required for our evolving society. Students who use alternative techniques for communication may find a venue to use these special skills in these courses. There are a number of technical and learning aids that can assist in meeting the needs of exceptional students as set out in their Individual Education Plan. 

If a student requires “accommodations only” in social sciences and humanities courses, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the regular course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in this document. The IEP box on the student’s provincial report card will not be checked, and no information on the provision of accommodations will be included.

Program Considerations for English Language Learners 
Ontario schools have some of the most multilingual student populations in the world. The first language of approximately 20 per cent of the students in Ontario’s English language schools is a language other than English. Ontario’s linguistic heritage includes several Aboriginal languages; many African, Asian, and European languages; and some varieties of English, such as Jamaican Creole. Many English language learners were born in Canada and raised in families and communities in which languages other than English were spoken, or in which the variety of English spoken differed significantly from the English of Ontario classrooms. Other English language learners arrive in Ontario as newcomers from other countries; they may have experience of highly sophisticated educational systems, or they may have come from regions where access to formal schooling was limited.

The Educators Academy course provides a number of strategies to address the needs of ESL/ELD students. This course is flexible in order to accommodate the needs of students who require instruction in English as a second language or English literacy development. The Educators Academy teachers consider it to be his or her responsibility to help students develop their ability to use the English language properly. Appropriate accommodations affecting the teaching, learning, and evaluation strategies in this course are made in order to help students gain proficiency in English, since students taking English as a second language at the secondary level have limited time in which to develop this proficiency. 

During the start of education at The Educators Academy, English language learners receive support through one of two distinct programs from our teachers who are specialized in meeting their language-learning needs:

English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are for students born in Canada or newcomers whose first language is a language other than English, or is a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools.

In planning programs for students with linguistic backgrounds other than English, teachers at The Educators Academy recognize the importance of the orientation process, understanding that every learner needs to adjust to the new social environment and language in a unique way and at an individual pace. For example, students who are in an early stage of English-language acquisition may go through a time during which they closely observe the interactions and physical surroundings of their new learning environment. Students thrive in a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment that nurtures their self-confidence while they are receiving focused literacy instruction. When they are ready to participate, in paired, small-group, or whole-class activities, some students begin by using a single word or phrase to communicate a thought, while others speak quite fluently.

Responsibility for students’ English-language development is shared by our classroom teacher, our ESL teacher and other staff at The Educators Academy. Sometimes volunteers and peers are helpful in supporting English language learners in the language classroom. Teachers at The Educators Academy adapted the instructional program in order to facilitate the success of these students in their classrooms. Appropriate adaptations include: 

  • modification of some or all of the subject expectations so that they are challenging but attainable for the learner at his or her present level of English proficiency, given the necessary support from the teacher; 
  • use of a variety of instructional strategies (e.g., extensive use of visual cues, graphic organizers, scaffolding; previewing of textbooks, pre-teaching of key vocabulary; peer tutoring; strategic use of students’ first languages); 
  • use of a variety of learning resources (e.g., visual material, simplified text, bilingual dictionaries, and materials that reflect cultural diversity); 
  • use of assessment accommodations (e.g., granting of extra time; use of oral interviews, demonstrations or visual representations, or tasks requiring completion of graphic organizers or cloze sentences instead of essay questions and other assessment tasks that depend heavily on proficiency in English). 

Environmental Education and Social Sciences and Humanities

Helping students become environmentally responsible is a role assumed by The Educators Academy. The first goal is to promote learning about environmental issues and solutions. The second goal is to engage students in practicing and promoting environmental stewardship in their community. The third goal stresses the importance of the education system providing leadership by implementing and promoting responsible environmental practices so that all stakeholders become dedicated to living more sustainably. Good curriculum design following the resource document - The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9-12: Environmental Education, Scope and Sequence of Expectations, 2011, assist The Educators Academy’s staff to weave environmental education in and out of the online course content. This ensures that the student will have opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices needed to become an environmentally literate citizen.

Healthy Relationships and Social Sciences and Humanities

Every student is entitled to learn in a safe, caring environment, free from violence and harassment. Students learn and achieve better in such environments. The safe and supportive social environment at The Educators Academy is founded on healthy relationships between all people. Healthy relationships are based on respect, caring, empathy, trust, and dignity, and thrive in an environment in which diversity is honoured and accepted. Healthy relationships do not tolerate abusive, controlling, violent, bullying/harassing, or other inappropriate behaviours. To experience themselves as valued and connected members of an inclusive social environment, our students are involved in healthy relationships with their peers, teachers, and other members of The Educators Academy community.

The most effective way to enable all students to learn about healthy and respectful relationships is through the school curriculum. The Educators Academy teachers promote this learning in a variety of ways. For example, they help students to develop and practise the skills they need for building healthy relationships by giving them opportunities to apply critical-thinking and problem solving strategies and to address issues through group discussions, role play, case study analysis, and other means. The Educators Academy also have a positive influence on students by modelling the behaviours, values, and skills that are needed to develop and sustain healthy relationships, and by taking advantage of “teachable moments” to address immediate relationship issues that may arise among students.

Anti Discrimination Education 

The implementation of antidiscrimination principles in education influences all aspects of school life. It promotes a school climate that encourages all students to work to high standards, affirms the worth of all students, and helps students strengthen their sense of identity and develop a positive self-image. Antidiscrimination education encourages students to think critically about themselves and others in the world around them in order to promote fairness, healthy relationships, and active, responsible citizenship. 

The Educators Academy ensures that school-community interaction reflects the diversity in the local community and wider society. Consideration is given to a variety of strategies for communicating and working with parents and community members from diverse groups, in order to ensure their participation in such school activities as plays, concerts, and teacher interviews. A family new to Canada, who may be unfamiliar with the Ontario school system, is provided a special outreach and encouragement in order to feel comfortable in their interactions at The Educators Academy.

Learning resources that reflect the broad range of students’ interests, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences are an important aspect of an inclusive English program in The Educators Academy. In such a program, learning materials involve protagonists of both sexes from a wide variety of backgrounds. Teachers at The Educators Academy routinely use materials that reflect the diversity of Canadian and world cultures, including those of contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, and make them available to students. In The Educators Academy’s inclusive programs, students are made aware of the historical, cultural, and political contexts for both the traditional and non-traditional gender and social roles represented in the materials they are studying.

In addition, The Educators Academy differentiates the instruction and assessment strategies to take into account the background and experiences, as well as the interests, aptitudes, and learning needs, of all students.

The four courses in equity studies, which constitute a new subject area in the social sciences and humanities curriculum, reflect the aims of the equity and inclusive education strategy. These courses – on equity and social justice, gender studies, and world cultures – provide students with tools for understanding, analysing, and challenging inequity in various areas, including interpersonal relationships, the family, the school, the workplace, and the larger society, as well as in the global arena. The Educators Academy promotes about the courses which encourage an understanding of and respect for diversity, and a critical awareness of the status quo and of continuing challenges to an inclusive, fair, and just society.

Financial Literacy in Social Sciences and Humanities

The document A Sound Investment: Financial Literacy Education in Ontario Schools, 2010 sets out the vision that: Ontario students will have the skills and knowledge to take responsibility for managing their personal financial well-being with confidence, competence, and a compassionate awareness of the world around them. Since making financial decisions has become an increasingly complex task in the modern world, students need to have knowledge in various areas and a wide range of skills in order to make informed decisions about financial matters. 

The Educators Academy considers it essential that financial literacy be considered an important point of a well-educated population. In addition to acquiring knowledge in such specific areas as saving, spending, borrowing, and investing, students need to develop skills in problem solving, inquiry, decision making, critical thinking, and critical literacy related to financial and other issues.

Throughout social sciences and humanities courses, there are clear connections to financial literacy. BY taking this course at The Educators Academy, our students learn the skills required to manage their personal and family finances, to be critical consumers, and to understand the ways in which larger economic factors can enhance or limit the ability of individuals and families to meet their needs. Our students also explore ethical questions inherent in issues related to wealth distribution, needs and wants, and capitalist economies. 

Critical Thinking and Critical Literacy 

Critical thinking is the process of thinking about ideas or situations in order to understand them fully, identify their implications, make a judgement, and/or guide decision making. Critical thinking includes skills such as questioning, predicting, analysing, synthesizing, examining opinions, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, and distinguishing between alternatives. At The Educators Academy, students are taught these skills so they become critical thinkers who can move beyond superficial conclusions to a deeper understanding of the issues they are examining. After this, they are also able to engage in an inquiry process in which they explore complex and multifaceted issues, and questions for which there may be no clear-cut answers.
Students use critical-thinking skills in the Educators Academy’s course for Food and Nutrition course when they access, analyse, and/or evaluate the impact of something and when they form an opinion about something and support that opinion with a rationale. In order to think critically, students examine the opinions and values of others, detect bias, look for implied meaning, and use the information gathered to form a personal opinion or stance, or a personal plan of action with regard to making a difference. In this way, students approach critical thinking in various aspects. Some students find it helpful to discuss their thinking, asking questions and exploring ideas. Other students may take time to observe a situation or consider a text carefully before commenting; they prefer not to ask questions or express their thoughts orally while they are thinking.
The development of these critical-thinking skills is supported in the Food and Nutrition course at The Educators Academy. As students work to achieve the curriculum expectations in their particular course, our students frequently need to identify the possible implications of choices. 
Literacy, Mathematical Literacy and Inquiry/Research Skills

Literacy, mathematical literacy, and inquiry/research skills are critical to students’ success in all subjects of the curriculum and in all areas of their lives. 

Many of the activities and tasks that students undertake in the social sciences and humanities curriculum involve the literacy skills relating to oral, written, and visual communication. In all social sciences and humanities courses, students are required to use appropriate and correct terminology and are encouraged to use language with care and precision in order to communicate effectively. 

The Ministry of Education has facilitated the development of materials to support literacy instruction across the curriculum. 

The social sciences and humanities program also builds on, reinforces, and enhances mathematical literacy. For example, students are exposed to various concepts related to measurement. In addition, students use and produce diagrams, charts, tables, and graphs for various purposes. 

In social sciences and humanities courses, students are encouraged to develop their ability to ask questions and to explore a variety of possible answers to those questions. The questioning they practised in the early grades becomes more sophisticated as they learn that all sources of information have a particular point of view and that the recipient of the information has a responsibility to evaluate it, determine its validity and relevance, and use it in appropriate ways. The ability to locate, question, and validate information allows a student to become an independent, lifelong learner.

The Role of a Library

Educators Academy’s library program can help to build and transform students’ knowledge to support lifelong learning in our information- and knowledge-based society. Educators Academy supports student success across the Social Sciences and Humanities curriculum by encouraging students to read widely, teaching them to read for understanding and enjoyment, and helping them to improve their research skills and to use information gathered through research effectively.

The Educators Academy library program enables students to: 

  • develop a love of reading for learning and for pleasure; 
  • acquire an understanding of the richness and diversity of literary and informational texts produced in Canada and around the world; 
  • obtain access to programs, resources, and integrated technologies that support all curriculum areas; 
  • understand and value the role of public library systems as a resource for lifelong learning.

Our classroom teachers develop, teach, and provide students with authentic information and research tasks that foster learning, including the ability to:

  • access, select, gather, process, critically evaluate, create, and communicate information; 
  • use the information obtained to explore and investigate issues, solve problems, make decisions, build knowledge, create personal meaning, and enrich their lives; 
  • communicate their findings for different audiences, using a variety of formats and technologies; 
  • use information and research with understanding, responsibility, and imagination.

The Role of Information and Communication Technology

Information and communications technology (ICT) provides a range of tools that can significantly extend and enrich teachers’ instructional strategies and support student learning. ICT tools include multimedia resources, databases, websites, digital cameras, and word-processing programs. Tools such as these can help students to collect, organize, and sort the data they gather and to write, edit, and present reports on their findings. ICT can also be used to connect students to other schools, at home and abroad, and to bring the global community into the local classroom. 

In The Educators Academy, therefore, according to the needs of students, they are encouraged to use ICT to support and communicate their learning in Social Sciences and Humanities courses. Students working individually or in groups have a full access to use computers and portable storage devices, CD-ROM and DVD technologies, and/or Internet websites to solve the problems and make decisions. As a result, our students develop transferable skills through their experience with word processing, internet research, presentation software, and telecommunication tools, as would be expected in any other course or any business environment.

Although the Internet is a powerful learning tool, there are potential risks attached to its use. All students must be made aware of issues related to Internet privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the potential for abuse of this technology, particularly when it is used to promote hatred. Our teachers understand that ICT tools are valuable in their teaching practice, both for whole class instruction and for the design of curriculum units that contain varied approaches to learning to meet diverse student needs.

The Ontario Skills Passport and Essential Skills

The Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) is a free, bilingual, web-based resource that provides teachers and students with clear descriptions of the “Essential Skills” and work habits important in work, learning, and life. Teachers planning programs in FSL can engage students by using OSP tools and resources to show how what they learn in class can be applied in the workplace and in everyday life. The Essential Skills identified in the OSP are: 
• Reading Text 
• Writing 
• Document Use 
• Computer Use 
• Oral Communication 
• Numeracy: Money Math; Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting; Measurement and Calculation; Data Analysis; and Numerical Estimation 
• Thinking Skills: Job Task Planning and Organizing; Decision Making; Problem Solving; Finding Information; and Critical Thinking

Career Education

The goals of the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education and career/life planning program are to: 

  • ensure that all students develop the knowledge and skills they need to make informed education and career/life choices; 
  • provide classroom and school-wide opportunities for this learning; and 
  • engage parents and the broader community in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program, to support students in their learning. 

The framework of the program is a four-step inquiry process based on four questions linked to four areas of learning: (1) knowing yourself – Who am I?; (2) exploring opportunities – What are my opportunities?; (3) making decisions and setting goals – Who do I want to become?; and, (4) achieving goals and making transitions – What is my plan for achieving my goals?

Cooperative Education and Other Forms of Experiential Learning

Planned learning experiences in the community, including job shadowing and job twinning, field trips, work experience, and cooperative education, provide students with opportunities to see the relevance of their classroom learning in a work setting, make connections between The Educators Academy and the work, and explore a career of interest as they plan their pathway through this institute. In addition, through experiential learning, students develop the skills and work habits required in the workplace and acquire a direct understanding of employer and workplace expectations. Experiential learning opportunities associated with various aspects of the Social Sciences and Humanities curriculum help broaden students’ knowledge of employment opportunities in a wide range of fields, including interpreting, translating, and publishing and other media-related industries. Students who choose to take a two-credit cooperative education program with a Social Sciences and Humanities course as the related course are able, through this package of courses, to meet the Ontario Secondary School Diploma additional compulsory credit requirements for Groups 1, 2, and 3.

Planning Program Pathways and Programs Leading to a Specialist High Skills Major

At the Educators Academy, Social Sciences and Humanities courses are well suited for inclusion in Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSMs) or in programs designed to provide pathways to particular apprenticeship, college, university, or workplace destinations. In some SHSM programs, courses in this curriculum can be bundled with other courses to provide the academic knowledge and skills important to particular economic sectors and required for success in the workplace and postsecondary education, including apprenticeship training. These courses can serve as the in-school link with cooperative education credits that provide the workplace experience required not only for some SHSM programs but also for various program pathways to postsecondary education, apprenticeship training, and workplace destinations

Health and Safety in Social Sciences and Humanities

Students must be made aware that health and safety are everyone’s responsibility – at home, at school, and in the workplace. Students must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the equipment and products being used and the procedures necessary for their safe use. In addition, simple precautions such as wearing closed-toe shoes, tying back long hair, and removing loose jewellery, contribute to a safe environment when students are engaging in some of the hands-on components of social sciences and humanities courses. Appropriate routines need to be in place in both food and fashion classrooms to help students avoid physical injury. Social sciences and humanities teachers must work together with all other teachers using dedicated facilities and with their school administration to ensure that the physical layout of food and fashion classrooms contributes to students’ safety. 

Health and safety issues not usually associated with social sciences and humanities education may be important when the learning involves field trips. Out-of-school field trips can provide an exciting and authentic dimension to students’ learning experiences, but they also take The Educators Academy teacher and students out of the predictable classroom environment and into unfamiliar settings. The Educators Academy teachers preview and plan these activities carefully to protect students’ health and safety.

In order to provide a suitable learning environment for The Educators Academy staff and students, it is critical that classroom practice and the learning environment complies with relevant federal, provincial, and municipal health and safety legislation and by-laws, including, but not limited to, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), the Food and Drug Act, the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the Ontario Building Code, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Wherever possible, potential risks are identified and procedures developed to prevent or minimize incidents and injuries. 

Ethics in Social Sciences and Humanities

The social sciences and humanities curriculum provides varied opportunities for students at The Educators Academy, to learn about ethical issues, explore ethical standards, and demonstrate ethical responsibility. Many such opportunities arise in the Research and Inquiry strand, where students are required to follow ethical guidelines in developing and implementing research plans. It is crucial that our teachers provide support and supervision to students at all stages of the research process, ensuring that students engaged in research are aware of potential ethical concerns and address them in acceptable ways.

At The Educators Academy, teachers ensure that they thoroughly address the issue of plagiarism with students. The skill of writing in one’s own voice, while appropriately acknowledging the work of others, is explicitly taught to all students in social sciences and humanities classes.


  • Food for Life, 2nd Edition, ©2008, McGraw Hill Ryerson 
  • Notes 
  • Online Research 
  • Internet