Schools childhood and culture in Quebec. Intercultural Educational policies from the cultural to the civic paradigm


  • Letizia Caronia



This article presents a historical analysis and critical reflection on the ways that Quebec has responded to and continues to respond to the problem of providing state education in a society that is traditionally multicultural, multiethnic and plurilingual. In particular the paper looks at legislation, regulations and educational policies which have been formulated in response to the challenge of creating a state education system that is capable of building a “Quebecan childhood”. A reading of the “ideal curriculum” gives us little idea of the educational realty of a country. Yet in Quebec, like elsewhere, educational policies give out a signal that indicates how a society wants to represent itself, its values, and its conception of childhood. After a brief survey of the multiethnic origins of Quebec we examine law 101 (1977) which sanctions French as the official language of education and the divisive debate that has followed its introduction and successive modifications. Secondly we examine the recent laicisation process of Quebecer schools sanctioned by law 118 (June 2000) and the profound implications culture, politics and identity. In a province where religious identity has traditional been delineated by the two majority groups, the laicisation of public education has very particular cultural implications and meanings. We then analyse the official assumptions regarding the intercultural vocation of state schools (paragraphs 9-11). The combination of these breaks with traditional perspective highlights paradoxes within a society that wishes to abandon the logic of “communities “ without embracing the reductio ad unum characterised by some European models. The article concludes with a critical analysis of the pedagogical models concerning intercultural education and a comparison between Quebecer and European models, including that of Italy .

How to Cite

Caronia, L. (2009). Schools childhood and culture in Quebec. Intercultural Educational policies from the cultural to the civic paradigm. Ricerche Di Pedagogia E Didattica. Journal of Theories and Research in Education, 4(2).



Pedagogia Interculturale, Sociale e della Cooperazione