Connecting “The Roots of Society” with Conceptions of Citizenship through Time

  • Gemma Porter University of Saskatchewan


This article examines the connections between the development of citizenship education in Saskatchewan and representations of the theme “roots of society” presented in the grade 9 Social Studies curriculum guides used in the province between 1971 and the present. The paper explores this connection by examining the development of the theme “roots of society” and the development of conceptions of citizenship. Conclusions concerning the characterization of citizenship in the curriculum guides were achieved through the implementation of key word frequency analysis. The key word frequency analysis served as the frame to identify and elucidate the representation of citizenship within the 9 Social Studies documents from 1971, 1991, 1999, and 2008. The examination of these curriculum documents revealed that developments in the conception and orientation of the “roots of society” are  reflective of changes and developments concerning notions of citizenship. The development of the “roots of society” and conceptions of citizenship education both follow a path from traditional/essentialist representations to critical social justice oriented models.