An analysis of the curriculum at the nation’s top five universities finds that many of them are not teaching students to be good human beings.
“The first thing you need to understand is that the world we live in is a dangerous place,” said Prof. Stephen Gannon, director of the Centre for Humanities Education at the University of Manitoba.
“That means we need to be very mindful of what we’re teaching, and we need education to be an integral part of our humanness.”
Gannon, a professor at the university’s Humanities Faculty, said he and his colleagues have been working on ways to teach students about humanness.
“We’re talking about an entire discipline that is human.
We have a whole human world to work with, and to be honest with you, it’s a pretty dangerous place for people to be,” he said.
Gannon said students need to know about the “big picture,” the importance of the environment, and the need to care for animals.
He said it is important to remember that these students are in Canada and are not in other countries.
“This is not just about being a student, it is about being an active citizen, it may not be in the classroom,” he explained.
“And so it’s important to be able to make a contribution to the community.
And it is not something we teach to children just because they’re students.
They’re going to be kids themselves.”
The analysis of five of Canada’s top universities found that at least one of the institutions, the University to the West, was not teaching the students to care about animals.
At the University College London, which is in England, students are taught how to think critically and act responsibly, said a statement from the university.
The university also said it would create a “cultural centre” for students to explore different cultural experiences and have a voice in their classrooms.
“We are committed to supporting students with the learning of Indigenous knowledge and understanding and the promotion of positive change in our communities, both domestically and internationally,” the statement said.
The university’s statement said it will also develop a “human-rights and human-rights training program” and would “engage with local and national organisations to address issues related to human rights and social justice.”
“The university is working on creating a curriculum around human-centered learning,” the university said.
“The aim is to bring together people from all walks of life to work towards this.”
At the American University of Beirut, which teaches a course in human-development studies, students learn about the impact of war, colonialism and poverty.
The program was first launched in the early 2000s.
The American University also says it is “working with faculty and students to identify opportunities to build a more sustainable human-learning culture in our institutions.”
In another school of learning, at McGill University, students study “how the world really works” and how society should respond to the environmental crisis.
The school is “deeply committed to human-centred learning and will create a human-building centre,” according to a statement.
In a statement, the university described the program as “a collaborative initiative” that has been in place for more than two decades.
“In collaboration with other academic institutions, we are working to bring students from all disciplines to collaborate and share knowledge in the context of an increasingly globalised world.”
The university said it had also launched a humanist education and engagement initiative.
The Humanities Institute at the British Columbia University, meanwhile, is offering a course called “How to be a Good Citizen,” in which students learn how to “do good.”
The course, which will be offered at the end of the year, is also available online.
“Humanity is an incredibly powerful force for good,” the school said.
“While we all have different experiences of learning from other societies, we can all be proud to say that our world is a very inclusive place and we all make contributions to that.”CBC News is seeking more information on the Humanities Institutes’ programs.