MHF4U Advanced Functions Grade 12 Course Outline

HSB4U Challenge and Change in Society Grade 12

Course Title: Challenge and Change in Society, 12 University (HSB4U)
Course Name: Challenge and Change in Society
Course Code: HSB4U
Grade: 12
Course Type: University Preparation
Credit Value: 1.0
Prerequisite: Any university or university/college preparation course in Social Sciences and Humanities, English, or Canadian and World Studies.
Curriculum Policy Document: Social Sciences and Humanities, The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 to 12, 2013 (Revised)
Course Developer: Toronto eSchool (Ontario)
Department: Social Sciences and Humanities
Developed By/Date: Toronto eSchool, 2016
Revised By/Date: Toronto eSchool, 2018

Text: De Coeur, T., Rawes, C., & Warecki, P. (2011). The Challenge and Change of Society. McGraw Hill Ryerson.

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This course focuses on the use of social science theories, perspectives, and methodologies to investigate and explain shifts in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour and their impact on society. Students will critically analyse how and why cultural, social, and behavioural patterns change over time. They will explore the ideas of social theorists and use those ideas to analyse causes of and responses to challenges such as technological change, deviance, and global inequalities. Students will explore ways in which social science research methods can be used to study social change.

Overall Curriculum Expectations

A. Research and Inquiry Skills

A1. Exploring: explore topics related to the analysis of social change, and formulate questions to guide their research;
A2. Investigating: create research plans, and locate and select information relevant to their chosen topics, using appropriate social science research and inquiry methods;
A3. Processing Information: assess, record, analyse, and synthesize information gathered through research and inquiry;
A4. 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.

B. Social Change

B1. Foundations for the Study of Social Change:demonstrate an understanding of the major theories, perspectives, and methodologies related to social change;
B2. Causes and Effects of Social Change:demonstrate an understanding of the causes and effects of social change;
B3. Technological Change:demonstrate an understanding of patterns and effects of technological change from a social science perspective.

C. Social Patterns and Trends

C1. Demographics:demonstrate an understanding of the importance of demographics as a tool for studying social patterns and trends, both nationally and globally;
C2. Forces That Shape Social Trends:demonstrate an understanding of how forces influence and shape social patterns and trends;
C3. Social Deviance:demonstrate an understanding of social science theories about social deviance, and of how various responses to deviance affect individuals and society.

D. Global Social Challenges

D1. Global Inequalities:demonstrate an understanding of how various social structures and conditions support or limit global inequalities;
D2. Globalization:assess the impact of globalization on individuals and groups;
D3. Exploitation:analyse the impact of unfair or unjust exploitation of people or resources, locally and globally.


Unit Course Content and Overall Curriculum Expectations Length
1 Unit 1 - Research and Inquiry Skills
Students are introduced to the purposes, major concepts, terminology, research methods, and practitioners of the three social science disciplines. They will explore research questions and methodological approaches.
20 hours
2 Unit 2 - Social Change
Students define and categorize factors that contribute to a state of mental, emotional and physical well-being. They examine birth patterns, aging, health care provision, impediments to accessing health care, and the social and cultural implications of each of these topics. Students will also have time to work on their culminating
25 hours
3 Unit 3 - Social Patterns and Trends
Students examine the nature of Canadian society from the perspective of the three social science disciplines. They examine positive social change and the role of various social institutions and policies in promoting or impeding change. The issues of gender, racism and discrimination are analysed as barriers to full participation in Canadian society. Students research patterns of hate crimes and develop materials (e.g., video, pamphlet, school presentation) to educate and to promote positive social interaction as one unit culminating activity. The social science report process continues with students conducting primary
25 hours
4 Unit 4 - Global Social Challenges
Students examine and debate different views of progress. They examine the causes and effects of contemporary positive global change in technology, medicine, social justice and human rights issues, ecological knowledge and resource management, legal and political developments, and the role Canadians have played in promoting or impeding change in these areas. The impediments to positive global change are then examined through case studies. Students independently research and report on one change that focuses on gender equality from a global perspective. At this stage students should have a rough draft complete of their final report. Financial literacy will be a component of this course as students will be guided on their budgeting and financing in relation to changing global landscape.
25 hours
5 Unit 5 - Course Culminating and/or Exam
Using ethical guidelines, appropriate methodology, and primary and secondary sources, students develop a position on a social issue of importance to anthropology, psychology, or sociology and, using a research design appropriate to the issue and discipline, carry out a research project in at least one of the disciplines.
15 hours
Total 110 hours


  • Direct Instruction/Note Taking
  • Reading
  • Case Studies
  • Structured Discussion
  • Brainstorming
  • Role-Play
  • Group Work/Pair Work
  • Independent Study/Research
  • Self-Analysis
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Jigsaw/Expert Groups
Strategies for Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment for learning Assessment as Learning
  • Anecdotal notes
  • Journals
  • Homework assignments
  • Focussed questioning in class
  • Observations
  • Individual conference meetings
  • Diagnostic quizzes or questionnaires
  • Pop-quizzes
  • Structured group discussions
  • Exit cards
  • Learning logs
  • Quizzes
  • Reference charts
  • Self assessment rubrics
  • Peer evaluation
  • Concept maps
  • Mind maps
  • Word webs
  • Graphic organizers (Venn Diagrams, KWHL table, SWOT, etc.)
  • Conference

Assessment:The process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the identified curriculum expectations. Teachers provide students with descriptive feedback that guides their efforts towards improved performance.

Evaluation:Assessment of Learning focuses on evaluation, which is the process of making a judgment about the quality of student work on the basis of established criteria over a limited, reasonable period of time.

Reporting:Involves communicating student achievement of the curriculum expectations and learning skills and work habits in the form of marks and comments as determined by the teacher's use of professional judgement.

Instructional Approaches

Instructional approaches should be informed by the findings of current research on instructional practices that have proved effective in the classroom. For example, research has provided compelling evidence about the benefits of the explicit teaching of strategies that can help students develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Strategies such as "compare and contrast" (e.g., through Venn diagrams and comparison matrices) and the use of analogy 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.

A well-planned instructional program should always be at the student's level, but it should also push the student towards his or her optimal level of challenge for learning, while providing the support and anticipating and directly teaching the skills that are required for success.


Accommodations will be based on meeting with parent, teachers, administration and external educational assessment report. The following three types of accommodations may be provided:

Instructional accommodations:such as changes in teaching strategies, including styles of presentation, methods of organization, or use of technology and multimedia;
Environmental accommodations:such as preferential seating or special lighting;
Assessment accommodations:such as allowing additional time to complete tests/assignments or permitting oral responses to test questions.

Other examples of modifications and aids, which may be used in this course, are:

  • Provide step-by-step instructions
  • Help students create organizers for planning writing tasks
  • Record key words on the board or overhead when students are expected to make their own notes
  • Allow students to report verbally to a scribe (teacher or student) who can then help in note taking
  • Permit students a range of options for reading and writing tasks
  • Where an activity requires reading, provide it in advance
  • Provide opportunities for enrichment

A Differentiated Approach to Teaching and Learning

An understanding of students' strengths and needs, as well as of their backgrounds and life experiences, can help teachers plan effective instruction and assessment. 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.

Connections to Current Events and Issues

Teachers need to integrate current events and issues within the curriculum expectations, and not treat them as separate topics. The integration of current events and issues into the curriculum will help students make connections between what they are learning in class and past and present-day local, national, and global events, developments, and issues. Examining current events helps students analyse controversial issues, understand diverse perspectives, develop informed opinions, and build a deeper understanding of the world in which they live. In addition, investigating current events will stimulate students' interest in and curiosity about the world around them. The inclusion of current events in Canadian and world studies will help keep the curriculum a relevant, living document.

Financial Literacy in Canadian and World Studies

The document A Sound Investment: Financial Literacy Education in Ontario Schools, 2010 (p. 4) 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.

There is a growing recognition that the education system has a vital role to play in preparing young people to take their place as informed, engaged, and knowledgeable citizens in the global economy. Financial literacy education can provide the preparation Ontario students need to make informed decisions and choices in a complex and fast-changing financial world.

One of the elements of the vision for the social studies, history, geography, and Canadian and world studies programs is to enable students to become responsible, active citizens who are informed and critically thoughtful. Financial literacy is connected to this element. In the Canadian and world studies program, students have multiple opportunities to investigate and study financial literacy concepts related to the course expectations.

For example, in Challenge and Change in Society (HSB4U), students develop their understanding of economies and how financial models impact change in society. Further, students will examine how finances have changed societies, impacting their futures and challenge their people. A resource document - The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9-12: Financial Literacy Scope and Sequence of Expectations, 2011 - has been prepared to assist teachers in bringing financial literacy into the classroom. This document identifies the curriculum expectations and related examples and prompts, in disciplines across the Ontario curriculum, through which students can acquire skills and knowledge related to financial literacy. The document can also be used to make curriculum connections to school-wide initiatives that support financial literacy. This publication is available on the Ministry of Education's website, at

The Role of Information and Communications Technology in the Canadian and World Studies Program
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.

Environmental Education and Canadian and World Studies
Ontario's education system will prepare students with the knowledge, skills, perspectives, and practices they need to be environmentally responsible citizens. Students will understand our fundamental connections to each other and to the world around us through our relationship to food, water, energy, air, and land, and our interaction with all living things. The education system will provide opportunities within the classroom and the community for students to engage in actions that deepen this understanding.

Acting Today, Shaping Tomorrow: A Policy Framework for Environmental Education in Ontario Schools, 2009, p. 6

Acting Today, Shaping Tomorrow: A Policy Framework for Environmental Education in Ontario Schools outlines an approach to environmental education that recognizes the needs of all Ontario students and promotes environmental responsibility in the operations of all levels of the education system.

There are many opportunities to integrate environmental education into the teaching of Canadian and world studies. In all subjects of this program, students can be encouraged to explore a range of environmental issues. In Challenge and Change, students learn that the responsibilities of citizenship include the protection and stewardship of human rights. This course also provides opportunities for students to explore various environmental issues of civic importance.

Career Education in Canadian and World Studies

The knowledge and skills students acquire in courses will be useful in a variety of careers. For example, the study of economics increases students' awareness of the ways in which local and global events and trends affect not only the economy but also their own career opportunities. A background in geography, history, politics, or law can lead to employment in fields such as law, politics, resource management, information technology, teaching, recreation, hospitality and tourism, and journalism. Students should be made aware of these possibilities and encouraged to explore areas of interest to them.

Antidiscrimination Education in Canadian and World Studies

Antidiscrimination education promotes a school climate and classroom practice that encourage all students to work to high standards, ensure that they are given a variety of opportunities to be successful, affirm their self-worth, and help them strengthen their sense of identity and positive selfimage.

The curriculum is designed to help students acquire the habits of mind that are essential in a complex democratic society characterized by rapid technological, economic, political, and social change. These include respect and understanding with regard to individuals, groups, and cultures in Canada and the global community, including an appreciation and valuing of the contributions of Aboriginal people to the richness and diversity of Canadian life. Learning the importance of protecting human rights and of taking a stand against racism and other expressions of hatred and discrimination is also part of the foundation for responsible citizenship and ethical business practice.


De Coeur, T., Rawes, C., & Warecki, P. (2011). The Challenge and Change of Society. McGraw Hill Ryerson.

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