What is the issue?
TWUC believes Canadian writing is a valuable and necessary resource for education in Canada.
A great deal of research has been performed over many years to reveal a rather distressing picture. Very little Canadian writing makes it into official curricula across the country, or onto post-secondary reading lists. A 2017 study by the Ontario Book Publishers Organization records only three Canadian-authored books in the top twenty books mentioned by surveyed educators.
What TWUC is doing
Getting more Canadian books in Canadian classrooms has been a cause the Union has supported since the very beginnings of the organization.
In recent years the Union created a Curriculum Task Force to survey research into Canadian books in schools. Recommendations from that task force prompted TWUC’s books-in-schools letter-writing campaign, begun in 2019 and aimed at provincial Ministers of Education. TWUC would like to see provincial/territorial legislation across the country mandating minimum standards for Canadian books in schools, and greater cooperation from those authorities who set curricula.
We also encourage specific federal and provincial/territorial funding mechanisms to increase the number of Canadian books accepted into Canadian classrooms. With funding from the Ontario Arts Council, TWUC has for many years administered the Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program which places Canadian authors in Ontario classrooms (now virtually when a physical visit is not viable).
What you can do
The letter-writing campaign is still active. Write a letter from our template example today. There is never a bad time to write to your member of provincial/territorial parliament/legislature and remind them that access to Canadian-specific readings as part of official curricula is an important part of building and protecting a national culture.
- Books-in-schools letter-writing campaign – our advocacy kit to help you tell the government you want Canadian books in schools
- Ontario Book Publishers Organization report on Canadian books in Ontario schools (2017)
- Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools – administered by The Writers’ Union of Canada
- Writers-in-the-Schools programs across Canada – list of programs administered by other organizations