Filipinos are the fourth largest visible minority group in Canada and the Philippines is the number one source of immigrants to Canada today. In spite of Filipinos’ contributions and growing presence, there is little representation of their cultural, economic, and social contributions to Canada in textbooks and official curricula.

The PASSOC Project aims to highlight the experiences, culture, and knowledge that emerge from the Philippines and from Filipinos in the diaspora. Through inquiry-based, arts-based learning strategies, students of all backgrounds can engage with the learning resources as a way to foster inclusivity and appreciation. At the same time, it offers a culturally-relevant education to Filipino students who so rarely see themselves in mainstream historical narratives and representations. Culturally relevant educational initiatives such as PASSOC Project recognize that learning is deeply influenced by – but not limited to – learners’ ethnocultural background, language, and family structure.
The PASSOC Project believes that if students’ identities are reflected in the curriculum, then learning becomes authentic and meaningful and will result in greater student engagement and increased student success.

A major goal of the PASSOC Project is to affirm the lived experiences of Filipinos in school and to promote inclusion and diversity in education. Centering on Filipino experiences and identities, the learning that emerges from this will have far-reaching implications for the greater student population through cross-cultural exchange, the building of empathy and the promotion of global citizenship.

Based on provincial learning expectations, all resources were designed by classroom teachers and subject specialists, most of whom are either of Filipino descent or have a deep knowledge and appreciation of the Philippines and Filipino culture. Working in collaboration with experts in their respective fields, Dr. Patrick Alcedo (Dance), Dr. Ethel Tungohan (Political Science), and Principal Investigator Dr. Philip Kelly (Geography), the development team is informed by cutting-edge research as well as their own classroom experience and subject area expertise, and lived experience.

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Above: Front row, from left, Professor Philip Kelly, Geography, LAPS; Jennilee Santican, (St Maria Goretti); Michelle Aglipay, (St Brigid); Patt Olivieri, (Curriculum Leadership & Innovation, TCDSB); Professor Ethel Tungohan, Political Science and Social Science, LAPS. Back row, from left, Marissa Largo, (Mary Ward); Jodelyn Huang (TCDSB Community Relations Officer); Merle Gonsalvez, (St Ursula); Christella Duplessis-Sutherland (St Timothy); Professor Patrick Alcedo, Dance, AMPD; Fredeliza de Jesus, (St Paul) Photo Credit: Alex Filipe

For more information, read the YFile article York U Faculty collaborate with the Toronto Catholic District School Board on Filipino Curriculum