Making ‘Good’ or ‘Critical’ Citizens: From Social Justice to Financial Literacy in the Québec Education Program

  • David Lefrançois Université du Québec en Outaouais
  • Marc-André Ethier Université de Montréal
  • Amélie Cambron-Prémont


Purpose: The Québec Ministry of Education has introduced – as of September 2017 – a new mandatory course focusing on financial literacy and addressing such issues as credit scores, loans, taxes and budgets. This announcement has created intense educational debate on the raison d’être and content of the course. This article will summarise the heated debate and will examine content knowledge and the type of ‘good’ citizens that the course seeks to create.

Method: We use thematic content analysis to identify textual patterns and themes in the Québec Education Program (QEP) pertaining to financial literacy.

Findings: Our assumption is that the QEP reproduces and shapes a personally responsible citizen at the expense of systemic criticism and justice-oriented citizenship education, according to Westheimer and Kahne (2004)’s typology.

Author Biographies

David Lefrançois, Université du Québec en Outaouais

Professeur régulier

Département des sciences de l'éducationà


Marc-André Ethier, Université de Montréal

Professeur titulaire en didactique des disciplines des sciences sociales

Faculté des sciences de l'Éducation

Université de Montréal