Social Awareness & Responsibility

Social Awareness and Responsibility involves the awareness, understanding, and appreciation of connections among people, including between people and the natural environment. Social Awareness and Responsibility focuses on interacting with others and the natural world in respectful and caring ways.

People who are socially aware and responsible contribute to the well-being of their social and physical environments. They support the development of welcoming and inclusive communities, where people feel safe and have a sense of belonging.

A socially aware and responsible individual contributes positively to their family, community, and environment; empathizes with others and appreciates their perspectives; resolves problems peacefully; and develops and sustains healthy relationships.



Building relationships

Students build and maintain diverse, positive peer and intergenerational relationships. They are aware and respectful of others’ needs and feelings and share their own in appropriate ways. They adjust their words and actions to care for their relationships.

Contributing to community and caring for the environment

Students develop awareness of and take responsibility for their social, physical, and natural environments by working independently and collaboratively for the benefit of others, communities, and the environment. They are aware of the impact of their decisions, actions, and footprint. They advocate for and act to bring about positive change.

Resolving problems

Students identify and develop an appreciation for different perspectives on issues. They show empathy, disagree respectfully, and create space for others to use their voices. They generate, use, and evaluate strategies to resolve problems. Valuing diversity

Valuing diversity

Students value diversity, defend human rights, advocate for issues, and interact ethically with others. They are inclusive in their language and behaviour and recognize that everyone has something to contribute. Their approach to inclusive relationships exemplifies commitment to developing positive communities.



I can be aware of others and my surroundings.

I like to be with my family and friends. I can help and be kind. I can tell when someone is sad or angry and try to make them feel better. I am aware that other people can be different from me.


In familiar settings, I can interact with others and my surroundings respectfully.

I can build relationships and work and play cooperatively. I can participate in activities to care for and improve my social and physical surroundings. I use materials respectfully. I can solve some problems myself and ask for help when I need it. I listen to others’ ideas and concerns. I can be part of a group and invite others to join. I can identify when something is unfair to me or to others.


I can interact with others and the environment respectfully and thoughtfully.

I can build and sustain relationships and share my feelings. I contribute to group activities that make my classroom, school, community, or natural world a better place. I can identify different perspectives on an issue, clarify problems, consider alternatives, and evaluate strategies. I can demonstrate respectful and inclusive behaviour with people I know. I can explain why something is fair or unfair.


I can take purposeful action to support others and the environment.

I can build relationships and be a thoughtful and supportive friend. I can identify ways my actions and the actions of others affect my community and the natural environment. I look for ways to make my classroom, school, community, or natural world a better place and identify small things I can do that could make a difference. I demonstrate respectful and inclusive behaviour in a variety of settings, and I recognize that everyone has something to offer.


I can advocate and take action for my communities and the natural world. I expect to make a difference.

I am aware of how others may feel and take steps to help them feel included. I maintain relationships with people from different generations. I work to make positive change in the communities I belong to and the natural environment. I can clarify problems or issues, generate multiple strategies, weigh consequences, compromise to meet the needs of others, and evaluate actions. I value differences; I appreciate that each person has unique gifts. I use respectful and inclusive language and behaviour, including in social media. I can advocate for others.


I can initiate positive, sustainable change for others and the environment.

I build and sustain positive relationships with diverse people, including people from different generations. I show empathy for others and adjust my behaviour to accommodate their needs. I advocate and take thoughtful actions to influence positive, sustainable change in my communities and in the natural world. I can analyze complex social or environmental issues from multiple perspectives and understand how I am situated in types of privilege. I act to support diversity and defend human rights and can identify how diversity is beneficial for the communities I belong to.


The Core Competencies relate to each other and with every aspect of learning.

Connections among Core Competencies

The Core Competencies are interrelated and interdependent. Taken together, the competencies are foundational to every aspect of learning. Social Awareness and Responsibility is intertwined with all the other Core Competencies.

Personal and Social

Social Awareness and Responsibility is one of the Personal and Social Core Competency’s three interrelated sub-competencies, Personal Awareness and Responsibility, Positive Personal and Cultural Identity, Social Awareness and Responsibility.

Social Awareness and Responsibility overlaps with the other two sub-competencies. For example:

  • Students identify their personal values and strengths and abilities to determine ways they can contribute to their communities and care for the environment.
  • Students self-regulate to resolve problems.
  • Students bring their understanding of how relationships and cultural contexts shape who they are to building relationships with others.


Social Awareness and Responsibility is closely related to the two Communication sub-competencies, Communicating and Collaborating. For example:

  • Recognizing and appreciating different perspectives is key to both interpreting and creating communications.
  • Collaboration involves building and sustaining relationships, interacting, and solving problems ethically.


Social Awareness and Responsibility is closely related to the two Thinking sub-competencies, Creative Thinking and Critical and Reflective Thinking. For example:

  • Creative thinking often requires students to consider and extend the value and impact of their work in influencing how people think and act.
  • Critical thinking requires students to consider a variety of perspectives as they analyze the audiences or users of their work.


Connections with areas of learning

Social Awareness and Responsibility is embedded within the curricular competencies of the concept-based, competency-driven curriculum. Curricular competencies are focused on the “doing” within the area of learning and include skills, processes, and habits of mind required by the discipline. For example, the Social Awareness and Responsibility sub-competency can be seen in the following Big Ideas in Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies:

  • Social, ethical, and sustainability considerations impact design. (ADST 9)
  • Design for the life cycle includes consideration of social and environmental impacts. (Several of the 11/12 ADST curricula; see Woodwork, for example)   
  • Tools and technologies can influence communications and relationships. (Several of the 11/12 ADST curricula; see Woodwork, for example)

Learning to Be Brave on the Playground

With the support of a friend, a student develops pride and confidence in her ability to deal with new experiences.


Burlap Sac Dress

A student takes an opportunity to change a graduation tradition and help raise funds for people in need.


Downtown Eastside Service

Students visited a community organization where they volunteered, interacted with clients, and learned about the services provided.


Comforting an Adult

A young child comforts an adult who cut her finger preparing classroom snacks.



Partner Play Plans

Students worked in pairs to make, implement, and reflect on partner play plans for lunch recess.


Inquiry and Action

A student investigates the issue of poverty and then initiates a fundraising effort by creating homemade crafts and selling them at school.


Trees and Me

A student decides to begin adopting and caring for trees.


Cleaning Up the Beach

A student picks up garbage on the beach as part of a class beach clean-up activity.


Apology Letter

A student writes an apology letter to his friend.


Rewriting Our Negative Stories (Part Three of Three)

Students respond to a presentation by Alvin Law and reflect on how they can rewrite their own negative stories. There are three related illustrations; each one has a different student work sample and profile analysis.


Rewriting Our Negative Stories (Part One of Three)

Students respond to a presentation by Alvin Law and reflect on how they can rewrite their own negative stories. There are three related illustrations; each one has a different student work sample and profile analysis.


Rewriting Our Negative Stories (Part Two of Three)

Students respond to a presentation by Alvin Law and reflect on how they can rewrite their own negative stories. There are three related illustrations; each one has a different student work sample and profile analysis.


Developing Positive Friendships

After reflecting on aspects of their friendship, four students change their behavior to develop healthier, more positive friendships.


Kind Words and Acts

A student learns how it feels to be kind and understands that making others feel good makes her feel good too.


Consoling a friend

A child consoles his friend, who is crying because he misses his dad.


Addressing Climate Change Through a WE Wellbeing project

Students design community service projects related to climate change as part of a WE Wellbeing project.


Kindness and Empathy

A child demonstrates kindness and empathy in her classroom interactions with teachers and peers.


Community Outreach

Students visit community organizations and then collect and deliver contributions to the organizations that support the organization’s needs.


You Mud?

Two children sit together and observe each other as they spread mud on an outdoor table.


Making a Book for Younger Children

A child creates a new book that will be suitable for “babies.”


Offering Peer Assistance

A student discusses how she supports her peers’ social emotional well-being.


Interviewing an Older Adult

Students were asked to interview an “older adult from the community” and this student chose to interview a long-time neighbour.


Phobia versus Fear

Students research phobias to distinguish between phobias as fear and then discuss and reflect on reactions to SOGI.


Nature Walks

A child initiates conversations and activities while on nature walks in his community.


You Hold Me Up

Inspired by the book, You Hold Me Up, students take photos of each other and then superimpose words that represent the many positive traits each student brings with them into the classroom community.


A Compromise

When two children’s ideas about an imaginative story diverge, one of the children finds a compromise. 


What Matters

Inspired by the story What Matters, students complete small acts that can make a big difference and create stories about their act in a style like the one used in What Matters.


Cleaning Up the School Grounds

A student chooses to clean up the leaves at the classroom entrance during free time.


Journal Entries about Being Kind

A student creates journal entries about making being kind to others.


Making Unique Dough

Students worked in groups to read recipes and create unique dough (mud dough, sand dough, hair conditioner dough, oatmeal dough, and coffee dough.)


Organizing an Orange Shirt Day

A student, inspired by a novel about a girl’s residential school experience, gathers further information and, four years later, organizes an Orange Shirt Day at her school.


Hold High the Torch

After meeting veterans at a Remembrance Day event, a student forms a group dedicated to intergenerational connections between students and veterans.


Roles, Rights and Responsibilities

The students explored and reflected on their roles in their friendships, and the rights and responsibilities they have to themsleves and others.


The Nail Salon

A child and her friend create an elaborate series of activities, over several weeks,  connected to an imaginary nail salon.