Category Archives: Teaching History

Ten Books to Contextualize Reconciliation in Archives, Museums, and Public History

Krista McCracken In June 2015 following the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada I wrote an Active History post about “The Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation.” Over a year has passed since the TRC concluded its work and much of what I wrote in that post is still true. I still wholeheartedly agree… Read more »

From Reel to Real: Using Film to teach Labour History

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John-Henry Harter During my undergraduate degree I had an epiphany in the only labour history class offered at my university. Here being taught in this class was my history, my own lived experience. More broadly, it was an acknowledgement and validation that the working class mattered. As a mature student, I had worked for years before entering post-secondary and had… Read more »

Visualizing the Past: Mapping, GIS, and Teaching Historical Consciousness

By Sasha Mullally and Siobhan Hanratty In defining the new field of spatial history, Richard White makes the case that mapping can be more than a corollary to a historical narrative, it “is a means of doing research; it generates questions that might otherwise go unasked, it reveals historical relations that might otherwise go unnoticed, and it undermines, or substantiates,… Read more »

Reports from New Directions in Active History: Pathways to Active Historical Engagement in High Schools

One of my favourites, asks students to consider “what Canadian stories are NOT worth telling in our Museums?” Responding to a question such as this move students from traditional narratives into the ethical dimension, while also demanding attention to the Historical Thinking Concepts.

Writing is “easy”… Student Learning in the First-Year Canadian Survey Course

By Mark Leier Making a safe space Writing real life Making assignments matter Metahistories Doing more with less References The assignment made all of us squirm. Some broke into a sweat; others made little nervous jokes. At a workshop on teaching writing, we — professors, graduate students, librarians, deans — were asked to take five minutes to complete a short… Read more »

Lab Partners: Experimenting with Active Learning

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(Editor’s note: this post first appeared in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives in April 2016) By Gabriel Pizzorno and Heidi Tworek One truism about World War I is the incompetence of German propaganda in the United States. The classic stories feature German officials forgetting briefcases with secret documents on the New York subway and ham-fistedly delivering speeches about German culture. But… Read more »

In Search of Digital Literacy in Canadian History Programs

By Stacey Devlin During the second half of my MA, my colleagues and I were tasked with preparing an exhibit about early-twentieth-century medicine. Not having a background in medical history, I began by downloading archived medical periodicals from Early Canadiana Online. I reasoned that if I could identify important conversations of the profession during the period of interest, I would… Read more »

Who Teaches Digital History in Canada?

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By Sean Kheraj Digital history is coming to York University in Fall 2016. That is to say, I finally got around to organizing and preparing to teach digital history. As I get ready to teach this course, I am surveying the landscape of digital history teaching in Canada, looking for ideas. Readers of this article, I hope, will help by… Read more »

Recognizing THEN/HiER

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By Tom Peace I first encountered the History Education Network (THEN/HiER) in late 2009, when Jennifer Bonnell, the graduate student coordinator at the time, approached Active History about the potential for coordinating a workshop series in Toronto focused on teaching history. Over the intervening months we worked together towards the first in a series of events that brought together teachers,… Read more »

Simulating History: The Use of Historical and Political Simulations in the History Classroom

Active History is proud to present a video each week from New Directions in Active History. The conference took place at Huron University College on October 2-4, 2015 and brought together scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to active history. In this week’s video, we continue the discussion on active and engaged… Read more »