Category Archives: Teaching History

Wisdom in Place: Learning through Relationships/Bwaakawin tek: ezhi kenjihgaadek pii d’nik kendaagut pii enaan’gonding

Nunda ezhibiigaadegin d’goh biigaadehknown ezhi debaahdedek nungwa manda neebing Mnidoo Mnising Neebing gah Bizh’ezhiwaybuck zhaazhi  gonda behbaandih kenjih’gehjik. This essay is part of an ongoing series reflecting on this summer’s Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI). By Katrina Srigley The snow is falling on Nbisiing Anishinaabeg territory now. We have just eased into Little Spirit Moon, a time for reflection… Read more »

New Brunswick History Curriculum: Language Rights and Place-based History Education

As part of our History curriculum series, and as a complement to December’s post on collaborative curricula, Cynthia Wallace-Casey discusses New Brunswick’s unique diverse, regional, and bilingual approach to History and Social Studies curricula.  As the only officially bilingual province in Canada, New Brunswick holds a unique position regarding history education and collaborative curriculum development. In this province, it is as… Read more »

19th Century Legacies in 21st Century Historical Research Practice

By Colleen Burgess and Thomas Peace In 1898, T. Watson Smith delivered a detailed lecture on the history of slavery in Canada to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. In it he lamented: Our historians have almost wholly ignored the existence of slavery in Canada. A few references to it are all that can be found in Kingsford’s ten volumes;… Read more »

East, West, North: Lessons for collaborative Canadian History curriculum

By Samantha Cutrara Should Canadian students be taught with the same history curriculum across the country? I often hear this question posed – sometimes in jest, sometimes in seriousness – at the end of a conference or symposium or in the comments section of an article. It is not currently a very active debate, but this question always seems to teeter on the… Read more »

Thinking Historically about Canadian Commemoration Controversies

By Lindsay Gibson Over the past year, Canada’s history has been centre stage. Controversy about commemoration of the past has fuelled public discussion and debate. In addition to #Canada150, the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation, there were impassioned arguments over the legacy of historical figures such as Hector Langevin, Egerton Ryerson, Joseph Trutch, Nicholas Flood Davin, Mathew Baillie Begbie, Edward… Read more »

Interpretation, Interaction, and Critique at House Museums

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Krista McCracken Ever wish there was way to provide feedback to museums and historic house sites that didn’t involve filling out a survey form? Enter anarchist tags. Created by Franklin D. Vagnone and Deborah E. Ryan, authors of Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums: A Ground-Breaking Manifesto, the tags were designed as a way to allow community members to freely… Read more »

Saskatchewan History Curriculum: History curriculum placed in time

By Samantha Cutrara As a contributing editor for Active History, this year I will be exploring the Canadian history curriculum across the country. Conceptualized as a series, each post will build and develop off the findings of the others, so that we may conclude in June with some critical ideas about how Canadian history is designed to be taught and… Read more »

Ontario History Curriculum: Many Questions to be Answered

By Samantha Cutrara This academic year I’ll be writing a series of blog posts for Active History focused on history education in Canada. In these posts, I’ll be outlining the Canadian History and Social Studies curricula for each province and identifying some possible opportunities for collaboration between historians/archivists and teachers in elementary and secondary schools. As I mentioned in my… Read more »

The Hubris of Academe, or, “Students Suck”

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By Elise Chenier There are few moments in life as self-defining as being awarded a PhD. I got mine in 2001 from Queen’s University, one of Canada’s “top” schools. The ceremony required me to kneel before the Chancellor who tapped me once on each shoulder with his mortarboard. It did its magic. When I stood up and crossed that stage,… Read more »

Do you know what the children are learning?

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By Samantha Cutrara What is the purpose of learning history? Are we doomed to repeat it? Do we lose grounding? Are we stranded without space or place? Does history provide us with the skills for understanding evidence or content for narrating experience? As adults, as educators, as historians, we answer these questions with a blend of cliché and seriousness, never… Read more »