Articles 2000-2010

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES

CANADA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 1, Spring 2010
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css


Canadian Social Studiesis an indexed, refereed journal published quarterly on-line at the University of Alberta. It is a journal of comment and criticism on social education and publishes articles on curricular issues relating to history, geography, social sciences, and social studies.
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George Richardson- Editor

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Using Image Analysis to Build Reading Comprehension

Sarah Jane Brown and John Swope

The role of individual negation in enabling social capital, moral education, and citizenship education

Thomas Misco

Democratizing our Youth: Citizenship, Community and Governance

Ryan McVeigh and Jennifer Barnett

Curriculum in the Age of Globalization

Catherine Broom

Concepts of Volunteerism Among Recent African Immigrants in Canada Implications for Democratic Citizenship Education.htm

Ottilia Chareka, Joseph Nyemah, and Angellar Manguvo

Using Image Analysis to Build Reading Comprehension

Sarah Drake Brown and John Swope

Abstract

Content area reading remains a primary concern of history educators. In order to better prepare students for encounters with text, the authors propose the use of two image analysis strategies tied with a historical theme to heighten student interest in historical content and provide a basis for improved reading comprehension.

As the September sun beat relentlessly on the roof of the portable classroom and the air conditioner hummed diligently, twenty-one sixth grade world cultures students participated in a review session pertaining to ancient Greece. Using the computer and projector to situate students geographically, the teacher guided the students through basic definitions of Greek landforms. The teacher then turned to the topic of civilizations and asked a recall question: What were the names of the two earliest Greek civilizations? A young girl raised her hand confidently and exclaimed, “Dark Ages!” The teacher responded gently, “No-ooo. Think of civilizations. What is a civilization?” The student shot back defensively, “Well, it was up there” as she pointed vaguely to the white board.

She was correct. “Dark Ages” had been written on the board during a previous lesson, and, in a way, her answer made sense. The teacher had asked for two civilizations; “Dark Ages” consisted of two words. When the class had read about the early Greek civilizations and the Dark Ages, the words, as proper nouns, had been capitalized. Why should “Minoans and Mycenaeans” have more meaning than “Dark Ages” to students who have difficulties placing ideas in context? Researchers have noted that many readers approach a text as a vehicle for answers, not as a rhetorical and human artifact (Wineburg 2001, 65). Oftentimes, beyond general reading difficulties in decoding and fluency, struggling readers lack an epistemology of text.

In this essay, we propose the use of image analysis strategies to heighten student interest in historical content and provide a basis for improved reading comprehension. We draw upon our experiences working with sixth grade students who struggled with reading. Specifically, the students had scored in the 50th percentile or below on the reading portion of the state assessment test and, as a result, had been tracked into this particular social studies class. Throughout the first semester, we noted that their workbooks and other supplementary materials provided by the district were of limited help in building students’ reading skills. As we moved chronologically through a study of world cultures, we occasionally used images (maps and paintings) as part of our teaching strategies. In the second semester, however, we decided to apply a more interactive, discipline-based approach to engage students in the content of history and build historical thinking skills. When teaching a unit on Europe in the Middle Ages (specifically the Frankish Kingdom), we used two methods of image analysis tied to a historical theme in order to weave context and therefore better prepare students for encounters with reading text. We found the image analysis strategies beneficial. Students’ attitudes toward class changed and their understanding of content improved.

In the following essay, we provide a brief overview of Sam Wineburg’s research pertaining to reading comprehension in history. Then we describe the theme we used to organize the lessons, the historical thinking skills we sought to build, and the two methods of image analysis we recommend – the people/space/time model and the similarities/differences model. Finally, we make suggestions regarding assessment activities that could be tied to the use of these models.

Reading History

When we think about the process of reading, we often first focus on phonetic decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. History educators know that general reading skills are not enough. In his seminal work, Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past, Sam Wineburg called attention to the paucity of research pertaining to reading in the discipline of history. Wineburg’s research focused on identifying cognitive processes that expert and novice readers in history (primarily historians and advanced high school students) utilize when they encounter both primary and secondary sources. Wineburg’s focus on discipline-specific thinking skills brought new meaning to “reading comprehension” as he examined expert readers’ use of discipline-specific heuristics. The sourcing heuristic, as identified by Wineburg, involves “the practice of reading the source of the document before reading the actual text.” Historians engaged in the sourcing heuristic 98% of the time in Wineburg’s study, while students utilized sourcing only 31% of the time. The use or lack of use of sourcing reveals a great deal about the ways in which different readers think about texts (76).

A simile comparing historians and students to actors in a courtroom illustrates Wineburg’s point regarding the use of heuristics, or problem solving techniques, as they read primary and secondary sources. Historians approached the sources as prosecuting attorneys. Not only did they listen to testimony, but they actively drew it from the documents by placing sources side by side, questioning conscious and unconscious motives, and locating discrepancies. By contrast, students behaved as jurors. They listened to testimony and questioned themselves about the information, but they did not engage in direct questioning of the witnesses (documents) or attempt to use cross-examination. Students’ locus of authority resided in the text. Historians’ authoritative site rested in the questions they formulated about the text (77).

In addition, according to Wineburg, skilled readers of history focus on what texts say and on what texts do. They consider the purposes words serve, the perspective provided by the descriptions, and the organization of accounts. Instead of relying mainly on the literal text or even the inferred text, skilled readers of history comprehend the subtext that exists in a document. Most skilled readers of history (even if they lack factual knowledge) follow a similar approach when examining a document. Through an examination of the text as a rhetorical artifact and as a human artifact, skilled history readers reconstruct authors’ intentions and goals while working to disclose information about the author’s world view and beliefs. The literal text serves only as a shell of the more complete text understood by historians. A total comprehension of the text requires an understanding of intention, motive, purpose and plan (64-67).

Skilled readers of history also have distinguished themselves from general readers through an epistemology of text. For example, historians recognize immediately the existence of subtexts, begin to question the authors’ intentions, and situate the texts in the social world. Unskilled readers of history, on the other hand, look to texts as bearers of information. These readers gather information and process what they read, but they fail to engage with the text. The skilled historians and the unskilled readers of history apparently possess different beliefs about the nature of historical inquiry. According to Wineburg, these simple differences in the epistemology of text have an impact on the entire process of historical thinking and their reading comprehension – or the lack thereof (75-79).

In order to move students toward the skillful reading of history (as appropriate for them cognitively) that Wineburg outlined, we identified a specific theme to organize our unit and specific historical thinking skills we wanted our students to utilize. We then engaged them in an analysis of images in order to weave context and prepare them to eventually build an epistemology of text when reading.

Thematic Organization and Historical Thinking Skills

We selected one of the six Vital Themes and Narratives suggested by the National Council for History Education (NCHE) to guide the content direction of this particular unit. According to NCHE, the content taught in the context of the theme, “Civilization, Cultural Diffusion, and Innovation,” should address the ways in which human skills have evolved, how and why centers of power develop, and how cultural achievements of major civilizations have developed specifically in the arts, literature, and thought (Bradley Commission on History in Schools 2005, 10).

When planning the lessons on the Frankish Kingdom, we determined that emphasizing three larger historical thinking skills would best help our students organize content in order to improve their reading comprehension. We derived these historical thinking skills from Chapter 2 in the United States’ National Standards for History. Under chronological thinking, we focused on Standard D, measuring and calculating calendar time. We noted that the labels “BC” and “AD” did not hold much meaning for students, and we also wanted students to be able to gain perspective regarding what it meant to live during the Middle Ages. Under historical comprehension, we focused on Standard F, appreciating historical perspectives. Specifically, we wanted students to consider the values and ideas that existed during the Middle Ages and to avoid judging the past in terms of present-day norms. Under historical analysis and interpretation, we emphasized Standard C, analyzing cause and effect relationships. We stressed multiple causation, the role of the individual, and the influence of ideas, human interests, and beliefs (National Center for History in the Schools 1996, 59-72). We selected these particular historical thinking skills because they were appropriate for the specific content regarding the rise of the Merovingians and Carolingians and because we sought to build a foundation from which students can draw in the future when encountering images and written texts in the study of history.

Since students had previously been introduced to the idea of using a theme to tie together the content in lessons, we began this particular unit with a review of key ideas in the theme and the ways in which these ideas related to content we had studied earlier regarding the medieval Catholic Church. We then began image analysis.

Image Analysis: People/Space/Time and Similarities/Differences For the purposes of this essay, we will focus on the image analysis we implemented in two lessons in this three week unit. In actuality, we utilized at least eight images formally in lessons. In keeping with the idea that image analysis would contribute to students’ ability to weave context, make meaning of text, and consider in at least a rudimentary fashion the epistemology of text, we interspersed image analysis lessons with lessons that focused more on reading text and lessons that included role playing. In the examples we will discuss for this unit on Medieval Europe, we used the People/Space/Time model to teach about the rise of Charles Martel, and we utilized the Similarities/Differences model to focus on the achievements of Charlemagne.

People/Space/Time

The People/Space/Time model is designed to engage students in an immediate and deep examination of an image in the context of disciplinary thinking in geography and history. Rather than beginning with such broad questions as, “What is the main idea?” and “What is happening here?” the People/Space/Time model enables students to begin geographically with the present day (questions 1 and 2 below) and then calls on students to think historically about specific time periods in the past (questions 3, 4, and 5 below). Questions 6, 7, and 8 below are intended to give life to the individual depicted in the image and to allow students to display their creativity and application of previously learned ideas (Drake and Nelson 2005, 180-182). Another purpose of the People/Space/Time model of image analysis is to determine what students already know and how sophisticated they are in their understanding of human location in different periods of time. We designed the following questions for the image analysis of Charles Martel.

1) Was this person living north or south of the Mediterranean Sea? (history, geography)

2) Speculate three present day cities where he might have lived. (geography, history, sociology, economics)

3) Was this person alive before or after World War II? History – time)

4) Was this person alive before or after the American Civil War? (history – time)

5) What century might he have lived in? How do you know? (history – time)

6) What do you think this person did for a job? (history, sociology, economics, geography)

7) Write down three adjectives you would use to describe him. (history, sociology, economics, geography)

8) What title would you give this picture?

Using the questions listed above to have students analyze this image engaged them in chronological thinking, historical comprehension, and historical analysis and interpretation. And, it was interdisciplinary.

To further engage students, we encouraged them to consider what themes they saw being communicated through the image. We then asked them to consider the ways in which the themes the students identified related to the theme of “Civilization, Cultural Diffusion, and Innovation” that we had been using. Next, we asked students to consider when this image might have been created and for what purposes. When we turned to reading text about Charles Martel and the significance of his accomplishments at the Battle of Tours in 732, the students were better able to place this historical figure in the context of the time period and draw upon a deeper understanding that they had previously worked together to construct. Several students recalled the depiction of Charles Martel, “the hammer,” as a fierce warrior. They carried this image into the reading and were able to articulate the ways in which this Mayor of the Palace capitalized on such technological innovations as the stirrup. When we turned to interpreting the importance of the Battle of Tours, students mentioned “That guy, ‘the hammer,’” as they considered the larger meaning of Martel’s victory over the Muslims in 732.

Similarities/Differences

In the next lesson, we continued with the process of image analysis in order to further weave context for students. This second encounter with structured image analysis utilized a Similarities/Differences model. We used an official photograph of the then-President George W. Bush and a portrait of Charlemagne painted by Albrecht Dürer centuries after Charlemagne’s death. When using this model, the possibility exists to ask students to write down three characteristics that are similar and three characteristics that are different when looking at the two images (Drake and Nelson 2005, 183-184). We believed, however, that it would be advantageous with our group of learners to be more structured. Therefore, we designed questions that would provide specific points of focus to get the students started. We asked the following questions.

1) What is each leader wearing?

2) Describe each person’s hair style.

3) What symbols do you see in the background?

4) What do these pictures tell you about the time period these people lived? What is similar and what is different?

From these initial questions, we then asked the students to relate the conclusions they drew about qualities valued in a leader to the theme of Civilization, Cultural Diffusion, and Innovation. Then we turned to questions about the purposes in each of the images and the ideas the images might be trying to convey. When we read a special section of the textbook highlighting Charlemagne’s accomplishments regarding education and religion including the impact of the school he established at Aachen and his appointment of Alcuin as a teacher, we returned to the image of Charlemagne to look for symbolic elements that reinforced or challenged our understanding of his leadership qualities.

The questions we developed for these lessons are purposefully specific to the images we selected and the historical thinking skills we sought to build, but the main ideas in the People/Space/Time and Similarities/Differences models can be adapted to many images used in the history classroom. The overall structure of both models provides a basis that teachers can use to build students’ skills in both geography and history while at the same time weaving context to prepare students for encounters with making meaning of text.

Assessing Students

We found that the introduction of images prior to engaging students in reading textual sources improved students’ willingness to engage in a closer reading of textual sources and to participate in alternative assessments. We were successful in building on students’ enthusiasm by asking them to engage in such short writing activities as composing poems as individuals living during the time period and describing life on a medieval manor. For a more formal assessment (keeping in mind that these students were considered to be struggling academically), we asked students to use their knowledge from the image analysis activities to read a section from their textbook pertaining to achievements in the Middle Ages and then to write a paragraph about the Middle Ages by using the vital theme of Civilization, Cultural Diffusion, and Innovation as a guide. In order to assist students, we recommended a topic sentence for their paragraph and suggested they follow an outline similar to the example we provide below.

Topic Sentence: The Frankish civilization had many innovations and spread culture in Western Europe.

Write a sentence describing Charles Martel and explaining his use of a technological innovation. Write a sentence describing Charlemagne and providing examples of his ideas about education and learning. Write a concluding sentence that summarizes the importance of the Franks and their use of innovations and spreading of culture during the Middle Ages.

We reminded the students to consider the images we had studied in class as they consulted the textual reading in preparation for writing their paragraph. In reviewing the images, we also brought students’ attention to the values and ideas that existed in the Middle Ages, the role of individuals and the influence that specific ideas had, and the importance of examining the past from the perspective of the people who lived during the time period instead of using modern values and beliefs. We specifically emphasized these historical thinking skills as we prepared students for the writing assessment in order to focus their attention on utilizing the habits of mind we had striven to build throughout the unit.

Students struggled with writing their paragraphs. Our students had little experience writing, especially in content areas, and the task posed difficulties even though they had been provided with a very specific outline. As we worked with individuals, we did notice a dramatic difference in students’ attitudes and their thinking practices. In contrast to our previous observations when they had mined the textbook to find answers to questions, this time our students (with guidance from us) referred to the images we had used in class to help them organize the ideas about which they were to write. The final paragraphs the students turned in were not perfect, but the approach they took to their work was significant. Instead of searching the text for an “answer,” they consulted the reading and the image and compared what they had learned from both sources in order to construct their understanding of the Middle Ages. The images seemed to have provided them with a basis of comprehension that enabled them to begin to make meaning from the text.

We believe that the structured approach to image analysis outlined above can and should be adapted to multiple lessons in social studies for elementary, middle, and even high school students. First, discipline-specific thinking skills can be consciously taught based on the structure of the questions the teacher designs for image analysis. The questions do not need to be “fancy,” but they do need to consider the content knowledge and the discipline-specific skills the teacher wants to build in students. Once the content and habits of mind are established, this “way of thinking” about reading can be applied to reading text. Second, images – even controversial images, as long as they are age-appropriate – provide excellent opportunities for all students to become involved in the social studies classroom. One does not have to be proficient at phonics or have good cadence and fluency in order to “read” an image aloud with classmates. Third, reading images is fun. Students generally like to see pictures from other times and places, and the analysis of images builds not only historical thinking skills and context, but a historical imagination.

We do not offer image analysis as the great panacea for improving students’ reading comprehension. But, we do know that students’ dispositions changed in class during the time we spent studying the Middle Ages through images, and such student comments as, “Are we gonna get to use those pictures again today?” made image analysis a teaching method we will use in the future.

References

The Bradley Commission on History in Schools. 2005. Building a History Curriculum: Guidelines for Teaching History in Schools. Westlake, OH: National Council for History Education.

Drake, Frederick D. and Lynn R. Nelson. 2005. Engagement in Teaching History: Theory and Practices for Middle and Secondary Teachers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Wineburg, Sam. 2001. Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Sarah Drake Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Ball State University

John Swope is a social studies teacher at Montford Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida

The role of individual negation in enabling social capital, moral education, and citizenship education

Thomas Misco

Abstract

Social capital, moral education, and citizenship education are three big ideas fundamental to the health of any democratic state. Yet exactly what these terms mean is a source of much contention and divergent thinking. Bringing some clarity to the three might help the cause of bolstering their prominence in educational discourse and reform. Therefore, in this essay I explore the underlying form of social capital, moral education, and citizenship education, which I characterize as “the negation of the individual.”

Demands for effective citizenship and moral education, and the ultimate building of social capital, abound. One of the most important and troubling of all human tasks (and hence a challenge of educators) is to be able to know what it means to live the virtuous life (Purpel, 1991, 309), which includes arriving at an ethical theory that is both teachable and inherent in all curricula. Although the inclusion of a wide-variety of subject matter into the school day has resulted in a scarcity of time for moral education, Dewey suggested “if other studies do not correlate well with this one, so much the worse for them—they are the ones to give way, not it” (1893, 60). Dewey was not merely suggesting the centrality of ethics instruction for the school day, but rather an interpenetration of perspectives of the world in which we are all members. The teaching of ethics in this way ranked higher in importance to Dewey than any other subject for “the subject-matter of ethics must furnish the measure of others studies and not vice versa” (1893, 61). Central to a successful moral citizenship education is, as Dewey noted, the fashioning of individuals into a group, which implies the value and necessity of sociomoral experiences (Osterman, 2000).

Our ability to foster social capital, within schools and beyond, depends upon many of the same requirements necessary for successful moral citizenship education. Social capital is fundamentally based on the engagement of individuals, which is often promoted through the development of selfless, altruistic, reciprocal, and trusting behaviors. Because the school is an institution erected by society to maintain and advance the welfare of society, we must ensure that the social aim remains in focus (Dewey, 1909, 7). As with moral and citizenship education, social capital is fundamentally based on the negation of the individual.

One problem that jeopardizes our educational goals is nascent extreme individualism, cynicism, and narcissism within our society. For example, our communities overwhelmingly believe individuals are less honest and moral than a generation ago and far too prevalent are institutions that enable individualism and competitive spirits, rather than finding commonalities and collaboration (Osterman, 324). Teachers are cognizant and concerned with this growing self-interest (Kohn, 1997, 433) thereby highlighting the need for a paradigmatic change in our society, one that would re-emphasize a common vision. Within this context, the focus of schooling should not be the present one of competition, content mastery, individualism, and success, but rather one of cooperation, common goals, harmony and temperance (Purpel, 1991). In short, we need to allow for students to recognize that they are individuals within society, which necessitates the recognition of each individual’s social relations and responsibilities involved in conjoint life (Dewey, 1909).

The Negation of the Individual

The common thread of social capital, moral education, and citizenship education is the negation of the individual. What is meant by “negation” is not a pejorative concept, but is rather a state of being where one realizes the interconnectedness of all individuals and their mutuality. This negation is fundamental to the necessary altruism, trust, and reciprocity that enable social capital, reflective morality, and the enlightened and responsible dispositions requisite for citizenship education.

The eminent Japanese ethicist, Watsuji Tetsur, based his seminal ethics text, Rinrigaku, on the premise that ethics is the “order or the pattern of thought which the communal existence of human beings is rendered possible . . . ethics consists of the laws of social existence” (1937, 11). Much of Tetsur’s work focused on the essence of existence as not being an individual, nor a complete part of society, but rather “in between.” It is the between that suggests the necessary negation of the individual.

The Japanese term ningen (individual) is a term of great significance for social capital, moral education, and citizenship education, because it denotes this negation and is suggestive of the irrevocable unity of the individual and society. The notion of an isolated individual who is predominately concerned with their own tastes and pursuits is a spurious one, suggests Tetsur, because an individual only exists as part and parcel of the structure of the past, present, and future. An occidental orientation typically divides the world into an object/subject duality, but Tetsur suggests that in order to attain self knowledge and realization we need to step out of ourselves and recognize our connection to others (Carter, 1996, 334).

The idea of individual negation corresponds with the thinking found in the Progressive Era, whereby the self was considered something always in the state of becoming, never final or fixed (Dewey, 1932). For example, Dewey (1916) recognized that “the individual in his isolation is nothing” (94) and sought to further the “interest in community welfare” (Dewey, 1909, 17) among students by realizing the illusory conception of the self. This is a central tenet of sociomoral education and Dewey’s conception of reflective morality.

The inability of the self to “abstract itself from the particular social role . . . so as to reflect upon itself as an individual qua individual, rather than qua family member or member of this or that social group” (Tetsur, 347) is therefore a daunting challenge for educators. The Japanese conception of the self as incomplete apart from society suggests that “true morality is the forgetting of the self” (332) and the awareness and connection with all, which corresponds with the desired state of affairs for social capital, moral education, and citizenship education.

Social Capital

The nebulous nature of social capital undermines attempts to recognize its underlying form of individual negation. At its inception, the term ‘social capital’ and defined it as “a byproduct of a wide variety of social relations; it inheres in the structure of relations between persons and among persons” (Wallis, Crocker, and Schechter, 1998, 256). The Committee for Economic Development (CED) indicated that information sharing, reciprocity, values and norms that maintain social order are features that define social capital (259). Putnam further outlined the method of attaining and describing social capital and clarified the core idea as the “connections among individuals—social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them” (Putnam, 2000, 19). Putnam extended his definition by emphasizing that social networks have value and contain elements of engagement, volunteerism, friendships, trust, and community life. In short, social capital is about the experiences that build connections (Wallis, 1998, 327-8). Common to these definitions is the interrelatedness of individuals predicated on their ability to reach out from the self.

Perhaps the greatest detriment to social capital is the selfishness of extreme individualism. Selfish approaches to society are not necessarily wrong, for they further our goals and enhance our happiness. Rather self-interest is problematic when we fail to consider the rights and claims of others. The kind of selflessness we need to explore sprouts from the negation of the individual and the awareness that consequences of actions necessarily involve others, as well as the realization of mutual inclusiveness. Tetsur suggested that the way in which we teach selflessness, benevolence, and compassion is through the unity of the individual and society.

Altruism and reciprocity also represent fundamental tenets of social capital. As with selflessness, the negation of the individual underscores the development of altruistic and reciprocal actions. Altruism is not only an important indicator of social capital but also of civic duty. One way of availing oneself of altruistic behavior seems to be organizational involvement and building smaller communities, where there is less alienation, anomie, and anonymity, and where a purely individual existence is an untenable proposition through more social points of contact. What happens in small environments, where altruistic acts are more visible and reciprocity easily facilitated, is a willingness to intervene and involve oneself in communal betterment. Reciprocity is not only the foundation of social capital, but also for citizenship education. Reciprocity enables participation and engagement in a democracy and the “willingness of opposing sides in a democratic debate to agree on the ground rules for seeking mutual accommodation after sufficient discussion” (Putnam, 340). One can only come to know what their own good is when they contrast it with the good of others (Osterman, 350), and it is the business of public schools to begin to build these social and reciprocal relationships.

Trust represents yet another core feature of social capital. Trust not only lubricates social life, but it is necessary for bridging and bonding people and groups. The benefits of trust include increased volunteerism, philanthropy, engagement in community affairs, honesty, and tolerance. These benefits, in turn, perpetuate further trust that reinforces other attributes of social capital and citizenship. Trust suggests that “our fates are linked” (Putnam, 288) and it demands of us to widen our lens and the universe of obligation beyond the self.

Social capital represents one resultant benefit of the negation of the individual. If we fail to participate in public life, suggests Mill, one “never thinks of any collective interest, of any objects to be pursued jointly with others but only in competition with them, and in some measure at their expense ” (Putnam, 337). It is the charge of public education to respond to this need and create more opportunities for connection among diverse student bodies, and more participation in every avenue of life. By opening the curriculum to political, economic, and social questions that facilitate a communitarian connective tissue we can bring into relief the benefits of negating the self. This would help buoy and enhance social capital, which requires looking beyond ourselves.

Moral Education

Unlike fostering social capital, moral education has become a contentious and politically charged element of education. Although the underlying form of moral education is similar to that of social capital, that of the necessary negation of the individual, other intervening variables make it more polemical.

One reason for the decline in moral education and its expurgation from the classroom is that many new teachers do not believe that they have a right to broach moral issues (Lasley and Biddle, 158). If we consider Dewey’s definition of that which is moral in light of the unwillingness to teach morality, it is clear that the social nature of schooling is marginalized. Dewey suggested that “all education which develops power to share effectively in social life is moral,” (1916, 360) a statement that resonates with Tetsur and brings into sharp relief the immense scope of morality in the school. Ethics and morality are at the heart of the normative purpose of the school for they concern the problems that “arise between persons, as individuals, and as members of society” (Tetsur, 1937, 341).

Avoiding moral education is not a new phenomenon. In 1893, Dewey remarked that while an impetus and general push for moral education existed, experts expressed a desire to avoid teaching it. Although today many have turned to safe and popular moral platitudes and inculcative methods, these are rarely efficacious. Teaching rules and distinctions do not further the moral being and if the instruction is not authentic to the life of the student, it will simply fail to make character.

For Dewey, ethical theory consisted of the “typical features of every human interaction” (1893, 58) and a process of studying the “inner process as determined by the outer conditions or as changing these outer conditions” (1932, ix). Central to Dewey’s conception of moral education included the rights of others and how individual choices affected those rights. This conception, which is built on the negation of the individual, necessitates us “to regard oneself as one among others” (1932, 76). The contemporary development of a selfless orientation requires that we move beyond the morality of custom and enter into new contextual and reflective moral education.

Morality of custom, which is generally the program of character education programs that list virtues and vices, requires that we follow societal guidelines without thought or deliberation. When parents, teachers, and the government ultimately compel adherence to accepted ethical codes, they suggest blind acceptance without an occasion of doubt (or difficulty) and assume a linear progression that ignores ill structured questions of morality. If we rely on custom and tradition, we not only fail to progress, but fail to keep pace with new experiences that continually shape and alter our consciousness and values. Presciently, Dewey noted that the rise of machines, distant markets, mobility, migration, automobile, telephones and new leisure activities have “broken up local community bonds” (1932, 88). As a result, the morality of custom which once acted as a social adhesive and made individuals aware of their reciprocal relations, no longer corresponds to modernity. The inculcation of unassailable customary morals works against the development of social capital, citizenship, and a relevant moral education. It is really a civic duty that “each generation, especially one living at a time like the present, is under the responsibility of overhauling its inherited stock of moral principles and reconsidering them in relation to contemporary conditions and needs,” (Dewey, 1932, 145) and to find what works given our societal changes.

Instead of acquiring habits and dispositions that are routine and settled, moral education need to reinvigorate moral discourse that responds to our current dynamic society and eschew that which no longer coheres to our experience (Purpel, 1991). By not examining morality from a critical angle, and accepting morals as fact and truth, we produce a situation that “is so exclusively individual an affair that it tends very naturally to pass into selfishness” (Dewey, 1900, 15). An alternative approach, which enables the negation of the individual, social capital, and bolsters citizenship education, is Dewey’s conception of reflective morality.

The method of reflective morality asks students to investigate inherited moral principles, but to also go beyond these and engage in discussions not relating to what to do, but how to decide what to do (Dewey, 1893). The initial mental construction of a moral issue requires a scene of human interaction and struggle with incompatible belief systems. Any ready-made conclusions contradict the nature of reflective morality, for while all principles are stores of information and possible solutions to problems, inquiry is essential in many cases of competing principles and cases of right vs. right (Dewey, 1932). In addition, reflective morality seeks to discover rational principles that are justified and coherent for future use. This is not to say that reflective morality is teleological, for while it does examine the ends in view, that is not the final criterion. By turning things over in our minds we detach ourselves from our a priori judgments and consider the connection of our actions to others. Reflective morality is thus in line with Tetsur’s view that all ethical maxims are contextual and must be regarded “in the context of one’s social web of interconnectedness, in the betweenness between us, where we already exist as social beings ” (1937, 345).

Reflective morality enables teaching and developing socially conscious individuals, while contemporary character and values education programs are often anathema to building social capital and civic engagement. Although Dewey noted “it is commonplace to say that the development of character is the end of all school work” (1909, 49), his conception of character seeks to remove individualistic explorations of morality (1916, 98). With the recent emphasis on skills mastery, achievement, and standardization, and a desire for an ideology-free educational environment, character education’s platitudes and unassailable concepts have become the standard moral fare which fail to promote the negation of the individual.

One motivation for character education programs is the fear of individual relativism or nihilism, which is legitimate, but it is not a justification for removing reflection and selfless orientations. Rules, regulations, and virtues from teachers and parents are responses to these fears of moral ambiguity, but they are quite often rationalized only through superior positions of power and not ethical principle. Hegemonic didacticism by the few often results in morality being limited to “carrying out orders” and “identifying the ‘right’ with whatever passes without a scolding” (Dewey, 1932, 110). The idea of a “catalogue of different virtues commits us to the notion that virtues may be kept apart” (1932, 117) and this fixes attention to the “conformity with Rule A, Class I., Species 1, subhead (1), etc.,”(1932, 138) the effect of which is an uncomplicated pedestrian view of moral thought.

This brief exploration of reflective morality and character education is required in order to highlight the common features of moral education, social capital, and citizenship education. By appealing to the active nature of the student, and their ability to interrogate, reason, create, and construct, we have the opportunity to shift the moral foundations of schooling from absorption, which is selfish, to service and authentic consideration of our effect on others, which is social (Dewey, 1909). Moral instruction should widen the imagination relative to social relations and examine the ways in which men are bound and live together in the complex form of their relations and develop a “sympathetic imagination for human relations in action” (1893, 57). Dewey suggested that the youth of each generation must more and more realize the unity of the interest of all in anyone and the interpenetration of interests in a wide variety of actions, because the social and the moral are inextricably bound (Dewey, 1893).

Citizenship Education

Similar to moral education and social capital, citizenship education also rests upon a degree of individual negation. Both moral education and citizenship education view a good citizen as one who is able to understand the nature of social life and carefully “calculate the social consequences of actions” (McClellan, 58). But with a waning social mindset, an increasingly expurgated curriculum, and declining civic engagement, we are at risk of alienating the normative experience and the central purpose of our schools.

The somewhat recent assertions that moral instruction is not part of the common school experience negatively impacted citizenship education. Even though citizenship education advertises rights and responsibilities of citizens, the tendency toward emphasizing rights rather than responsibilities, in addition to the unwillingness to form common values and unity in schools, has helped to bolster individualism. This neglect for commonality contains historical roots of interest that help us to understand what might be done to reverse this course.

Elementary schools of the nineteenth century were primarily institutions concerned with the morality of its future citizenry. The progressives updated this emphasis with an angle toward the democratic society and social obligations. The general education movement of the 1920’s and 1930’s focused on skills that would enable “lives of useful citizenship” (McClellan, 66) which served to place morality within the context of the common good. The 1940’s and 1950’s experienced a de-emphasis of the common good and a premium for academic skills and unwavering patriotism. Thus, the spirit of the Cold War appropriated citizenship and moral education and the subsequent reaction to “the system,” in the decades to follow, would concomitantly weaken citizenship and moral education. A growing emphasis on tolerance and individual rights, the fear of offending diverse viewpoints, and the avoidance of controversy, diminished the charge and influence of civic mindedness.

Modernity has also weakened moral and civic instruction through a shift away from the intersection of work and leisure in tightly knit communities. Modern societal and economic changes also gave rise to the emphasis of academically related knowledge and skills that benefit the individual. Teachers and administrators were more than happy to remove contentious moral education from the curriculum, which resulted in a deepening cultural divisiveness and separation. As a result, we lost our ability to find common ground and, in the process, “elevated cultural relativism to a primary social value” (McClellan, 75). This change is precisely at odds with the core of democratic citizenship which seeks to maintain a balance of individual interests and the common good.

Central to citizenship education is the ability to negate the individual self and to consider others in the context of our actions. It is absolutely essential that democratic citizens sublimate personal needs and serve the social good of the community, which need not conflict with the interests of the self (Lasley, 1987). It is in this spirit that we inquire into the best methods for allowing citizens the opportunity to engage in common and worthy purposes. Patterson and Chandler (2008) argue that the justice-oriented citizen, the highest level of the Westheimer and Kahne (2004) orientations, is the very type that is called for in the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS, 1994) standards, stating, “This citizen is not only well informed, as a personally responsible citizen might be, or simply active, as the participatory citizen might be, but active for the common good, acknowledging cultural diversity and interdependence in this citizenship role” (p. 4).

An array of techniques and methods exist for citizenship education to negate extreme individualism. Citizenship education must emphasize “whatever binds people together in cooperative human pursuits and results” (Dewey, 1916, 98) and attend to shared experiences. Shared experiences and undertakings provide an educational foundation for civic participation and a mindful awareness of our interconnectivity. Dewey noted that engaging in social life is the only way to prepare for social life (Dewey, 1909). The schism between knowledge in high school and actual engagement following high school points to a fundamental difficulty in application--we enter into the problems of societal reinforcement of the individual. Educators can respond with community based projects, interviews, and service whereby self-interest becomes pregnant with the interest in the betterment of others.

Implications

Dewey reminds us of Aristotle’s oft quoted epigram that suggests it is not enough for a man to be good; he must be good for something. The something which a man must be good for, said Dewey, is the capacity to live as a social member so that what he gets from living with others in on par with what he contributes (1916, 359). Our depleted stocks of social capital and academic myopia have positioned our society towards civic failure. Our social capital deficit “threatens educational performance, safe neighborhoods, equitable tax collection, democratic responsiveness, everyday honesty, and even our health and happiness” (Putnam, 367). It comes as no surprise that civically minded institutions and individuals want to reverse this decline, but the seemingly enigmatic source of discontent and the lack of vigorous efforts on the part of the public have not lent to significant change in policy.

In order to return to active participation we need to revisit Dewey’s conception of reflective morality and engage in what Tetsur saw as true morality, the “forgetting of the self” and the “nondualisitic merging of self and other” (1937, 332-334). Practical classroom suggestions for building social capital, moral education, and citizenship education by enhancing the negation of the self include:

-Focusing on successful systems (i.e. cooperatives) that rely on wholehearted,

active participation

-Oral histories and interviews of community members on topics that highlight the

life history and experience of the interviewee and their necessary interconnectivity with others

-Consistently confronting moral issues in the social studies and modeling an

awareness and consideration of divergent and competing interests

-Creating smaller learning communities

-Complicating normative questions with multiple perspectives and the best

available evidence

-Focusing on commonalities and responsibilities of community, national, and

global citizens

Each of these suggestions attempts to position students to engage in widening and enlarging experiences. By attending to the negation of the individual, we can return to the purposes of public education and the charge of developing wholehearted, open-minded, and responsible citizens.


References

Dewey, J. (1893). Teaching Ethics in the High School. In John Dewey-The Early Works,

Vol.4, 1882-1898. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Dewey, J. (1909). Moral Principles in Education. Cambridge: Riverside.

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education. New York: The Free Press.

Dewey, J. (1932). The Theory of the Moral Life. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and

Winston.

Kohn, A. (1997). How Not to Teach Values. Phi Delta Kappan, 78(6), p.428-440.

Lasley, T., Biddle, J. (1996). Teaching Students to See beyond Themselves. The

Educational Forum, 60.

Lasley, T. (1987). Teaching Selflessness in A Selfish Society. Phi Delta Kappan, May,

1987.

McClellan, B.E. (1999). Moral Education in America. New York: Teachers College

Press.

Osterman, K.F. (2000). Students’ Need for Belonging in the School Community. Review

of Educational Research, 70.

Purpel, D. (1991). Moral Education: An idea whose time has gone. Clearing House,

May/June, 64(5).

Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling Alone. New York: Simon Schuster.

Stengel, R. Blackman, A. (1996, July 22). Bowling Together. Time, 148(5), 35-36.

Tetsur, W. (1937). Rinrigaku. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Wallis, A., Crocker, J. Schechter, B. (1998). Social Capital and Community Building:

Part One. National Civic Review, 87 (3).

Wallis, A. (1998). Social Capital and Community Building: Part Two. National Civic

Review, 87(3).

Thomas Misco is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education

at Miami University

Democratizing our Youth:

Citizenship, Community and Governance

Ryan McVeigh and Jennifer Barnett

Abstract

In this paper we argue that the inherent flaw in the current Ontario civics curriculum is that it is too heavily influenced by the functional aspects of ‘what is’ Canada, rather than giving the opportunity to experience the emotional qualities of what it means to be Canadian. Creating a community of learners based on the caveats of citizenship and good governance is the key element to the revitalization of a deteriorating democracy.

Over the past decade it seems as though various levels of government have attempted to figure out why our youth are so unmotivated to cast a ballot on election day. Campaign after campaign, pundits highlight youth apathy and discuss various ways of changing the functional process of elections, or different ways to try and persuade youth to vote.

In an attempt to figure out why the youth of the nation were voting less and less, Elections Canada held a National Forum on Youth Voting in October of 2003. Representatives of various youth organizations, other non-governmental organizations, and the Chief Electoral officer all met to discuss this problem. After keynote addresses, small group discussions were used to formulate possible solutions. Their recommendations included: improved access, improved voter registration, youth outreach, greater use of technology, and civics education.[1] The federal government, working with provincial ministries of education, believed teachers required more extensive training on civics, and that civics education needed to “start in lower grades” (Elections Canada 2004, 32). While this may be seen as a laudable goal, the functional aspects of civics education are already extensively covered in the Ontario curriculum.

Once students are able to recite the provinces, territories and their respective capitals, and understand the mechanics in the process of voting, teachers feel that their jobs are done and the Curriculum expectations have been met. For example, the Ontario social studies curriculum focuses on familiarizing students with the fundamentals: In grade 2, students need to have an idea of where their community is in Canada; grade 3, students learn about rural and urban communities and work to define how they coexist in contemporary Canadian society; grade 4, students learn about Canada’s physical characteristics, knowing Canada’s provinces, territories and general geographic regions; grade 5, students learn about the systems of government and how they function at various levels; and in grade 6 students discover how Canada connects to the world (Ministry of Education 2004, 38-47). Even in the most formative years Ontarian children should be well-versed in the mechanics of defining Canada. From this basic overview of the various aspects of the nationhood, students should have the foundation for a subsequent Civics education.

Schools have continually sought to define what it means to be Canadian. At the high school level Civics is given greater priority and is addressed explicitly. In Ontario, the Civics curriculum contains multiple strands: informed, purposeful, and active. In the curriculum document, the Ministry outlines how students “are encouraged to identify and clarify their own beliefs and values, and to develop an appreciation of others beliefs and values about questions of civic importance” (Ministry of Education 2005, 63). The objective of the Civics curriculum seems relatively clear – students are to define their own political beliefs based on mutual understanding and respect for those around them. Where this objective becomes questionable is when ascertaining questions of civic importance. We have to wonder: to whom are these questions important? – are they meaningful? – are they relevant? To what extent are students given the opportunity to actively engage in the process of learning through critical thought and inquiry? These are areas which the curriculum documents become ominously silent.

There are several factors one must take into account when assessing the effectiveness of the Ontario Civics curriculum. The idealistic notions of Liberalism form the basis of the education system. Liberalism is intently focused on the ability of the individual to flourish when given the same opportunities to succeed as everyone else. The emphasis is placed on the individual and their ability to succeed against others within society. Thus a dichotomy is created where the individual measures their successes or failures based on the successes and failures of those around them. The system as it exists makes it difficult to place the needs of others ahead of one’s own. The education system as a whole reflects this conflicting duality since “social structure . . . has little choice but to be internally competitive as well as [externally] collaborative” (Jonathan 1997, 75). By placing the needs of the individual ahead of the larger whole, students lose their vested interest in the cohesion of the collective. In the classroom, this duality plays out when a teacher gives out marks and students compare with each other to see how they did. It has been contended that these conflicting dualities in the Curricula are not only necessary, but desirous as they “provide for a rich and fulfilling civic life or a compelling civic education” (Bull 2008, 450). To successfully argue this point, one assumes a base desire to be adversarial and the belief that people are fundamentally prone to conflict. The existence of Liberalism, with its spotlight on the individual, reinforces the self-focused perceptions of the youth and further prevents connection with society and community. However, it still needs to exist within the pluralistic framework.

Another significant aspect one must take into account when assessing the effectiveness of the Ontario Civics curriculum is the perception that Canadians lack an inherent sense of national consciousness. As a result we have continually, and quite consciously, struggled to define what it means to be Canadian. Consequently, Canadian schools both deliberately, and to some extent accidently, opt to promote Canadian nationalism at the expense of allowing the student to explore the dynamism of how they influence and interact with society. Miroslav Hroch described what is happening as a necessary part of the “fermentation-process of national consciousness” (Alter 1994, 56) whereby the various social institutions, especially the education system, work to impart unifying similarities which serve to define the social and political organizations that constitute the nation state.[2]

In the development of national consciousness, social groups emphasize the various commonalities we have mentioned – language, culture, religion, political ideals, history – and tone down other local or universal political or religious ties that might sap their unity (Alter 1994, 12).

The community which comprises the nation is effectively being ignored. In that regard, schools act as agents of social homogenization, creating good citizens of Canada – not necessarily good citizens of Georgetown, Sudbury or Arnprior. What is happening in Ontario schools is that teachers are providing the basis of the functional aspect of how Canada works. What they are failing to address is the aesthetic of what it means, or feels, to be Canadian. This phenomenon can likely be used to describe other similar jurisdictions, as voter turnout seems to be an issue garnering increased attention throughout Canada and much of the western world. What has to happen in the Canadian curriculum is a détente between educating students based on the formalized political hierarchy, and allowing students to discover their own political identity and develop a sense of citizenship.

In a recent article published in The Educational Forum, authors Alazzi and Chiodo (2008) discussed their study of how Jordanian students perceived citizenship. While it asked several poignant questions about how students felt about their role as citizens, it is worth mentioning in this context because in educational research the opinion of the student is often missing. What they found is that “students are altruistic and believe that citizenship is best defined as service to others in their community” (Alazzi and Chiodo 2008, 279). The difference between Canadian students and Jordanian students might be seen as a difference between students’ perception of the conceptual and the concrete. The Jordanian community defines their daily lives and provides them with a concrete theoretical framework to define their role within society. In contrast, the Canadian nation state as it exists is an abstract, conceptual idea, where students see it as existing on the periphery of their daily lives. Students do not identify themselves as part of the national consciousness, but instead define themselves as part of their lived experience, as members of their communities.

A feeling of connectedness is at the very heart of the matter. In 2004, the Law Commission of Canada released a report addressing the issue of electoral reform in Canada. In addressing voter apathy among youth, they cited that “many youths do not feel connected to the system of democratic governance” (Des Rosier and Colas 2004, 40). Connectedness is often a result of agency. If students feel as though they have the power to change things related to their education they become invested in the process, essentially becoming advocates of their own learning. When students are exposed to an institution that is heavily influenced by a prescriptive, hierarchical modality there is an inherent conflict that ensues against the more benevolent curricular edict designed to incite them to become engaged and active participants. In this context, the hierarchy they are exposed to on a continual basis invariably wins. As a result, we contend, students are at an increased risk of becoming disconnected and apathetic to our system of governance because they lack agency in the curriculum.

Rowe-Finkbeiner (2004) notes that even young individuals who are active volunteers in the community, and have intense passions for causes, are not voting. While this may seem like a contradiction, she found that young people are very focused on individuality. If an issue does not immediately affect them, they express apathy. For example, when a political agenda starts to discuss pensions, young people tune out, as they consider this topic not relevant to their lives. They miss the connection that the money to off-set the pension increase may be coming out of their paycheque. However, once the money is removed from a paycheque, the youth become angry. They claim that political decisions are being made at their expense and the political system is not concerned with their well-being. They do not connect their earlier choice not to be involved with the outcome. Focused on individuality, the youth of the Precious Generation miss the connections. Focused on the immediate effect on their lives, they do not foresee how a change in one area affects us all. For suggestions to deal with this situation we return to the work of Rowe-Finkbeiner (2004). She found that once individual, local, established passions, causes and concerns were connected to platforms, parties and people in the political arena, the concerned individuals embraced politics. In short, the topic needed to be viewed as relevant and immediate to their lives. We need to first make the links for our students and then secondly teach them how to make the links for themselves.

The Law Commission of Canada’s report also talked about bringing youth into the process of voting. The report stated that, “to develop the next generation of voters, the current electoral system should be adapted to the needs of young people and to the ideas and issues that they find important” (Des Rosier and Colas 2004, 116). This would seemingly denote a paradigm shift in the thinking that governs the political process in Canada. Unfortunately that assertion remains a laudable goal, destined to the dustbin of good intentions. To make things worse, later the report seemingly contradicts itself. It stated that Canadians would need to be educated “about the stakes of electoral reform and the various options to be considered” (161). In implementing a system of electoral reform, they still viewed the process as existing in a top-down structure. The average citizen’s opinion – youth or otherwise – is only valuable when it fits within the predetermined structure. In that sense, adapting the education system to become more open and malleable to student input would ultimately serve to have a reflexive impact on the way in which the systems of electoral participation are administered. Furthermore, when systems of political agency become more pliable, people become invested in the process, and they are more likely vote.

To some extent, humans have a tremendous capacity to empathize and relate to those that we believe to be similar to ourselves. When we see ourselves reflected in another person, we make an emotional connection to them allowing us to empathize with them. As a result of this vicarious association, we are often more willing to listen to them even if we have a divergence in opinion. This explains why racial and gender diversity among educators, as well as those in positions of educational leadership, deserves to be addressed. When students fail to see themselves, or their interests, being represented within the school they begin to become disaffected by the social structure they are compelled to follow. In effect, students disengage from these systems of power because they perceive them to be mechanisms of their subjugation. In their article Developing Urban School Leaders, Nevarez and Wood (2007) described what they called a “disparity of proportional representation of leaders” (270). The level to which students are able to meaningfully participate and engage in the curriculum becomes significantly compromised unless they can relate to someone within its bureaucratic framework.

There is also the issue of interculturality, as defined by Rodolfo Stavenhagen (2008). The term describes how culture needs to be viewed beyond the perspective of a stratified and individualized unit of study. Students must be compelled to broaden their horizons by seeing citizenship as an “interaction and dialogue with other such [cultural] units” (162). As a large number of schools lack the basic resources to provide an ethnically diverse staff, to do this effectively within the school environment would have to require community involvement. In instances when students begin to become engaged in their communities, they become exposed to a wider variety of experiences. They see diversity as it exists within their community, begin to relate to others, and gain an understanding of their true capacity to be successful, productive citizens.

In Ontario, the Code of Conduct states, “students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for others and for the responsibilities of citizenship through acceptable behaviour” (Canada Law Book 2006, 814). Citizenship is recognized, at least insofar as the legislation is concerned, as a reciprocal relationship based on mutual respect. While it has been the primary focus of this paper to discuss the political aspect of citizenship, we must refrain from obscuring the social aspect of citizenship (Alazzi and Chiodo 2008, 272). To cultivate socially responsible individuals, students must not only be engaged in dialogue but they must feel that someone is listening.

For students to be heard they must have real power to make real decisions, especially when it comes to implementing the Civics curriculum and participating in community events. Given the opportunity students can effect proactive change within the school environment. In the United States, the Senate and Assembly Committees on Education (SABE) has demonstrated that students can work within the existing institutional frameworks to become facilitators of change within the educational system. As discussed in a recent article, “SABE proposals have led to government action on issues from [Physical Education] requirements to cell phone policies, and we eagerly seize the opportunity to work with adult officials to improve our education system” (Mayer, Anysia; Feuer, Aaron 2008, 17). In this context, the involvement of high school students was regulated by their ability to work with adult officials. In a sense, this could be used to exemplify the lack functional power students have within the bureaucratic structure of a school; however, their example had students implementing a change in educational policy. Working to improve community involvement to promote a sense of citizenship with students would not be as difficult. Students would not be changing anything that would prove to be detrimental to the endemic structure of the education system. Given the opportunity to be involved in the community would allow students to change the hegemonic structure of how they view their role in society, and consequently redefine their intrinsic motivation to become better citizens.

There exists a continual trend towards lower voter turnout. We need to inspire our students to care by recognizing the connections between themselves and civics. Once relevance is established, interest in the decisions being made is the logical next step. Interest in governance is a fundamental right of all Canadians and involvement is fundamental to Canadian citizenry. On October 14th, 2008 Canada held its 40th general election. It was an election that will be remembered, not for the government it elected, but by how few Canadians showed up to exercise their Civic responsibility to vote. Less than 60 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot and set a new record for the lowest voter turnout in Canadian history[3] (Coyne 2008, 55). As described by Andrew Coyne in an editorial published in Maclean’s: “At some point it will occur to someone: we have a democratic crisis on our hands – a crisis of legitimacy, a crisis of efficacy” (Coyne 2008, 55). The consequences have never been outlined more clearly. Our future is in the hands of today’s youth. Through lack of Civic involvement, our democracy stands at the precipice of elected dictatorship where the fates of the majority are decided by a minority of Canadians.

Notes

[1] Since this conference, Elections Canada has created the position of Student Liaison Officer for each of the 308 ridings across Canada. Their function is primarily to communicate how to register, facilitate targeted revision, and to inform students where and when to vote on College and University campuses. One area this position could be improved would be to have the Student Liaison Officer speak at each of the area elementary and high schools.

2 While the terms nation and state are commonly used synonymously, their inherent differences should be clarified for the purposes of this paper. Nation is usually defined as a collection of people with a common identity, who inhabit a specific geographic territory. State, on the other hand, is essentially seen as the structure of political power which governs the nation (Johnston 2002, 22).

3 This statistic is based on the total number of registered voters. Until the 1990s Elections Canada would compile a list of eligible electors for an electoral event by enumeration. After 1996 Elections Canada began to keep the National Register of Electors (NROE) (McMenemy 2003, 101). Recently questions of the integrity of the database been raised as it pertains to duplicates, removals, etc. potentially skewing the actual number of registered voters. In addition, it has also been contended that the list itself might place too much onus on the elector having long-term consequences (Black 2003, 36).

References

Alazzi, Khaled, and John J Chiodo. Perceptions of Social Studies Students About Citizenship: A Study of Jordanian Middle and High School Students. The Educational Forum 71 (2008): 271-280.

Alter, Peter. Nationalism. 2nd. Bristol: J W Arrowsmith, 1994.

Black, Jerome H. From Enumeration to the National Register of Electors: An Account and Evaluation. Choices 9, no. 7 (August 2003): 1-46.

Bull, Barry L. A Politically Liberal Conception of Civic Education. Studies in Philosophy and Education 27, no. 6 (January 2008): 449-460.

Canada Law Book. Ontario Schools Code of Conduct. In Ontario Education Legislation: 2006-2007, edited by Fay Faraday. The Cartwright Group, 2006.

Coyne, Andrew. What if they gave an election and nobody won? Maclean's, October 27, 2008: 53-56.

Des Rosier, Nathalie, and Bernard Colas. Voting Counts: Electoral Reform for Canada. Ottawa: Law Commission of Canada, 2004.

Elections Canada. National Forum on Youth Voting. Electoral Insight, April 2004: 32-36.

Johnston, Larry. Politics: An Introduction to the Modern Democratic State. 2nd. Toronto, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2002.

Jonathan, Ruth. Illusory Freedoms: Liberalism, Education and the Market. Trowbridge: Blackwell, 1997.

Mayer, Anysia; Feuer, Aaron. Students as School Leaders. Leadership, March/April 2008 2008: 16-19.

McMenemy, John. The Language of Canadian Politics. 3rd. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2003.

Ministry of Education. Canadian and World Studies. The Ontario Curriculum. Ontario: Queens Printer for Ontario, 2005.

Ministry of Education. Social Studies Grades 1 to 6: History and Geography Grades 7 and 8. The Ontario Curriculum. Ontario: Queens Printer for Ontario, 2004.

Nevarez, Carlos, and Luke Wood. Developing Urban School Leaders: Building on Solutions 15 Years after the Los Angeles Riots. Educational Studies, 2007: 266-280.

Rowe-Finkbeiner, K. The F word: Feminism in jeopardy. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press, 2004.

Stavenhagen, Rodolfo. Building Intercultural Citizenship through Education: a human rights approach. European Journal of Education 43, no. 2 (2008): 161-179.

Jennifer Barnett teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Faculty of Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario

Ryan McVeigh is a recent graduate of the Masters of Education program at Nipissing University. He currently teaches at Simon Jacob Memorial Education Centre in Webequie, Ontario


Curriculum in the Age of Globalization

Catherine Broom

Abstract

When Canadian students are asked their perceptions of Mexico, their answers are filled with stereotypes from the media. When they are asked about Darfur, they have no idea what or where Darfur is, or what has occurred there. When they are asked to list the names of famous Canadians they state the names of white men, primarily politicians. When they are asked to name famous historical figures from non European nations, they become silent. These stereotypes and silences are the products of the “absent curricula” in BC, and they make the aim of creating Global Citizens at a time of Globalization, almost impossible. This paper explores the reasons for these stereotypes and silences through a study of BC’s curricula and provides suggestions as to how to address them.

The Absent Curricula

BC’s Social Studies curricula are Canada-centred. From Kindergarten to Grade 11, students in BC learn primarily about Canada, along with a little European History. Students learn very little World History, and the history that they do learn is either Ancient History or primarily European History. Thus, in grade 7 students learn about Ancient Civilizations (Ministry of Education, 2006). In grade 8, while teachers are given a choice of which Civilizations between 500 and 1500 AD they choose to teach, the guide continues to reinforce European civilization with statements such as “identify periods of significant cultural achievement, including the Renaissance” (Ministry of Education, 1997). The aim seems to be to review European history from 500 to 1500, in order to prepare students to learn Canada’s story in grades 9, 10 and 11 (Ministry of Education, 1997; Ministry of Education, 2006; Ministry of Education, 2005). In grade 9, students study Canadian and European History from 1500 to 1815, with a focus on early Canadian History (Ministry of Education, 1997). In grade 10, students study Canadian history from 1815 to 1914, with very little change in focus between the 1997 guide and the new 2005 guide (Ministry of Education, 1997; Ministry of Education, 2005).

In grade 11, students learn primarily about Canada in the twentieth century by studying the Canadian government and Canada’s participation in the World Wars, at the end of which Social Studies is no longer compulsory (Ministry of Education, 2005). Students are only briefly introduced to the rest of the world by (a) “assess[ing] Canada’s participation in world affairs with reference to human rights, United Nations, Cold War, modern conflicts” (presumably in a positive way) and (b) learning about the population pyramid and comparing “Canada’s standards of living with those of the ‘developing world’,” without explanation of how these developed (Ministry of Education, 2005). The guide clearly aims to develop national feeling and identity at the expense of knowledge of World History.

The optional grade 12 History course focuses on European and Canadian History during the twentieth century (Ministry of Education, 2006). It does have some world history by including introductory content on the Middle East, Asia (particularly China), South Africa, and the United States, but the curriculum has a definite Western European slant and only for a few, twentieth century world events that have had a significant impact on (or have been the result of Western actions) are presented. China, for example, is studied in the context of the emergence of China in world affairs” (Ministry of Education, 2006). One could argue that China has always been part of world affairs. Human rights are focused on with regard to South Africa and the United States, and not their abuses in other nations. The new Social Justice 12 course (Ministry of Education, 2008) contains the potential for some current world history that is not only Western and is less Eurocentric in orientation but it is not being taught very often. Significantly, both History 12 and Social Justice 12, as optional courses, will not be taken by the majority of BC students. BC students will graduate with little, if any, knowledge of World History. Thus, the histories of other nations are largely absent from BC curricula, even when this history is inter-twined in that of Canada’s history, for example, the history of colonialism. One must wonder why global history is not considered necessary for students to study, when it is such a vital component to understanding globalization and inequality in our world today. In a study of BC students’ and teachers’ conceptions of Social Studies I conducted, BC students themselves made comments on their desire to learn more than the history of Canada:

Canada’s history is not interesting. I find that my peers and I get really bored and stop listening.

I would really love to learn world History but instead they limit it to just Canada’s history.

As a Canadian, I believe that Socials should do more of American history as well. I feel we are extremely biased towards Canadian/British history.

Colonial Heritage and Oppression

The curriculum is focused primarily on Canada, as the government aims to develop a feeling of nationhood and pride in Canadians, yet it is an incomplete history as it is based mostly on selected Canadian Historical events, with a little European History thrown in to context the study. Students who come through this curriculum will graduate with little, if any, knowledge of the histories of multiple nations in the world-- the “absent curricula” of BC. This might foster an insular feeling and lack of knowledge or interest in other nations who are only briefly introduced as either Ancient Civilizations (grade 7) or lesser (‘developing”) to Canada in grade 11 in BC students. Curricula may reinforce stereotypes and ignorance of other nations. It will, consequently, fail to create global citizens, at a time when the world is increasingly globalized. Students may have difficulty making sense of World Events as they lack the historical knowledge with which to make accurate observations. They might view the Non-Western world only as a “third world,” filled with deprivation, hunger, and rapid population growth, not as nations with their own histories and unique identities and accomplishments.

I have spent time living and studying in Mexico. When I came back to Canada, people wondered how I managed to live in a nation of drugs and violence. In fact, Mexico was a fantastic nation, filled with a rich, vibrant and complex culture and history. It was warm and welcoming, yet struggling with globalization forces beyond its control. The poverty found in Mexico, understood as material poverty and not poverty of culture or history (a distinction worth making and not clearly done so in current BC curricula), is a direct product of colonial history. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived, the Mexican city of Tenochtitlan was one of the largest cities in the world, with an estimated population of 200,000. It was a city of canals, similar to Venice and stunning in appearance. One conquistador stated:

Mexico was quite as large as Seville or as Cordoba it probably stood more ground that either of those cities, and its position was (and is) incomparably fine. The great volcanoes in the distance, the cultivated plain, the lakes, then covered with canoes that went and came in hundreds, the canals which gave an air of Venice, the drawbridges, the busy, chattering crowds, the temples and high towers, the look as of a capital of a great state, the wealth and the bright climate, all combined to fill the imagination of men who from the day that they were born had fought with poverty. Here was the dreamed of El Dorado, at last patent to all their eyes. Here was the nation of idolaters that they were providential instruments to save. Lastly, here was the gold that sanctifies, that wipes out bloodshed, atones for cruelty, makes man as God ” (Diaz del Castillo, p. 108)

Fresh water was transported in by aquifers, and a well developed, culturally-rich, hierarchical society was present. It was a prosperous and wealthy city, without mass numbers in hunger. Today, Mexico City has a polarization of economic wealth and much poverty that is a direct result of the exploitative attitudes brought by the Spanish to Mexico, which wrenched people’s abilities to sustain themselves away from them through the taking of land and the imposition of particular forms of oppressive knowledge. This exploitative mentality remains today, for example, in the factories of Western companies, the Maquilladoras, which are built in Mexico as corporate bosses know they can pay low wages that reinforce poverty, continuing a colonialist tradition of exploiting others for personal gain. In fact, poverty around the world is growing a rapid rate, not decreasing. As a result of globalization, the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer worldwide (Bauman, 1998). Students should understand these economic and technological forces and the manner in which they are transforming our world in negative ways. They should explore the interrelations between colonial and capitalist forms of thinking and the exploitation of others. This study is complimented with an exploration of Human Rights. In BC, Human Rights are briefly introduced in grade 11, but—again—through the lens of Canada’s “contribution” to the world through Human Rights actions and legislation. Insufficient content is included regarding Canada’s denial of Human Rights to its First Nations, or its refusal to sign the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights which it helped to author. Further, there is no exploration of the abuse of human rights occurring around the world today, such as the genocides of Darfur and Serbia/Bosnia.

BC’s curriculum is focused on telling an incomplete story of Canada and its place in the world, as the government aims, and has aimed, to build national pride through schools (Author, 2008a). Ever since a competition to create a textbook that would tell Canada’s story of nationhood in a manner that generated nationalism just shortly after Confederation, the content of Canada’s Social Studies (then History) curriculum has changed little (Tompkins, 1986; Author, 2007). The curriculum omits much and often teaches a mythological-like story of “Canada’s” unfolding in order to develop nationalism, not global awareness.

Tuhiwai Smith (2006) describes school curricula, or “knowledge,” as a cultural construction that can be used to oppress and exclude. She presents the story of colonialism as one in which European nations studied and classified other nations, creating “knowledge” that legitimated their superiority and was transmitted through colonial structures such as schools. This is clearly evident in Canada’s treatment of First Nations people at residential schools. Yet, today, BC’s curricula remain primarily focused on telling a story of Canada’s development that continues this tradition: by telling only the story of the nation, itself imbued with a number of myths (Francis, 1997), curricula continue to exclude the histories of other nations and people. Curricula, in other words, continue a colonial narrative that oppresses (by absence or exclusion) others, excepting those considered equal: Europeans. By only presenting other nations as either Ancient Civilizations (grade 7) or as “developing nations” in contrast to Canada (grade 11), curricula excludes and delegitimizes the stories, people, and achievements of other nations.

A More Global Education

In order to develop a better understanding of our world today, as well as foster critical thinking, students should be introduced to the histories of many nations, both past and present. They should learn, for example, of the colonialism of South America and its violent Revolutions for Independence, and the similarities and differences of these events to North American history. They should be aware of the negative results of colonialism at work across the globe, and the continuing struggle of people to emerge from these troubled histories (Tuhiwai Smith, 2006). They should know of China’s grand tradition of isolationism and absolutism and its transformation to an Economic powerhouse with human rights abuses. They should understand the history that has lead to wars of the Middle East. They should study World History to the present, for the present is what remains of the past. If the present is the past and the world has been full of actors interacting in the past to create the present, students can’t understand our world today unless they have knowledge of this history (Author, 2008b).

Further, global citizens are individuals who not only have knowledge (and context knowledge) but also have developed a number of key values and skills including critical thinking and empathy. Students will have trouble developing empathy if they have little knowledge of the histories of other nations. They may feel superior to other nations, as curricula have a definite pro-Canada tinge. In order to develop empathy, students should learn about Human Rights, and not from the brief angle of Canada’s role in relation to Human Rights, or only briefly in elective grade 12 courses (Social Justice 12—again primarily within a Canadian context). They should learn what Human Rights are, and where (and why) human rights abuses are occurring in the world. They should learn of Darfur, of the Ethiopian famines, and their association with European colonialism and globalization today. They should understand the forces shaping our world today, including Globalization. Integrating more of the Social Sciences can be one of the ways to enrich a contemporary study of our world. Before describing the details of this curriculum, this paper will describe curricula in some other nations and provinces for comparison.

Canada, US and UK Curricula

BC has a history of copying American educational trends (Author, 2007). This is apparent in the US curricula for the state of California (California Department of Education, 2005). It is very similar to BC, except that “Canada” is replaced for the “United States.” Thus, in grade 6, students study the Ancient World to 500. In grade 7, they study the Medieval and Modern World to 1789. Their medieval studies cover a breadth of nations including China, India, and Islam nations, but they also focus on only European History during the “modern” age. In grade 8, they explore the growth of the US from 1783 to 1914, continued in grade 10 to the present. In the grade 10 course, students study Colonialism and World Wars and Nationalism in Non Western Nations. The histories of Non Western nations emerge again only briefly in a case study of India during a study of Colonialism and a study of the Nationalism of the Non Western Nations in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Russia during the Twentieth Century. The focus on American history continues in grade 11 with a study of Twentieth Century history. The grade 9 course is an elective course in some of the Social Sciences. In grade 12, students study American Democracy and Economics. The document states that, “This interplay between world and United States history helps students recognize the global context in which their nation’s history developed,” (California Department of Education) but—like in BC—the only other history that is seen worthwhile to study is largely European History. Other nations’ histories are either ancient or introduced as an issue, such as Nationalism, yet—ironically, both the BC and Californian curricula specifically focus on building national identity. The similarity between BC’s and California’s curricula is eerie—they both must be based on the same foundational view of what Social Studies is and how it should be taught that was common at the turn of the Twentieth Century (Kliebard, 1998; Author, 2008a).

Some American states including Kentucky, New Jersey, Arkansas, and Oregon have brought in World History studies (Woyach). In Oregon, for example, the curriculum is quite different to that of California. It takes a more structure of disciplines approach by having students study content from Political Science (ie. Government), Economics, Geography, and History. Further, while curricula do maintain a U.S.-focused approach, students are given some opportunities to study other nations and do study more contemporary history, as illustrated in the standard: “Understand how nations interact with each other, how events and issues in other countries can affect citizens in the United States, and how actions and concepts of democracy and individual rights of the United States can affect other peoples and nations” (Oregon Department of Education, 2003). This includes a study of international and regional organizations. Students are also introduced to different political and economic systems around the world. In addition, they are to: “Understand and interpret events, issues, and developments within and across eras of world history” (Oregon Department of Education, 2003). This standard includes studying the events and impact of colonialism in Asia and Africa and significant events from the histories of Japan, China, Russia, Mexico and India. Further, when studying American History, students are given a more balanced view of history as they learn of negative actions by government and people such as racism and harmful treatment of Indigenous people and slavery. They study the continuation of racism as illustrated by the Ku Klux clan and other groups. Students also have the chance to explore an issue, such as racism, migration, technological change, environmental degradation, and unequal resource distribution, in detail. They explore the issue using the various Social Sciences and then consider possible solutions and actions that address the issue. Students are introduced to more Social Science content in contemporary explorations of our world today, as illustrated by the standard to “point out specific situations where human or cultural factors are involved in global conflict situations and identify different viewpoints in the conflict; create scenarios under which these cultural factors would no longer trigger conflict ” (Oregon Department of Education, 2003). The curriculum, in short, is framed very differently to that of BC and California, using an approach that is Social Science-like in style and that introduces and covers a broader range of disciplines and Historical events in a more balanced manner, and that includes more World History. While it is not perfect, it provides an interesting alternative that is worth studying.

Other nations and provinces have also made attempts to move beyond the use of history to develop nationalism. Mexico, for example, has students study Mexican and World History and Geography. They also introduce students to the study and importance of Human Rights in our world today and aim to develop a feeling of empathy for others (Plan de Estudios, 2007). Their curricula are rich in the arts, as well. Despite the manner in which globalization forces are affecting Mexico negatively, their curricula still aim to create empathy for others. Perhaps they have something to teach us?

Nova Scotia has a grade 12 Global History course (Department of Education, 2003). Although it has shortcomings, such as continuing to stereotype the “South” as disadvantaged in all ways to those of Westerners (the “North”) and portraying a simplistic and positive notion of “globalization” similar to that of “world community,” at least the province aims to introduce students to the forces of globalization and to the history of Twentieth century. Unfortunately, however, the course is an optional grade 12 course.

UK’s curricula are quite British-Eurocentric. However, they do provide some opportunities to explore a little world history. Students learn about the impacts of colonialism and are introduced to: “the impact of significant political, social, cultural, religious, technological and/or economic developments and events on past European and world societies” (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 2009). Students are also introduced to “political, legal and human rights and freedoms in a range of contexts from local to global” (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 2009).

Curriculum Outline

This paper recommends the implementation of new curricula in BC that are relevant to our times and necessary to understanding our age (Waks, 2006), and that are more “truthful,” in that they encompass more “stories,” within the context that history is always interpretation (Author, 2008b). The proposed curricula can include the following components:

Knowledge:

Global History, expanded to look beyond a study of Canada in the Global Context, that includes Colonial Histories, American History, and Non Western Histories of Asian countries such as China, African Nations such as Kenya and South Africa, and Latin American nations such as Mexico. This curriculum should be developed by a curriculum committee composed of international scholars from a number of nations who dialogue together to agree on which events are considered of sufficient significance on the world stage to be included in this course, and not by a curriculum committee composed only of Western Historians, as these will have a natural bias towards Western History. Twentieth century history up to the present moment, including the African famines and genocides in Serbia and Darfur. An introduction to Human Rights and case studies illustrating positive and negative human rights situations.

Values: Caring (Noddings, 2003), Diversity, Equity, Awareness and Open-mindedness (Hare, 1979).

Attitudes: Empathy and Empowerment.

Skills: Critical-creative thinking (Passmore, 1967), researching information, and identifying bias.

Pedagogical Strategies

Curricula, so far in this paper, have been understood as documents that list programs of study, with regard to the knowledge, values, and skills students are to acquire. However, “curricula” has many meanings and can be “lived” quite differently than articulated in public documents. This section, as a consequence, describes some of the pedagogies that can be used to “teach” the curricula, so that it can be “experienced” (lived) by students.

Firstly, Global History is a vast field. Students cannot possibly be expected to master all of it, so approaches can include: (a) the teaching of a general global history frame outlining key world events, followed by (b) students exploring one country’s history in depth through a research project, which can then be presented to their peers or “published” on line or in a small class reader. Students should be allowed to choose a country that is of interest to them, perhaps one that they have connections to. This is appropriate at a time when Canadian high school students are increasingly diverse in their backgrounds and Canada calls itself a Multinational nation. This history can be brought up to the present moment and should explore how global forces are transforming that country today. The project should include teaching students how to research information and how to ensure that the knowledge they find is reliable knowledge by analyzing who “wrote” the information and comparing multiple interpretations of events. This ability to “manage” knowledge is vital in our knowledge society (Waks, 2006).

Secondly, students can study current events around the world in depth by exploring not just topical events, but the histories and forces that “created” these events. Students can present weekly current events topics which are then expanded upon on a Current Events Board. They can be introduced to the issues and values that underlie these events in order to develop their critical thinking and their empathy. They can work in groups to brainstorm solutions to these current events and issues, after they have been taught problem solving skills. Their solutions can include conflict resolution simulations and writing that asks them to explore the issue from the opposite point of view to the one they support. This knowledge and these skills will be invaluable to students as adults.

Students can also engage in real actions that build knowledge and empathy. Amnesty International (2009) has resources on their website that provide both knowledge and empowerment activities for students, such as writing letters, that address globalization forces. Global issues, such as inequality and Human Rights abuses, can be explored through historical and contemporary historical studies in class and supplemented by service in the community which supports the issue explored. For example, if students want to explore poverty, they can study the information provided on Amnesty International’s site (and others such as Oxfam). They can then explore the histories that led to this issue. In this case, increasing global poverty is associated with philosophies of exploitation related to colonialist ideologies that continue today in philosophic orientations driving globalization.

Assessment

This paper supports Authentic Assessment, rather than testing of rote learning. It, thus, recommends that assessment be focused on the teachers’ marking of student projects and of the assignments described in the previous section and not on multiple choice, fact-based tests.

Managing Resistance

Recently, I attended a specialist association meeting for high school teachers. At that meeting, some of the teachers expressed negative views towards scholars and the Ministry of Education. This is not the first time I have heard such views. Teachers, in other words, might resist the attempt to implement yet another curriculum revision. Indeed, American curriculum scholars (Snyder et al., 1989) have recognized that curriculum documents have little chance of being implemented if they are not supported by teachers, as the taught curriculum can be very different to the prescribed curriculum.

Strategies to get teachers’ support include the following: a Professional Development Day Conference that exposes teachers to the myths of the Canadian History they are teaching their students. Francis (1997) gives a good starting point. Having teachers explore these myths can open their eyes to some of the problems of the curricula they are teaching to their students. Further, teachers should be introduced to the concept of globalization and statistics of its immense power to reshape our world. They should learn about how it is increasing inequality. They can then be helped to explore why teaching this to their students is important and how it can be achieved. They can be given excellent ready-to-try lessons and resources and examples of activities. As well, they can study examples of alternative curricula that attempt to address these issues, such as the curricula of Oregon and Mexico described above, the latter of which might help to explode some stereotypes with regards to what “development” means. Teachers are ethical and caring individuals. If they see the importance of this curricula and the manner in which it will enrich their students’ lives, they can be brought to support it.

Conclusion

At a time of Globalization, students should be educated in a way that is going to help them understand and manoeuvre successfully through our world. This requires rethinking curricula that has been entrenched in BC schools ever since public schools were developed 150 years ago. This new curricula should explore Global History, past and present, and the massive forces of “globalization” that are rapidly transforming our world. This is not only fair to our students, but also necessary if we hope to graduate global citizens who have some chance of affecting positive change.


References

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Catherine Broom is an Assistant Professor of Education at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus

Conceptions of Volunteerism Among Recent African Immigrants in Canada: Implications for Democratic Citizenship Education

[i], Joseph Nyemah[ii] and Angellar Manguvo[iii]

Abstract

In democratic societies the level of citizens’ civic engagement and inclusion in all forms of democratic participation is crucial in maintaining social cohesion and a vibrant democracy. In the historical development of Canada’s demographic, political, socio-economic and cultural systems, immigration continues to play an influential role. Our paper presents conceptions of civic participation held by, inclusion and integration of recent African immigrants to Canada. We focus on volunteerism as one form of democratic participation. The findings show immigrants volunteer for the common good of society, making a difference, personal self-service gaining experience for advancement in their host society. Some are coerced into volunteering. Some of these findings concur with theoretical literature that positions various volunteering motives, bringing up implications for federal agencies involved in the settlement, adaptation programs for newcomers and educational curriculum planners attempting to widen conceptions of volunteerism, fostering engagement and promotion of citizenship education in general.

Introduction

This study[iv] seeks to contribute more knowledge to the debate of citizenship education, in particular, civic engagement and integration of recent African immigrants to Canada. For the purpose of this study, recent African immigrants are those who have been in Canada for 10 years or less, whose last residence country was in Africa and who are Black. It also adds to the academic literature on volunteerism among this population segment in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Volunteerism in Canada has its historical roots from the 18th and 19th centuries when the Aboriginals and First Nations People welcomed and helped European settlers to survive by giving out food, teaching them how to forage, paddle canoes and travel on snowshoes (Lautenschlager, 1992). Consequently, Canadian concept of volunteerism is premised on loving neighbors, upholding charitable values or simply the fortunate helping the less fortunate (Lautenschlager, 1992). Certainly, this practice has developed into a culture of creating several immigrant support volunteer organizations across Canada.

It is useful to explore volunteerism as the key concept under discussion and as a form of democratic civic participation. In this study we define volunteerism as one’s involvement in groups such as neighborhood associations, faith-based groups, educational associations and ethnic groups, participation in overseas or international humanitarian work designed as a response to natural or man-made disasters. Volunteerism is also viewed as socially unique because it often entails the act of helping or giving without a sense of reciprocity (Helly, 1997 and Reed Selbee, 2001). It is from this vantage point of giving without any recompense which was interesting as one part of the findings in this study.

Several studies have investigated the trends and patterns of volunteerism among immigrants in different parts of Canada, but there is little focus on recent African immigrants in the Maritime Provinces of Canada (Abdul-Razzaq, 2007; Chareka, 2005; Chareka , Sears, 2005, 2006; Denis, 2006; Nyemah, 2007 and Ramakrishnan, K. Viramontes, 2006). One would argue that such research is necessary given the contention that citizenship education seeks to promote citizens’ involvement in all aspects of democratic participation to promote a healthy democratic society. There are various forms of democratic participation ranging from voting, running for political office, protesting, volunteering and others.

In the past years significant new policies and programs in civic education geared toward volunteering have been developed and implemented in various countries such as England, Russia, Japan and Hong Kong, South Africa and Zimbabwe to name a few. An important aspect for most of these programs is the notion and desire to developing citizens’ commitment to civic participation. However research on citizenship in respect conceptions of volunteering as a form of civic engagement among recent African immigrants is still very limited and scant especially in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. To be effective, civic education programs in regards to volunteering of immigrants, have to be developed with some attention to the conceptions recent immigrants already possess in other words their prior knowledge is paramount to the whole process developing the programs, teaching and learning situations.

There is a strong relationship between volunteerism and integration of recent immigrants into their host society. (Ksienski, 2004) argues that there is a connection between volunteering and job search by immigrants. African immigrants in the Maritime Provinces of Canada are challenged by a phenomenon of unemployment regardless of how long they have been in the region and how educated they are. This phenomenon of unemployment among African immigrants is in sharp contrast to immigrants of other ethnic backgrounds within the Maritime region.

Investigating the trends and patterns of volunteerism among recent African immigrants in the Maritime provinces is relevant because it provides an opportunity for policy makers and those in academia to comprehend the process of inclusion and integration from the vantage point of volunteerism and civic participation. Moreover, African immigrants represent a significant proportion of the total immigrant population of the region. For example, between 2002 and 2006, the highest number of immigrants (38.2%) who arrived in Nova Scotia came from the region of Africa and Middle East, followed by immigrants (28.14%) from the region of Asia, Australia and Pacific (Nova Scotia Office of Immigration, 2007). Comprehending the social and political behavior of this segment of new Canadians is critical in a region where the impact of immigration is intertwined with political, socio-economic and cultural development. Therefore, the questions we pose are: What do we know about volunteerism among these recent African immigrants in the Maritime Provinces? What is their prior knowledge on the concept of volunteerism as they arrive in their host country? Why do they volunteer or not volunteer? How are they included and integrated into the political, socio-economic and cultural social fabric of their new society?

The study, selection of participants and research approach

Twenty participants[v] were involved in this study as shown below in table 1 age and gender, in table 2 by country of origin and gender, in table three by their status in Canada and gender.
Table 1: Recent immigrants by age and gender

Age

Females

Males

Total

Adults (30 years old and above)

5

5

10

Youth (16-24 years old)

6

4

10

Total number of recent African immigrants

11

9

20

Table 2: Recent immigrants by country of origin and gender

Country of Origin

Females

Males

Total

Kenya

4

5

9

Rwanda

2

2

4

Ghana

3

1

4

Tanzania

1

1

2

Botswana

1

0

1

Total

11

9

20

Table 3 Recent African immigrants by status in Canada and gender.

Status

Females

Males

Total

Landed immigrants

6

5

11

Canadian citizens

3

2

5

Refugees

2

2

4

Total

11

9

20

As we were interested in uncovering recent African immigrants’ conceptions of volunteerism phenomenon as one form of democratic participation, we used phenomenographic approach to the research (Marton, 1981). Phenomenography is “an empirically based approach that aims to identify the qualitatively different ways in which different people experience, conceptualize, perceive and understand various kinds of phenomena” (Marton as cited in Richardson, 1999, p.53). The phenomenographic interviews were focused on semi-projective stimuli designed to provoke the interviewee into speaking about the concept under study as supported by (Webb, 1997). In our case, the stimuli consisted of a set of pictures culled from popular media depicting various ways of volunteering.

The interviews began with participants choosing one of the stimuli and a conversation ensued exploring the reasons for selecting that particular picture from the set of pictures as opposed to others. (Marton, 1984, p. 27) argues that phenomenographic interviews should follow from participants’ comments and should not have too many questions made up in advance. We followed these procedures allowing each interviewee to set the direction for their interviews.

The interviews were taped and transcribed. In phenomenography the data is treated as a whole rather than as separate transcripts and the first step in analysis is to identify utterances. An utterance is a portion of a sentence that describes the phenomenon under study. It is also defined as “a verbal manifestation that conveys a meaning or evidence of understanding” (Philip, 1976, p.7). In this study, an utterance was any word or phrase within a sentence related to and reflecting an understanding of volunteerism in relation to democratic civic engagement, inclusion and integration of recent immigrants. Repeating or recurring points of view or ideas were identified in the utterances and these were clustered and classified into categories of description. These categories of description became the basis for describing the qualitatively different conceptions of volunteerism held by the participants.

Findings and Discussion

According to Ksienski, (2004) immigrants define volunteerism as “help” or work without pay. The author further contends that immigrants often choose to volunteer to enhance their skills and gain experience in their new country. Ksienski, argues there is a connection between volunteering and job search by immigrants. A key implication here is that immigrants use volunteerism as an entry point into the labor market of their new host society. Understanding volunteering to maximize one’s opportunities and for work experience was a common trend among some of the recent African immigrants. Most of them said they participate in order to maximize their academic and job opportunities by enhancing their resumés and maximizing their opportunities in getting scholarship awards. This is clearly reflected in the following excerpt by one of the youth participants:

Interviewer: Why do you like to volunteer?

Response: It looks good on a resumé. Sometimes I think if you want to renew a scholarship sometimes they require you to have a kind of volunteering experience. They will say volunteering experience is required in order for you to get this scholarship.

Some adult participants, both males and females, also said they choose volunteering so that they get good experience that can be valuable and start to build their resumés. (Statistics Canada, 2001) claims that many immigrants increasingly volunteer for the purposes of finding paid employment. This is also echoed by several authors including (Couton, 2002 and Teo, 2004). Expanding the same notion and in addition, (Schugurensky, Slade Luo, 2008) claim that a key reason linking volunteerism by immigrants to a search for employment is due to a lack of recognition of their education upon arrival in Canada. Certainly, the lack of recognition of foreign education acquired by immigrants is a critical barrier affecting their ability to get employed in post-migration Canada. A study commissioned by Nova Scotia Department of Education (2004) makes similar conclusions. This view is well summarized in this conversation with one adult participant:

Interviewer: So, do you see yourself in a position to volunteer?

Response: Oh yes, I’ve done it several times. Uh when I was in Vancouver I was um a volunteer with the Salvation Army and as a matter of fact, it was after volunteering with them that they offered me a job, with the Salvation Army at the food bank.

Interviewer: Why do you like to volunteer?

Response: Oh well the thing about it is that there are several things about volunteering in this country um, first of all it’s a way of building up your resumé you see, when you arrive in this country you need to understand the system. Because you are not among your own people so you start from scratch, you credentials and academic qualifications in most cases are not valued. And if you come and you don’t meet the right who people who tell you the right things to do and you go and you start searching for work just to bring your resumé and nothing shows up. You can do it many times as before, and you go home and you say oh it’s because I’m Black that’s why they didn’t give me the job. So for me, when I first started looking for a job, that was one of the first things that the preacher made me aware of. It initially sounded strange to me that for me to get a job I have to volunteer! But it worked like magic, after volunteering with the Salvation Army within months I got a position.

From another analytic perspective, Helly (1997) argues that some immigrants have preference for informal volunteering over formal volunteering. It is also important to note that formal volunteerism or participating in activities of registered organizations would often require an official commitment of a defined number of hours per week or month, which is contrary to informal volunteerism which is less structured. This behavior is a bit complex to comprehend given that formal volunteerism or working in registered organizations could easily be used as a pathway for immigrants to enter the labor market as we have said before we found that some of them prefer the informal volunteering especially helping their family members. For example the entire five adult recent African immigrant women interviewed in this study, said that they would volunteer in the background and support their husbands one hundred percent if they decide to be in political campaign to be elected, even though they are not interested in this type of politics themselves. One of them said, “If my husband says he wants to go into politics, I will support him hundred percent. Here I am talking like an African woman, I am his wife, I am there for him, and I have to support him in the background.”

Some of the participants understood volunteerism as something that is part of a person and it comes from within. It all has to do with making a positive change, impact or making a difference in their community. For the most part, participants talked of making a material difference in the life conditions of the poor or less fortunate in Canada or overseas back in their own former African countries. We felt that they were volunteering as global citizens and highly engaged. They generally situate and take volunteering as an avenue to make a difference which brings satisfaction. For example, most of the recent adult African immigrants expressed this type of participation as something that comes automatically as soon as they realize that there is a need or issue to be attended to or need to improve nature of humanity at large, as evidenced by the following discussion with one participant who echoed this sentiment. She said that she was doing a lot of volunteering to make a difference in a community in her native African country even though she was here in Canada, as illustrated in this interview excerpt:

.

Interviewer: Why have you picked that one instead of the rest?

Response: I picked volunteers fundraising for the less fortunate people in their community because it talks almost directly to me or about me. Since I’ve been here, I come from a very poor village in Africa Kenya and since I’ve been here I’ve been looking for ways and means to help the people I left behind and make a difference, and when I look at this picture with these volunteers fundraising it’s exactly what we’ve been doing fundraising sending clothes back home to help the poor and make a difference in their lives, so the picture relates to me more than anything else because that is me.

Interviewer: Okay. Can you tell me more about this fundraising thing?

Response: The fundraising what? Okay, like what we did personally when we collected clothes, we announced that we were looking for second-hand clothes to send to Africa, and some friends put it on the radio and TV, and we got tons and tons of clothes and we got a lot of them. People here in P.E.I are generous and they love me. Now the issue here was how do we send them because we have to pay for transport, we have to pay for fumigation, there was so much it came to like C$7000.00 so what we had to do was look for ways to fundraise. And the way we did it, I offered to cook, because I love to cook. And that’s why I’m running a restaurant I guess and we raised the required amount.

Some of the African immigrants repeated the same thought- they will do volunteering here and make a difference back in their native African countries of origin. One male participant expressed it this way:

But for me the certain interest about volunteering is that I am interested in working with the downtrodden, the poor and make a difference I saw a lot of poverty back in Africa, and it has always been my desire to help and make a difference back home. In fact, for me one of the greatest influences on my life has been Kessling, especially when I read Robert Kessling’s book “Knowledge for What?” Knowledge for what I am pursuing knowledge. Why are we acquiring knowledge? I mean all these years from Africa why are we pursuing knowledge? For me my answer to that question is this. Our pursuit of knowledge must be of benefit to our people and make a difference. And for me I think one way in which I think my knowledge in criminology can benefit our people, is to work with the underprivileged, the poor, the lower class people.

Arguing from another perspective, some writers (Ksienski, 2004 and Brodhead, 1999) claim that volunteering helps immigrants in understanding their new Canadian society. This is important given that immigrants, particularly of African descent are confronted with a plethora of social and cultural barriers in their new Canadian society. This is supported by one participant who said that when he was coming to Canada his mother told him a metaphor. She told him that upon arriving in Canada he should carefully study how Canadians sleep, if they sleep facing North, South or East or West he should do the same until he understands why they do that. So he said he was volunteering as a way to socialize and to be able to study and understand Canadian culture in general.

The Canadian Volunteer Initiative (CVI) 2001 also argues that there is a need to investigate and comprehend the motivations of volunteers, patterns of volunteerism and the challenges and benefits of volunteering from the perspective of the volunteer. In their study conducted across 16 Canadian cities, (Handy, Diniz, and Anderson, 2008) focus on analyzing the motivations of immigrants who volunteer within their ethnic religious institutions. The study reveals that the three most important reasons why immigrants choose to volunteer are to satisfy their religious beliefs, to make social connections in congregations and to make social connections in the community. We found this to be true with some of the participants. For example in this response one adult male immigrant whose background is in criminology was talking about his volunteering activities here in Canada and said:

Oh yes another place I volunteered is in prisons. I talked to prisoners administered to them to make a difference. I do it through my church. And oh yeah I see myself as a scholar activist. I am a scholar activist and I make a difference.

Most of the participants plainly expressed volunteering participation as a way of making a difference in their community and the world at large. Some saw themselves as global citizens. This was a common trend especially among adult recent African immigrants both males and females they volunteer here in order to make material and tangible difference in the lives of the less fortunate people in the communities where they came from in their respective African countries. This was very important because it was part of their culture that if you have more material wealth or you are able to get financial support then one has an obligation to take care of the extended family members and relatives based on the concept of Ubuntu. We found this to be a very complex notion of citizenship given that they are now living in a society where individual rights and chase for self-material wealth and property are second to none. To expand on this African citizenship of Ubuntu, the recent African immigrants believed an individual cannot be seen separate from the social context. In fact, a person’s individuality is indebted to the society. As Desmond Tutu said in a speech in 1999 at the University of Toronto “ we believe in Ubunbtu- the essence of being human, that idea that we are all caught up in a delicate network of interdependence. We say a person is a person through other persons. I need you in order to be me and you need me in order to be you.” Retrieved on May 4, 2002, from http://www.trinity.utoronto.ca/Alumni/tutu.htm.

African communities view citizenship from a communitarian perspective. Citizenship is seen as a way of people giving priority to social or society claims over individual good, one has to fulfill his or her responsibilities with respect to the traditions and values of society. We wondered how they reconcile the two cultural notions and different meanings of citizenship. Certainly exploring this concept requires separate research.

It is arguably worth noting that over the years, volunteerism by Canadians is highly influenced by a sense of compassion – the fortunate helping the less fortunate. (Denis, 2006; Abdul-Razzaq, 2007 and Nyemah, 2007) show that racism and other forms of discrimination are affecting integration of immigrants within their neighborhoods. Some immigrants do not feel the sense of ‘loving neighbors or community.’ This also emerged from our study. Some of the recent African immigrants said they want to participate in most activities, especially volunteering, but sometimes they feel they are not welcomed or they are excluded. They feel that, in general, White Canadians are friendly but they will not fully include immigrants in their friendship circles. Therefore, immigrants find it difficult to be part of ‘true’ Canadians and did not freely participate together with White Canadians, as evidenced in this interview excerpt:

Interviewer: Why do you think they don’t call you?

Response: Well I filled the forms to volunteer long time ago. I feel bad because I like to volunteer but they never called me and now, I said to myself relax they don’t want me to volunteer. Well may be because I’m Black or something, may be they think my culture is different from theirs, and so they don’t want to take the time to include me in their volunteering. Maybe that’s the reason. I don’t know . . . may be it’s because of my English, because a lot of people say that I have accent in my English and may be the Canadian people can’t understand, that’s the main problem. Because I don’t know why they can’t call me. People here are friendly, but they do not want to widen up to other people, include other people in their circle of friendship. Oh they just say Hi, Hi some sort of a smiley thing, but that’s just outward. You can see an expression on the face, but you don’t know inside. They need- like open themselves, invite us somewhere, ask to have coffee together or something, and then through that get to know this person and get involved with that person in certain ways, you will find immigrants just being involved in so many things. Yeah.

The feeling of exclusion or being excluded was a disturbing trend as nearly all the adults in this study expressed some form of discrimination and racism effects which make it very difficult for them to integrate and participate in all forms of Canadian society.

There is, also, the thought that patterns of volunteerism vary from culture to culture (Pruegger Winter, 1997). This perspective is important to discuss given that our study was exclusively focused on recent African immigrants. (Tong, 2006) is one of very few writers who investigate differences between races or cultural groups as it relates to volunteerism. Researching volunteerism among various immigrant groups in California, Tong found that race or culture had very little influence on volunteerism among immigrants. However, in our study we found that there were some cultural differences in terms of how volunteering is done here in Canada than how most recent African immigrants participated in volunteering back in their native African countries and their whole meaning and understanding of citizenship was a bit different. Some recent African immigrants felt that at times they are forced to participate even if they do not want to. For example, they are forced to participate in community service in order to gain Canadian experience that is required by most employers and now seems to be a Canadian societal cultural norm. Some African immigrants said that they felt coerced to donate money to charity organizations because there is a cultural imposition and implication or hidden agenda of tax reduction if one donates money. Some said that at times they donate because they feel it is part of Canadian culture and they want to be the same. At times they feel it was compulsory and expected of them to give. For example, some of them said at their work places they feel coerced even if it is not said. One of them said, “Action speaks louder than voice. The way my boss collects money for United Way, is just indirectly telling you to give. So I give because I fear to be victimized and lose my job.” Another African immigrant who used to work at the same company but has moved to a new job summarized the whole issue of volunteering here in Canada being different from the African volunteering culture by saying:

When you talk about fund-raising, what I found different about the way fund-raising is done here and in Africa where I come from is that here people volunteer at times to show that you did it. It’s not done quietly. Whereas back home you people volunteer, people give things and many times you never know who did what. Here, they even had competitions for volunteering things. Even if it’s money it has tax implications, so maybe the more you give, the more you save in terms of tax, while back home it doesn’t matter. You just give. Sometimes you feel it’s almost compulsory to give. Recently, at my former place of work we were supposed to give for one of the charity organizations called United Way, but instead of being given the option to give or not to give you almost feel you’re coerced or forced to give because it comes in a personal envelope and you are told that it’s going to be deducted from your pay or you write a personal cheque. The fact that there is a personal form for you to fill, we have no option. You almost feel like if I don’t do this, what will happen to me? Because it’s something you fill out and take to the supervisor, you feel like, it will be known that I did not volunteer, even if the supervisor doesn’t say anything, he or she will know that so and so, out of the whole team, did not volunteer. So there is a lot of volunteering done here but sometimes there is a bit of pressure.

So, it seems there is a cultural difference in the way people from various cultures perceive and understand volunteerism though more in-depth research needs to be carried out to solidify this claim.

Another finding in our study was that children-youth who had parents who volunteered a lot were also volunteering more than their counterparts. As Tong (2006) astutely contends, Parents who volunteer pass on the necessary resources for volunteerism to their children. This was also common among the participants whom we interviewed including parents and children. The children-youth were mostly volunteering or in their view they were helping their parents.

Some studies show that the patterns and trends of volunteerism vary along gender, age and religious lines among immigrants. (Scott et al., 2006) claim that in 2001, women regardless of whether they were Canadian or foreign born, were more likely to volunteer than men. The rate of volunteering among women was 23% compared to 19% for men. Though in our study we did not particularly quantify this, from the conversations held, women talked of volunteering in more organizations and other places than their male counterparts who just volunteer with one organization at a time.

One surprising finding in our study is that none of the twenty recent African immigrants mentioned or talked in any way, or even slightly suggested or showed understanding of volunteerism as a form of democratic participation or conceptualize it as politics. They all see it as helping, a way of making a difference, something to help them maximize their own personal advancement in society. Not a single person openly mentioned volunteering as one form of political participation except one who mentioned in passing that he was a scholar activist. It was even more shocking when the women talked of volunteering helping their husbands if they were to campaign for political office-the women-wives never saw themselves as being involved in politics or seeing it as political participation. There was a great sense of conceptualizing and understanding volunteering as an informal activity even among the men who volunteered with registered organizations never saw it as a formal process or civic participation (see Chareka, 2005, Chareka Sears, 2005, 2006).

Despite the barriers mentioned by some of the recent African immigrants, in most cases they concur that volunteering was a way to help them integrate into the Canadian society and some even want to participate more than what they were currently doing if Canadians were to be open and become ‘true friends’ and genuinely include recent African immigrants in their ‘friendship circles.’ Also, we found that nearly all the adult recent African immigrants in our study as they arrived in Canada they never thought or had any prior knowledge or understanding volunteering as way to gain experience which will in turn help them in getting jobs or getting scholarships as we found out from most of the youth. They were actually surprised and most of them told us that it is now the first thing they tell any new African immigrant they meet or other immigrants if they are struggling in getting a job.

While our study offers no evidence of what programs or activities that will help recent immigrants to understand volunteering as a form of democratic participation and one type of political participation, it does raise some important questions for program developers especially federal agencies which deal with newcomers and our schools in which most of the youth study when they arrive. A significant body of research demonstrates that prior knowledge is a key factor influencing learning. Ausubel (1968) points out that meaningful learning depends on organizing material in a way that connects it with the existing ideas in the learner’s cognitive structures (see Chareka, 2005, Chareka Sears 2005, 2006 and Peck, Sears Donaldson and Peck Sears, 2005). Our study points to evidence that it should not be assumed that immigrants understand Canadian way of volunteering and that they are even expected to participate and to understand volunteering as a form of democratic participation. Educational citizenship programs offered whether by federal agencies or in Canadian schools, materials used in teaching or activities being done should take into consideration the prior knowledge these immigrants bring with them as they arrive in Canada.

From research and literature on prior knowledge, some scholars use terms like alternative frameworks, misconceptions, and naive theories to refer to the conceptions learners bring with them to learning situations. Work on young children’s understandings of shelter and food, for example, portrays spotty and tacit knowledge, characterized by misconceptions and relatively low levels of sophistication (Brophy Alleman, 2002; Brophy, Alleman O’Mahony, 2003). The authors of that work argue that, “ discovering valid prior knowledge that instruction can connect with and build upon” is fundamental to effective teaching” (Brophy Alleman, 2002, p. 461). The point is not to change immigrants’ thinking but to understand their prior knowledge and use it as the starting point for teaching and learning process (also see Peck, Sears Donaldson and Peck Sears, 2005).

The uncovered prior knowledge in this study about recent African immigrants’ conceptions of volunteerism is of paramount importance because it provides educators, policy and program developers with a clear picture of what African immigrants think or understand about volunteerism as they arrive in Canada. It provides a good starting point to develop or adjust the civic programs for immigrants. (Long, 2002, P.273) conducted research on political conceptions of Latin American immigrants to Canada and writes:

Canadian research on political integration is scant and little is known about how newcomers make the transition toward participation in Canadian political life. Theoretically, we know that newcomers inevitably interpret the landscape of their new country through the lenses of their previous experience. In learning theory, this is widely referred to as their ‘prior knowledge’ . While this condition can be appreciated theoretically, no systematic effort has been made to map the prior knowledge or cognitive schemata that immigrants bring with them to Canada.

Our study has explored the prior knowledge of volunteerism among recent African immigrants in relation to their schemata. We found that recent African immigrants often go through drastic changes in their experiences ranging from their socioeconomic status, cultural shock, education and political participation, to mention just a few. As newcomers, they face challenges in their everyday lives when trying to learn, negotiate and integrate into their new society. As discussed earlier, in terms of information processing, the schema theory approach shows that people are limited information processors and they develop ways of dealing with new environments, for example, volunteering decision-making and what it means in the case of this study.

Recent immigrants are often faced with a vague political world complicated by unknown political issues. For example, in the Canadian political landscape, recent newcomers have to learn new political systems, norms and behaviors of democratic citizenship for them to be able to perform their political obligations. However, some of these immigrants arrive in Canada with limited knowledge, stereotypes or even ignorance about the Canadian politics. They have to engage in a long learning procedure to process the information and be able to make political choices and decisions. What helps these new immigrants to process the information is crucial. Hamil and Lodge, (1986) contend that prior knowledge and affective experiences about a particular concept affect and influence what people see, remember, how they interpret it and how they act. People make political choices or think about it through event-oriented (affect-laden) or memory- based processes. The affect-laden aspect is functioning when people with no stored political information engage in political reasoning based on a present event being faced. The memory-based aspect applies when people are faced with new incoming political information or situation. They will examine and evaluate it in relation to their prior political cognitive structures. Therefore, their political cognitive structure of schemata has an important influential role in the whole learning process.

Also, some scholars argue that human beings are not mere reflectors of situations or information. They have complicated minds and emotions that continuously interplay with their surroundings and how they react (Manguvo, 2007). Schemata determine what information is pertinent or applicable to a particular political action (see Hsu Price, 1991 and Markus MacKuen, 1993).

However, the political cognitive schemata might include shared stereotypes and misconceptions naïve theories (Byrnes and Torney-Purta, 1995), it means these recent African immigrants have to learn and re-build or re-construct their cognitive structures in order to function in their new society. These recent African immigrants have to select and discard some information, then put it together and categorize those aspects that share common attributes, encode and store them in their memory somehow (Hamil Lodge, 1986).

(Lodge et al., 1989) also point out that when faced with a new political environment or information, people who have developed political cognitive and memory ability (political schemata), merely retrieve what they have, update it and store the new modified information. Similarly, (Hastie, 1986) also says that cognitive schemata direct people to focus on a specific political stimulus in extracting appropriate information and storing it. Given the fact that democratic citizenship is threatened when society fails to develop the ability and competence of all its members to participate in one way or the other, democratic participation conceptions in terms of volunteering, held by these recent African immigrants as learners are very important in the whole process of teaching and learning if they are to integrate well into Canadian society. Another major finding in this study was that recent African immigrants do want to participate more and want to integrate all aspects of Canadian societal fabric but at times they are hampered by various barriers. They cited some form of barriers rooted in racism and discrimination, this was consistent with the work of (Kymilicka, 1998) who says integration of racial minorities remains a realistic goal for Canada but there is no denying that Blacks as immigrants face more distinctive barriers to integration. (Radwanski Markovic, 2000) echo these thoughts that Black immigrants face a lot more barriers than any other immigrant groups when trying to participate in politics.

Conclusion

The pursuit of social cohesion is of paramount importance to Canada as a multiethnic and mosaic society. Social cohesion is a juxtaposition of belonging, inclusion, participating, recognition and legitimacy which are necessary ingredients for a favorable society. For example, social inclusion is one major aspect of liberal democracy and thus, very important for Canada. Social inclusion is good for society as it opens the doors to good life for all citizens by creating a road map to equal access to the means of good life as defined by our society. While on the other hand, discrimination weakens citizenship values, grinds down the concept of social inclusion and underutilization of social capital within society that these immigrants bring. If these recent immigrants continue to be discriminated against, they might end up feeling being alienated resulting in less participation or complete withdrawal from participating in any other forms of democratic participation. Thus, there should be ways to fully include immigrants into the political arena of their host country. It is of paramount importance for a country like Canada which is multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual to make sure that recent immigrants are also understood and are involved in its political institutions and processes. Therefore educational programs in schools or those implemented by surrogate agencies that deal with integration of immigrants should examine the perceived barriers to see the degree to which they are real and focus on planning ways to overcome them. At the same time, civic education programs for native-born Canadians should also examine these perceived barriers of immigrants as most native-born Canadians might not realize how immigrants perceive the system and why it is important to continue volunteering even well after they settle. (Nevitte, 2004) found in general most recent immigrants in Canada are more involved in social organizations than native-born Canadians and was a bit surprised by this observation. In the same study Nevitte found that as immigrants stay longer in the country, their level of participation in these social organization levels with that of native-born Canadians and decline as time goes on. We think some of our findings have helped to bring one piece of the puzzle to answer why new immigrants volunteer in large numbers as soon as they arrive. As most of the participants in our study told us, they volunteer a much more because of the benefits they expect in getting employment or getting scholarships to advance in their academic and educational studies. However, as they get employment and are well settled they might not see the need to keep on volunteering more except in cases where they can fund-raise or gather material things to help their extended family members and relatives back in their native African countries of origin.

The study reported here demonstrates that recent African immigrants participate and are engaged in substantial community based activities though they do not view volunteering as a form of democratic participation or political participation. This concurs with work of others who have argued that rhetoric about alienation from participation in civic life may be over stated, or at least over simplified and maybe there is need to focus on the motives what we would like to refer to as the meaning and morality of political participation. The results also demonstrate that the participants have very limited conceptions of what constitutes “politics” and political engagement and see their own participation as non-political and simply philanthropic (Chareka Sears, 2005). Civic education policies and programs need to educate citizens, in this case recent immigrants about volunteerism and what conceptions count as political.

Finally, it should be noted that the scope of this study was restricted to a total of 20 recent African immigrants, nine youth and eleven adults in the Maritimes provinces, other researchers might want to carry out a similar research involving more participants from other provinces and territories of Canada. The findings of this study have, however, revealed the nature and extent of some fundamental factors affecting recent African immigrants’ understanding of volunteerism and the important role of prior knowledge to the whole process of developing, teaching and learning civic education. As mentioned earlier, phenomenography is about description of things as they appear that is, making deductive rather than inductive statements or conclusions that go beyond what the participants say. Therefore it should be clearly understood that we do not claim that conclusions drawn from this study can be generalized to ‘all’ recent African immigrants. Nevertheless, further research with other recent African immigrants in other parts of Canada would add important insights to those discussed in this paper.

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[i] Dr Ottilia Chareka is now an Assistant professor in the School of Education at St. Francis Xavier University. She Obtained her DAUS, M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of New Brunswick. She is the one who carried out the interviews as part of her doctoral research. Her areas of specialization are Citizenship Education, Global Education, Multicultural Education and Human Rights Education. She teaches Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods in Education, Program Evaluation and School Data Management, Critical Research Literacy in Education, Introduction to Educational Research Methods and Global Education in the M.Ed. program. She also teaches Inclusive Practices and Diverse Cultures in the B.Ed. program. She has done consultative work with various partners in the Education field. She among the first elected Board of Directors for the African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes, which supports African immigrants.

[ii] Mr. Joseph Nyemah is now currently working as a Project Officer in the Economic Strategies and Initiatives Division of Nova Scotia Department of Economic Development. He was involved in the creation and management of the African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes, which supports African immigrants. Joseph has many years of experience in International Development work in Africa and Asia. He holds an MA in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University and is currently completing an MA in Adult Education at St. Francis Xavier University. Joseph’s research interest is in the area of gender, family and cultural transition in post-migration.

[iii] Mrs. Angellar Manguvo is a PhD candidate at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She obtained her M.Ed., PGDE and B.A. General from the University of Zimbabwe. Her areas of specialization are History, Divinity and Inclusive practices in particular, support for at-risk students, refugees and immigrants.

[iv] Dr Ottilia Chareka would like to thank her former doctoral supervisor, Dr, Alan Sears at the University of New Brunswick for his untiring guidance and for providing funding from his Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Standard Research Grant #410-2001-0083.

[v] See Chareka, O. (September, 2005). Conceptions of Democratic Participation among Recent African Immigrants and Native-born Canadians. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
(The History and Social Science Teacher)

CANADA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
VOLUME 41, NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css


Canadian Social Studies is an indexed, refereed journal published quarterly on-line at the University of Alberta. It is a journal of comment and criticism on social education and publishes articles on curricular issues relating to history, geography, social sciences, and social studies.
Canadian Social Studies is under copyright. Unless otherwise designated, permission is granted to download and distribute individual student copies of anything in this journal as long as it is for non-profit educational use in the classroom. Copyright permission includes the requirement to include the following on the first page of any duplicated material: Canadian Social Studies, www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css Canada's national social studies journal by permission. All other duplication or distribution requires the editors permission.
George Richardson - Editor

| Manuscript Guidelines


From the Editor: Back Again!!!

Articles

An Outside Place for Social Studies.
Andrew Foran

History by the Minute: A Representative National History
or a Common Sense of the Majority?.
Michael Barbour and Mark Evans

Thematic Unit Planning in Social Studies:
Make It Focused and Meaningful .
Todd A. Horton and Jennifer A. Barnett

History from a Philosophic Perspective.
Catherine Broom

Book Reviews

Mary J. Anderson (Ed.). 2004.
The Life Writings of Mary Baker McQuesten, Victorian Matriarch.
Reviewed by Penney Clark.

Roderick MacLeod & Mary Anne Poutanen. 2004.
A Meeting of the People: School Boards and Protestant Communities in Quebec, 1801-1998.
Reviewed by Larry A. Glassford.

Ken Plummer. 2003.
Intimate Citizenship: Private Decisions and Public Dialogues.
Reviewed by Todd Horton.

Robert Gardner, Jim Parsons and Lynn Zwicky. 2003.
Stories of the Century: World History from 1900 to 2000.
Reviewed by Todd Horton.


CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1, FALL 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

From the Editor: Back Again!!!

With this issue, Canadian Social Studies resumes publication after a hiatus of two years. In the coming months we will be launching a new version of the journal that will offer scholars and practitioners a venue to contribute to and read about cutting edge research and practice in the field.

In some ways the articles in the Fall 2008 issue pre-figure this new approach in that they address the interdisciplinary nature of social studies education and suggest ways we might reconceptualize the discipline. Ranging from Michael Barbour and David Evans thoughtful engagement with the iconic Heritage Minutes series to Andrew Forans investigation of the ways we might reconnect social studies to historical places outside school settings, the authors in this issue invite us to re-examine our conceptual frameworks and pedagogical approaches to doing social studies.

George Richardson

Return to Contents Page

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

An Outside Place for Social Studies.

Andrew Foran
St Francis Xavier University

Abstract

This article was motivated by Summer 2006 Canadian Social Studies: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies. In light of technological advancements, programs, and efforts to enhance social studies, it appears history educators have forgotten about and overlook the benefits of leading children to authentic, historical places that exist outside school settings. In many schools, social studies education has become strictly a classroom experience that is divorced from the community; consequently, students experience only the concept of content within the confines of the classroom. One strategy to transform curriculum requires teachers move away from a traditional mode of teaching and toward a partnership with their students as they create knowledge together within authentic places of learning.

Finding a Space for Social Studies

Despite the immense importance curriculum has in determining the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of Canadian youth, the question at the forefront of this discussion is whether social studies has in fact lost sight of a great resource for instructional purposes the outdoors. As a social studies teacher, I questioned the purpose of social studies as a discipline for senior high students; now, as a professor in secondary education, I wonder whether the subject field can adopt innovative methodologies of instruction so that it can remain a viable classroom offering. My particular curricular concern stems from a struggle to interpret the role of social studies, a struggle among teachers in which a common interpretation of the subject conflicts with a non-unified and ambivalent assessment of social studies in the Canadian classroom. The object of my focus is not the value of social studies but the importance of introducing instructional innovations to justify the presence and alter the curricular field and it now operates within unimaginative sites of instruction.

Social Studies Negative Space

The predominant attitude at the classroom level, and ultimately throughout the field of social studies, is one of negativity. Some argue that over the past forty years social studies has not lived up to its scholastic potential. A summary of Kincheloes findings (2001, 15) presents the following faults: students limited exercise of democratic values; students and teachers over-reliance on textbooks; conservative instructional practices that circumvent genuinely innovative practices; teacher alienation within the field of education; confusion about the subjects intended goals; stunted academic activities that do little to challenge students intellects; and a lack of public awareness about the importance of social studies as a credit course. Kincheloe generates a powerful impression that even social studies practitioners are confused about the purpose, direction, and conceptual potential of the course. Social studies education is in need of unifying moments that bind students to genuine experiences and knowledge enabling a stronger curricular understanding.

The promise of social studies rests with classroom teachers that can disentangle their practices from the negative discussions and not allow the curriculum experiment called Social Studies to quietly die (Kieran Egan 1999, 132). The current entanglement has caused children to become alienated from the social experience and produces learning in a context that is sheltered and isolated, separated from the dynamic flow of everyday community life. In many schools, social studies education has become an experience that occurs strictly in the classroom, divorced from the community. Such a disembodied educational experience leaves me to question the efficacy and values of contemporary social studies practices and ponder how teachers can realize the promise of social studies by moving beyond the delivery of mere classroom knowledge.

Instruction must strive to do more than produce passive, socialized students who accept the content as it is transmitted in a classroom; social studies, in fact, should prepare pupils to participate actively in all facets of life in society. I believe that the means to stem the negativity that permeates the social studies debate inhabits the experiential the active aspect of learning. Karen Warrens (1998) engaged pedagogy spans experience-based learning and academic learning and indicates that both have a place in the social studies setting. Thus I am compelled to further question how much of modern senior-high education is experiential. The reality of the senior-high classroom, in my experience, is that very little of the education process is gained through direct experience. Anne Lindsay and Alan Ewert (1999) assert the following:

teaching in schools [has] focused on the facts as found in the textbooks and not on more critical or creative skills such as drawing conclusions, applying knowledge, or creative writing textbooks are regarded as an efficient means of communicating information to students but, in reality, [they] deny or restrict responsibility for learning as well as opportunities for active involvement in the learning process it is usually the experiences and thoughts of others that form the curricular content of a public school education. (16)

The curricular experience must do more than endorse and transmit textual knowledge. If the purpose of curriculum is to enrich students school experiences, I suggest this can best be achieved when teachers and students engage more fully with the world. One way to transform curriculum requires teachers to move away from a traditional mode of teaching toward creating knowledge in authentic places of learning-places where students are immersed in the subject matter of social studies outside the school setting. My academic concern for the social studies is that as a discipline of study, it is centered on the cognitive rather than experiential, technologically stuck to computers, and restricted to indoor spaces, contributing to a rather limited-learning experience for students.

A Technological Place: Responding to History Alive!

Canadian Social Studies Volume 40, Number 1 (Summer 2006) was a special issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies. This issue focused on teaching history, the current state of social studies, and the importance of these elements vis-à-vis pedagogy. I want to concentrate solely on papers presented by social studies educators who questioned the strengths or weaknesses of their practices in light of the current state of technology in history education. Like the authors, the question in my mind, as I began reading this issue was practical in nature: Has technology revitalized social studies education? It was Stéphane Levesques (2006) comments on the impact of current digital technology on history education, however, that caused me question whether technology is even serving the interests of our students. Levesque questions the naturalness of a digital history as an effective teaching practice despite the enormous potential to promote and enhance the active learning of history in the classroom, and she questions the domineering role of technology in classroom instruction. Levesque notes, Current and new computer technologies alone cannot turn a bored history student into a professional historian, not even into an amateur historian (Conclusion, 1). Levesque comments on a typical high school history experience with the observation that we read about history, talked about history and wrote about history; we never actually did history (Introduction, 2). Thus technology does not necessarily transform the history experience for students in social studies classes despite the ease in accessing to historical information.

Michael Clare (2006) candidly tackles the instructional issues of digital technologies failure to change the quality of learning in the social study's classroom and asserts that technology has hindered the study more than it has helped. Clare questions the hype around the digital advantage when it comes to the application of historical learning. Clare stresses that technology in the history class must amount to more than a replacement for paper and despite technological usage Clare is poignant with the following claim: In many respects, fulfilling the curriculum requirements is still a paper and pencil exercise (7). The implication is that the use of technology as an instructional tool in social studies has served to further disconnect students from the world, that it prevents students from constructing knowledge through direct experiences by constraining the history curriculum so that it becomes an indoor experience. Witness the use of electronic-course packs, WebCT and Blackboard online learning classrooms, and Web Quests.

On a positive note, Carol White (2006) reports that technology is improving the quality of history being taught through the technological innovations provided by the Historica Foundation of Canada and contends that educators can make history viable and alive. White believes the use of technology can foster in youth a love of Canadian history and help them fine find their place in history. As a social studies teacher, I am sure Whites assertion is a curricular endorsement many social studies teachers would support. The Historica Foundation provides support programs and resources that enable all Canadian students (with technological capabilities) to explore their history through two quality school programs: the Historica Fairs program and YouthLinks. It is true that both programs provide a means of learning that is technologically rich; however, both constrain the learner to an indoor environment because of nature of the technology, enabling and restricting students exploration of history from and to their seats.

Outside: The Forgotten Space

In light of technological advancements, programs, and efforts to enhance social studies, it appears history educators have forgotten about and overlook the benefits of leading children to authentic, historical places that exist outside school settings. In my doctoral research, I investigated the literal place of learning and examined the implications of pedagogical experiences in outside places. I focused on the relationship that developed between the teacher and the student as a result of experiencing outside places and for this discussion outside historical places. In exploring the richness of an outdoor pedagogy, I examined teaching as a relational commitment between teachers and their students. I interviewed seven teachers, from a range of academic subjects, whom I chose because of their reputations for incorporating outside-teaching components within their practice. Working from formal interviews, we then created a framework for the written anecdote a specific story that captured a unique teaching moment outdoors. My inquiry led me to consider how being outdoors affects the relational aspect in education the bond between the teacher and the student versus the technical-rational act of lesson planning designed to convey information efficiently that, I suggest, dominates and governs instructional practice. In the remainder of the paper, I will discuss pedagogy not as a science or technical craft, nor as an art in teaching. My emphasis is on how a teacher sees students seeing in an outdoor-historical location during the lesson.

I sought to discover the context of these experiential events and understand an outdoor experience, through written anecdotes allowing me to reveal how these teachers connected with their students and that the outside significantly alters this crucial relationship. The relational bond in teaching takes on a heightened significance that transforms the curriculum so that it is no longer restricted to rational-technological exchange of information; students grasp of historical meaning and understanding surpass the implications of exams, tests, and textual-content driven curriculum. I will present several key segments from my research that I hope will illustrate the benefits of learning about and interacting to history with students outdoors; I will do this by sharing the anecdotal experiences of Jody (name changed for confidentiality purposes), a History and Mi Maq Studies 10 teacher (part of the senior high social studies offering in Nova Scotia).

History and Pedagogy

In exploring the connections between teachers, their students, and the out-of-doors, my purpose was to enter into the actual experiences of outside educators and explore the uniqueness of outdoor teaching. My particular focuses here are specific moments that captured history in outdoor learning. Jodys anecdotes capture unique experiences, and this helped bring forward understanding of outside-teaching moments. What follows are anecdotal segment that provide insight into a student-teacher relationship that is more authentically relational because it occurs outdoors. Jodys instructional intent grounded in a reconnection with the world, and this carries over in a powerful way into the relational bond that Jody values with students.

Outside as More

Does an outside lesson enable a teacher to feel more connected to students? I suggest that the responsibility associated with teaching in the outdoors imposes a greater emphasis on the relational aspect of teaching. In the first anecdote, Jody asserts that an outside teaching space is one of community and requires being alive as a teacher. I wonder if the community of learners forms because being outside the school allows relational connections to develop by displacing technological connections. Jody makes these observations:

Somehow the outside teaching experience makes me more of a teacher, even though I am teaching the same lesson plan. We are all linked at some level to the natural world, and that makes it more of a learning community. I kept thinking, Is this not better than being inside? Am I not making the curricular experience more real? I know the kids were enjoying it. I was too. Sometimes I feel as if the classroom smothers us. I know I was more alive outside, in some way. We were imagining that we were the first explorers pushing into the interior of a vast land that became Canada. I was reading the account from Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye. I was watching the faces of my students as I was reading the passage. They were staring at the woods path and the glint of shimmering water of the lake off to our left as described in the passage it was as if we were all living that moment of exploration. Outside teaching goes way beyond the learning in the plan. (Andrew Foran 2006, 95)

Unveiling what the teacher lives through can provide insights about an outside practice. This knowledge derives from making sense of the experience of being in the outside world. An important discovery would be identifying the source of Jodys coming alive as a result of presenting a history lesson in and specific to the outdoors. I posit that this way of teaching being alive is fundamentally different than living the lesson through technological means. Jody articulates a unifying moment in teaching history: seeing his students living a moment of exploration as they stared down a path in the woods; subject, place, and learning converge in their expressions.

To go outside is to re-experience nature that has been superseded by modern, technological ways of living, perceiving, and learning. Living closely with and in nature is a way of life, but capturing such an existence is difficult, if not impossible, from inside a classroom. Jody commented on the need to interact with nature by taking students to special places to bring lessons to life. Without nature, the experience is not possible; nature and living are one and the same for Jodys students. In these places, connections form between the students and the natural world, and for Jody the learning is undeniably linked to direct experience.

Living in the Past

History educators face two challenges with curriculum delivery: making the future something that is palpable and that can be imagined by their students and bringing the past into the contemporary lives of their students. How do we teach the past and allow it to have a real presence in our lives? Jody struggled to connect past human events to the lives of children. Jodys decision to teach outside aimed, in part, to step deliberately into the past. Jody strove for more than museum re-creation; he wanted the students to feel the past as something real in the development of Canada's settlement. Jody hoped that by hiking into an abandoned village his students could re-create themselves as descendents of their community's history. The old settlement at the end of Gabareius Trail off the coast of Cape Breton still has the remains of an old, bustling fishing community from the 1800s. When the fishing died off, so did the community, but the history did not, for it is there, in that place.

I instruct my students to look for the remnants of old stone walls and foundations. When they find them, I swear the mood starts to change they start getting into it even the sceptics. Its like they all start falling back into time; they become hushed and our school life becomes more distant than the life that used to be here 100-plus years ago. Actually, being in the place that we are studying in school creates a real connection to our present; there was a sense of realness. Being at that old farm at the edge of the settlement, and seeing the family burial plot with tilted headstones, all moss-covered or buried in leaves, allows us to touch the past like no other text could. You can still see how this past community existed right on the edge of an absolutely beautiful coastline of granite. We were able to get a sense of the people who lived there. Almost ghostly. These human traces give a definite sense of people having been settled there before; you feel the community life that once was. That day my students were able to touch their own histories, and became a class of living historians. We were putting life back into something that was no more, but a reminder of time. We become ghosts of the present as we roamed that old farm and settlement. (Andrew Foran 2006, 186)

Jody experienced the past in the living present by resurrecting with students as aspiring historians a community life. The remains of the village was testimony to the lives that once were, and walking down the cart path leading into the heart of the old fishing settlement enabled students to move back in time. A lesson that takes root i nside a student relies on the effect of imagination: the teachers and the students. Going outside releases the imagination and ignites the authentic seeking of context and allows for relational connections between the teacher and the students due to sharing in the experience.

Many teachers of history confess to struggling with teaching past events in a manner that is relevant to students. However, the manifestation of the physicality of the past being out there with those children galvanized an opportunity for Jody and his students to relate as fellow historians. Jody was able to connect the students to the past and link this to their current learning. Jody remarked, They were not just sitting at their desks staring at me, waiting for the next question. That's when I feel the ghosts! They were really with me, inquiring like historians about a time gone by. I knew they were making meaning out of something past. Jody understood that trying to capture the past through materials indoors and make it real to children can be an immediate barrier; the real lesson surfaces in the struggle to relate to one another as learners

Rest in Peace

Jodys curriculum is linked to outdoor places as a form of cultural learning, and as a teacher of Mi Maq Studies, his lesson is one of awareness. The activities associated with the outside lesson supports the awareness of self; Jody claims the location of the lesson and the learner's curiosity contributes to spiritual awakening. In Jodys next account, there is adventure in spiritualism that, according to Jody, is not possible indoors. Jody tells of a special and profound place called Cape Split. Legend has it that this is where Glooscap, the creator of the Mi Maq world, laid down to finally rest. This piece of land that juts into the Bay of Fundy comprises jagged fingers of rock that represent the feathers on Glooscaps head dress. Jody declared that he has hiked the Split at least 20 times, but he re-experiences it through his students eyes, effecting a recreation of self through student learning.

Before I knew the history, I felt something that went far beyond the spectacular view and the adventure. It is a deep spiritual awakening, and the kids feel it too. This has nothing to do with religion; it's the spirit of being a human in this world. At the end of the Split there is an old-growth maple grove that gives way to a grassy field that gently rises, obscuring the spectacular ocean view. When we arrived at this point my students all paused as if by some silent command. I had to encourage them to climb the rise. As they gained height they could begin to see what we came for: the jagged points of land sticking out of the water (see Figure 1). For some reason the group starts to quiet, as if out of respect or awe. The grassy cliff comes to a point and we can go no farther. It is here I know I see kids change at that moment when they look out over the Split. Their faces have this look of reverence. Its as if Glooscap has touched their very soul from his resting place. Somehow, with the kids, the experience is always richer for me, more connected, than if I go alone. (Andrew Foran 2006, 247)

Is the visit to Cape Split an experience in spiritualism that is connected to an ancient world through place? Is Jody enabling a spirit of self as the students awaken to a deeper sense of selfin the world by being at the Split? When I stepped out on this cliff edge with Jody, I can still recall looking down into the cold ocean, leaning into the breeze to see just a bit more, and there was a movement within my own spiritual sensitivity. I felt something that is not always evident, present, or possible in public education, and it went well beyond the history. Jody has run this spiritual awareness of self countless times and has been able to relive the legend of Glooscap through the students awakening that goes beyond written history. The historical lesson is to go inward and explore another world, a world that is not legend, earth, sky, or water but a place that is uniquely experienced because it is connected to a place of history. Figure 1: The rock outcrops are believed to be Glooscaps feathers. Photograph by A. Foran. Conclusion

History is an experience of reconnecting to and exploration of a world that came before the formalization of education and the technological drive of modern living. At one time we were, as a species, more directly related to nature, and our learning, consequently, was probably linked more directly to the natural world. Over time, the place for learning became a modern, centralized location called school. But nature still seems to call to us from outside, and there are a few who listen. Nature has a way of drawing us into the ancient. Could it be that by going to these special places our pedagogical sensibilities become attuned to more human senses? Jodys comment about his students connection with place, that they were into it, made me question whether the students would have been as open to and earnest about the experience if it were not for the specific places where the history lessons were taught. Jody allows students to experience the spirit of a place through history lessons in nature. Can technology provide this same, intimate connection to our spirit through learning and the subject matter of the world that is conveniently referred to as social studies?

The pedagogical significance of outdoor education is that educators share directly in the students learning experience. Ironically, teachers disembody education from direct experiences by removing students from the outside world to contain learning within inside places and I question if technology has bridged the inside and outside worlds of our students. More attention needs to be focused on these outdoor places, for they enable unique possibilities. This uniqueness can allow educators to connect deeply with children at a level that transpires the academics of an inside-scholastic experience. By leading children outdoors, we bring our students closer to the natural world and enable them to feel the power of a world that is not technological but is something much more. The more we go outdoors with our students, the greater the opportunities for our students to discover that the natural world is not an isolated space and not merely a mystery, a sound bite or abstract-digital representation. It is important for teachers to see that the outdoors is significant to the relational bond between teachers and their students, but as central to experiential learning. By going outdoors, Jody realized social studies education lost sight of an educational connection. Educational theories, learning models, and technological innovations do not explain or highlight the richness of the relationships that are formed as a result of and through teaching, let alone outside teaching. The significance in teaching outside, pedagogically, is how teachers are able to witness kids change at that moment when they look out over the Split as the child learning in a different way outside.

References

Clare, M. 2006. Power Corrupts, PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely. Canadian Social Studies. 40, no. 1 (Summer).
http://www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css/Css_40_1/ARClare_PowerPoint_corrupts_abso lutely.htm.

Egan, K. 1999. Children's Minds, Talking Rabbits and Clockwork Oranges: Essays on Education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Foran, A. 2006. Teaching Outside the School: A Phenomenological Inquiry. Edmonton, Alberta.
Unpublished Doctorial Thesis University of Alberta.

Kincheloe, J. 2001. Getting Beyond the Facts: Teaching Social Studies/Social Sciences in the Twenty-first Century. New York: Peter Lang.

Levesque, S. 2006. Discovering the Past: Engaging Canadian Students in Digital History. Canadian Social Studies. 40, no. 1, (Summer).
http://www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css/Css_40_1/ARLevesque_engaging_digital_h....

Lindsay, A., and A. Ewert. 1999. Learning at the edge: Can Experiential Education Contribute to Educational Reform? Journal of Experiential Education. 22, no. 1 (June). 12-19.

Warren, K.1998. Education Students for Social Justice in Service Learning. Journal of Experiential Education. 21, no. 3 (December). 134-139.

White, C. 2006. Discovering your place in history. Canadian Social Studies. 40, no. 1 (Summer).
http://www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css/Css_40_1/ARWhite_discovering_place_his....

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

History by the Minute: A Representative National History
or a Common Sense of the Majority?

Michael Barbour
Mark Evans
University of Georgia

Abstract

A number of times over the past century, there have been struggles in the United States over what is and is not included in the history curriculum. These struggles have primarily been over who is represented in the teaching of history. In Canada, however, this debate has not been as prevalent. For example, Historicas Heritage Minutes is a national project that is designed to present Canadians with a common sense of national history and in the eight years since it was first introduced it has not received similar scrutiny. In this article, we use an emergent coding scheme to examine this project to investigate exactly whose history is being told and whether or not it is representative of Canadian society. We feel that while the Heritage Minutes are sometimes over representative of the dominant cultural traits in Canadian society, they do present a multicultural view of Canada.

In the United States, there has been a debate that has been raging over the nature of what history is taught in the classroom. This debate is a longstanding one, which has tended to peak around progressive curriculums such as Harold Ruggs Man and His Changing Society, Jerome Bruner's and Peter Dows Man: A Course of Study, and more recently the National History Standards Project. Much of this debate is focused upon what is included. Those on the traditional side feel that history should tell the story of the making of a great nation and those who played a role in its development. Those from the more progressive camps feel that this is too narrow a vision of history, and feel that its only serves to exclude those not in the dominant group in society.

While there have been Canadian participants involved in this debate, such as Peter Seixas at the University of British Columbia, and J.L Granatsteins whose 1998 book Who Killed Canadian History claimed traditional history was disappearing from Canadian schools, there has not been as much general participation in this discussion in Canada by academics, teachers, politicians and the general public, as there has been in the United States. Could it be the fact that there has been little movement to establish national curriculum programs in the social studies? It is possible, although regional efforts such as the Western Canadian Protocol and Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation have not seen much debate around this issue. Could it be that Canada is simply more multicultural than the United States? Could it simply be that Canadians are more accepting of a multicultural history?

Over the past seven years many Canadians have been introduced and educated about significant moments or individuals in Canadian History through sixty second commercials known as Heritage Minutes. These Heritage Minutes represent one of the longest standing, national project designed to increase Canadians awareness of its own history. According to Lawlor (1999), their purpose was to impart upon Canadians a common set of historical images and meanings upon which Canadians could construct a sense of national identity (p. ii). In this article, we examine these Heritage Minutes based upon who is and is not included in these one minute history lessons to determine if they are reflective of a multicultural Canadian society.

Literature Review

The Heritage Minutes were first introduced to Canadians on March 31, 1991. They have been produced by the Charles R Bronfman Foundation, Canada Post, and Bell Canada; but are currently managed by the Historica Foundation of Canada through their History by the Minute project. There are available, free of charge, to Canadian networks and continued to be aired largely because federal regulators ruled that they can be included in the networks Canadian content requirement. The Heritage Minutes themselves have become part of Canadian culture, being frequently parodied. The high production values and entertaining but educating content has met general acclaim. (Wikipedia 2006). They have also become one of the primary ways in which Canadians have become aware of the history of the country, particularly those who have completed their formal schooling. Shortly after their introduction, there were claims in the popular media that these Heritage Minutes had increased the percentage of Canadians who were aware of some of the specific events, such as the Halifax Explosion.

Canadian society is said to be more multicultural our neighbours to the south - at least in terms of official government policy. But this can also be seen in the socialization of people in both countries. Like many of the readers of this Canadian publication, as someone who completed their schooling in Canadian public schools I was well aware of the fact that Canada was considered a cultural mosaic, which (as it was described to me) was that it is primarily concerned with preserving the distinctions between the many cultures present in Canadian society. According to the American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, the definition of multiculturalism is the view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect and scholarly interest in (Unknown 2005). Yu (1992) stated the purpose of a multicultural education is to instruct students to the idea that Canada is multicultural and that no one culture is superior or inferior to any other (p. 65). This definition is consistent with the description of Canadas cultural mosaic.

This is contrasted with the students that we have taught in our pre-service social studies education classes here in the southeastern United States, who all identify with the melting pot philosophy of multiculturalism or a view where those of other cultures are assimilated into American society at rates appropriate to those individual cultures. This belief that there is a dominant culture that one must eventually join almost the very definition of a monocultural society. This may be why the struggle over whose history should be taught is so strongly debated because there are those who believe that the history of the nation is largely the history of the dominant culture. However, does this mean that because Canada is a nation where other cultures are elevated to the status of the dominant culture that the teaching of our history reflects this policy of multiculturalism? Does it also mean that a national project, such as Historica's Heritage Minutes, also reflects this multicultural view as it presents their common set of historical images and meanings upon which Canadians could construct a sense of national identity?

Research Methodology

At the outset of this research project, one of the two researchers was a Canadian and quite familiar with the Heritage Minutes and the history that was included in them. However, the other researcher was an American so the Minutes, and even much of the historical content contained in them, was new to this individual. It should also be noted that both of the researchers were former social studies classroom teachers, each with approximately five years of classroom experience. In order to develop a coding scheme for these Heritage Minutes, we independently reviewed ten random Minutes in order to create an emergent or open coding system (Glaser 1978). While this method of coding is most often associated with the constant comparative method and grounded theory (Strauss and Corbin 1990), this was not the methodological framework that we utilized, only the method of coding.

After this process was completed, we came together to discuss the coding schemes that has emerged to determine what common ground existed and debated in areas where there were no similarities. In the end we established the following six different coding categories.

Table 1. Coding Categories

Gender Linguistic Race Religion Region Type of History Female
Male
English
French
Aboriginal
Asian
Black
White
Christian
Jewish
Spiritual
Atlanta Canada
North of 60
Ontario
Quebec
Western Canada
Diplomatic
Economic
Military
Political
Social

With the categories established, we reviewed each of the 66 Heritage Minutes contained on the latest DVD issued by Historica, along with an additional eight Minutes that were posted at the Historica website (see http://www.histori.ca/minutes/) but were not contained on the DVD (Historica Foundation of Canada 2006). Each Minute was independently coded and there was an inter-rater reliability of 88.27%. For the purposes of this manuscript, the religion category was not considered because only six of the seventy-four Minutes feature religion in any way.

The results were then analyzed based upon both historical and present-day demographic characteristics of Canadian society in table format. The first three columns of each table present the percentage of Heritage Minutes that each researcher felt focused on the specific category and than an average of the two. These three columns should add up to 100%, as they only represent the minutes where those characteristics were included. For example, if there were 20 Heritage Minutes where religion could be determined and in 10 of those Minutes the religion was identified by the researchers as Christian, the average column would show that 50% of the Minutes coded for this category were Christian. The next column presents the overall average of total minutes coded with that identification. To follow the same example, given that there were 74 different Heritage Minutes, the 10 that were identified as focusing upon or including Christianity as the religion would represent 13.5% of the total minutes. The final two columns provide the percentage of the population that held those demographic characteristics according to the 1901 and 2001 censuses (Statistics Canada, 1901; 2001).

Results and Discussion

If the measure of a multicultural society is the elevation of other cultures to the same level as the dominant culture, then it is reasonable to expect that in a national history project that those groups that are in the minority would be overrepresented in comparison to their proportion of the population. To test this expectation, let's turn first to Table 2, which provides the racial profile of people represented in the Heritage Minutes.

Table 2. Racial analysis by percentage

Race

Researcher
1

Researcher
2

Average

Overall in
Minutes

1901 2001 Aboriginal 13.41 15.88 14.38 15.54 2.38 3.29 Asian 1.21 2.56 1.88 2.03 0.44 8.87 Black 6.10 6.41 6.25 6.76 0.32 2.23 White 79.27 75.64 77.50 83.78 96.26 83.26

As it is illustrated above, from a historical perspective the three minority races which are the focus of some of the Heritage Minutes were all overrepresented, with the dominant race being historically underrepresented. In comparison to the present day data, both aboriginals and Blacks are still overrepresented based upon their current proportion in the Canadian population. It is also worth noting that the overall average in the Minutes total is more than 100%, indicating in some of the Minutes focusing upon one of the minority races, the dominant race was also featured.

This focus or elevation of minority races is unusual in most history programs. For instance, in his award winning book Lies My Teacher Told Me, Loewen (2005) described how the twelve American history textbooks he reviewed engaged in hero-making. Most of the heroes in these textbooks tended to be White males. This is consistent with Nash, Crabtree and Dunn (2000), who described the use of history as a tool to develop patriotism, usually based upon the sugar-coated stories about White, male leaders. However, the overrepresentation of at least these three minority groups in the Heritage Minutes is contrary to this trend and is indicative of the elevation of minority cultures that is described by our view of multiculturalism.

Unfortunately the race category is one of the only ones which over represents these minority groups. This is evidenced in the linguistic category presented in Table 3.

Table 2. Racial analysis by percentage

Language

Researcher
1

Researcher
2

Average

Overall in
Minutes

1901 2001 English 67.16 75.00 71.11 64.86 57.00 58.55 French 32.84 25.00 28.89 26.35 27.29 22.62

While the overall representation of the French linguistic group is appropriate based upon its proportion of the population, it does not represent an elevation to the same level as the English linguistic group which is overrepresented based on its proportion of the population. This is similar to the gender category which is presented in Table 4.

Table 4. Gender analysis by percentage

Gender

Researcher
1

Researcher
2

Average

Overall in
Minutes

1901 2001 Female 22.39 29.33 73.94 70.95 48.78 50.48 Male 77.61 70.67 26.06 25.00 51.24 49.52

What is clearly illustrated in this table is that the percentage of Heritage Minutes where males are the focus is dramatically overrepresented, both historically and in the present.

This under representation of the minority gender is much more common in most history curriculums. In fact, in many instances where females are other minorities are infused into the history it is seen as an act of sympathy or political correctness (Appleby, Hart Jacobs, 1994). One of the best examples of this was the massive backlash in the United States against the National History Standards Project (Symcox, 2002), when a curriculum that presented a diverse and multicultural view of American history was publicly condemned by the U.S. Senate.

In a country as large and geographically diverse as Canada, in addition to race, language and gender, geography is always of concern from the Quebec separation movement to Western alienation. Table 5 provides the geographic representation in the Heritage Minutes. It should be noted that the percents of the individual researchers are not included because there were n differences in their coding of this category.

Table 5. Geographic analysis by percentage

Geographic
Region Average

Overall in
Minutes

1901
Census 2001
Census Atlantic Canada 15.09 10.81 16.64 7.62 North of 60 1.89 1.35 0.88 0.30 Ontario 22.64 16.22 40.64 38.02 Quebec 35.85 25.68 30.70 24.12 Western Canada 24.53 17.57 11.14 29.93

Unlike the other categories, this category has probably seen the greatest change in the population for all of the categories. In considering this data, this becomes problematic because of the dramatic change in the proportion of the population for each of the regions over the past one hundred years. For example, Atlantic Canada is historically under represented, but at present is overrepresented. Western Canada is historically overrepresented, but is currently underrepresented. Due to this shifting population it is difficult to determine if either of these two regions has or hasnt received its fair share. What is interesting to note is the significant under representation of the Province of Ontario. We see this as a positive sign, as in this category the Province of Ontario represents the dominant group.

The final analysis that was conducted, presented in Table 6, was unlike the previous four because it was based on the type of history that was presented by the Heritage Minute and not upon a particular demographic of the population.

Table 6. Type of history analysis by percentage

Type of
history Researcher
1

Researcher
2

Average Overall in
Minutes Diplomatic 1.98 5.50 3.81 5.41 Economic 12.87 14.68 13.81 19.59 Military 15.84 15.60 15.71 22.30 Political 17.82 19.27 18.57 26.35 Social 51.49 44.95 48.10 68.24

What is most interesting about these results is the high percentage of Heritage Minutes that focused upon social history and the low number that focused upon issues of diplomatic, economic, military and political history. Social history is a way of looking at history from the bottom up, unlike the way that it is usually taught and discussed which is top down (Young, 1999). When history is seen from the view point of the bottom up, it tends to consider those individuals and groups of people who have traditionally been excluded from the official history because they are those who have not been in positions of power or authority. What is interesting about this finding is that most history curriculums tend to focus upon the diplomatic, economic, military and political history (Loewen, 2005). In these instances, social history is usually relegated to inserts and special boxes or insets (Symcox, 2002). Zinn (1994, 2005) would argue that the type of history being taught in history courses reflects the hegemony of the society. Students are asked to remember names, dates, and places of deeds done by the great men of history who are usually part of the dominant culture. Zinn also concluded that the way history is taught allows for those who have power to keep it by ensuring that those who serve the upper-class do not get to ask questions of why certain decisions were made, how did that decision affect minorities and women, or any other question that would rock the status quo.

Conclusions

In this article we have presented a view that in a multicultural society cultures other than the dominant one should be elevated to the same status as the dominant culture. While the Heritage Minutes of the Historica Foundation of Canada do not quite go as far as given non-dominant groups equal representation, this national history initiative does provide an over represented view of many of the minority groups that we considered in our analysis, particularly when it came to race and geographic representation.

On the linguistic front, as a project representing a bilingual nation the Heritage Minutes did provide an appropriate representation of the French language in terms of the proportion of the population that claim it as their mother tongue. However, there was also an overrepresentation of English as a linguistic group. The most disappointing, but expected under representation was that of women in the gender category. While this is a common theme in most aspects of history, it is one that the Historica Foundation can work to address as they continue to produce more Heritage Minutes.

Finally, one of the most refreshing aspects of the Heritage Minutes was their focus upon social history. With the focus of most Canadian history textbooks and most of the learning objectives in Canadian history courses focused upon diplomatic, economic, military and political history, the focus on social history make the Heritage Minutes a strong compliment in any Canadian History classroom.

We would like to extend thanks to the Historica Foundation of Canada for providing an examination copy of their DVD, Your Place in History: Historica Minutes.

References

Appleby, Joyce, Lynn Hart, and Margaret Jacobs. 1994. Telling the Truth about History. New York: Norton.

Glaser, Barney G. 1978. Theoretical Sensitivity. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.

Granatstein, Jack L. 1994. Who Killed Canadian History? Toronto, HarperPerennial.

Historica Foundation of Canada. History by the Minute. Author 2006 [cited December 23, 2006. Available from http://www.histori.ca/minutes/.

Lawlor, Nuala. 1999. The Heritage Minutes: The Charles R. Bronfman Foundation's Construction of the Canadian Identity, Graduate Program in Communications, McGill University, Montreal, QC.

Loewen, James W. 2005. Lies my Teacher Told Me: Everything your American History Textbook Got Wrong. New York: New Press.

Nash, Gary B., Charlotte Crabtree and Ross E. Dunn. 2000. History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past. New York: Vintage Books.

Statistics Canada. 1901. Historical Statistics of Canada. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada [cited January 9, 2007]. Available from http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/11-516-XIE/sectiona/toc.htm (Editor's note: This link is no longer active.)

Statistics Canada. 2001. Census 2001. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada [cited January 9, 2007]. Available from http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/home/Index.cfm.

Strauss, Anselm L., and Juliet Corbin. 1990. Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. 2nd ed. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Symcox, Linda. 2002. Whose history? The Struggle for National Standards in American Classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press.

Unknown. Multiculturalism (3rd). Houghton Mifflin Company 2005 [cited December 24, 2006]. Available from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/multiculturalism.

Wikipedia. Heritage Minute - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Author 2006 [cited December 21, 2006. Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritage_Minutes.

Young, Alfred F. 1999. The Shoemaker and the Tea Party. Boston: Beacon Press.

Yu, Miriam. 1992. On Multiculturalism and Education. In Multicultural Education: Partnership for a New Decade, edited by M. Yu, J. Oldford-Matchin and R. Kelleher. St. John's, NL: Memorial University of Newfoundland Printing Services.

Zinn, Howard. 1994. You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of our Times Boston: Beacon Press.

Zinn, Howard. 2005. A People's History of the United States, 1492-present. New York: HarperPerennial Modern Classics.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Thematic Unit Planning in Social Studies:
Make It Focused and Meaningful

Todd A. Horton
Jennifer A. Barnett
Nipissing University

Abstract

Unit planning is perhaps the most difficult of the teacher duties to execute well. This paper offers suggestions for improving focus and increasing the meaningfulness of thematic unit content for students. Stressing the concept of a Big Understanding, it outlines 6 sequential steps in the creation of units which, when applied, not only establish a purpose for the study of the material, but also foster the growth of citizens who are self-actualized, learned, contributing members of a global society.

Unit planning is perhaps the most difficult of teachers' many duties to execute well. We've all heard the rules the unit must have a strong introduction, a body of lessons that build on each other, and a conclusion that ties the threads together and leads to summative assessment. However, add to this the incorporation of various teaching approaches to meet different learning styles, a variety of engaging student activities some of which demand critical thinking and compound it all with an obligation to meet the requirements of the course curriculum and you get a sense of how difficult this task can be!

Much has been written on developing unit plans in social studies (Kirman, 2002; Wright, 2001; Case, 1999) and the accomplished works of these authors should be consulted by any teacher interested in gaining an expertise in unit plan development. Case (1999) notes thematic, narrative, issue, inquiry, problem or project approaches can be used as unit organizers. These organizational approaches to unit planning in social studies each have their strengths and we encourage trying them all over the course of a career to find what works best for teacher and students. For the purposes of this paper we centre our attention on thematic unit plans offering suggestions for improving focus and increasing the meaningfulness of unit content for students.

Establishing the Problem

As teachers know, unit plans are a series of day-to-day lessons related to a particular theme. The unit can take anywhere from a week to six weeks to complete (though term or semester long efforts do occur). Case (1999) suggests that thematic units can focus on places (e.g., Mesopotamia, Scandinavia, Peru), events (e.g., building the A-bomb, making the pyramids), eras (e.g., The Depression, post-World War II Europe), phenomena (e.g., biological change, war), concepts (e.g., freedom, democracy) or entities (e.g., multi-national corporations, United Nations, bears). We would add that thematic units can also have people (e.g., the Cree, Napoleon) as their key focus. However, a theme, no matter the type, is insufficient as the sole basis for planning a unit. Consider the following scenarios:

A grade 5 teacher pulls a slightly tattered binder off his book shelf. Contained within its jacket is a pre-packaged unit on Ancient Egypt he has taught for several years. He flips through the pages reviewing the unit overview, curricular connections, and blackline masters while reminiscing of past students re-enacting the death of Cleopatra, mapping the fertile soils of the Nile, and constructing pyramids out of sticks and clay. Though the memories are positive, an unexpected feeling of dissatisfaction sweeps over the teacher.

A Faculty of Education professor eagerly sits down in her favourite chair to evaluate student-created social studies unit plans. She opens the first submission and her eyes are instantly drawn to the title Confederation: A Unit for Grade 8. As she turns the pages she notes an interesting simulation of the Charlottetown Conference, a research activity on the Riel Rebellions, and letter writing in support and opposition of Newfoundland joining Canada. While the lessons appear strong, an uneasy feeling descends on her.

What both this teacher and professor may be feeling is a sense that the units are unfocussed despite having a theme. Further, though both units seem to have engaging activities, one has to wonder if students truly understand why they are learning about Ancient Egypt and Confederation. Without clear explanation these units have the potential to be meaningless to students.

Authors of thematic units often select a topic from the curriculum and proceed to dump enormous amounts of information into each of the lessons. This is done in the misguided belief that thoroughness is achieved by teaching every possible aspect of the topic. It has been our experience that this applies to teacher-designed units as well as those produced by textbook companies, corporations, non-profit organizations and even ministries of education.

By approaching unit planning in this way, depth is sacrificed for breadth as each new lesson is an introduction to a different aspect of the topic. Students figuratively start to drown in information names, places, dates and events whirl by at dizzying speeds. Engaging activities start to feel like make work projects and when students begin to perceive lessons as pointless interest and inspiration is undermined. The implications are enormous for student learning and attitudes toward social studies generally.

We can do better. Units are opportunities to address citizenship goals the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that we as teachers, parents, schools, communities and provincial and national leaders believe are important for children to learn to be educated citizens as well as contributing members of society. As such, we must develop thoughtful units that are coherent and focused as well as meaningful to students.

What Can We Do?

We understand that no teacher approaches the planning of units in exactly the same way and, to a certain extent, each teacher must find their own style. As well, we appreciate that teachers do not always develop unit plans from scratch, often adapting pre-made units to meet student needs and curriculum requirements. With this in mind, we offer six steps that will increase unit focus and manageability while cuing students to the point of it all.

Step 1: Limit the Scope of the Unit

Once teachers have selected a thematic topic embedded within their course curriculum they need to accept that no matter what they choose they cannot and should not teach everything about it. It is a simple fact there is too much information available on any topic, be it global warming, Aztecs or the Underground Railroad. Additionally, there is more information than any grade four, six or ten student needs to know at any given point in their educational journey. This means that units need to be limited in scope. If creating a unit from scratch, consider exploring one or two aspects of the thematic topic in depth. If adapting a pre-made unit which races from topic to topic within the theme, consider excising some lessons and expanding others or incorporating the possibility of student choice (i.e., students must complete activities related to two of the six thematic topics and demonstrate their learning to the class in some manner).

Creating or adapting units in this way often require teachers learn more about the themes they've chosen. What a wonderful opportunity to expand one's knowledge base.

Step 2: Identify Importance

Deciding what aspects of the thematic topic to focus on can be difficult. While it may seem easier to try and do everything, decisions have to be made if we don't want to overwhelm or alienate students. We suggest writing the thematic topic down on a piece of paper and asking the following questions: What is the point of teaching this topic to students? What makes this topic important? These may seem like strange, abstract questions at first but the answers are critical for increasing focus and developing meaning for students. Many teachers simply accept that because a topic is in the curriculum it must be important. Others may believe that the answer is self-evident knowledge of any sort is important in and of itself. Those responses would, we suspect, seem slight if offered to students, parents, or educational colleagues.

What makes any topic important is what it contributes to students understanding of themselves and the world around them. Content is significant only if it is a window into understanding how we were, how we are and how we could be in the future. Something is important when it is a means by which one learns about various ways of being or living in the world, how we, as people, adapt, address, react, relate, develop, seek, conclude, destroy, conquer, vilify, etc.

For us, answering the question what makes this topic important? has meant learning about topics with a new mindset. For example, whenever we refresh our knowledge of the Incas or Mayans were struck by the many ways their cultures adapted to the environment in which they lived. Conversely, these peoples also shaped the environment to meet their needs or desires. This point is significant because it transcends the Incas and Mayans as it is applicable to all cultures no matter the time or place. We want students to know, understand and appreciate this aspect of life because it has relevance to students lives now and in the future. This point can be taught through an exploration of the Incas, Mayans or any other culture required or suggested by the curriculum.

A second example is in order. One of the many important points that arise when we read about the structures and processes of the Canadian government is that groups of people, whether a family, class, tribe, city or nation, establish rules and policies for the order and good of the group. In addition, structures and processes are very dependent on the people involved and the history of the group itself. Unquestionably, the structures and processes of the Canadian government are similar to those of Great Britain due to Canada's history as a British colony. Canadas parliamentary democracy is intimately related to King John and the Magna Carta, the Glorious Revolution and Queen Victoria among other people and events. Again, the salience of this point is in its transcendence of the details of Canadas governmental structures and processes and application to other groups such as the United States and South Africa as well as students families, their school or a local First Nation. The structures and processes of the Canadian government can be the vehicle through which students learn this significant point.

Simply by answering the question what is the point of teaching this topic to students or what makes this topic important teachers are on their way to developing units that have increased focus and meaningfulness for students.

Step 3: Create a Big Understanding

The answer to the above question is the formulated into a generalization. Known by various names including guiding statement, enduring understanding and over-arching statement, we have settled on Big Understanding as the name for these generalizations. Stated simply, Big Understandings are the significant and hopefully enduring points we, as teachers, want students to know, understand and appreciate by the end of the unit. Examples that we've used in the past include:

Canadas climate is affected by a number of natural and human factors. Remnants of colonialism are still evident in the structure of the Canadian government. Women in Canada continue to experience sexism in the workplace. A major point in the evolution of Canada as an independent nation occurred during World War I. Race was constructed to explain differences in physical appearance, but associated meanings have also evolved which have been used to empower some and disempower others.

Composing an effective and workable Big Understanding can be difficult. It has to be vague enough to address multiple requirements from the curriculum but specific enough to give the unit focus and depth. The Big Understanding has to be broad enough to permit exploration of the complex layers of a topic yet narrow enough to be manageable for students at a given age and grade. Rarely can a teacher create a worthwhile Big Understanding on the first try. It usually takes several attempts and many consultations with the curriculum document to ensure that requirements are being met. To make the effort easier, here are a few suggestions to assist in creating effective and workable Big Understandings.

Keep the Big Understanding to one clear and succinct sentence if possible. Multi-sentence and long verbose statements with clauses increase the possibility of taking on more than can be managed within the time frame of the unit. Trying to do too much overwhelms students and undermines the point of it all being fully grasped.
Write the Big Understanding in language that is appropriate for the age and grade of the students to whom the unit is being taught. The Big Understanding will be shared with students so teachers can relate lessons throughout the unit to the Big Understanding. This cues students to the point of the unit and enables them to make meaningful connections as the unit progresses.
Include qualifying words (e.g., usually, often, almost) in the Big Understanding as appropriate. There are few generalizations that can be made that are always accurate and applicable to every context. The human aspect of social studies increases possibility of the exception. By avoiding absolute terms (e.g., always, every) teachers have latitude to note exceptions during lessons adding dimension to students' comprehension of the Big Understanding.
While not absolutely necessary, a way to highlight the generalizability of the Big Understanding is to compose a statement without specific reference to names (e.g., Louis Riel), places (e.g., Canada), dates (e.g., 1848 or the 15th century) and events (e.g., Russian Revolution). By making the point in general terms, teachers can explore the Big Understanding using the content they are required to teach while being free to introduce other content that is also applicable. Connections between here and there, then and now are made and meaningfulness and relevance are enhanced.

Big Understandings can and we believe should be composed for teacher-created units as well as units that are pre-made and adapted by teachers. In both cases, students benefit from knowing the key point of the unit exercise.

Step 4: Conclude the Unit

For many people it seems counter-intuitive to begin developing (or adapting) a unit by considering the conclusion. Yet when a traveller plans the route of a road trip s/he always notes the destination first because everything else is dependent on the successfully concluding the trip at that point. It is exactly the same for unit planning.

Wiggins and McTighe (1998) promote the concept of design down for unit and lesson development. By starting the plan at the end teachers know where students will be going and what they will have to teach for students to arrive prepared for assessment and evaluation. Remembering that the key to the entire unit is the Big Understanding, teachers begin by considering what form of summative assessment is most appropriate. Whatever form it takes, be it a historical re-enactment, piece of artwork, multi-media presentation or pencil and paper test, the results must evaluate students demonstration of their knowledge and comprehension of the Big Understanding. Further, teachers must consider the criteria to be used to judge the quality of student learning. By deliberating on these points, teachers can create (or adapt) a summative assessment strategy that is truly reflective of students understanding of the Big Understanding.

While it is not required, teachers can allow students to participate in decisions about the form of summative assessment to be used in the unit and the criteria by which the results will be judged. For example, teachers may allow students to decide between contributing work to a portfolio throughout a unit and selecting what they believe to be their best five pieces of work for final evaluation and writing an hour-long pencil and paper test in which students have the option of answering two of four questions. Allowing students to participate in decision-making processes is time consuming but as Schwartz and Pollishuke (2002) suggest it also infuses them with a sense of empowerment and control over their educational destiny while also helping to achieve educative goals such as the teaching of responsibility and critical thinking.

Step 5: Introduce the Unit

Once the end of the unit has been established teachers can turn their attention to the introduction. Save for the concluding lessons whereby the threads of the unit are brought together in a final reiteration of the Big Understanding, no other lesson is as important as the introduction. Here, teachers not only ignite student interest in the thematic topic often called the opener or hook, but also communicate important information about the unit. Teachers need to tell students: 1) how student learning will be assessed, 2) the criteria by which student demonstration of learning will be evaluated or judged, and 3) the Big Understanding statement.

The first two points have already been covered so well turn our attention to the third. As stated in Step 3, the Big Understanding must be written in age and grade appropriate language so that it can be communicated to students. Teachers may still have students engage in introductory activities such as pre-conception paintings or the creation of title pages in their binders, but we suggest that the Big Understanding be part of this process and be prominently displayed for reference throughout the course of the unit. After all, this is the important point we want students to know, understand and appreciate.

As part of introducing the Big Understanding and beginning to unpack what it means, time needs to be allocated early in the unit for exploring key concepts found in the statement itself. Concepts are ideas which we use to organize and understand the world. There are concrete concepts (i.e., pen, table, chair) and abstract concepts (i.e., love, nation, democracy). The meanings of a concept are dynamic, multi-layered and contextual. Hughes (2004), Wright (2001), Case (1999), Martorella (1991), and Taba, Drukin, Fraenkel and McNaughton (1971) among others have written extensively on concept development and instruction in social studies and we encourage teachers to consult their works.

To illustrate the point we are making, the following is a Big Understanding created for a grade twelve American history unit:

Official recognition of minority rights often involves individuals and groups challenging the accepted norms of society.

Here, it would be prudent for students to be guided through an exploration of the concepts of rights, particularly minority rights, and norms. In no way are we suggesting that by exploring key concepts in the Big Understanding, students will not already have some understanding of them. Indeed, we suspect grade twelve students would have some idea of what rights and norms are; but one cannot assume. Students may never have heard of either concept before or may have undeveloped or erroneous understandings. Taking time to explore the key concepts in a Big Understanding establishes a base line of understanding among all members of the class, deepens meaning and complexity for some, and provides an opportunity to relate the concepts to students experiences hence creating relevance for the entire enterprise.

Step 6: Build the Body of the Unit

We are ready to begin building the body of the unit. The lessons of the middle or body of the unit build on the introduction, scaffolding one on top of the other as they move toward the unit conclusion and summative evaluation. In addition, when deciding what to incorporate into the body of the unit a simple criterion is whether or not the focus of the lesson contributes to a greater awareness, comprehension and appreciation of the Big Understanding. Lessons and activities that do not enhance learning about the Big Understanding should not be included. This does not mean student queries that diverge somewhat from the lesson plan shouldnt be addressed if there is time teachable moments can and should be embraced wherever possible however, these should emerge organically from genuine student interest. Including lessons and activities into a unit whose primary feature is their entertainment value distracts from student appreciation and consideration of the overall message. Create or adapt a lesson that is fun and enhances learning about the Big Understanding.

Lastly, we would suggest that as the unit unfolds teachers explicitly relate individual lessons and activities to the Big Understanding. Guided questioning can help students make these connections for themselves and each other. Referencing of the Big Understanding cues students to the point of the unit and gradually prepares them to demonstrate their understanding of it when the time comes for summative evaluation.

Conclusion

At the outset we established that there are different types of units. One type, the thematic unit, has often been authored in less than exemplary fashion. We suggested steps to create or adapt thematic units that increase focus and make them meaningful for students.

Each teacher should take these suggestions and tailor them to the needs of students, individual teaching style and curriculum requirements. The steps, if implemented, should result in improved student interest and engagement. One can imagine that with limited scope and increased depth of study, the quality of questions asked, responses given, and engagement in activities undertaken will be vastly improved from the same found in thematic units that superficially teach, for example, a few facts about India or Captain Cooks explorations. That certainly has been our experience. Students may not recognize it but many of them will also feel a greater sense of security knowing what the point of the unit is, the form of summative evaluation being used and the criteria by which the results will be judged.

Meaningfulness grows and deepens over time. By creating opportunities to consider themselves, others and the world itself past, present and future through Big Understandings, students are better prepared to question, evaluate and debate thoughtfully and meaningfully. We, as educators, want to foster the growth of citizens who are self-actualized, learned, contributing members of global society. Small changes in our teaching practice and thus the learning experience of students puts us on the path to helping make this happen.

References

Case, R. (1999). Beyond Inert Facts and Concepts: Teaching for Understanding. In R. Case P. Clark. (Eds.), The Canadian Anthology of Social Studies: Issues and Strategies for Teachers. (Rev. ed., pp. 141-152). Vancouver, BC: Pacific Educational Press.

Case, R. (1999). Course, Unit and Lesson Planning. In R. Case P. Clark. (Eds.). The Canadian Anthology of Social Studies: Issues and Strategies for Teachers. (Rev. ed., pp. 289-308). Vancouver, BC: Pacific Educational Press.

Hughes, A. S. (2004). Getting the Idea: An Introduction to Concept Learning and Teaching in Social Studies. In A. Sears I. Wright. (Eds.). Challenges Prospects for Canadian Social Studies. (pp. 236-246). Vancouver, BC: Pacific Educational Press.

Kirman, J. (2002). Elementary Social Studies: Creative Classroom Ideas (3rd ed.). Toronto, ON: Prentice Hall.

Martorella, P. (1991). Knowledge and Concept Development in Social Studies. In J. Shaver. (Ed.). Handbook of Research on Social Studies Teaching and Learning. New York, NY: Macmillan.

Schwartz, S., Pollishuke, M. (2002). Creating the Dynamic Classroom: A Handbook for Teachers. Toronto, ON: Irwin Publishing Ltd.

Taba, H., Durkin, M., Fraenkel, J., McNaughton, A. (1971). A Teachers Handbook to Elementary Social Studies. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Wiggins, G. McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Wright, I. (2001). Elementary Social Studies: A Practical Approach to Teaching and Learning (5th ed.). Toronto, ON: Prentice-Hall.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

History from a Philosophic Perspective

Catherine Broom
Simon Fraser University

Abstract

One of the key components of Social Studies has always been history, yet many of us seldom explore what we mean by history. This paper delves into the meaning of history through an examination of Collingwoods work and a discussion of how we can incorporate twentieth century thought into his work. This paper aims, in Collingwoods words, to deepen understanding of our craft.

Philosophy of History: Collingwood

The philosophies of history of Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Polybius, St Augustine, Bodin, Vico, Herder, and Hegel (selections in Tillinghast, 1963) and Collingwood (1956) make clear that understanding history is not easy. The questions that have to be answered, such as for and of whom is it written and why, are philosophical ones. Most of these philosophers saw history from a religious viewpoint: they viewed its events as illustrating the unfolding of Providence, or Gods purpose. However, Collingwoods work (1956) illustrates the true meaning of history.

Collingwood argues that certain early accounts, such as in pre-Greek societies, or certain modern accounts, like those based on dividing societies into a number of epochs, such as Marxs, are not really history, as they shape facts to suit their larger theoretical frameworks. Rather, history is the re-enactment of past thought in the mind of a historian in order to answer a question about people in the past the historian has first articulated. It is the past living as thought in the conscious mind of a historian at the present time. Thought is self-conscious: it can be enacted in minds of different times and places, as opposed to that of a flow of consciousness which is based on particular and contextualized emotions.

Collingwood, additionally, explains that history is not positivism, or describing unfolding, progressive narratives. For example, in his chapter on Progress as created by Historical Thinking, (Collingwood, 1956) he describes a change occurring in a society of fishermen. He states this change can be seen as progressive or not depending on whether it led or did not lead to something better (Collingwood, 1956, p. 326). Knowledge gained by the historian allows him or her to comment on whether the changes occurring in a society are indeed progress, or improvement. Assuming a progressively developing society, as many nineteenth century historians believed their own societies to be, is flawed thinking. For a change may be primarily positive or negative for a group of people. We can determine whether a change is positive or not by re-enacting in our own minds the society before and after the change and then seeing whether the new one indeed led to new solutions that solved both the problems the old thought was able to solve as well the problems it could not solve (Collingwood, 1956, p. 326).

Collingwoods greatest insight may be that the re-enactment of thought allows us to understand ourselves better, to consider what it means to be human:

History is for human self-knowledge. It is generally thought to be of importance to man that he should know himself: where knowing himself means knowing not his merely personal peculiarities, the things that distinguish him from other men, but his nature as man. Knowing yourself means knowing, first, what it is to be a man; secondly, knowing what it is to be the kind of man you are and nobody else is. Knowing yourself means knowing what you can do; and since nobody knows what he can do until he tries, the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is. (Collingwood, 1956, p. 10)

Collingwood describes history as an art and a science. It is an art, as it requires creativity and imagination. From ancient times, history was seen as a narrative, or story, but one that aimed to provide a truthful account of the world, as opposed to the narrative of poetry. (At that time, some writers did think it possible to comment truthfully factually on a situation.) The historian, as well, requires imagination, as he or she must be able to recreate within her or his own mind the thoughts of historical figures, extrapolate missing information, and judge the truthfulness of evidence, from his or her own perspective (Collingwood, 1956, p. 240). This historical imagination is self-explanatory, self-justifying, the product of an autonomous or self-authorizing activity (Collingwood, 1956, p. 246).

History is also a science, as knowledge is constructed inductively and based on evidence, which is used to reconstruct the thought and determine its meaning. History is, in fact, derived from a Greek word meaning research or inquiry. This is differentiated from positivistic history, harshly criticised by Collingwood (Collingwood, 1956, p. 128). This latter form is history written as if historical facts are identical to the causal laws of nature. Thus, the historian shapes the facts he or she accumulates into causes and effects and views history as a progressive unfolding of events to the present. For example, Hegel (in Tillinghast, 1963) argues that history was the logical process of the self-development of reason or Spirit dialectically developed. Yet, historical events do not sequentially cause other things to happen, like the toppling of dominoes. Rather, changes grow out of previous changes; they integrate previous thought and events. History is a holistic process of integration and growth, not an evolution of dissected causes and events. The latter is a fiction of a historian who does not consider the complete context and comprehensive nature of all events. Kaestle explains this as the confusion of correlations and associations with causes (quoted in McCulloch and Richardson, 2000, p. 123). History doesnt teach lessons; it deepens understanding by deepening our knowledge of what has been.

History is not a scissors and paste activity, which was a common approach until the seventeenth century. The former involved collecting the comments of historical authorities into narratives, without analysis as to their veracity on the part of the historian. The correct methodology of the genuine historian was developed after the seventeenth century, according to Collingwood, with the Scientific Revolution. Firstly, like a good scientist, the historian must define a question or historical problem, to be solved through the study of historical evidence. This question leads to inquiry that results in a narrative which, must be localized in space and timeconsistent with itself (Collingwood, 1956, p. 246) and related to its evidence. Further, unlike the scissors and paste pseudo-historian, the bona fide historian must critically evaluate all evidence, which can include written accounts as well as material evidence so as to determine validity and reliability.

Collingwood makes reference to a number of important philosophers of history, in particular, Croce. The latter argued that history narrated truth and was the only real knowledge: all events I can perceive up to the very moment I am now in are historical. The sentence I have just completed is at this moment itself now past knowledge. In other words, the only true knowledge has been (Collingwood, 1956, p. 197) and reality consists of concepts or universals embodied in particular facts (Collingwood, 1956, p. 197). He went on to argue that, accordingly, the role of philosophy was to serve as the methodology of history:

It was in Croces work of 1912 and 1913 that these ideas were fully worked out. In that work we find not only a complete expression of the autonomy of history, but also a double demonstration of its necessity: its necessity relatively to philosophy as the concrete thought of which philosophy is only the methodological moment, and its necessity relatively to science, as the source of all 'scientific facts' a phase which only means those historical facts which the scientist arranges into classes (Collingwood, 1956, p. 202).

Croce saw history as, self-knowledge of the living mind (in Collingwood, 1956, p. 202). To Collingwood, it was a synthesis of evidence balanced by criticism, a process of coming to understand ourselves (Collingwood, 1956, p. 219).

History and Philosophy: Twentieth Century

Throughout the twentieth century, philosophical trends have problematized knowledge. Unlike Collingwood, who believed that it was possible to have a truthful narrative of the past, postmodern, twentieth century thinkers, well illustrated in the work of Lacan (Usher and Edwards, 1994) and Foucault (1965, 1980, 1981, 1995), have argued that knowledge is itself a construct. Even the concept of time itself is described as constructed or relative. Further, a focus on science and the rise of social sciences' understanding of the link between the researcher and his or her context has brought many criticisms to bear on history as imaginary elaboration (Barthes, 1981). These thinkers, however, have not destroyed history; they have helped to make it conscious of itself. They have exploded the idea of a single, universal narrative and opened the way for many narratives and many forms of knowledge, thus, in fact, expanding the possibilities, types, and conceptualizations of history. Freed from constraints, many new types of history, such as womens and post-colonial histories, have flourished, enriching our understanding in new ways.

Additionally, McCulloch and Richardson (2000) describe a split between the disciplines of History and of Education throughout the early twentieth century, as historians criticized the present-minded focus of historians of education. However, as historians have become increasingly self-aware through historiography, as historical study has expanded in new directions, particularly into social history, and as forms of historical analysis, such as oral history, have developed, a bridge between the two subjects has formed. McCulloch and Richardson explain: we have suggested that these separate traditions are now in the process of breaking down and converging, and that this offers considerable potential for helping historians of education with their most complex task that of understanding the reciprocal relation of education and society in different places and in different eras (McCulloch and Richardson, 2000, p. 50). The answer lies in critical self-awareness and an analysis of one's study. Historians of education should, in words quoted from well-known historian Kaestle, discard old assumptions, try new techniques, and attempt to meet more rigorous standards of evidence and argument (quoted in McCulloch and Richardson, 2000, p. 49).

Social sciences such as sociology, anthropology and geography, McCulloch and Richardson add, provide tools, perspectives and areas of research for the historian. However, they need to be analyzed critically, for a researcher runs the risk of finding in historical study what supports his or her informing theory. These social sciences provide theories and tools that enhance study, but they need to be considered critically: These influences [social scientific] greatly enrich the study of educational history. Yet, at the same time, they raise difficult problems of historical interpretation and contextualization, the tackling of which involves critical and sceptical engagement with theory rather than its straightforward and unquestioning application (McCulloch and Richardson, 2000, p. 78). Debates over the meaning of history range beyond those of its relations with the social sciences, as illustrated in a discussion of debates in Canada.

Current Debate among Canadian Historians

Much deliberation and interest in history has erupted in Canada recently due to concerns about citizenship and national identity (Osborne, 2003). One group argues that well told historical stories are particularly powerful in creating a common consciousness. For example, Granatstein (1998) states that history should be used to create a common Canadian identity through the teaching of one nation-building story based primarily in political history. Sometimes called conservatives in the United States, supporters of this view use (by choosing particular facts and omitting others and blending them into a heart-warming story) history to develop a common identity. They often eschew a focus on varied identities, multiculturalism, and history as investigation. For example:

there is a certain content relating to the history of the Canadian nation of Canadian people or Canadian peoples that ought to be taughtIf we are to have a country, Canada, if we are to teach something that's called Canadian history, our content has to be the public events of our common history, as well as some of the varieties of the private events. It is not being super-nationalistic or excessively patriotic to suggest that our sense of ourselves, especially our sense of where we have come from, is fundamental to our civic sense. (Bliss, 2002)

Others, such as Seixas (2002) and Osborne (1985), maintain that history should not be used in such an indoctrinating manner that teaches students constructed myths with the aim of creating a common identity. Rather, history should be used to teach students historical consciousness, a critical awareness of history: students need guided opportunities to confront conflicting accounts, various meanings, and multiple interpretations of the past, because these are exactly what they will encounter outside of school, and they need to learn to deal with them (Seixas, 2002). This group supports the teaching of history as an academic discipline. Students should learn to question historical facts. They should be exposed to conflicting accounts of history and required to interpret these. In so doing, students will develop their investigative, interpretive, and analytic skills. Students should not be told a simple, patriotic story, for identity is not seen to reside in a common, nation-building narrative. Rather, the aim is to use history to create awareness of the danger of history used for particular purposes. These historians embrace a number of varied histories, particularly social history. In the words of Osborne (1985):

Indeed, the holders of power, past and present, have well understood the potential of history. They have used it and still use it to justify and glorify their position. History constantly runs the risk of being turned into propaganda J. J. Plumb's (1973) distinction between the past and history is worth noting. He argues that the past is what man has used to justify and rationalize the present, whereas history tries to see things as they really were and thus the critical historical process has helped to weaken the past, for by its very nature it dissolves those simple, structural generalizations by which our forefathers interpreted the purpose of life. Thus history should be not propaganda, but counter-propaganda. (p. 54)

Combining the Threads: Philosophy of History for Today's World

As Jordanova (2000) and Collingwood articulate, history is a holistic subject: it is both an art and a science, although these two elements are blended into a unique form of inquiry (Oakeshott, 1989). It is a science, as it is a process of conducting research using historical sources in order to enlighten a historian and his or her readers on a problem or issue visible in contemporary society. It is an art, for it requires interpretation. It involves a continuous process of interaction between the historian and his [sic] facts, an unending dialogue between the present and the past (Carr, 1961, p. 30). In Collingwoods words, it provides us with a deepened understanding, explained in the historian's story-like, yet fact-based, narrative. Many eminent scholars and writers have understood this, including Acton (1906) who wrote, the study of history strengthens, and straightens, and extends the mind. However, twentieth century thought understands knowledge itself to be a construct. Therefore, a narrative cannot now be called truth: it is always an interpretation, or an explanation (Jordanova, 2000), of selected past events, which nevertheless, can still inform. In the words of Carr (1961), History means interpretation (p. 23). This interpretation is based on the historian's own experience (Oakeshott, 1989).1 It can be extended with the use of social science theories in interpreting data that provide new insights, approaches and lenses, although these should be used self-consciously.

Additionally, as Canadian historians such as Seixas (2002) and Osborne (1985) write, History should be counter-propaganda. While history can play a part in shaping a people's common consciousness by providing a context to peoples understanding of themselves and their nation, it should not be used as propaganda: an account of the past that both builds a complex, multilayered identity and develops an informed and critical awareness is possible.2 For example, rather than simply teaching students that building the CPR was a grand, heroic endeavour that developed the Canadian nation, students should explore its multiple stories: the exploitation of Chinese workers, the conflicts over its building, the political tensions and battles over its expense, the biographies of some of those involved in its construction. Similarly, rather than paint a rosy picture of Confederation as birthing Canada, students should learn of the political conflicts and turmoil involved, of the opposition to it by certain groups, of the lethargy to it by others, of its exclusionary nature, of the odd personality and heavy drinking of Macdonald.

I recall being taught the false, mythic version of Canadian history in school and then realising that it was false, when I read Francis (1997). His book explodes the myths such as of the CPR, of the RCMP, of the Master Race, of unity, of Heroism, of Wilderness, and of the North I had been taught. He provides historical facts that counter these common nation-building narratives as a way of demonstrating how history (through Social Studies) in high schools is taught in ways that aim to create a particular national identity, a specific collective memory. For example, he explains that the RCMP were often not the grand defenders of the Northwest they were alleged to be. Rather, they were involved in a number of brutal and repressive actions towards workers, such as at the Winnipeg General Strike. My first reaction was one of resentment: I had been duped, sold a story, not really taught to think, to question, to see in a new light.3 What type of students will graduate from our high schools if we do not have our students reflect on what has been? Teaching nation-building narratives implies passivity on the part of students. Students should contemplate the events they study, rather than simply accept everything they are told. Historical consciousness implies specific objectives as does the teaching of a common consciousness, but the former aims at developing reflective thought, critical awareness and questioning and the latter aims at killing individual thought and questioning and developing mindless robots supportive of the status quo.

The aim of good history writing is deepened understanding, which can lead to new perspectives that result in change, when well and powerfully told, as so many philosophers including Collingwood and Foucault, who called it generating new genealogies have understood. In addition, historians in Canada are often divided into two camps: those who support a traditional, political-based narrative, such as Granatstein, and mostly younger or new historians, who focus on social history, non-political history, the boundaries of traditional histories, and those groups excluded or marginalized in earlier histories (Osborne, 2003; Axelrod, 1996). History includes both, for the two are necessary for fully exploring the past. All historians have one shared belief: they understand the power of historical accounts to influence both individuals and society and to deepen understanding, as Collingwood (1956) wrote, of ourselves.

End Notes

1I see a fact as a nugget of information, verifiable from a number of sources. For example, the establishment of the dominion of Canada in 1867 is a fact. A narrative contains facts. However, as these facts are digested, ordered, and interpreted by the historian and then structured into a written framework, a narrative is an interpretation. The latter term signifies, to me, an understanding of a situation, event, or object arrived at by the historian. It is a theoretical construct, a possible answer, a viewpoint on a historical occurrence.

2Learning History is always linked to identity formation, but it can still be taught critically and expansively. This process will create a better, more informed, and self-conscious identity.

3This type of History teaching is propaganda, as is the soviet. To quote Wertsch (2002): As analysts such as Anthony Smith (1991) have noted, of crucial importance to efforts to build and maintain national identity are compulsory, standardized, public mass education systems, through which state authorities hope to inculcate national devotion and a distinctive, homogenous culture (p. 16). Many aspects of formal education undoubtedly contribute to this socialization effort (p. 70). In a liberal, democratic state, the government should have more respect for the intelligence and freedom of its people. Further, historians, such as Granatstein (1998), who argue for the teaching of a unified, mythic account based a few, narrow historical personages and events are wrong: excluding large groups of individuals including women and other ethnicities from a historical account is not going to create unity. Rather, it will create feelings of alienation and exclusion, and many will simply tune out. As Osborne (2003) wrote, students are not listening (p. 597); or in the words of Wertsch, they may master the story if forced to, but they will not appropriate it. A broad, expansive history that includes debate and discussion about events and personages in the past and shapes a cultivated intelligence will be far more captivating and valuable.

References

Acton, L. (1906). Inaugural lecture on the study of history. Retrieved September 15, 2005 from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1906acton.html.

Barthes, R. (1981). The discourse of history. Retrieved September 15, 2005 from http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/pcraddoc/barthes.htm.

Bliss, M. (2002). Teaching Canadian national history. Canadian Social Studies, 36(2). Retrieved July 11th, 2006 from http://www.quasar.ualberta.ca/Css/Css_36_2/ARteaching_canadian_national_....

Carr, E. (1961). What is history. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin.

Collingwood, R. G. (1956). The idea of history. New York: Galaxy.

Francis, D. (1997). National dreams myth, memory, and Canadian history. Vancouver, BC, Canada: Arsenal Pulp Press

Foucault, M. (1965). Madness civilization. New York: Pantheon Books.

Foucault, M. (1980). Power/Knowledge Selected Interviews Other Writings 1972-1977 ( Ed. C Gordon).. New York: Pantheon Books.

Foucault, M. (1981). History of Sexuality 1. London: Penguin.

Foucault, M. (1995). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. New York: Vintage Books.

Granatstein, J. (1998). Who killed Canadian History. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: HarperCollins.

Jordanova, L. (2000). History in practice. London: Arnold.

McCulloch, G., Richardson, W. (2000). Historical research in educational settings. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.

Oakeshott, M. (1989). The voice of liberal learning. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.

Osborne, K. (1985). In defence of history. In Eds. J. Parsons et al. A Canadian Social Studies (pp. 55-69). Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Faculty of Education Publication Services.

Osborne, K. (2003). Teaching history in schools: A Canadian debate. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 35(5), 585-626.

Seixas, P. (2002). The purposes of teaching Canadian history. Canadian Social Studies, 36(2). Retrieved July 11th, 2006 from: http://www.quasar.ualberta.ca/Css/Css_36_2/ARpurposes_teaching_canadian_....

Tillinghast, P. (1963). Approaches to history selections in the philosophy of history from the Greeks to Hegel. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Usher, R., and Edwards, R. (1994). Postmodernism and education. London: Routledge.

Wertsch, J. (2002). Voices of collective remembering. Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Mary J. Anderson (Ed.). 2004.

The Life Writings of Mary Baker McQuesten, Victorian Matriarch.

Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier University Press. Pp. 337, $55.00, hardcover.
ISBN 0-88920-437-3
website: http://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/

Penney Clark
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia


This fascinating book traces the both ordinary and extraordinary life story of Victorian matriarch, Mary Baker McQuesten (1849-1934). It is part of the life writing series published by Wilfred Laurier University Press, which is intended to promote autobiographical accounts, diaries, letters and testimonials written and/or told by women and men whose political, literary, or philosophical purposes are central to their lives (ii).

Editor, Mary J. Anderson has divided the book into four parts. Pa5rt One is a biography of Mary Baker McQuesten. Part Two describes her work with the Presbyterian Missionary Societies and includes selections from her Missionary Society Addresses. Part Three situates this family story within a broader narrative of Victorian middle-class urban life in Canada. The final section, which is the most lengthy by far, is a collection of primary source materials: selections from the collection of 1000 letters extant in Mary Baker McQuestens hand, her eulogy, and excerpts from her will. There are also extensive and scholarly footnotes. The written text is accompanied by a charming collection of family photographs, including several of Whitehern, the family home in Hamilton, Ontario.

The editor deliberately sets out to make her task transparent, describing her discovery of the source materials and decisions she made as she used them to construct her account. The letters in this collection are unusual in that they seem to have been consciously written with posterity in mind. After they circulated among family members, they were collected and carefully stored. The letters and other papers, as well as the family home, were bequeathed to the city of Hamilton in 1968 by Marys last surviving child, Calvin, so that everyone may enjoythe beautiful rooms of Whitehern and eat their lunches in its pleasant garden (67). The home is now a museum and archives. The editor notes that it is a virtual time capsule because little beyond the essentials was changed after the family became impoverished in 1888. Even the garden has been maintained in its 1930s state, when Marys son Tom undertook a major landscaping project.

Whitehern was the family home for 116 years. The stately home was purchased by Dr. Calvin McQuesten, a wealthy industrialist, in 1852. The following year, Mary Baker married Calvin McQuestens son, Isaac. Isaac was a successful lawyer and received a large inheritance, which included Whitehern, at his fathers death in 1885. However, at the time of Isaacs own death three years later, of an apparent suicide, he was bankrupt. At his death, thirty-eight year old Mary and their six living children, who were between the ages of fourteen and three, went abruptly from wealth and ease to genteel poverty. Fortunately, the house had been placed in trust for Mary and she and the children were able to remain living in it. The family state of genteel poverty continued for twenty years.

As the editor points out, the most vital recurring themes in her writings are those of family finances, health, education, the Presbyterian missionary societies, and Victorian society and culture (52). She adds they also reveal the gradual development of the character of Mary Baker McQuesten from a privileged young matron into a powerful matriarch and a forceful social activist (52). Mary was very active in the public sphere, assuming executive positions in Womens Missionary Societies and traveling throughout Ontario and the western provinces to establish auxiliaries or to inspect missions. She was also a member of the National Council of Women and was instrumental in the establishment of a local chapter of the Young Womens Christian Association (YWCA).

Marys six children did not marry. The two eldest daughters, Mary and Hilda, lived out their days caring for home and family. Older son, Calvin, spent most of his working life as a semi-volunteer chaplain at the Hamilton Mountain Sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis. He suffered from what seems to have been an inherited family tendency toward mental depression. Daughter, Ruby, worked as a teacher long enough for her brother, Tom, to complete school with her financial assistance. She then succumbed to tuberculosis and spent much of her time in sanatoriums until her death at age thirty-two. Edna had several mental breakdowns, eventually receiving shock treatments and a partial lobotomy. Second son, Tom, blessed with energy and good health, became a successful lawyer and well respected politician, honoured for his active participation in the city beautiful movement. Among his lasting accomplishments are his substantial involvement in the relocation of McMaster University to Hamilton, the building of the Niagara Parkway and Parks system, and the rebuilding of several forts in the Niagara peninsula.

As a reader, I confess that I was unable to arouse as much sympathy toward Mary Baker McQuesten as the editor seemed to have. There is no doubt that she was a loving mother and an intelligent woman with indomitable courage. She contributed both within her own family circle and to the larger society. However, as I read, I puzzled about her children, who, with the possible exception of her younger son, Tom, led curiously thwarted lives. There is no doubt that only the cruel hand of fate can be blamed for a part of this outcome. However, it is intriguing to contemplate the role that Mary played in their lives. For example, given the archival information with which Anderson acquaints us, there can be no question that she intervened in the romances of daughters, Hilda and Ruby, and son, Tom. I also could not help think about her two eldest daughters and how they spent their lives running the household. In fact, it was their support in the domestic sphere that allowed their mother to engage so enthusiastically in the public domain. She apparently made a deliberate decision, upon her husbands untimely death, that this was the way it was going to be, and so it was. She ran her adult childrens lives down to the most minute details; even advising her adult son, Calvin to rub the [toilet] seat as hard as possible with paper (170) when forced to use public washrooms. On one occasion, she wrote to her son, Tom, we pray God that he will mercifully spare you as long as my life lasts adding as an afterthought, That sounds selfish does it not? (202). Perhaps it does, just a little.

Mary J. Anderson might have been bolder in her interpretations of the wealth of sources available to her. For example, she comments that the mystery of why none of the children were married must be left to the readers judgment (51-52). Since she is the one who has spent time with the primary sources, it seems reasonable to expect that she could be more insightful on this question than her readers.

The book is complemented by a website, the Whitehern Museum Archives (www.whitehern.ca). At this time, the website contains a searchable database of nearly 2000 letters (and will eventually have 3000), 200 photographs, essays, newspaper articles, and sermons; detailed timelines; analysis and commentary based on Mary J. Andersons doctoral thesis; and information about Whitehern itself.

The book, the website, and the home are treasure troves of primary source material for teachers and students interested in womens or family history, upper middle-class urban life in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, Presbyterian Missionary Societies, or even medical history, in Canada. Because the editor makes her work so transparent, the book offers a helpful glimpse of how one can go about working with primary source materials to weave a coherent and well supported narrative.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Roderick MacLeod & Mary Anne Poutanen. 2004.

A Meeting of the People: School Boards and Protestant Communities in Quebec, 1801-1998.

Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press. Pp. 507, $25.95, hpaper.
ISBN 0-7735-2742-7
website: http://mqup.mcgill.ca/

Larry A. Glassford
University of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario


In 1998 a major reform measure, Bill 180, took effect in the province of Quebec, reorganizing its school system from a religious to a linguistic basis. Instead of dual systems based on Catholic and Protestant, the new arrangement would feature a division based on French and English. So fundamental was the switch that it required, in addition to passage of the bill in Quebecs National Assembly, the approval of a constitutional amendment by the Canadian Parliament. Both legislatures endorsed the measure on a bipartisan basis by healthy margins, but one significant interest group did not form part of the supportive consensus. The Quebec Association of Protestant School Boards, reluctant to surrender an historic constitutional guarantee of minority school rights, launched a court challenge against the new law. Though ultimately unsuccessful, it made the point that not everyone with a stake in the issue accepted the modernist assumption that organizing (and dividing) Quebecs schools along religious lines had become outdated.

What was the essence of the Quebec Protestant school system? This is the fundamental question addressed by the authors in their scholarly treatment of developments over the past two centuries. They are at pains to emphasize that it was more than a thinly disguised vehicle to perpetuate narrowly religious biases arising out of Anglican and Calvinist worldviews. They do point out that Quebecs Protestant school system owed much to the local school governance traditions of New England, and the Scottish emphasis on universal literacy, given the predominance of early settlers from these two geographic areas in the anglophone community. However, although most of the provinces francophones were Roman Catholic, and the largest number of anglophones were Protestant, the emergence in the 19th century of a sizeable English-speaking community of Irish Catholics prevented any complete identification of language with religion. Furthermore, the existence of French Protestants of Huguenot and Swiss ancestry, though less numerous, completed the picture of complexity in the provinces school system. Thus, in the authors view, the fundamental essence of Protestant education in Quebec was a belief in public, non-sectarian and liberal education, as opposed to the conservative, parish-oriented and religiously-based instruction favoured in the opposing Catholic school system.

A parallel theme of great importance to MacLeod and Poutanen is the close identification by scattered rural communities of Protestants with their local schools. Whereas in sections of Montreal and its suburbs, anglophone Protestants often formed the majority in their districts, for Protestants in the rest of the province, minority existence was a fact of life, even in the Eastern Townships by the turn of the 20th century. The elementary school, with its elected board, represented an important community focal point. Often these schools owed their existence to local initiative, since the first schools to be established, in most parts of the province, were French and Catholic. Keeping them up and running through hard times, rural depopulation and Protestant out-migration was an ongoing struggle. It was with mixed feelings that many Protestant communities acquiesced in the loss of their local schoolhouse to larger consolidated schools by the mid 20th century. The gains in educational quality, as measured by modern facilities and single grade classrooms, could not disguise the very real loss of community associated with school centralization. Protestant parents opted for greater opportunity for their children arising from larger modernized schools, but in so doing they removed one of the institutional props supporting their minority communities. It was not an unmixed blessing.

One of the many virtues of this book is that the authors are aware of the main currents of thought in Canadian educational history, and self-consciously position their own interpretation within the mix of approaches. They are aware of the main tenets of the social control model, but are not persuaded that it offers the best set of tools for their work. While others have written histories of school systems from a metropolitan perspective, their own bias is in favour of the local school districts. In part, this is owing to their main sources of new information about Quebec schooling: namely, the carefully preserved records of Protestant school boards from across the province. The legislated termination of Protestant schools in 1998 presented an opportunity to tell a story with an obvious end point, based on two centuries of accumulated sources. 1801 was chosen as the starting point, because it marked the creation of the first public school board in Quebec, the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning. With a wealth of local school records at their disposal, MacLeod and Poutanen find that the characterization of parents and boards as tending to oppose needed reforms and progressive initiatives is well wide of the mark. What previous historians under emphasized, with their reliance on reports by Montreal-based school inspectors and other elite figures, were the very real hardships faced by local boards in providing adequate facilities and competitive teacher salaries, in the face of rural poverty and sparse populations. Far from downgrading the importance of education, parents and boards were proud of their schools and the achievements of their students, and continually sacrificed time and scarce funds to keep the schoolhouses open.

Only in the final chapters do the authors lose some of their even-handedness, as they confront the apparent hostility of francophone Quebec nationalism toward a school system which had drawn Jews, Greek Orthodox and other non-Protestant immigrant groups into its orbit. It is evident that MacLeod and Poutanen regard the apparent victory for liberalism of a school system based on languages rather than religions as a pyrrhic one. The growth of a massive educational bureaucracy in Quebec City, coupled with the loss of constitutional protection for a separate, yet publicly-funded, school system, has placed anglophone minority schools at the mercy of the francophone majority. While this book celebrates two centuries of achievement, it faces the future with obvious trepidation.

Along the way, the reader is treated to nearly 100 period photographs, 13 statistical tables, and 24 maps. Moving anecdotes of specific communities and individuals are skilfully blended with a penetrating overview that includes even the school experiences of the Cree and Inuit peoples in northern Quebec. The tone is authoritative, and deservedly so. If you can find a better treatment of Protestant schools in Quebec, buy it.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Ken Plummer. 2003.

Intimate Citizenship: Private Decisions and Public Dialogues.

Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press. Pp. 187, $27.95, softcover.
ISBN 0-7735-2657-9
website: http://mqup.mcgill.ca/

Todd Horton
Nipissing University
North Bay, Ontario


Ken Plummer, a distinguished scholar of social interaction and human sexuality, has written a fine synoptical book (p. xi) that examines the realm of intimacy and the conflicts the intimate problems to which these changes constantly give rise (p. back cover). Citing turn of the millennium issues such as solo parenting, invitro ferlization, surrogate mothers, gay and lesbian families, cloning and the prospect of designer babies, Viagra and the morning-after pill, HIV/AIDS, the global porn industry, on-line dating services and virtual sex, Plummer argues that dramatic changes in our intimate lives have increasingly bound private decisions to public dialogues in law, medicine and the media. He further asserts this requires a notion of intimate citizenship (p. 50), a sensitizing, open and suggestive concept to be used in the provisional quest of exploring the nature of social change and intimacies (p. 15).

This book is a valuable addition to the growing list of books engaged in unpacking somewhat stodgy concepts like citizenship and identity and repackaging them in new, exciting and dynamic ways. While admittedly brief, Intimate Citizenship does offer a good quality synopsis of current perspectives and expertly crafts a paradigm for analysis that is sure to stimulate conversation about where to go next. Almost certainly written for students in post-secondary education and scholars in the fields of sociology, political theory and cultural studies, the book is readerly enough to be used in secondary school, albeit in excerpt form, to initiate discussion and extend perspectives.

The book is divided into nine chapters, written as an interconnected whole that builds an argument. This is followed by reference notes and an extensive bibliography. It should be stated that at the beginning of each chapter several quotes, often as many as five or six, from authors to activists, are used to foreshadow the discussion(s) to follow. While some may find the quotes distracting and perhaps a bit bombastic, they provide an indication of the perspectives that permeate the discourses within and across the vibrant field of citizenship.

Chapter One, Intimate Troubles, is an appropriate title as Plummer lays out a series of issues and choices facing people at the dawn of the 21st century. He frames the discussion around the question how do we live and how should we live our lives in an emerging late modern world? (p. 7) and offers a conceptualization of the Intimate Citizenship Project (p. 13) that uses zones of intimacies such as self, gender, identity and spirituality to explore:

the decisions people have to make over the control (or not) over ones body, feelings, relationships; access (or not) to representations, relationships, public spaces, etc.; and social grounded choices (or not) about identities, gender experiences, erotic experiences (p. 14).

Chapter Two, titled Postmodern Intimacies: New Lives in a Late Modern World, expertly examines intimate troubles in more detail while chapter three, Culture Wars and Contested Intimacies delves into the ways that change brings with it dissent. It is in chapter four that Plummer outlines the core organizing concept of the book.

Entitled The New Theories of Citizenship, Chapter Four is designed to help us navigate our way through the tangled web of conflicts that now surround our personal lives (p. 49) and to a large degree it is successful, though it must be added that brevity does occasionally work against clear sailing toward his new conceptualization. Plummer begins by offering an overview of two concepts: citizenship and identity, which he believes are really about difference and unity. Moving on to new citizenships (p. 51), he focuses on the works of T. H. Marshall, the British sociologist who outlined three clusters of citizenship rights civil, political and social to which all members of a community are entitled. While Plummer does outline many of the criticisms that have been lodged against Marshalls post-WWII work, he rushes through these to get to the main point of the section that the post-structuralist approach is the most fruitful starting point in which to develop newer ideas of citizenship, including intimate citizenship. Indeed, the reader may be left with the feeling that dwelling a little longer with the myriad of authors working in the post-Marshallian field might have made arriving at the destination a little more compelling.

Chapter Four continues by outlining the issue of boundaries and exclusions (p. 53), suggesting that in any framework of citizenship runs the risk of being critiqued as to who is inside and who is outside, who is included and who is excluded, both within and across social worlds (p. 55). A proposed solution is to further develop Ruth Listers idea of a differentiated universalism (p. 55) whereby boundaries are present but shift and sway in addition to becoming more porous. After a brief but worthwhile examination of natural rights, the state, society and inequality, as well as obligations relative to rights, and identity, Plummer pauses to pay homage to the work of authors who have extended citizenship to include feminist and sexual citizenships before adeptly using all of the discussions that have come before to outline a workable, if tentative, account of the issues critical to a new intimate citizenship (pp. 65-66). Among the issues addressed is a key theme that Plummer returns to again and again that citizenship must always be sensitive to the whole panoply of inequalities - of the problem of just citizenship in an unjust society (p. 66).

Four themes provide the details of intimate citizenship in the next four chapters. Chapter Five examines Public Intimacies, Private Citizens and the ways the public sphere is being radically redrawn in the 21st century, while Chapter Six, Dialogic Citizenship, embraces the crucial role of pluralism and conflict along with the need for dialogue across opposing positions. Chapter Seven, Stories and the Grounded Moralities of Everyday Life, is particularly rich, peppered as it is with excerpts of arguments from writers such as Alasdair MacIntyre, Martha Nussbaum, Carol Gilligan, Richard Rorty and Maria Pia Lara who support, in one form or another, Plummers belief in the importance of listening to the voices of citizens as we struggle to resolve ethical dilemmas in our daily lives. Chapter Eight, entitled Globalizing Intimate Citizenship, explores the ways many of these issues now figure on the global stage and within global fora.

The book concludes with Chapter Nines The Intimate Citizenship Project, an attempt to develop a paradigm for analysis. Having spent much of the book cataloguing issues around intimacies, Plummer does an admirable job of pulling the threads of many arguments together to present an eight-point series of concerns for an intimate citizenship (pp. 140-142) as it moves forward. These concerns are focused around questions that 21st century theorists in the area of citizenship must grapple if the field is to grow in a legally, politically and socially just manner.

The author also demonstrates the proper amount of humility when he states that his work tends to raise more questions than it answers (p. 142) and acknowledges that it can be criticized from a number of different directions including the creeping return of the meta-narrative, the need for further detail, a western bias in the conception of rights and a certain nave optimism or utopianism. Still, his closing section situates the intimate citizenship project within the ongoing effort to eliminate inequalities in the world suggesting a reasonableness and sense of proportion for the task at hand and the challenges ahead. As Plummer states:

intimacies are lodged in worldwide inequalities of class, gender, age, race and the like. These inequalities structure on a daily basis the debasement and degradation, the patterns of exclusion and marginalization, the sense of powerlessness that, in one way or another, many people experience as the inevitable backdrop of ordinary intimacies. Cutting across my entire book is a persistent need to return to these issues (p. 145).

This positioning is elevated by the final section in the book, Moving On: Learning to Listen, where he entreats the reader to consider familiar words citizenship, identity, community, public sphere, morality and ethics not as tight words, defined, fixed, with established boundaries but as open, polyvocal, flexible, porous and interwoven (p. 145). This means accepting that there are no simple solutions to how to live life and embracing the permanently unsettled state (p. 145) which is our future. For those who can only envision anarchistic chaos, relativist vacuums or tribal wars emanating from his paradigmatic positioning, Plummer concludes on a note of hope, suggesting that we must listen to one anothers stories of how to make our way through the moral tangles of today (p. 145) because it is there that virtue is re/constructed, morality is debated, ethical dilemmas are re/solved and the common values that hold humanity together (p. 146) are re/discovered.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Robert Gardner, Jim Parsons and Lynn Zwicky. 2003.

Stories of the Century: World History from 1900 to 2000.

Edmonton AB: Duval House Publishing. Pp. 256, $49.95, hardcover.
ISBN 1-55220-294-1
website: http://www.duvaleducation.com/

Todd Horton
Nipissing University
North Bay, Ontario


According to the Duval House website, this textbook was written as a comprehensive history to fit the Alberta Social Studies 33 Global Interaction: The 20th Century and Today curriculum. Stories of the Century: World History from 1900 to 2000 does indeed cover the customary highlights expected of most 20th century social studies and history courses taught in Canadian schools, but it is not as comprehensive as it could be.

Authors Gardner, Parsons and Zwicky chose an interesting array of photographs to include on the cover of the book. A few are of people who have had an extraordinary impact on the 20th century N elson Mandela, Lester B. Pearson at the United Nations, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and Mahatma Ghandi in India. However most of the photographs are of ordinary people facing the challenges of their lives a group of aboriginal children playing orchestral instruments, soldiers in a World War I trench, a Vietnamese mother carrying a child on her back against the backdrop of a military tank, a crowd marching in support of Vicente Fox in Mexico and a weary Chilean woman with the picture of her missing son hanging from her neck. The juxtaposition of ordinary and extraordinary people illustrates how macro and micro events intertwine, each impacting the other. This is most clearly evident in the large cover photograph of a young man, probably from the former Soviet Union, holding a placard of Vladimir Lenin with an X through the image while a massive billboard of Lenin stands behind him. Lenins rise to prominence was one of the macro events that transpired during the early 20th century but this mans protest of his legacy is occurring on the street, at the micro event level, perhaps helping to precipitate the fall of the Soviet Union in the waning years of the century. Students historical understanding would benefit greatly from an examination of this combination of photographs.

Early in the textbook the authors attempt to establish the perspectives from which they have written this history. The first perspective is chronological. Though historians may quibble about when the century actually began and ended (see the discussion of Lukacks, Hobsbawms and Fukuyamas views on page 3), it is difficult to imagine a history textbook written for the school system completely ignoring chronology. The western understanding of linear time is simply too powerful in reader and publisher expectation.

The book is chaptered as follows: 1) 1900 to 1914 The World at the Turn of the Century, 2) 1914 to 1918 World War I, 3) 1919 to1929 Modern Attitudes, 4) 1929 to 1939 The Great Depression and the Road to War, 5) 1939 to1945 World War II, 6)1945 to 1950 The Postwar Agreements and the Beginning of the Cold War, 7) 1950 to 1960 The Cold War Heats Up, 8) 1960 to 1975 To the Brink of Nuclear War and Back, 9) 1975 to 1985 The New Arms Race, 10) 1985 to 1991 The End of the Cold War and the Collapse of the Soviet Union, 11) 1991 to 2000 After the Cold War, 12) After 2000 Old Stories and New Stories in the 21st Century.

There is nothing wrong with a chronological format to a textbook, and some educators might argue that it is imperative for students growing understanding of history. However, a textbook needs to be more that a march through time. Piling names and dates one on top of the other does not, in and of itself, help students develop complex historical understanding, or engage students in a way that captures their imagination. Thankfully, the authors have included other angles to assist and interest students.

The other angles are evident in the second and third perspectives used in writing the textbook. The second perspective noted is a focus on the interaction among the powerful nations of the world (4) because this interaction provides the main themes that shaped the lives of people all over the world. This is a clear articulation of the fact that this textbook will not be comprehensive to the extent that all histories will be included. It limits what will be addressed, a necessary aspect of any written product, while highlighting a concept of enormous complexity, importance and interest power. I was prepared to accept this limited focus at face value and settle in for an exploration of the military battles, social movements and ideological standoffs suggested in the chapter titles. However, the authors seemed to want to have it all ways by introducing a third and final perspective.

The third perspective includes stories from other regions of the world which may or may not have been profoundly impacted by the interactions of the powerful nations, but because were a nation of people from other regions a multicultural country that needs a multihistorical understanding of the past (4) this was deemed prudent. There is nothing inherently wrong with writing a textbook from this perspective but it does set the authors up for criticism when a regional history deemed to be significant by a particular segment of the Canadian population is overlooked. As well, including stories from other regions of the world should go beyond their service to our cultural diversity or understanding of the present. Sometimes teachers simply want to illustrate a variety of ways of being in the world, different approaches to understanding family, school, work, leisure, friendship, conflict, and even power. In this sense, including a story of Australian aborigines or Tibetan monks may be for no other reason but to expose students to the multiplicity of possibilities that are part of our global experience. Still, the authors must be commended for attempting to explain their perspectives and establishing foci that are both interesting and important for students.

Gardner, Parsons and Zwicky wisely included a page outlining How to Use This Book (IV). It explains that each chapter is divided into two sections: a main section and a newspaper section. The main sections incorporate: a) focus questions at the beginning of each chapter, b) a chronological presentation of key events, c) terms in bold that appear in the glossary, d) feature columns that expand on important ideas, e) timelines and charts that summarize key information, f) photographs, cartoons, diagrams, and maps, g) notes about culture, science and technology, h) review questions at the end of each chapter, and i) a glossary at the back of the book to define key terms.

I had no difficulty with any parts of the main sections as they were well formatted, thoughtfully integrated into the chapter and no one part was over or under used. Indeed, I was particularly impressed with the review questions at the end of each chapter. While some questions such as what event triggered World War I, and where did it occur? (34), are of the knowledge variety, many ushered students into the upper levels of Blooms Taxonomy, encouraging application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. An example of this is the following question:

Imagine that everyone in the world had enough food and money, no matter who they were and what they did. Would this be a good thing? Jot down a list of problems this would solve and a list of problems this would create. In one or two sentences, state your opinion at the bottom of your lists. Compare your opinion with the opinions of your classmates. Talk about why you agree or disagree. How does where you start from shape your opinion about this? (237).

This is a question expecting a level of thought too often absent from school textbooks. My main area of difficulty was related to the second or newspaper section. Here, headline stories from around the world, region by region (IV) are presented in newspaper format. At first glance this appears to be an interesting way to summarize information for students while introducing them to stories outside the focus of the main section. However, as is the criticism that the authors opened themselves up to, there are several glaring omissions. After a thorough examination of each chapters newspaper section, there is no mention whatsoever of Australia, New Zealand or the South Pacific region. If the index is any indication, this part of the world did not rate inclusion in the textbook at all save for a few maps! Australia and New Zealands contributions to the war effort of both World Wars, their challenges with aboriginal peoples and their influence in the southern hemisphere relative to Indonesia, Vietnam and East Timor might have warranted space, if only for appearances of being comprehensive.

I was also struck by the lack of any mention of Idi Amin, the brutal leader of Uganda during the 1970s; Muammar al-Qaddafi and the U.S. attack on Libya in 1986 and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism; and the establishment of an Islamic state in Sudan in the late 1990s. These entries would not only expand the segments on Africa, an often neglected part of the globe, but they fit with the conceptual focus of power that the textbook is using as well.

These criticisms aside, the textbook is a worthwhile contribution to social studies education and the authors should be commended for prominently noting the assistance of Jane Samson, as an advisor on historical accuracy, and Murray Hoke, as bias reviewer.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
(The History and Social Science Teacher)

CANADA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
VOLUME 41, NUMBER 1, Fall 2008
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css


Canadian Social Studies is an indexed, refereed journal published quarterly on-line at the University of Alberta. It is a journal of comment and criticism on social education and publishes articles on curricular issues relating to history, geography, social sciences, and social studies.
Canadian Social Studies is under copyright. Unless otherwise designated, permission is granted to download and distribute individual student copies of anything in this journal as long as it is for non-profit educational use in the classroom. Copyright permission includes the requirement to include the following on the first page of any duplicated material: Canadian Social Studies, www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css Canada's national social studies journal by permission. All other duplication or distribution requires the editors permission.
George Richardson - Editor

| Manuscript Guidelines


From the Editor: Back Again!!!

Articles

An Outside Place for Social Studies.
Andrew Foran

History by the Minute: A Representative National History
or a Common Sense of the Majority?.
Michael Barbour and Mark Evans

Thematic Unit Planning in Social Studies:
Make It Focused and Meaningful .
Todd A. Horton and Jennifer A. Barnett

History from a Philosophic Perspective.
Catherine Broom

Book Reviews

Mary J. Anderson (Ed.). 2004.
The Life Writings of Mary Baker McQuesten, Victorian Matriarch.
Reviewed by Penney Clark.

Roderick MacLeod & Mary Anne Poutanen. 2004.
A Meeting of the People: School Boards and Protestant Communities in Quebec, 1801-1998.
Reviewed by Larry A. Glassford.

Ken Plummer. 2003.
Intimate Citizenship: Private Decisions and Public Dialogues.
Reviewed by Todd Horton.

Robert Gardner, Jim Parsons and Lynn Zwicky. 2003.
Stories of the Century: World History from 1900 to 2000.
Reviewed by Todd Horton.


CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
(The History and Social Science Teacher)

CANADA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
VOLUME 40, NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies.


Canadian Social Studies is an indexed, refereed journal published quarterly on-line at the University of Alberta. It is a journal of comment and criticism on social education and publishes articles on curricular issues relating to history, geography, social sciences, and social studies.
Canadian Social Studies is under copyright. Unless otherwise designated, permission is granted to download and distribute individual student copies of anything in this journal as long as it is for non-profit educational use in the classroom. Copyright permission includes the requirement to include the following on the first page of any duplicated material: "Canadian Social Studies, www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css Canada's national social studies journal - by permission." All other duplication or distribution requires the editor's permission.
George Richardson - Editor

| Manuscript Guidelines


Introduction: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

Articles

Discovering the Past:
Engaging Canadian Students in Digital History.
Dr. Stphane Levesque

Library and Archives of Canada Collections
As Resources for Classroom Learning.
Gordon Sly

Power corrupts, PowerPoint corrupts absolutely
Why Digital Technologies Did Not Change the Social Study's Classroom.
Michael Clare

The Importance of Educational Research In the Teaching of History.
Joseph T. Stafford

Educating The Next Generation Of Global Citizens Through Teacher Education,
One New Teacher At A Time .
Lorna R. McLean, Sharon Anne Cook and Tracy Crowe

You Can't Have a Digital Revolution Without Critical Literacy.
John Myers

Discovering Your Place in History.
Carol White


CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 40 NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

Introduction to the Special Edition of Canadian Social Studies :
History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies.

Presented by The Teaching of History Research Group of Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario

Chair: Dr Rosa Bruno-Joffre (Dean of the Faculty of Education)

Secretary: John Fielding (Adjunct Professor of History and World Studies Curriculum, retired 2003)

All the papers for this special edition of Canadian Social Studies were produced by educators who attended The Teaching of History Research Groups sponsored Symposium of November 25th 2005. The subject of our symposium was History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies.

The day began with an inspirational address by Dr. Stphane Lvesque who is Assistant Professor of History Education in the J.G. Althouse Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario. His paper is included here.
We also appreciate the time and energy taken by John Myers Curriculum Instructor in the Teacher Education Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto and Dr. Sharon Cook Professor of Education in the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa who not only presented workshops but also prepared papers for this special edition.

Finally and not least important four of the papers included here were written by very experienced and respected classroom teachers: Carol White, Joe Stafford, Gord Sly and Mike Clare. They drew on their vast experience and their reflective, thoughtful natures to produce essays that contain excellent practical activities and good ideas for practitioners.

For more information please go to our website at:
http://educ.queensu.ca/~tohrgrp/index.shtml

Return to Contents Page

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 40 NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

Discovering the Past:
Engaging Canadian Students in Digital History.

Dr. Stphane Levesque
University of Western Ontario

Abstract

This paper deals with the impact of current digital technology revolution on history education. Based on four developments engendered by this revolution (liberalization of historical knowledge, intensification of digital archives, web-based communication, and active computer-based learning), it argues that digital history has the potential to offer powerful tools for inquiry-based learning in the classroom. The Virtual Historian, a newly created web-based program, is used as an example of the potential impact of such technology on students' historical learning.

Introduction

The title of the teaching history symposium, "History Alive! Old Sources, New Technology, is of profound relevance and significance to contemporary history education. On the one hand, it reflects the recent evolution in information technology and historical scholarship. For over a decade now, historians and history educators have been dealing with computer-related changes that have had an important impact on their work. One only has to think of the latest possibilities to research, produce, and publish on a wide range of subjects for large audiences all around the world; something virtually impossible until the digital age when only érudits in the field could afford to do so. Low barriers to publications, U.S. historian John Kee (2002) rightly argues, have resulted in an amazing proliferation of digital history sources (p. 2).

On the other hand, the title of the symposium exemplifies a far-from-revolutionary predicament that has affected history education for decades, that is, how to make use of new developments to engage students in meaningful historical inquiry. Consider, for example, historian Chad Gaffield's analogy from sports which illustrates his own schooling experience. In the history courses I took in school in the 1960s, Gaffield (2001) observes, we read about history, talked about history and wrote about history; we never actually did history. If I had learned basketball in this way, he goes on, I would have spent years reading the interpretations and viewpoints of great players, watching them play games, and analysing the results of various techniques and strategies. Instead, though, I was soon dribbling a basketball and trying to shoot it into the hoop after just a few instructions. In my history courses, by contrast I began in earnest to play the sport only at the doctoral thesis level (p. 12).

The current digital history innovation (Kee, 2002), based upon the investigation of the past using electronically reproduced sources, has sparked a renewed interest in engaging students actively in authentic performances, that is, in playing the game. Unlike the previous initiatives and developments, digital history might, this time, offer some realistic hopes and expectations. At least four (4) reasons can account for this optimistic observation on the present and foreseeable future of history education.


Why digital history?

1. First, digital history has liberalized access to and use of history. Until not so long ago, a relatively small number of experts, essentially professional historians, archivists, curators, and dedicated history teachers and writers, had the time and opportunity to access and search archival materials and then produce historical knowledge - usually in the conventional form of books and articles. The result was an almost complete domination of historical knowledge production and dissemination by established authorities in the domain. With the advent of the Internet and new digitization technologies, not only are historical publications and productions more readily available to the masses in electronic format, but an increasing number of previously disregarded amateurs, genealogists, teachers, and even students have developed significant interests in the study of their past (see Rosenzweig, 2000; ACS, 2005). In this sense, liberalization has gone hand in hand with the decentralization of knowledge and access to information.

2. Closely related to this liberalization is the remarkable intensification of digital archival activities in Canada, largely driven by U.S. avant-garde approach to online archives and libraries (see, for instance, the Library of Congress' American Memory project http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/). Since the 1990s, the technology allowing for scanning and publishing sources in electronic format has had an enormous impact on the access, search, retrieving, and use of primary and secondary sources. From personal desktop computers, it is now possible to search, acquire, and even manipulate numerous sources and artifacts originally stored in repository sites located at thousands of kilometers away from the users. While the number of digital sources available remains relatively low compared to the total amount of physical records, it is nonetheless possible to have access to millions of megabytes of information, including more than 9500 Canadian periodicals and books at the Library and Archives Canada alone. Many provincial archives, museums, and local historical sites have also engaged in the process of making available online parts of their collections (see, for instance, the McCord Museum of Canadian history www.mccord-museum.qc.ca).

Equally interesting, the current digitization of archival records has not only benefited users of museum and archival sites, it has also rendered available online many private collections that had not been archived yet. Amateur historians, genealogist associations, as well as families, trusts, small organizations, regiments and even schools do possess valuable sources of information but rarely have the financial means or resources to create official repositories and catalogues. Since the 1990s, the web has reduced significantly the costs associated with the design of exhibits. The web has also virtually eliminated the traditional barriers to publication and dissemination - with all the potential pitfalls of such low-cost electronic production and delivery. The Pier 21 national historical website from Nova Scotia (www.pier21.ca) and the Virginia Runaways Project in the U.S. (www.virtualjamestown.org) are emblematic illustrations of this new transformation in digital archival activity.

3. Third, the digital history developments have, intentionally or not, rendered history more friendly and communicative. By virtue of their digital formatting and design, historical sources are easier to search and locate and, by extension, more rapidly and effectively manipulated and used than original ones (Spaeth and Cameron, 2000). Computer-literate users can, for example, creatively download, copy, and paste various sources from museum or archival websites (including sounds, videos, and 3D artifacts) directly into their own documents from the simple click of their computer mouse, without all the annoyances of traditional research. Similarly, the combination of digital history with electronic communication allows for greater and faster exchanges of information between users (Larson, 2005). Students, for instance, are now able to establish networks with colleagues and historians/teachers in other locations based on a variety of topics and subjects of interest (see, example, H-Net www.h-net.org). These socio-educational networks, as Kee (2002) argues, are enabling students and historians to communicate and interact in ways never before possible (p. 4).

4. Finally, and perhaps more importantly for educators, digital history has the enormous potential of promoting and enhancing the active learning and doing of history. As long as history education was defined in terms of delivering and mastering an agreed-upon master-narrative, traditional lectures and textbook readings seemed appropriate to cover the past. Yet, with the new constructivist learning paradigm (Milman and Heineck, 1999) of the last decades, the focus has shifted from behaviorism to complex acts of meaning- and sense-making. Teachers are no longer expected to deliver a self-evident nationalist story that needs to be memorized and regurgitated. Instead, the goal is now to assist or coach students in their learning and practice of history. Teaching for understanding, as Wiggins and McTight (2005) convincingly observe, must be closer to coaching than professing, especially when we look at the flow of learning activities and what they require of the teacher (p. 250). Both educators' and students' roles have changed drastically.

In history, this revolution in cognitive development and pedagogy has advanced the goal of those, like Gaffield, who believe in learning by doing. Digital history has great potential because of the kind of things it presents to users. Unlike classroom textbooks, encyclopedias or worksheets, digital history provides students with multiple, authentic historical sources (print, audio, video, and artifactual) at very low cost. Perhaps more interestingly, digital history puts students in the virtual context and shoes of apprentice historians investigating aspects of the past. Because digital history is not structured, like textbooks, around the delivery of an official narrative (the so-called coverage), students are more directly and actively involved in some forms of historical inquiry, and thus engaged in discovering the past with all the historical, critical, and sourcing abilities (or habits of mind) required to do so (Hicks, Doolitle Ewing, 2004).


Is doing digital history natural?

Saying that digital history can support students' understanding and practice of history is not to say, however, that when confronted with authentic digital sources from multiple perspectives, students will intuitively perform the tasks demanded or arrive at sophisticated forms of thinking (VanSledright, 2004). As cognitive psychologist Sam Wineburg (2001) has convincingly revealed, historical thinking is an unnatural act. To become more expert in the domain, students must be guided and encouraged in their performance. And, so far, it is fair to claim that schools have been largely ineffective in their ability to teach the unnatural thinking of historians (Gardner, 1991), preferring instead to reinforce the dominant ways of thinking already ingrained in students' mind.

Many teachers have presented, not necessarily without reasons, their reservation for adopting an inquiry-based learning model using computer technology. Digital history can be perceived as overwhelming, creating an overload of disconnected and mismatched information from the web. Empirical studies on the subject reveal mixed responses from teachers and students who have employed digital history, notably in the form of WebQuests (Milson, 2002; Lipscomb, 2002; Milson Downey, 2001). On the one hand, students often adopt what might be called a path-of-least-resistance (Milson, 2002, p. 344). Instead of reading critically the sources, they intuitively scan the materials for quick and easy solutions or, more problematically, simply ask colleagues for the right answers. On the other hand, digital history can detract history teachers from prescribed curriculum objectives and content standards, thus leading them to a sense of practical irrelevance in the classroom. Related to this last point, a recent U.S. study also reveals that technology training and access to computer resources have a direct impact on the type of digital instruction employed by teachers (Friedman, 2006). Those who have direct access to technology, as well as adequate computer training, tend to use digital history more repeatedly and effectively than those who do not.

Despite these limitations, growing evidence suggests that not only can students learn to do history, but the practice of such guided historical investigations and ability to think unnaturally about the past lead them to more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of the issues at hand (see Shemilt, 1987; Voss and Wiley, 2000; Yeager and Doppen, 2001; and VanSledright, 2002). Students who have been exposed progressively and repeatedly to historical practice have developed a more acute sense of critical thinking and historical ownership. They are more self-responsible for their learning and also more likely to understand what historical narratives entail and mean to them.

But how do we, as educators, successfully engage students in digital history? This question is extremely relevant given the growing number and influence of electronic sources and media on students' ideas. One of the key issues for teachers is, in fact, the lack of time and adequate educational information on what is available for designing successful inquiry-based history lessons.


What is the Virtual Historian?

The Virtual Historian (www.virtualhistorian.ca) is one example of a program designed to help teachers engage their students in the critical study of the past using computer technology. Initially developed at the University of Western Ontario, with a grant from the Western Innovation Fund, the Virtual Historian is meant to support active learning and doing of Canadian history by assisting teachers and students in shared performances. The Virtual Historian team, made up of computer and media information technicians, research assistants and myself, has for goal the development of an authentic experience in web investigation using the most advanced technologies in programming. The Virtual Historian is centred on four key principles of web-based, server-client programs:

1. First, the subject of study (the content) is organized in ways that are intended to promote inquiry and discovery. Each investigation (the case) is supported by Canadian curriculum objectives and framed around essential and topical questions at the heart of the subject (dealing with second-order thinking concepts such as continuity/change, empathy, and moral judgment). The approach taken is inquiry-based and the various steps and answers to be developed are meant to enhance historical and critical thinking about rich, complex, and significant issues in Canadian history. For example, the case on World War II and the Dieppe Raid looks at the still contested success and strategic importance of the raid for Canada and the Allies: useless slaughter or necessary lesson for D-Day landing?

2. Second, all cases are prearranged for teachers and students (in both official languages). Primary and secondary sources necessary for the investigation are all included in the program (with translations when necessary), with authentic digital copies in high resolution for sourcing, reading, and even printing option. Additional sources and web links are also included for students, particularly at the senior levels, who wish to engage in further research on the question. Supplying students with historical sources may seem artificial to professional historians well-acquainted with the critical study of masses of conflicting and sometimes unconducive sources. But our own experience, notably during the pilot phase with elementary and secondary students in Ontario, suggests that this type of digital investigation is pedagogically valuable, particularly with students unfamiliar with the nature of historical research. Furthermore, this approach is more time-effective, and thus easier to plan for teachers, than open inquiries on the web. A major problem with WebQuests is, in fact, the overwhelming nature of the information available and the poor reliability of the research tools and source findings. While the Virtual Historian presents a limited number of sources for each case (between 5 to 17 depending on the case and grade level), the selected sources always comprise multiple perspectives and multi-modal learning materials (print, audio, video, and graphic). In the Dieppe Raid case, for example, students are presented with British, Canada, and also German sources of information. These sources include print documents (official reports, memos, newspapers, and personal accounts), visuals (maps and photographs), audio files (historical music), and finally audio-visuals (newsreels).

3. Third, the ultimate goal of the Virtual Historian is not to provide an exciting experience in virtual reality but rather to enhance students' historical understanding and practice. Cases available (e.g., Plains of Abraham, Halifax Explosion, The Person's Case, October Crisis) are meant to introduce students to the complex and also provisional nature of historical scholarship through a scaffolding set of inquiry steps. Each authentic source offers a perspective on the issue, and interactive sourcing questions guide students in source identification, attribution, contextualization, and corroboration. Part of the problem with students' negative experience with digital history is the lack of guidance or guided performance. It is completely unrealistic and unworkable, as Bain (2000) observes, to believe that disciplinary research can mechanically be transplanted to a body of novices (p. 335).

4. Finally, the Virtual Historian presents an inclusive web-interactive environment, which, we hope, facilitates web navigation, computer use, and historical investigation. Unlike typical html-based websites (such as WebQuests), the Virtual Historian is a server-client program providing users access to all the bundled functionalities (copy, paste, save, retrieve, print, etc.) on any desktop or laptop machine connected to the web. This new approach to computer programs, also currently developed by Microsoft and IBM, facilitates access inside and outside the school environment, eliminates desktop program installation (from CD, DVD, etc.), offers constant support and upgrades to users, and finally draws on students' computer literacy skills (spatial and iconic skills, visual attention, communication).


Conclusion

Twenty-first century history educators find themselves at a turning in history. Over the course of the twentieth century, several historians and educators such as Gaffield were shocked by the traditional delivery approach to history teaching. Instead, they proposed to turn teachers into coaches who assist students in their experience of the game. Current and new computer technologies alone cannot turn a bored history student into a professional historian, not even into an amateur historian. As long as educators will look for simple, magic formula to teach their subject, we should not be surprised to find mixed findings on the role of technology on students' historical learning. While there are still many unanswered questions about the impact of technology on history education, some trends seem to emerge. First, computer technology can help history educators only if such technology supports their philosophy of history education. In other words, digital history is likely to improve students' learning if teachers already have a clear conception and design of what it means to teach for historical thinking. Second, and related to this, educators need to have both regular access to and training in computer technology. If most schools in Canada have computers connected to the web, not all teacher use or know how to use digital history technology. Third, despite students' familiarity with computer technology, too often the path they adopt in digital history is based on poor historical research skills. It is thus necessary to assist students in every step of their investigation if educators wish to develop sophisticated understanding and competencies. Finally, like any sport, the development of meaningful performance must be both gradual and sustained. It is unrealistic to believe that students can magically become more expert if they only do history sporadically.

Much of the discussion on computer technology in Canadian history education has focused on the plethora of resources available to users. Yet, we urgently need to look at how we can more effectively use this technology to improve students' learning. We have no empirical or experimental studies in the field looking at the impact of digital history on Canadian students. As Spaeth and Cameron (2000) conclude, the use of the computer is no longer the issue (p. 341). What is at issue now is what we, as history educators, want to do with the computer.

References

Association for Canadian Studies. (2005). Alberta, Canada's History and Canadian Identity: Knowledge, Interest and Access. ACS Polling. Available: http://www.acs-aec.ca/Polls/Alberta%20and%20 Canada's%20History.pdf.

Bain, R. (2000). Into the Breach: Using Research and Theory to Shape History Instruction. In P. Stearns, P. Seixas, and S. Wineburg (Eds), Knowing, Teaching and Learning History: National and International Perspectives. New York: New York University Press. Chap. 17.

Bruner, J. (1960). The Process of Education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Friedman, A. (2006). World History Teachers' Use of Digital Primary Sources: The Effect of Training. Theory and Research in Social Education, 34 (1): 124-141.

Gaffield, C. (October, 2001). Toward the Coach in the History Classroom. Canadian Issues: 12-14.

Gardner, H. (1991). The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach. New York: Basic Books.

Hicks, D., Doolittle, P., Ewing, T. (2004).The SCIM-C Strategy: Expert Historians, Historical Inquiry, and Multimedia. Social Education, 68 (3): 221-225.

Kee, J. (2002). Digital History in the History/Social Studies Classroom. The History Teacher, 35 (4). 1-10. Available: http://www.historycooperative.org.

Larson, B. (2005). Considering the Move to Online Discussions. Social Education, 69(3): 162-166.

Lipscomb, G. (2002): Eight Graders' Impression of the Civil War: Using Technology I the History Classroom. Education Communication and Information, 2: 51-67.

Milman, N. and Heinecke, W. (1999). Technology and Constructivist Teaching in Post-secondary Instruction: Using the World Wide Web in an Undergraduate History Course. Paper posted on the Virginia Center for Digital History. Available: http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/milman_heinecke.html.

Milson, A. and Downey, P. (2001). WebQuest: Using Internet Resources for Cooperative Inquiry. Social Education, 65(3): 144-146.

Milson, A. (2002). The Internet and Inquiry Learning: Integrating Medium and Method in a Sixth Grade Social Studies Classroom. Theory and Research in Social Education, 30(3): 330-353.

Rosenzweig, R. How Americans Use and Think about the Past: Implications for a National Survey for the Teaching of History. In P. Stearns, P. Seixas, and S. Wineburg (Eds), Knowing, Teaching and Learning History: National and International Perspectives. New York: New York University Press. Chap. 14

Shemilt, D. (1987). Adolescent Ideas about Evidence and Methodology. In C. Portal (Ed.), The History Curriculum for Teachers. New York: Falmer Press. Chap. 3.

Spaeth, D. and Cameron, S. (2000). Computer and Resource-Based History Teaching: A UK Perspective. Computers and the Humanities, 34. 325-343.

VanSledright. B. (2002). In Search of America's Past: Learning to Read History in Elementary School. New York: Teachers College Press.

VanSledright. B. (2004). What Does It Means to Think Historically and How Do You Teach It? Social Education, 68(3), 230-233.

Voss, J. and Wiley, J. (2000). A Case Study of Developing Historical Understanding via Instruction. In P. Stearns, P. Seixas, and S. Wineburg (Eds), Knowing, Teaching and Learning History: National and International Perspectives. New York: New York University Press. Chap. 19.

Wiggins, G. and McTight, J. (2005). Understanding by Design, 2nd Ed. Alexandria, VA: Ass. For Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Wineburg, S. (2001). Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Yeager, E. and Doppen, F. (2001). Teaching and Learning Multiple Perspectives on the Use of the Atomic Bomb. In O.L. Davis, E. Yeager, and S. Foster (Eds), Historical Empathy and Perspective Taking in the Social Studies. New York: Rowman Littlfield. Chap. 6.
Stéphane Levesque is an Assistant Professor of History Education at Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario. He can be reached by email at slevesqu@uwo.ca.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 40 NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

Library and Archives of Canada Collections
As Resources for Classroom Learning.

Gordon Sly
Retired high school History teacher

Abstract

This article promotes the on-line use of primary documents from Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) collections by high school students conducting historical inquiry into a major historic event in Canada's past. It outlines a unit of seven history lessons that the author wrote for the 'Learning Centre' at www.collectionscanada.ca/education/index-e.html, a website recently created by LAC. The unit: 'Canada and the Cold War: The Gouzenko Affair' offers a variety of student-centered, skill-oriented teaching/learning strategies with supporting on-line resources. A major criterion for these educational resources is that they fit into the official curricula of each province and territory in Canada.

Article

There is the clich that if you give a man a fish you will feed him for a day, but if you show him how to fish, he will feed himself for the rest of his life. In recent decades there has been a major shift in the teaching of history at the high school level in Canada that better provides students with tools to be life long learners. Today, more than in the past teachers and students use the content of history as a means to develop skills of historical inquiry, many of which will serve students well later in life. Content by itself is often forgotten but can be easily accessed from a variety of sources when required.

Students should realize that history is a dynamic process; rarely, if ever, is it written in stone. Although solid facts may not change, over time new evidence, newly disclosed information, different generational perspectives, attitudes, and values can give historical events different frames of reference and interpretations.

Rather than being preoccupied with memorizing historical events, students today can analyze and interpret historic happenings and personages based on evidence such as that which can be found in primary sources. Students then can use this raw data of history to arrive at their own conclusions and offer opinions about what happened in the past and about the people who have shaped historic events. In recent years, Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) has actively promoted this approach to learning history by making available on-line primary sources from its vast collections to students and teachers in classrooms across Canada. In addition to furnishing these sources, it has hired a number of professional teachers, including myself, to create a variety of educational resources and activities based on its holdings. This is intended to make the study of Canadian history more challenging, meaningful and even fun for both students and teachers. Students can access important rare documents by simply navigating the website and working as virtual historians. Assessment instruments are designed to test students' skills as much as their knowledge. Needless to say, this is a win-win situation. The public can now use these resources, which LAC has always wanted to make available, but until relatively recently found it problematic. The magic of the Internet has resolved LAC's major concern of protecting and preserving often-fragile valuable and rare documents from damage that can result from physical handling. What was available to a very small, select group of people just a few years ago can now be accessed by essentially anyone with a computer. To illustrate how students can use these resources LAC asked us, a team of history teachers, to write history units for the primary, junior and senior levels for its new website 'Learning Centre'. From a list that was provided, I chose the topic 'Canada and the Cold War: The Gouzenko Affair' at the senior level. I chose this topic for two reasons. One was that it was an interesting vehicle with which to demonstrate how students can use the primary resources from the website in their historical study. The other reason was that the Gouzenko Affair is an excellent example of how history can change over time because of changing circumstances.

An important criterion for this project is that our educational units must fit somewhere into the official curricula of each province and territory, therefore be relevant to students across the country. A brief description of this historic event is required.

Igor Gouzenko was a Russian cipher clerk working in the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa in September 1945 when he and his wife decided to defect. They brought with them documents that exposed Soviet spy rings in Canada, Britain and the United States. The Defection itself is the stuff of high intrigue and drama a la Ian Fleming. The impact of this was that it started a chain reaction that eventually led to the exposure of well-known suspected spies such as Kim Philby of the United Kingdom, Alger Hiss, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the United States. Senator Joseph McCarthy carried on this quest to a paranoiac level with his Senate Committee's infamous Un-American Activities hearings of the early 1950s. The much publicized and televised hearings irreparably damaged the lives of a number of innocent people. 'McCarthyism' is a dark period in American history that is still indelibly etched on the minds of many Americans today.

For generations of Canadians since the war, the Gouzenko Affair has been little more than a footnote in Canadian high school history textbooks, overshadowed by other important Cold War events such as the Berlin Airlift, The Korean War, the Suez Crisis, NATO, NORAD and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Most people remember the man with the pillowcase over his head but that is about all. A revision of the Gouzenko Affair in history has been taking place in recent years because of the disclosure of new documents and information that had been sealed in secrecy since the defection. As it turns out, the Gouzenko Affair was an extremely important historic international event in the Cold War. This single incident led to a major change in the collective political thinking in the western world following the end of the Second World War - a major wake-up call for the west to the threat of worldwide communism. Many scholars today consider the Gouzenko Affair to be the first major international event of the Cold War.


Outline of the Unit

The unit consists of seven lessons which call for students to locate and examine primary documents relevant to the Gouzenko Affair, taken from LAC's website: 'Learning Centre' at www.collectionscanada.ca/education/index-e.html. I use various student-centered teaching/learning strategies to maximize skill development, student participation and reinforcement. The teacher's main role is that of a facilitator of the learning process as well as a resource person.

Below are brief outlines of the lessons in the unit with specific references to relevant primary resources. Each lesson contains a synopsis of the lesson, a list of student expectations, pre-lesson preparations for the teacher, a narrative of the activities or tasks for the students, extensions (other applications), relevant vocabulary, further reading, and assessment opportunities. The primary documents referred to in the lessons come from 'The Evidence Web' on the 'Learning Center' website (LAC): www.collectionscanada.ca/education/index-e.html. Click on 'Evidence Web', 'Theme' then 'Cold War'. As of the time of this writing the unit itself is still in the process of translation into French and as yet is not up on the web, but the 'Evidence Web' is on-line.

Overall Expectations (more specific learning objectives are listed with each lesson)

By the end of the unit students will

demonstrate an understanding of the impact of the Gouzenko affair on Canada and other countries; illustrate skills of historical inquiry while examining primary documents; locate, critically analyze and interpret evidence from primary sources; demonstrate the ability to think critically and creatively; exhibit effective written and oral communication skills; manage time efficiently and work effectively in independent and collaborative study; formulate questions to facilitate research of primary sources; create organizers to arrange research; critically examine the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens, groups and governments; demonstrate a high level of competence by producing research essays for a booklet and/or Web site; appreciate and respect diverse opinions about the Gouzenko affair; use appropriate vocabulary of the Cold War when communicating aspects of the Gouzenko affair.

Outlines of lessons

Lesson 1 introduces students to the Gouzenko Affair by asking them to write lead newspaper stories (300 -350 words) about the Gouzenko Affair based on a contemporary newspaper account, and the text of a statement released by Igor Gouzenko. (See 'The Evidence Web' for documents).

Lesson 2 examines why Gouzenko defected by analyzing a transcript of the official statement made by Gouzenko and from the Interim Report of the Royal Commission dealing with documents stolen from the Soviet Embassy. The teacher asks students in pairs or small groups to simulate the writing of reports about the defection for Prime Minister Mackenzie King. (See 'The Evidence Web' for documents)

In lesson 3, students have the rare opportunity to read a few pages for Mackenzie King's 'secret' diary. King kept an official diary as well as a personal 'secret' diary, the latter becoming available to the public in recent years. Students will be able to draw conclusions about King's reaction to and his thoughts about the Gouzenko Affair from reading entries written or dictated at the time of the defection. Students will role-play advisors to the Prime Minister writing memos advising him of actions he should take. (See 'The Evidence Web' for documents)

Students in lesson 4 will investigate the issue of the rights of the citizen versus those of the state in emergency situations during peace time. In pairs they will work will develop an organizer comparing the invocation of Orders-in- Council # 6444 and # 411, to deal with the Gouzenko Affair with that of the War Measures Act to address the FLQ Crisis of October 1970. Order-in-Council P.C.# 6444 of Sept. 1945 provided the RCMP with extraordinary powers to arrest and detain suspected spies without the due process of law. Order-in-Council P.C. # 411 set up Royal Commission Hearings to summon suspects for questioning. Students will discover that the orders-in-council were very secret and that very few Canadians knew at the time that their civil rights were suspended for a number of months between October 1945 and February 1946. (See 'The Evidence Web' for documents)

In lesson 5, by means of a 'jigsaw' approach, students will analyze and interpret official reactions to the Orders-in-Council. The teacher assigns two documents supporting the use of the orders-in-council by the federal government and two others criticizing their use. The documents include: 'Use of Arbitrary Power' from the Winnipeg Free Press March11, 1945; 'The Communist Threat to Canada' (A pamphlet produced by Canadian Chamber of Commerce 1947; 'What's Behind the Spy Hysteria? The Answer', an interview with Tim Buck, Leader of the Canadian Communist Party; and excerpts from a House of Commons speech made by Opposition Leader George Drew in 1949. The teacher assigns one document to each group with some focus questions and an organizer to help them to manage their work. The members of the groups will later move into new groups to share research, opinions, and draw conclusions about the different reactions. (See 'The Evidence Web' for documents)

In pairs, students have the opportunity in lesson 6 to look into the profiles of eight Canadians who were brought before the Royal Commission as suspected spies. These documents can be found in the First and Second Interim Reports of the Royal Commission (pgs. 13 to 16). Student will draw conclusions about the questionable process and role of the Royal Commission in what appeared to be a 'judicial' matter. (See 'The Evidence Web' for documents)

Lesson 7 is a culminating activity for the unit. From a list of relevant themes or topics, students will write essays (400 - 500 words) for an anthology of essays on the Gouzenko Affair in booklet form for the school library and/or for a newly created website.


After completing the unit LAC field-tested lesson #5 in a grade 12 history class at a Kingston high school (Kingston Collegiate). The feedback strongly confirmed the value of using LAC documents in the classroom to meaningfully address issues in Canadian history.

A philosophy of Library and Archives of Canada is that its rare and valuable collections essentially belong to the Canadian People and therefore should be made available to them. With the Internet this is now possible as never before. Over the next few years LAC will continue to expand its program of sharing its collections and educational resources with the public. For students of history regardless of age or status, this is great news. I am happy to have had the opportunity to play a small part in this process.

References

Library and Archives of Canada 'Learning Centre': www.collectionscanada.ca/education/index-e.html - Ottawa 2003.
Gord Sly is a retired high school Teacher/Department Head of 30 years and a freelance writer. He can be reached by email at gord_sly@hotmail.com.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 40 NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

"Power corrupts, PowerPoint corrupts absolutely"
Why Digital Technologies Did Not Change the Social Study's Classroom.
1

Michael Clare
Retired teacher

Abstract

The dreams and predictions of a digital classroom never quite materialized in the social studies history area. For a variety of reasons teachers keep the technology just outside the door peeking in but never truly welcomed. Not welcomed because of the nature of courseware initially offered, not welcomed because the technology was advanced for the sake of technology itself and was imposed on the teacher. For teachers to invite digital technology in attention should be on the curriculum, the teacher's delivery of curriculum and how the technology can assist and advance deeper understandings.

Nothing seems to enhance that feeling of inadequacy than having the computer crash in the middle of a presentation. Worse still, you cannot troubleshoot. Technology has rendered you helpless. Digital technology has robbed the teachable moment, usurped your role as a competent, in charge teacher. The lesson has been compromised, maybe to the point of being corrupted; your confidence shaken, and your faith in digital technology has been seriously put to the test. Are various aspects of digital technologies in a history or social science classroom corrupting good teaching? With valid reasons, given their experiences of the past twenty five years, some teachers would say yes. They see parts of digital education as a sham. If Ned Lud were alive today, he would be appalled by the inroads digital technology is making into the classroom; he would weep. Should Ned praise history and social science teachers or repudiate them for their reactions? Is it O.K. to be a Luddite? Yes, but at your own peril as there is a real danger that you and the traditional classroom will be left behind. As a result of advances in digital technologies both students and the greater community already see certain aspects of the traditional school as out of date, out of touch. Teachers have not had the full opportunity to sit back and reflect on an appropriate response or devise an adequate pedagogical style. Education via digital technologies can be a powerful tool but digital pedagogies have not sparked the collective imagination of teachers in the same way other teaching methods and media have. The impact of digital technologies on teaching and learning has been minimal. (Sandholtz, 2004) Social Science teachers are not wilfully blocking digital technology and might even embrace the technology if they only knew how. What is stopping teachers is a lack of appropriate software, support, and hardware coupled with a philosophical and pedagogical framework for use of the technology in the first place. Examples of moving digital technologies beyond an electronic transfer of pen and paper are only now emerging. Teachers see the case for digital technology as a learning tool is powerful, but there are too many barriers in the way for classroom teachers to utilize digital technology with the same ease they might use videos and text books. This has to change and that change is coming.

The advanced billings for computers in the classroom have not lived up to all the fanfare. For the past two decades digital hardware was oversold to schools and has been under used (Cuban, 2001). The technology was marketed, especially in the States, as a solution to the crisis in the classroom. Such hype was generated that school councils were seduced into thinking that if our school does not have the latest hardware our kids will be left behind in a highly competitive global marketplace. Technology was looked upon as a salvation to problems yet imagined. Children will be left behind if they are not engaged with the latest electronic learning toy. Currently there is a series of ads on television from a reputable toy company aimed at parents with two or three-year-old children with the not so subtle message, if you don't buy our brand of animated electronic toy your child will not learn. If electronic devices such as Speak Spell performed as advertised then maybe there would be no need for provincial literacy testing. Marketing out performed results.

The Ministry of Education of Ontario became caught in the drive to create a digital learning environment. Ontario intensified the rush for a digital advantage by asking and trying to answer the economic question, which is more important the hardware or the software? In the mid 1980's the province started out with the best of intentions with the ICON computer. The hardware was impressive for its time. To complement the hardware, the Ontario Ministry of Education simultaneously published software. Unlike commercial software, ICON courseware was directly linked to the curriculum. There were some outstanding pieces of courseware such as Decide Your Excellency and Taxi. Decide Your Excellency allowed students to run and develop an emerging country. This simulation had a direct correlation to the then Grade 12/OAC Politics and Grade 13/OAC Geography Courses. Through the use of role-play Taxi, a micro economics simulation, taught factors of supply and demand from graphing principles to elasticity. The simulation was a direct fit with the then current 12 and 13/OAC Economics course without having to adapt the curriculum expectation to the software. If the same thought and care that went into the courseware design had gone into textbooks, the textbooks of the late 1980's would have been brilliant. The courseware directly addressed a variety of learning styles, and the courseware's general overall layout was more thoughtful then the existing crop of provincially approved textbooks. The failure of the ICON, for a variety of reasons, meant that teacher-designed courseware was not advanced. Other computer programmers' material was pushed forward in the guise of courseware but the programmers were looking for the next killer app or to show case the latest bit of code, not always the best pedagogical device.

As the ICON was failing there was commercial software available but none of it would run on an ICON. That was part of the problem, which platform to use. You could buy commercial software for the classroom but you may not have a computer to run it on. The majority of software applications available were basically making the computer a glorified typewriter or calculator. Some software was outstanding but you had to stretch to give it a direct curriculum fit. SimCity had amazing potential for classroom application. Balance of Power and Ports of Call were two other possible applications for classroom use. Even if the software resources did not have a direct correlation to the current curriculum, they were excellent teaching devices that could be incorporated into an OAC Independent Study Unit: master the simulation, once the simulation is mastered detect the developer's point of view on certain topics and compare the developers' point of view to what you have learned in the course. Raising taxes in early versions of SimCity was just not allowed. Mass transit and its impact on the urban environment were not reflected properly. Balance of Power had a definite pro American bias in the game of global super powers. These titles were also great simulations for studying the decision-making processes and the application of those decisions to a safe virtual world. Much of the other social science software seemed to be a direct transfer of existing board games (such as Risk or Monopoly) to a digital format2 There was another problem associated with all this software, a perceived bias against gaming. Gaming and role-play were not widely accepted as a valid classroom learning experience. This was playing and not considered real learning. This bias against gaming and simulations was another brick in the wall barring acceptance of digital technology into the classroom. To compound the platform issue was the debate, and not fully resolved, of MS-DOS (Windows) versus Apple. Which platform is most appropriate for a social studies /history environment?

A commonly held belief, at the time, was that computers in the classroom were for the sciences, maths and business. In a history classroom the appropriate computer application was more word processing. Should a computer lab be created for the humanities it would be under the control of the English department as some administrators felt those departments were the ones teaching the literacy skills directly related to the early educational use of computers. Control of computer labs was the next hurtle to over come. If computer labs were the temples then computer science teachers and IT specialists were the temple monks protecting the shrine from non-traditional users. Administratively the computer lab made sense. As a means to foster adoption of digital technologies into a social studies environment the lab was an inhibitor (Barrell 2003). Rather than being spontaneous, the lab had to be booked in advance, students signed in and so forth. Some machines worked; some did not. The average classroom teacher did not have sufficient technical background to resolve the problem if issues arose with either the hardware or software. The problems were legion. It was just easier to stay in the classroom with a textbook that would boot every time. To use a print source the teacher did not have to be a publisher. In order to show a video, the classroom teacher did not have to know how to make documentaries or trouble shoot a VCR. Some of the digital hardware did not have the durability or reliability of even the cheapest VCR. Occasionally stories were told of VCR eating tapes but digital letdown was commonplace. It is human nature to want to have some semblance of control and authority but when the kids are showing you how to trouble shoot, whether this takes place in a computer lab or the classroom, there are still occasions when that is ego bruising. Your expertise, rightly or wrongly, feels as if it were on the line. Having routine computer malfunctions coupled with an anxiety that you feel that you cannot fix digital problems, just takes too much away from creative teaching. Naturally the path of least resistance was in a print medium.

Costs are a huge factor in this but, if education policy makers wanted teachers to adopt digital technologies, why weren't teachers given individual machines? There appeared to be no concerted effort to get machines into the hands of individual teachers. Many departments saw six or seven teachers sharing one machine. Administrations appeared to be promoting the use of digital technologies for administrative reasons more than pedagogical. Mark management programs immediately come to mind. Digital technology, so it seemed, afforded greater accountability and conformity. From an administrative perspective there may have been some merit to this idea of accountability; however, immediately there were budget cutbacks the burden of technical support was downloaded to the classroom teacher and away from the computer support staff, whose department's strength was downsized. Classroom teachers were getting a mixed message. Technology is vital to teaching and learning on one hand yet administration seemed to be saying indirectly to do your job in the classroom you could do it without computers; digital technologies are not that critical to education experience because that is one of the first places we can cut budget. If you needed a computer to do the job we would have provided you with one with proper support.

As the machines became more reliable and numerous in both the schools and at home, some teachers became increasingly innovative with the use of digital hardware. Some schools saw teachers creating electronic course packs. The entire course was outlined on a school web site with readings listed, due dates posted, and assignments outlined. The bonus for teachers was materials could be instantly updated and students and parents knew exactly what was expected. Other teachers looked for ways to move content from the printed page into an electronic format. This was an innovative step in the right direction but was still limited to those who felt comfortable with web page design. Teachers soon found that they were forced to be more organized than ever before but once in place, courses and materials could be easily adjusted. A plethora of course web sites were created. Now students and teachers could publish. Students could see a new, immediate purpose for writing and writing well, they would be publishing to the greater audience of the World Wide Web. The web allowed students to communicate farther a field, to gather different points of view and have a universe of information open to them. The problem here for the classroom teacher was what skills to teach, the traditional skills associated with a conventional classroom or web design, FTP and so on? Commercial interests saw the same opportunities and Learning Management Systems such as Black Board and WebCt were being adopted by numerous learning organizations. Students were seeing the potential of web and were utilizing the technology. As an active and aware global citizen I will publish a web page about All great ideas but do they take teaching and learning to a different, innovative space? Philosophically, how is an electronic course pack any different from its paper version? Once you remove the technology, what is the difference between putting a poster up in the hallway and publishing a webpage? To be effective the poster must stimulate thought and action. By posting a webpage how do you attract the world to come and look at your page; how do you generate repeat visits? In many respects this is still a paper and pencil exercise yet this is where many students want to go.

Digital devices are moving forward at an increasing pace and creating new dynamics for the classroom. Contemporary students are excellent at finding information. Through the use of search engines and other electronic databases, students seemed to be engaged in a virtual game of Where's Waldo? (Case, 2004) Students can find Waldo anywhere but once found, they seem unwilling to engage him in conversation. Cut and paste is not higher order thinking. Students are constantly downloading images for an essay and assignments that are not appropriate to the task. Are teachers effectively teaching students how to use and evaluate information? Text messaging is changing the way students communicate; a new literacy is evolving. Camera phones create new concerns (Wujec, 2005). Take a picture of the test and pass it around. A form of Morse code could come back. Put your phone on vibrate. The answer to question number 25 is one vibrate for A, two for B. This says nothing to the number of times classes have been interrupted by a cell phone ringing Use a cell phone to take a picture of the teacher or a fellow student and create a fan web site or electronic place to belittle. The most popular student is the one with the fastest thumbs in the class, the one who can send more messages then anybody else. A good citizen shares their play list. Character education may take on greater import when students actively seek out cheats so that they might advance in a game. How should educators respond to an environment that actively promotes cheating when the players do not even perceive themselves as cheating? Acquired a car radio that was electronically encoded to prevent theft? Find the reactivation code on the web. How do we respond to bullying when students have become through digital technologies, emotionally detached from their physical communities? With the pace of information transfer the concept of perseverance takes on a new flavor. Is it any wonder that A.D.D. seems to be on the increase? (Menzies, 2005) School itself seems irrelevant. Home digital technology is in direct competition for the student's attention and is winning over the technology of the school. Public space is turning into a very private space, All alone in my Apple iPod. With two ear buds in place the teacher is blocked. Community means new things in a digital world. Groups come and go, are fluid in their nature. When students can enter forums and chat rooms with anonymity, how do we teach our students to disagree agreeably? The implications for the classroom are immense.

Although this sounds extremely negative and teachers would seem justified in being reluctant to accept digital technology yet, there are enormous opportunities for digital learning with positive consequences for students. Teachers do not have to be a techno genius to use digital technology effectively in the classroom but the approach to the technology has to be customized and rethought. An American study found that the impact of computers in the classroom over the last twenty years has been minimal. The emphasis in teacher training and digital technology has been if you build it (the technology) teachers and students will come (the curriculum).

Our research offers a paradox for furthering the use of computers in classrooms if we take away expectations for technical skills and allow teachers to focus on developing curriculum, evaluating learning materials, and thinking about how to provide better learning opportunities for their students, teachers are likely to use technology more effectively and creatively in their teaching.(Sandholtz and Brian, 2004)

Simple, known skills are a great way to start. Although not a dynamic as web page design most teachers are comfortable with word processing so, therefore, they should use word processing to assist in day-to-day activities. The emphasis is the curriculum not the technology; technology complements the curriculum. So how do teachers use the technology to complement curriculum? Start in a teacher's comfort zone. The tables feature of word processing can provide opportunities for students of all skill levels to demonstrate their understanding of a subject. In a civics or political science class there has to be some discussion about political philosophies, philosophers, and the structure of society. Present your content as you usually would but then ask the students to pick out what they think is the most significant aspect of the each particular philosophy. That significant idea can only be presented as a cartoon - no words allowed. (I usually select four philosophies/philosophers and the definition of political philosophy). Each student puts their name on each political illustration and randomly numbers the illustration. Using the table feature of word processing software create a tracking sheet for the class. The students lay their work out on their desk for public viewing. The class walks around out and attempts to identify the philosophy or philosopher implied by the illustration and records their impressions on the tracking sheet. The student knows quickly if their individual illustrations got the message across and what ones need to be improved. By using digital technology as a background tool many learning styles and learning outcomes can be successfully addressed. The same technique can be used as a review technique. Using the table's feature, ask a series of questions. Each student must find a fellow student who can answer the question. The answer is given orally. Each student signs off on the answer sheet. Then the answer sheets are collect and taken up. Hardeep you and Trong signed off that Trong told you the answer to . Could you tell us what Trong said?

Another simple way to have students and teachers use digital technology together is to have the student write their response or essays etc. on one side of the table and the teacher comments are on the other (Russell, 2004) Written assignments can be emailed, handed in on a disk or some type of memory card. Both examples of using word processing tables help students advance their understanding of content, foster student responsibility for their own learning, and allow the classroom teacher to use their understanding of word processing as a stepping stone into further use of digital technologies. This approach is not revolutionary by any means. By allowing classroom teachers to become more comfortable with the software and hardware in their personal situations, they will be more willing to utilize the technology in the classroom. Of course there are going to be technical issues that always arise; however, the emphasis is on teaching and learning with technology first; technical expertise is a secondary emphasis.

Haymore Sandholtz and Reilly's findings were reinforced by my own experience within my department and the introduction of a data project or LCD projector. I just showed the department how to hook up the projector to a computer or a DVD player. If they had problems, they could come to me for help. Within three months the projector was constantly in use. My department was using it: as a glorified over head projector, to show the class web sites, power point presentations, to take virtual tours and yes, even show movies. Teachers were using a single computer and data projector as a tool as freely as they had used overheads and VCRs. Soon the students were constantly asking to use the projector in their own presentations. One projector was not enough.
The projector itself allowed teachers to demonstrate and reinforce aspects of what we know of brain learning theory; the brain is a visual learner. To create a visual understanding of the passage of a bill through Parliament why not take the kids to Ottawa? As the introduction to the lesson tour Parliament Hill first. http://www.parliamenthill.gc.ca/text/explorethehill_e.html One data projector and computer allow the teacher and the students access to an environment they may not always see. Similar trips can be accomplished with such sites as the British Broadcasting Corporations virtual tours http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/interactive/virtual_tours/ and especially the dioramas of WWI trenches http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/launch_vt_trench_life.shtml. These are easy demonstrations with the computer being used as a tool to support the lesson. No extensive technical expertise is needed just sound pedagogical practice supported with digital technology. There is no need to book labs or waiting for computers to boot.
As educators become more comfortable incorporating digital technology into the social studies' classroom, they will start to demand more of the technology, to push the boundaries of digital applications. Teaching in a computer lab using teacher designed web sites becomes a less daunting task. Digital technology will allow students and teachers to do the discipline as never before. (Gadfield, Nov 2000) Three web sites demonstrate this, as does the work of this year's Governor General Award winner Sheila Hetherington. All works were designed with sound teaching principles first and digital technology as an assistive device:

Pax Warrior www.paxwarrior.org is an intricate, Interactive Documentary walking students through many of the gut wrenching decisions faced by Romeo Dallaire. Pax Warrior is a simulation and collaborative learning tool that weaves the tragic story of the UN experience in Rwanda placing the user in the shoes of an UN Commander trying to maintain peace. Students learn content as well as develop empathy for UN Peacekeepers and survivors of the Rwandan genocide.

The Virtual Historian www.virtualhistorian.ca engages learners through state-of-the-art digital technology and pedagogy. Learners reexamine historical events using a variety of primary resources and create their own hypothesis.

People for the Prairies http://www.theclares.ca/prairies/ is a redesign, not a direct transfer of an outstanding paper-based learning tool We Are Canadians, to an online application designed to take full advantage of an extensive digital enhancement and environment. Students are given a role, a persona to assume. Staying in character each student then has to make an informed decision or critical challenge Do I immigrate to the 1900's Canadian Prairie West or not? Students must visit various e-learning centers to gather appropriate information and then prepare a justification to either stay put or go. The decision must be made in character. A random generator selected a student's persona, and once picked, the student cannot change personas. Because of the random nature of assigning students to a role and research conducted both online and off, students will hopefully develop an empathy and, a historical literacy for a particular role. By highlighting aspects of technological innovation and its impact upon society the web site addresses numerous expectations raised within the curriculum.

Sheila Hetherington has gone in a unique direction. Using digital technologies Sheila is encouraging her students to research and create historical documentaries that are of near broadcast quality. The finished products are excellent digital documentaries but more importantly the technology is utilized to force the students to do the historian's craft.

By easing teachers into digital technologies, not as hardware and software specialists, rather as pedagogical specialists, digital technologies will be utilized in more and more history and social science classrooms. As teachers become comfortable with their level of digital sophistication and realize that it is a tool to assist in learning, not the object unto itself, greater acceptance and demand for quality resources will arise. Our students are going to a digital environment. History and Social Science teachers have to be there to bring all the rich perspectives of our subject disciplines. Generally the discipline was slow to adapt for a myriad of legitimate reasons. The focus must be curriculum first with digital technology as a tool to assist learning. If this is the focus, greater will be the demands made by social science teachers of the technology resulting in better quality history and social science applications. The better the applications the greater the comfort level and willingness to accept the technology into the history classroom. The original push to put technology in the classroom centered on the technology not the teacher and was a failure. Many teachers rightfully resisted the incursion of technology but unfortunately advances digital technology outpaced all predictions. To successfully create a digital social studies classroom focus on the teacher, the curriculum and the technology will follow.

End Notes
1 Title borrowed from Tufte, Edward Power Point is Evil Wired Magazine 11.09 http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/ppt2.html . Visit Tufte's web site for information on ways to produce graphic displays www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/ .

2 If you look at current textbooks you can see how they have been re-mediated to reflect aspects of web design. This does not mean web pages are superior instruments of learning rather demonstrates the influence computer software and web pages have had over the past decade.

References

Barrell, Barrie, ed. Technology, Teaching and Learning; Issues in the Integration of Technology. Detselig Publishing, Calgary AB 2003.

Cuban, L. Oversold and underused: Computers in the classroom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2001.

Gaffield, Chad. Towards The Coach In The History Classroom. Canadian Issues, Nov, 2000.

Haymore Sandholtz, Judith, Reilly, Brian. Teachers, Not Technicians: Rethinking Technical Expectations for Teachers.
Teachers College Record, Volume 106 Number 3, 2004, p. 487-512. http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11525,

Menzies, Heather. No Time: Stress and the Crisis of Modern Life. Douglas McIntyre Toronto, 2005.

Web Refences:

www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/ The use of PowerPoint in the classroom

http://www.parliamenthill.gc.ca/text/explorethehill_e.html A panorama of Parliament Hill and the House of Commons and Senate

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/launch_vt_trench_life.shtml. The British Broadcasting Corporation's website

www.paxwarrior.org A role play site were students must face a similar decision process as Romeo DeLarie

www.virtualhistorian.ca A site underdevelopment at The University of Western Ontario Faculty of Education

http://www.theclares.ca/prairies/ A site designed to engage students into a decision mode of do I immigrate to the Canadian Prairie West in the time frame 1890 to 1914

http://www.wired.com/ Wired Magazine

http://www.tcrecord.org An online education journal

Lectures

Case, Roland. Critical Thinking and Librarians. Ontario Library Association, Toronto Jan 2004.

Russell., Tom. Ideas presented in a lecture to masters students at Queen's University, 2003.

Wujec, Tom. Imagination and the Learner. Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning Conference, York University, Toronto, Aug 2005.
Michael Clare is a recently retired teacher from the Toronto area. He can be reached by email at mike@theclares.ca.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 40 NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

The Importance of Educational Research In the Teaching of History.

Joseph T. Stafford
Classroom teacher

Abstract

This article discusses the importance of teachers integrating new educational research into their classroom instruction. The mandatory grade 10 History course in Ontario is used as an example of how such integration leads to improved teacher instruction and therefore student learning.

Behind the classroom door the key factor in the success of a lesson, in determining whether the students actually learn something that matters, is the creative ability of the teachers their ability to combine theory and practical classroom experience. Theory alone will not result in effective teaching. Nor will practice alone result in truly excellent teachers engaged in the learning process. Critical to this process is the teacher's knowledge of the subject content, and his/her ability to implement new strategies, to develop effective performance tasks, to design appropriate assessment tools, and to address the different student learning styles. Little of this can be accomplished if teachers are not knowledgeable of new research, and determined to implement it. Effective teaching therefore involves the practical application of new research/theory in a classroom environment. In this paper the mandatory grade 10 History course in Ontario, Canadian History Since World War I, is used as an example of how the implementation of new educational research improves both pedagogical practices and student learning. Special attention will be given to the transformation of one historical re-enactment from an entertaining classroom activity to an effective performance task.
For years I have used a popular re-enactment I call the 1920's Nightclub. For this activity the students completed research projects as well as organized the entire day with a complete meal, vaudeville acts, music and dance shows. All the students were in period costume. The students loved the activity, enjoyed history, and most importantly, many of them enrolled in the optional grade eleven History course! A simple formula was used to develop a vibrant history course: interesting content, student-centered activities, and research/essay skills. Despite the success of the activity the teachers in the department, me included, were unaware of some serious flaws in curriculum design. Indeed curriculum design was not even a concern. No overall plan existed. No serious effort was made to connect what the students learned in the activity with the history of 20th century Canada beyond the 1920's. It did not even matter if the students remembered the content that they had researched. No serious thought was given to assessment. The projects were graded without any precise scoring system and extra marks were assigned to those students who either organized the day or participated in the various acts. A fun and engaging classroom activity remained only that - a fun activity!

Yet, with the benefit of recent research, this activity became much more. Critical here was a new model for curriculum design developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, Understanding by Design, or as it is sometimes known as, the backward design. Wiggins and McTighe emphasize that teachers must reverse what they have traditionally done: design daily lesson plans first, and only consider assessment at the end of a particular unit with little thought given to organizing an overall curriculum plan. Content is taught without any serious attempt at determining if all of the content deserves equal attention. The textbook is the guide. Instead, Wiggins and McTighe begin at what is traditionally tackled at the end: assessment and overall learning goals. Teachers need to know what content and skills are important enough to remember and to develop before they plan lessons and units of study. In terms of both skills and content, they must distinguish between what is worth being familiar with, important to know and do, and enduring understandings (Wiggins, Mctighe, p.14-15). The enduring understandings are what is essential, what the teachers want the students to know and do once the course is completed; once the students leave the classroom. Important assessment tasks should be connected to these understandings. Likewise the content should be organized according to specific understandings. The ministry expectations are then linked to the understandings as well. Key to this process is careful planning.

A major problem with the nightclub activity, then, was in connecting it to important content, to the enduring understandings of the course in other words. Fortunately, Wiggins and McTighe provide a method as to how to determine these understandings. Four filters are given as a means to determine what content is worth uncovering (i.e. conducting research) and understanding:

Represent a big idea having enduring value beyond the classroom. Reside at the heart of the discipline (involve doing the subject). Require uncoverage (of abstract or often misunderstood ideas). Offer potential for engaging students.

(Wiggins and McTighe, p. 23)

For the course Canadian History Since World War I, ten enduring understandings were therefore developed following Wiggins and McTighe's model. Each of these understandings is accompanied by a list of statements indicating how the understanding is linked to specific content or skills throughout the course. For example, the understanding dealing with the powerful dynamics of regionalism in Canada and the emergence of a new assertive Western Canada is further qualified by the following: The students will understand:

The National Policy its importance in terms of the economic development of Canada and the long term impact on Western Canada. The reasons for the emergence of protest parties, beginning with the Progressive Party. The significant role of federal parties in both exacerbating regional tensions and in accommodating regional demands in their party platforms. The importance of the discovery of oil in Alberta and the subsequent emergence of Alberta as an economically and politically powerful province. The reasons why the Maritimes have lagged behind the rest of Canada in terms of economic development.

Using Wiggins and McTighe's model as a guide, the content of the course is organized according to specific understandings. In doing so, an important decision was made: the teacher determined which content was important enough to be examined in more detail which content was connected to a big idea that demanded more research and was worth knowing once the students completed the course.

New research also makes it clear that with this approach students are more likely to remember the significance of the content. This is an extremely important point. Many teachers contend that the students remember little actual content. The focus is therefore on the skills. New convincing research indicates however that this is not the case. Furthermore, this research indicates that the 'understanding by design' approach is effective. According to Robert J. Marzano in What Works In Schools. Translating Research into Action, multiple exposures to content is critical if the students are to commit the information to their permanent memory (Marzano, p.112). With Wiggins and McTighe's approach the students are aware of significant big ideas to which the content of the course is connected. Consequently, the important content of the course is revisited, re-examined, and placed in a meaningful context for the students. They, in turn, will understand and remember this content.

Further research into how the brain works supports Marzano's contention. Eric Jensen, in Teaching with the Brain in Mind, argues that it's not more content that students want, its meaning. One of the things that good schools do is understand the importance of meaning-making and provide the environment that includes the elements necessary for making meaning. (Jensen, p.98) Patricia Wolfe in Brain Matters. Translating Research into Classroom Practice, states, It is essential that we take advantage of the brain's natural proclivity to attend to what is meaningful. She continues with one of the most effective ways to make information meaningful is to associate or compare the new concept with a known concept, to hook the unfamiliar with something familiar (Wolfe, 104). The Understanding by Design model is one of these effective ways. Marilee Sprenger, in Learning and Memory. The Brain in Action, supports this point (Sprenger, p.50-51). What is even more fascinating is the role of emotion. According to Sprenger, the brain contains five memory lanes located in specific areas. Of the five semantic, episodic, procedural, automatic, and emotional emotional is the most powerful (Sprenger, 72-76). Other studies reach the same conclusion (Given, p. 74; Jensen, p.72; Wolfe, p.106). One of the most effective teaching techniques in terms of memory retention involves celebrations and role-playing (Sprenger, p.76). The new research is clear: meaningful content should be presented in an appealing fashion that engages the students' emotions.

The nightclub activity was therefore restructured in light of this new research. No longer referred to as a nightclub, the new performance task is entitled The Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. More aligned with significant content in the History of twentieth century Canada, the year 1927 was selected since it was the 60th anniversary of Confederation. At this time Canadians were immensely proud of Canada's accomplishments during the Great War and of Canada's new status in the British Commonwealth of Nations. The students are asked to organize an exposition of Canadian achievement with the following instructions:

The Liberal government of Mackenzie King has decided to celebrate the success of Canada as a newly recognized country on the international scene. This celebration will take the form of an exposition the purpose of which will be bothto educate and to entertain. You have been selected to be a member of the organizing committee. Your task is two-fold: to prepare a visual display and a brochure highlighting the accomplishments of Canada; and to organize different forms of entertainment.

Instead of simply researching different unrelated topics, the students examine specific themes:

The development of Western Canada as an important region of Canada in terms of political, economic, and cultural change. The cultural accomplishments of Canadians in film, music, art, sports, and other areas of endeavour in particular those which reflect Canada's new sense of national identity and nationhood. The role of government in defending and promoting Canadian cultural and political independence. The changing role and status of women in Canadian society examining the extent to which actual meaningful change occurred. The military success of the Canadian army in the Great War especially the importance of remembering those who sacrificed their lives for Canada.

All of these themes are connected with the stated enduring understandings of the course as well as with several ministry expectations.

Another recent study was also used in this restructuring, Larry Lewis and Betty Jean Shoemaker's Great Performances. Creating Classroom Based Assessment Tasks. Using this work as a guide, the nightclub activity evolved into a more effective performance task better connected to the entire course and to appropriate assessment requirements. According to Lewin and Shoemaker, a performance task has five key characteristics:

Students have some choice in selecting or shaping the task. The task requires both the elaboration of core knowledge content and the use of key processes. The task has an explicit scoring system. The task is designed for an audience larger than the teacher, that is, others outside the classroom who would find value in the work. The task is carefully crafted to measure what it purports to measure.

(Lewin and Shoemaker, p. 4-5)

Of these characteristics, the nightclub activity possessed only two out of five: student choice and the use of key processes (e.g. research skills). Using Lewin and Shoemaker as a guide, some choice was integrated into the task, especially with the first and the third themes. The class was organized into co-operative groups. Often it is difficult to determine the appropriate size, so again new research was critical. In Classroom Instruction That Works. Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, 3 to 4 students is considered as the most effective size of a co-operative group (Marzano, Pickering, Pollock, p. 88). Both the visual displays and the brochures were arranged according to the themes. Teachers, parents, and senior students formed the audience, circulating and asking the students questions concerning their displays. After this portion of the Jubilee was completed, the students participated in the various activities that they had organized. Explicit scoring systems, in the form of rubrics, were used to assess the students' visual displays, brochures, and performances. Students provided much of the leadership as different committees were established to prepare the various activities and to organize the entire day. These committees were separate from the co-operative groups. A steering committee was established to co-ordinate the different activities and to provide overall leadership. The role of the teacher was also crucial in terms of over all planning of the performance task and classroom instruction.

Here is another excellent example of the significance of taking advantage of new educational research when organizing lessons in the classroom. Recently, it has been common practice to consider the teacher as a coach, a facilitator. The focus is on the student alone. Traditional teacher-centered lessons are frowned upon. This tendency is especially strong among advocates of co-operative learning. Some new research, however, reasserts the need for more traditional teaching strategies such as the Socratic method. Even new theories of education such as constructivism can be used inappropriately if care is not taken. R.J. Marzano asserts that these theories should be used with caution and not overly applied in lieu of time-honored and well researched practices (Marzano, 107). According to recent research in cognitive psychology, the constructivist claim that learning must be an active process is accurate, but at times this principle is taken too far to mean that teachers should rarely (if ever) teach content to students (Marzano, p. 108). With Diamond Jubilee the students were therefore taught some of the more challenging content. For example, the Chanak Affair of 1922 occurred, as the British became embroiled in a dispute with Turkey over control of the Dardenalles, a major international trade route. Without teacher instruction the students would have experienced difficulty in understanding this complex international crisis. The determining for teacher instruction is the degree of complexity and the necessity of avoiding student misunderstanding of significant content.

Recent research has even further influenced the nature of this performance task, the unit, and the overall course. For instance, Richard W. Strong, in Teaching What Matters Most: Standards and Strategies for Raising Student Achievement, emphasizes the importance of establishing rigour throughout the curriculum. Rigour is defined as the goal of helping students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative, and personally or emotionally challenging (Strong, p.7). Referring to another study, David Perkins' Smart Schools: Better Thinking Learning For Every Child, Strong states that all students need schools to provide both rigourous content and direct instruction in the skills needed to manage that content (e.g., note taking, summarizing, glossing a text) (Strong, p.7). Strong contends as well that rigour can be maintained in history courses by the analysis of primary documents. Such analysis has usually been reserved for senior students, yet, following Strong's advice, the students analyzed primary documents relating to the themes of the Diamond Jubilee. For example, in terms of the changing status of women, students examined documents that highlight the contrast between the newly achieved political independence of women and their social and economic status. The students realized that the theme of the changing status of women is more complex than they had thought. Recent research has therefore been used to enhance the quality of this performance task, and to prevent the students from simplifying some complex content.

Many more examples could be provided as to how classroom practice and new research in education theory can be effectively combined. Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences theory is a case in point. Thomas Armstrong, in Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, explains how the different intelligences linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal can be integrated into the curriculum. His study has proven invaluable in designing the performance task, the Diamond Jubilee, and the entire course. For every lesson the targeted intelligence(s) is highlighted along with the targeted understanding. Another guide in terms of curriculum design is Carol Ann Tomlinson's The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners. In an intriguing comparison between the traditional classroom and the differentiated classroom, she provides an excellent guideline for teachers so that they may establish the appropriate learning environment for all students (Tomlinson, p. 16). In short, effective teaching must take into consideration student differences; the instruction must be differentiated. With the multiple intelligences approach, this is exactly what happens. And with the Diamond Jubilee Project students were given the opportunity to differentiate their own learning depending on their choice of topic and activity.

Many studies also indicate that students need an opportunity to reflect on their learning, and to examine their own learning over a long period of time. Assessment should involve an appraisal of student growth. Portfolios have proven to be effective tools in facilitating student learning and thereby improving teachers' assessment and evaluation practices (Tomlinson, p.93; Sprenger: p. 82-83, Torff, p67-107; O'Connor, p.6-7; and Marzano, p.98-99). Emphasis is now placed on student improvement. I have adopted a portfolio system for the mandatory grade 10 History course with a particular focus on essay skills. Students are given the opportunity to correct their own work and to track their own improvement. For certain topics students also record their own feelings. For the Diamond Jubilee the students reflected on both the treatment of women and immigrants during this period. Throughout the course the students are given similar opportunities to reflect on significant content.

One last example should suffice in order to demonstrate the importance of using new educational research to improve classroom instruction. Richard Strong provides some quick tips as to how to increase rigour in the classroom. He suggests that a department should be a club for readers in which teachers read and discuss non-pedagogical books pertinent to their subject. This is an interesting point. Without this tip the Diamond Jubilee re-enactment would never have been developed since, following Strong's advice, I came upon some intriguing information after further reading on Canada in the 1920's: Mackenzie King's plan for a major national celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Confederation in 1927. Local committees were established in villages, towns, and cities across Canada. This is why the nightclub became the Diamond Jubilee. Without Strong's advice I would never have learned about the Jubilee since it is not even mentioned in most textbooks.

The Diamond Jubilee Project gave my students an excellent opportunity to experience History. The local libraries and archives provided substantial information about the Jubilee. In The Daily Intelligencer, our local Belleville, Ontario newspaper students found several articles about the Jubilee. Students also discovered that at all of the local celebrations the war veterans were honoured and the war dead remembered. Like all newspapers across the country The Tweed Advocate supplied its readers with critical information about July 3rd 1927, a day of Canadian National Thanksgiving. The National Committee for the Celebration of the Diamond Jubilee provided a detailed script for the ceremony with an Order of Proceedings and a series of prayers such as A Prayer for Divine Guidance in the Government of our Land. Students came to realize the important role religion still played in the lives of Canadians. For their own Diamond Jubilee the students recited some of these prayers and re-enacted a commemorative ceremony for the war dead. As reported in the Belleville Intelligencer, November 11, 2005, the students enjoyed the re-enactment. One student commented, It helps you learn better. It's pretty neat. You find out what it was like to live in the 1920s. Another student appreciated the commemorative ceremony: It was really nice and respectful. For one day History came alive for these students. They were able to re-enact an event of local and national scope.

Without exaggeration it may be stated that this re-enactment would never have been designed if not for the educational research now available. My classroom instruction has also improved because of this research. My delivery of the entire course, Canadian History Since World War II, is much more effective since I began to integrate new approaches and ideas from recent educational research. Student learning has also improved. My students are able to focus on the significant skills and content that they need to master because of the way the course is now organized. The students also benefit in another important way: teacher enthusiasm. I have learned that instead of teaching the same content with the same strategies year after year, teachers need to be challenged, to learn new strategies and new content. After more than twenty years of teaching, I remain enthusiastic, eager to organize more performance tasks and to teach once again the compulsory grade 10 History course.

References

Armstrong, T. (1994). Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Lewin, L., Shoemaker, B.J. (1998). Great Performances. Creating Classroom-Based Assessment Tasks. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Marzano, R.J. (2000). Transforming Classroom Grading. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom Instruction That Works. Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Marzano, R.J. (2003). What Works In Schools. Translating Research Into Action. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

O'Connor. (2002). How To Grade For Learning. Linking Grades To Standards. Glenview, Illinois: Pearson Education.

Strong, R.W., Silver, H.F., Perini, M.J. (2001). Teaching What Matters Most. Standards and Strategies for Raising Student Achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Tomlinson, C.A. (1999). The Differentiated Classroom. Responding to the Needs of All Learners. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Torff, B. ed., (1997). Multiple Intelligences and Assessment. A Collection of Articles. Arlington Heights, Illinois: Skylight.

Sprenger, M. (1999). Learning and Memory. The Brain in Action. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Wiggins, G., McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Wolfe, P. (2001). Brain Matters. Translating Research into Classroom Practice. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Joseph (Joe) Stafford is an experienced teacher in the Kingston - Belleville area. He can be reached by email at jtstafford@sympatico.ca

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 40 NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

Educating The Next Generation Of Global Citizens Through Teacher Education,
One New Teacher At A Time.
E1

Lorna R. McLean, Sharon Anne Cook and Tracy Crowe
University of Ottawa

Abstract

Judging from public debate and policy, there is renewed interest about the state of young peoples' civic engagement, their character development and their knowledge levels about public issues. At the same time, there are persistent concerns about the narrow and nationalist construction of the very curriculum which should be challenging young peoples' ideas and perceptions of the world in Social Studies or History curricula. The following article discusses some of the ways in which the Developing a Global Perspective for Educators/Dveloppement d'une perspective globale pour enseignants et enseignantes initiative at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa aims to address the knowledge deficit, the paucity of pedagogical skills and the provision of curricula with pre-service students.

Judging from public debate and policy, there is renewed interest about the state of young peoples' civic engagement, their character development and their knowledge levels about public issues. To assert that these worries are not new, indeed, that they extend at least back to Plato, provides little comfort in an era preoccupied with consumerism, especially, as some maintain, amongst the young. At the same time, there are persistent concerns about the narrow and nationalist construction of the very curriculum which should be challenging young peoples' ideas and perceptions of the world in Social Studies or History curricula. But even if the curriculum provided a stronger incentive than it does for Canadian youths to act as responsible global citizens, concerns remain about the kind of preparation which teachers receive to effectively teach these issues.

Those preparing to be teachers of Social Studies, Civics, History or Geography need to be introduced to current information about the challenges of the Developing World and of our own. They need specific pedagogical skills to teach these topics to adolescents preoccupied with their own worries and hopes, and they need classroom-ready curricula on which to draw to integrate global citizenship topics into provincially-approved curricula. The following article discusses some of the ways in which the Developing a Global Perspective for Educators/Dveloppement d'une perspective globale pour enseignants et enseignantes' initiative at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa aims to address the knowledge deficit, the paucity of pedagogical skills and the provision of curricula with pre-service students.

The initiative is based on several assumptions for both student and teacher. First, we believe that the classroom is a central site for raising these issues and questioning attitudes among young Canadians. Second, at this formative stage of their professional development, new teachers are receptive to integrating new themes, such as international development and gender equity, into a curriculum which can accommodate such topics, while not specifically mandating them. Third, the Developing a Global Perspective Initiative assumes that the introduction of such themes not only benefits the international community, but also Canadian society. Character and citizenship education which focuses on the developing world expands the possibilities of convincing Canadian adolescents of their opportunities and choices, allowing them to explore issues of justice and equity in other local, national, and international sites. Finally, the initiative is based on partnerships with Canadian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), other researchers in the Faculty of Education, community activists, and the local educational community. It does not assume that teacher education is the sole agent for this or any other societal change; rather, by forging partnerships with like-minded groups, teachers and teacher education facilities can participate in a broad programme of effective social change, while supporting longstanding and high quality products already available.

The Developing a Global Perspective initiative has evolved over the past three years to include on-campus institutes at various times of the year, a resource fair, a speakers' and film series, an off-site retreat and an in-school component where student teachers act as resource teachers in our partner schools. It is supported by a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) grant under the Global Classroom Initiative Programme, for which details are available on the CIDA website (www.acdi-cida.gc.ca). Similar to the themes promoted by CIDA, Developing a Global Perspective takes up questions of the basic human needs of health and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, gender equality in conflict situations and beyond, human rights, democracy and governance, environmental protection, peacemaking and peaceful coexistence. It attempts to disseminate curricula and classroom activities which have been developed by Canadian NGOs and other private groups profiling one project or site for development, and curricular units developed by teachers across Canada. Many of these materials and strategies are creative and effective, and yet the possibility of teachers encountering them is still minimal. Most are web-based. Thus, new teachers who are fully conversant with, and comfortable in, accessing resources from the web are a natural focus for our efforts. Our task is to reinforce our teacher education students' interest in the many components of global citizenship through adding to their knowledge base, pedagogical skills and curriculum units of study and lesson plans for classroom use. To demonstrate the knowledge, skills and curricula made available to these students, we next profile several curriculum packages, some of which are available in both English and French as web-based products, and all of which address a range of issues at all levels of the school system.

The first example of a classroom-ready resource, appropriate for the middle or secondary school classroom and available free of charge, is a curriculum unit produced by CHF (formerly the Canadian Hunger Foundation). Available on line at www.chf-partners.ca, an introductory lesson on sustainable development is structured around photograph analysis. CHF provides a chart before each lesson, keying the objectives into official curriculum guideline learning outcomes, usually for Ontario. However, the links to other provincial curricula and other subject areas are not difficult to identify.

In this case, Intermediate-level students in Geography, Media Studies or Canadian and World Studies consider what is right in a series of five pictures of working life in a typical developing country profiled here by a single example from the CHF website http://www.chf-partners.ca. One of the lesson's goal's is for students to move beyond the sympathy or even pity which might be elicited from observing a dwelling patched with pieces of tin, unmechanized farming practices and packed-earth floors and rough benches as the site for a village council meeting, all of which are displayed in the sample photographs. To accomplish this, the lesson recommends an opening activity directed by the teacher, and using one of the images to emphasize the positive, if unfamiliar, features of the first photograph. In this image, despite the patched hut which serves as home for a mother and her child, peaking impishly from the window, the teacher has the students note such details as the adequacy of the shelter for the climate, the presence of water, household items for cooking and the fact that the family appears healthy. All of these details, and others besides, are what is right about this picture. The principle emphasized in this portion of the lesson is that all developing countries, even those in greatest need of aid, have community strengths and assets which must become the basis for effective long-term sustainable development. In the open-forum session, therefore, the teacher draws from the students evidence from the photograph of possible assets, and based on this, a possible project is identified which might enhance this community's success with maximizing the strength. For example, the photograph shows that the village has water, but is it potable? Might a project involve a water purification system? If so, who would benefit from the project, and what other considerations need to be given to community standards and norms for this project to succeed? All of these issues are set out on a classroom organizer, a copy of which can be provided to each student.

With this one photograph analysis as a model, the lesson plan recommends that students break into small groups, each receiving their own photograph for analysis. They are warned that as development officers for CHF, they would normally discuss any idea for a project with the local people; in this case, they are to interrogate the photograph alone, requiring even sharper analytical and synthesis skills than regular field officers. Every lesson provides teachers with assessment rubrics and suggestions for additional resources, most of which are web based. To counteract anxiety about knowing too little, teachers are also offered short, relevant explanations for terms or concepts distinctive to the theme under discussion. Hence, in one workable lesson plan, teachers have access to the necessary information to teach the theme effectively, appropriate pedagogical suggestions, and resources which relate to the intermediate division.

The second example of a classroom-ready resource, Common Threads: Globalization, Sweatshops, and the Clothes We Wear, was prepared by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) with the assistance of funding from CIDA. Although the target curricula are referenced according to Ontario's grade 10 Civics, grade 11 Fashion and Creative Expression, Philosophy, Canadian and World Politics and Grade 12 University Preparation courses, the topics could be applied to other subject areas such as Social Studies, History, Geography, English, Art, Economics and Law in the junior, intermediate and senior sectors. The adaptability of the materials and the range of multi-media options also make this resource suitable for English as Second Language students and for integration of multiple subjects. In addition, all required materials, including the video, website listing, CD-ROM, student activity sheets and assessment rubrics are provided in the kit which is available for a $50. fee (non-members) and $40.00 (members) from The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) office in Toronto, and on the web at www.commonthreads.ca.

This comprehensive teacher resource consists of individual lesson modules which highlight basic human needs, industrial relations, human rights, democracy, and gender (in) equality, fair trade and globalization. To accomplish these objectives the project focuses on the sweatshops in Guatemala's three hundred maquillas or garment factories and the complex social, political and economic factors that have contributed to the emergence and sustainability of these industries. The sample worksheets from the website www.commonthreads.ca, demonstrate one such creative approach to classroom instruction that could be integrated into the Social Studies, Grade 6, Ontario Curriculum strand on Canada's Links to the World which addresses issues of trade between Canada and other countries. While students frequently view this topic as an abstract concept, unrelated to their day to day lives, the example cited here profiles the links between clothing purchased by Canadian youths and broader issues of human rights, gender (in)equality, labour practices, fair trade and globalization. Here, students compare their estimated cost of a sweatshirt (retail store, materials, wages etc.) with The Real Cost of Your Clothes as presented in the second worksheet. The comparative approach to the lesson highlights the disparity in wages and costs between what the student in Canada pays for a garment and the meager wages of the often young female worker.

In recognizing the sensitive nature of the resource's subject matter, the Guide recommends that care must be taken to ensure that students are not made to feel uncomfortable or guilty during the course of the lesson... Students should be reminded that the lesson is not meant to imply a criticism of themselves, their families or the lives they lead, but to raise awareness about the potential impact of choices they make every day (The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, OSSTF/FEESO, 2003, Common Threads: Globalization, Sweatshops, and the Clothes We Wear, p. 4, Toronto, Ontario). Finally, a key component of this resource is that it not only provides teachers with information to integrate a global perspective in their teaching, it also offers practical, effective opportunities for direct civic action by students to improve the lives of workers in other countries through a range of activities such as: creating a flyer or brochure for distribution to other students which outlines the issue of Guatemala's maquillas and offers a rationale for a specific action; writing a letter to their Member of Parliament or an apparel company executive advocating fair trade policies for Guatemala's maquila's workers; or performing a sweatshop fashion show for the school to reveal the wages and working conditions of the workers.

The third example of a free classroom-ready resource, appropriate for the elementary classroom, is Kids Who Care: A Global Education Program on International Environmental Issues For Elementary Teachers. This resource is produced by Foster Parents Plan in consultation with Canadian educators and is available on-line at: www.fosterparentsplan.ca/workwithus/kwc/english/kwc1.htm. The resource includes a teacher's guide divided into five study units with ready-made activities designed for students in grades 4 to 6 but may be readily adaptable to other grades; a 23 minute video that profiles youth-led environmental projects in Senegal and Togo; a student action guide and an on-line newsletter. Kids Who Care blends specific curricular outcomes that address learner knowledge, skills and attitudes through the development of cross-cultural communication, friendship, citizenship and environmental sustainability themes. For example, in the water unit, the resource guide provides background information for teachers and detailed lesson plans including a time frame and a list of materials needed for hands-on learning activities such as making a water filter. Each unit offers opportunities for teachers to extend the unit, establish links with international efforts to address common issues and suggests creative ways for students to engage in meaningful projects. The accompanying Student Action Guide presents students and teachers with the tools to form a global education club and instructions on organizing awareness events.

The strength of the resource are the positive links between the experiences of children in West Africa, the lessons learned in child-centered development projects, and the opportunities for Canadian students to explore issues of the environment and the needs and safety of people in other countries. As seen below, the activities in the community unit allow students an opportunity to develop a number of skills.

Skills developed include:

Appreciation and understanding of other cultures and diversity here and at home (Looking Out from the Inside, Whose News? Share My World) Public speaking/ language skills (Make Good News Happen, Create Your Own Media, Writing a Press Release) Analytical and problem-solving skills (Two to Tango, Whose News?) Creativity (Looking Out from the Inside, Making Good News Happen, Create Your Own Media) Ability to plan group projects and carry them through (Whose News? Extensions, Make
Good News Happen, Create Your Own Media)
Increase knowledge of the world around us and in our own backyard (Whose News? Make Good News Happen) Enhance self-esteem and ability to make choices among different courses of action (Looking Out from the Inside, Local Heroes extension, Share My World) Research skills (Whose News? Local Heroes)

(Foster Parents Plan (1998) Kids Who Care: Community Unit. p.2. Toronto, Ontario)

In summary, the materials presented above incorporate a variety of delivery methods, curriculum-related resources and knowledge-based materials for junior, intermediate and senior classrooms. This selection of teacher resources offered through various workshops at the Faculty of Education provide critical learning opportunities for preservice teachers to explore questions of basic needs of health and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, gender (in)equality in conflict and labour situations, human rights, democracy, governance, environmental protection, peacemaking and peaceful co-existence throughout the formative learning experience of teacher education. In so doing, the project, Developing a Global Perspective for Educators/Dveloppement d'une perspective globale pour enseignants et enseignantes, aims to expand the teacher candidates' understanding of global citizenship, to augment their pedagogical skills in pursuing these initiatives and to experience using ready-made sources for instruction in the classroom. The University of Ottawa programme has no direct connection to any of these websites or to the teaching materials offered on them. Our interest has been to publicize these ready to use resources amongst teacher candidates because of their high quality and easy accessibility. Our goal has been to offer one new teacher at a time the opportunity as professionals to reflect on their role as teachers and to encourage their development and that of their future students as global citizens.

E1The authors gratefully acknowledge funding for the Developing a Global Perspective for Educators/Dveloppement d'une perspective globale pour enseignants et enseignantes project by the Global Classroom Initiative, Canadian International Development Agency.

References

Clipsam, Dianne ed. Global Infusion: A Guide to Bringing the World to Your Classroom,(Ottawa: Ottawa Global Education Network, 2004). The Guide is available on the web at www.global-ed.org.
Lorna R. McLean is an Associate Professor of Education in the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. She can be reached at lrmclean@uottawa.ca.
Sharon Anne Cook is a Professor of Education in the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. She can be reached at scook@uottawa.ca.
Tracy Crowe is a Seconded Professor of Education in the Faculty of Education from the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board, and Assistant Director of Teacher Education, University of Ottawa. She can be reached at tcrowe@uottawa.ca.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 40 NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

You Can't Have a Digital Revolution Without Critical Literacy.

John Myers
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Abstract

In working with new teachers and teacher candidates in teacher education with the many demands placed upon them, it makes sense to combine a number of learning goals. The following article examines the idea that literacy, technology, and subject curriculum goals are a powerful combination. Indeed, critical literacy with a stress on inferring, is a necessary component of sound use of the internet for source-based history. This article presents two simple but powerful templates for analyzing sources followed by examples of a key literacy orientation for busy teachers to use both on line and face-to-face in classrooms from grades 7-12. It concludes with a research agenda in the form of some key questions for some of the unexamined issues in the integration of critical literacy and information technology in the history classroom.

A Case for Critical Literacy
There has always been a tension between viewing history as a story (noun) and viewing it as an investigation (verb). This goes back to the Latin and Greek origins of the word itself and the approaches of Herodotus and Thucydides, each of whom stressed one part of this continuum. I call it a continuum because I view both as important. Yet it is fair to say that in schools, the former is stressed at the expense of the latter based on such factors as the dominance of textbook teaching, full frontal teaching dominated by the lecture, and testing stressing factual recall. At least this seems to be the case in U.S. schools (Goodlad, 1984; Hicks, Doolittle, and Lee, 2004; Friedman, 2006). In Canada we have had no large scale studies of school history in practice since Hodgetts (1968) though when the popular press reports on school history they usually comment on the lack of knowledge by students as revealed in tests rather than any inability to think historically (Morton, 2000; Gibson and von Heyking, 2003).

In the past four decades there have been a number of developments with the potential to change the grammatical balance1of the subject as taught in schools. The digital revolution appears to be the latest of these. Many have spoken of the potential for new technologies beyond the lecture and textbook to liberate teachers and students to do creative work across the curriculum, including the social studies (for example, Levesque, 2005; Allen, Dutt-Doner, Eini, Frederick, Chuang, and Thompson, 2005/6). Teacher education programs in particular are expected to infuse new technologies into their programs to meet the needs and experiences of the next generation of teachers (Darling-Hammond, Banks, Zumwalt, Gomez, Sherin, Griesdorn, and Finn (2005). Yet despite enthusiasm for on-line work, there are many factors that may limit its impact, especially the realities of a busy teacher's life.

This article focuses on literacy in the digital age for the following reasons.

Literacy is a public issue in schools and is getting more attention in the form of funding, professional development, and both human and material resources. The case needs to be made that good social studies and history teaching equals literacy. The use of primary sources is part of this case and may help teachers attend to literacy, inquiry, and subject-based outcomes simultaneously. The literacy demands on students reading and writing history and social studies are considerable, even with visual information (Myers, 1990; Greene, 1994; Counsell, 1997; Werner, 2004). Students need to become critical readers in order to make sense of the past and the present, especially when working with new technologies (Wineburg and Martin, 2004; Roswell and Booth, 2005, Sandwell, 2005).

Unless teaching pedagogies change, the impact of new technologies will be limited (November, 2001; McKenzie, 2003; Wiske with Franz and Breit, 2005; Burns, 2005/6). How do we prepare teacher candidates who lack experience or experienced teachers who lack the time to become digital revolutionaries?

This article takes small steps. Teacher education programs cannot be expected to do it all. And in the case of history education, many of our candidates, even in provinces that have separated history from social studies, lack deep knowledge of both the content and the structure of the discipline. So part of a teacher educator's job is to build capacity among new teachers to learn. This includes catching-up on skills and understandings seen as lacking by history specialists and professional historians.

When I speak of digital revolution I am referring to web-based and paper copy of primary sources only. Space prevents any substantive examination of the ever-widening use of other technologies such as video recorders, graphing calculators, computers and software, internet games and simulations, webquests, and a whole host of multimedia devices such as ipods.

Critical literacy is defined by the International Reading Association as active, engaged reading in which students approach texts with a critical eye-thinking about what the text says about the world, why it says it, and whether the claims made by the text should be accepted. http://www.reading.org/resources/issues/focus_critical.html.

The next section offers two specific techniques for critical document analysis.

Analyzing a single document
While there are many approaches to analyzing documents, the British, originators of the source revolution of more than three decades ago, have made such analysis simple yet powerful by focusing on what is really important: content, context and the place of inference. Here is an example of a template for use with single documents: text, visual, or both (adapted from Riley, 1999).

The graphic is a visual representation of the process of working within the document to working around the document. Students write notes related to the question in the relevant blank rectangles.

This technique stresses critical reading in which the reader looks at both the content and context of the source. The next tool may move students and novice teachers further.

Comparing sources
Comparing, contrasting, and classifying seem so matter of fact that they are often considered to be examples of low-level thinking. Yet these operations are crucial for thinking historically.2 How can students recognize that there are different perspectives or ways of looking at people, events, or ideas unless they can actually see the differences in the form of competing interpretations, voices, assumptions, and values? The effects on student achievement are considerable (Marzano, Pickering, and Polluck, 2001).

This is why pairs of documents offering differing interpretations of the same facts are important for helping students recognize the nature of historical interpretation. Something as simple as a graphic organizer such as a venn diagram can help students work through interpretations.

The next section present a literacy orientation for busy teachers who often feel that literacy is best left to the English teacher yet may be held to account for promoting literacy in their subject areas by curriculum and assessment demands as is the case in Ontario. In that province all students must pass a cross-curricular literacy test administered in grade 10 or demonstrate equivalency through a follow-up course in order to graduate.

Reading and Writing to Learn
Reading-to-learn (r-t-l) and writing-to-learn (w-t-l) represent sets of thinking tactics and productive habits of mind learners use when making sense of and communicating important ideas within specific curriculum areas (Jacobs, 2002; Grossman, Shoenfeld, with Lee, 2005). While this section seem to be just common sense and may be viewed as irrelevant to history education, my own experiences and the work of others suggests otherwise (Myers, 1999; Jacobs, op. cit.; Wineberg, 2006). The following principles are vital if we are to be serious about being critical literacy teachers:

literacy and thinking are connected, the teaching needs to be explicit, with time provided for reading, writing, speaking, and listening, for many students, even in senior and university-destination courses, these tactics and habits of mind MUST BE TAUGHT. U.S. data suggests that senior students are poor at working with and through complex texts in the content areas (Valds, Bunch, Snow, and Lee with Adams, 2005; Snow, Griffin, and Burns, 2005). Given the evidence that these skills and habits are not taught, this point is stressed. students need frequent opportunities to process and reflect on their learning, reading and writing has a purpose-students do read if they have a reason to, when appropriate offer choices-so that students can better match their reasons for reading and writing with your reasons, we remember the beginnings and the ends of things better than we do the middle; so r-t-l and w-t-l can help students focus on the body of the learning for a unit or lesson and consolidate it when it is done, r-t-l and w-t-l tasks provide scaffolding for better formal reading and writing purposeful talk supports all of these principles (space prevents a detailed look at this important principle but there are examples from a workshop at http://ohassta.org/conference.htm on the power of purposeful talk, including examples specific to history that have been successfully used in classes for decades), many writing-to-learn tasks are informal and take only a few minutes of class time or can be assigned as homework, but they help students think through interesting, provocative, and complex ideas. They are appealing because: they do not need to be marked they do not need to be completed works they can be used to lead to more formal work they help the reading process by promoting understanding of content and thus can serve as diagnostic assessment tools,

Among the possible r-t-l and w-t-l tasks teachers can do with primary sources both on-line and off-line are the following:

Sample Reading-to-Learn Tasks

Examine the chart / map / photo / drawing at http://www. _______________. What conclusions can you draw about x? What is the artist's perspective of the event depicted at http://www. _______________? Examine the data in http://www. _______________. What patterns are evident? Examine the title / caption for the image at http://www. _______________. Change the title / rewrite the caption to one which more accurately reflects the information in the site.

Sample Writing-to-Learn Tasks

Give chart / map / photo / drawing at http://www. _______________ a title and a new one-sentence caption. Rewrite the document written by ______ at http://www. _______________. Use only one-third of the total number of words used in the passage you are to prcis, but do not change the meaning of the passage Have students share their responses with peers, looking for points of agreement or disagreement. One liners: at the end of a reading from the text in a website have students write a one-line summary.

These and other examples can be used with secondary sources such as textbooks. They incorporate literacy with important content learning.

Conclusions and An Agenda
There is now a network of teachers, academic and public historians, archivists and museologists, classroom teachers, and teacher educators. The History Education Network (T.H.E.N.) http://www.historyeducation.ca could work with other partners to conduct studies along the following lines

What are the possibilities? What is on the internet that has potential for improving history teaching and learning? Here we can look for and assess primary source collections, games, simulations, and work done by teachers, school districts, researchers, museums and archives. How are they used? Are we talking about information retrieval or historical inquiry? How do we prepare teachers and students for better use of these burgeoning resources through work in critical literacy, authentic inquiry, including not only the sources but the sources of the sources; namely, the validity of the websites themselves?

Teachers are busy people. Using new technologies may increase their workload as their ability to reach students. To help them we need simple yet powerful tools connected to a clear curricular vision. Working through literacy is one approach for helping us all work smarter. The article has offered a brief rationale for stressing literacy and some small steps for moving to integrate critical literacy to the use of new information technologies. It also proposes a research agenda incorporating the above for promoting history teaching and learning.

End Notes
1The concept of history as verb and the inspiration for the diagram and grammatical metaphor comes from the work of Professor Ruth Sandwell, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, History is a Verb: Using Primary Documents in the Social Studies and History Classroom. (unpublished manuscript)
2There is a section in the document-based Begbie contest that recognizes the importance of simple comparisons. See http://www.begbiecontestsociety.org for examples.

References

Allen, S.M., Dutt-Doner, K.M., Eini, K., Frederick, R., Chuang, H-H., and Thompson, A. 2005-6. Four Takes on Technology. Educational Leadership. v. 63, n. 4. (December-January). 66-71.

Burns, M. 2005/6. Tools for the Mind. Educational Leadership. v. 63, n. 4.(December-January). 48-53.

Counsell, C. 1997. Analytical and Discoursive Writing. Longmead, Shaftesbury, Dorset: The Historical Association.

Darling-Hammond, L., Banks, J., Zumwalt, K., Gomez, L., Sherin, M.G., Griesdorn, J., and Finn, L. 2005. Educational Goals and Purposes: Developing a Curricular Vision for Teaching. Darling-Hammond, L and Bransford, J. (eds.) Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 169-200.

Friedman, A.M. 2006. World History Teachers' Use of Digital Primary Sources: The Effect of Training. Theory and Research in Social Education. v. 34, n. 1 (Winter). 124-141.

Gibson, S.E., and von Heyking, A. J. 2003. History Teaching in Alberta Schools: Perspectives and Prospects. Canadian Social Studies. v. 37 n. 2 (Winter). www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css (accessed May 2, 2006).

Goodlad, J.1984. A Place Called School. Prospects for the Future. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Grossman, P., Shoenfeld, A., with Lee, C. 2005. Teaching Subject Matter. Darling-Hammond, L and Bransford, J. (eds.) Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 201-231.

Greene, S. 1994. The Problems of Learning to Think like an Historian: Writing History in the Culture of the Classroom. Educational Psychologist. v. 29, n.2. (Spring). 89-96.

Hicks, D., Doolittle, D., and Lee, J.P. 2004. Social Studies Teachers' Use of Classroom-Based and Web-Based Historical Primary Sources. Theory and Research in Social Education. v. 32. n. (Spring). 213-47.

Hodgetts, A.B. 1968. What Culture? What Heritage? A Study of Civic Education in Canada. Toronto: OISE Press.

Jacobs, V.A. 2002. Reading, Writing, and Understanding. Educational Leadership. v. 60. n. 3 (November). 58-61.

Levesque, S. (2005). (Un)covering the Past: Engaging Canadian Students in Virtual History. Keynote Address to the Symposium History Alive: Old Sources New Technology. The Teaching of History Research Group. Queen's University, Kingston, ON, November 25.

Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., and Polluck, J.E. 2001. Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

McKenzie, J. 2003. Pedagogy Does Matter! From Now On. v. 13, n. 1 (September) http://fno.org/sept03/pedagogy.html (accessed May 2, 2006).

Morton, D. 2000.Teaching and Learning History in Canada. Stearns, P.H., Wineburg, S. Seixas, P. (eds.). Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives. New York: New York University Press. 51-62.

Myers, J. 1990. The Trouble with History, The History and Social Science Teacher. v. 25, n. 2. (Winter). 69-71.

Myers, J. 1999. Literacy Is Everyone's Business Rapport. Journal of the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers Association. (April). 17-21.

November, A. 2001. Empowering Students with Technology. Glenview IL: Skylight.

Riley, C. 1999. Evidential Understanding, Period knowledge and the Development of Literacy: A Practical Approach to 'Layers of Inference' for Key Stage 3. Teaching History. n. 99 (November). 6-12.

Rowsell, J. and Booth, D. 2005 (eds.). Literacy Revisited. Orbit Magazine Theme Issue. v. 36, n. 1 (Winter).

Sandewll, R. 2005. The Great Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian History: Using a Web-based Archives to Teach History. Canadian Social Studies. v. 39, n. 2 (Winter). www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css (accessed May 2, 2006).

Snow, C., Griffin, P, and Burns, M. S. (eds). 2005. Knowledge to Support the Teaching of Reading: Preparing Teachers for a Changing World. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Valds, G. Bunch, G., Snow, C. and Lee, C., with Adams, L. 2005. Enhancing the Development of Students' Language(s). Darling-Hammond, L and Bransford, J. (eds.) Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 126-168.

Werner, W. 2004. On Political Cartoons and Social Studies Textbooks:
Visual Analogies, Intertextuality, and Cultural Memory. Canadian Social Studies, v. 38, n. 2 (Winter). www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css (accessed May 2, 2006).

Wineburg, S. S. and Martin, D. 2004. Reading and Rewriting History. Educational Leadership. v. 62, n.1. (September). 42-45.

Wineburg, S. 2006. A Sobering Big Idea. Phi Delta Kappan. v. 87. n.5. (January). 403-404.

Wiske, M.S. with Franz, K.R. and Breit, L. 2005.Teaching for Understanding with Technology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


John Myers is a Curriculum Instructor in the Teacher Education Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. He can be reached by email at jmyers@oise.utoronto.ca.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 40 NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

Discovering Your Place in History.

Carol White
Retired teacher from Kingston

Abstract

The Historica Foundation of Canada has a mandate to provide or support programs and resources for the teaching of Canadian history in Canadian schools. This paper outlines how Historica discovered what was needed and the programs and resources they developed to fulfill their mandate.

The Historica Foundation of Canada is a charitable foundation whose mandate is to provide or support programs and resources that inspire Canadians to explore their history. Historica is committed to working in all provinces and territories, in both French and English, and with organizations and individuals of all origins. Its educational programs are developed to help teachers meet the challenges of teaching history in a constantly changing world.

The Historica Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to helping Canadians discover the fascinating stories that make our country unique. Through our education programs and authoritative resources we connect Canadians to our many histories. We invite you to discover your place in history at www.histori.ca. (Historica, 2006).

Looking to improve the quality of its resources, Historica commissioned two separate investigations of the teaching of Canadian history in Canadian schools in 2002/2003. One was by Patricia Shields and Doug Ramsey (Shields, 2002) and dealt with English-language schools, and the other was by Jean-Pierre Charland and Sabrina Moisan (Charland, 2003) and dealt with French-language schools. Their research examined the treatment of Canadian history in the curricula of the provinces and territories and the resources in use at the time. Both investigative teams interviewed teachers to determine their viewpoints on the state of Canadian history in their province or territory. In January of 2004, Ken Osborne, Professor Emeritus of Education University of Manitoba, summarized the findings of both groups for Historica. In his words, the report's intent was simply to map the terrain of history education, not to prescribe any particular journey or destination (Osborne 2004, p. 3)
To determine the journey it needed to follow to provide teachers with what they needed Historica, in June of 2004 conducted an extensive on-line survey of teachers across the country to find out what type of resources teachers felt were needed to fill the gaps of resources currently out there. This research was followed up by interviewing teachers participating in the Historica Summer Institute in July of 2004. Then, in September of this same year, researcher MaryRose O'Neill, studied the earlier findings and survey and interview results and prepared a final report on the gaps in resources available to deliver history and social studies curricula in Canada. The Historica Foundation, has undertaken to fill the gaps suggested in this final report by concentrating its efforts in three main areas: school programs, learning resources and professional development.

Historica has two school major programs - the Historica Fairs program and YouthLinks. The first program, the National Fairs Program for grades four to nine, begins in the classroom with the preparation of research based projects and culminates with a public exhibition for the sharing of the stories' discovered by the students. The Fairs program supports existing curricula in all provinces and territories and Historica is constantly enhancing its delivery and broadening its catchment area. Even isolated communities can participate by publishing their projects using the five easy steps provided on the online showcase hosted on the Historica site.

Making the Historica Fairs program an integral part of the social studies, history and geography programs is an excellent way to ensure that the students

acquire the fundamental knowledge and skills that will enable them to carry out increasingly complex investigations (Ontario Social Studies Grade 1-6, History and Geography, 2004, p.14)


The research/inquiry/problem solving process is an integral part of the Historica Fairs program and provides students with a chance to reinforce their understanding of the knowledge and skills taught in the classroom. Oral, written and visual communication skills as well as numeracy skills are at the forefront during the preparation and communication of culminating projects. Students practice these skills constantly while discussing their topics, collecting their research data, sorting, organizing and choosing their story messages and in the telling of their stories.

Concept maps, anticipation guides, word walls, question matrixes are only a few of the literacy and planning skills that are key components of the planning stages of the research process. Any of these techniques can be used to focus the students' research. Students utilize jot notes, information retrieval charts, and KWL charts as organizational tools to collect and organize their research findings. Once their research is completed, students use processing skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation to make decisions about what data is relevant and pertinent to the message they are trying to convey. Numeracy skills are reinforced, in many cases, as well, as students collect and analyse graphs, charts and diagrams as part of their research data.

In the Historica Fairs program, students are encouraged to communicate their research results using a wide variety of presentation methods. Drama and theatre, computer presentations, traditional videos and animations, dance and musical performances join the more traditional written write-ups as presentation choices at fairs. Students use their creativity and problem solving skills, as well as their special strengths and talents, as they choose, just the right technique to make their story come alive for their audience. The interview process built into the adjudication process at the fairs reinforces the learning process as students review, rehearse and demonstrate their learning by responding to the questions of the judges and visitors.

Students' attitudes towards social studies, history, and geography can have a significant effect on their achievement of expectations. Teaching methods and learning activities that encourage students to recognize the value and relevance of what they are learning will go a long way towards motivating students to work and learn effectively. (Ontario Social Studies Grade 1-6, History and Geography, 2004, p.14)

Involvement in the Fairs program encourages students to recognize the value and relevance of what they are learning. Students not only produce and display projects celebrating their local, provincial and national history and culture but at some fairs they have the opportunity to participate in workshops offered by local museum groups, witness new citizens being sworn in at an emotional Citizenship Court and learn more about other Canadian stories by interacting and sharing the stories produced by their peers.

In 2005, Historica was able to help share the stories of 228,000 students in more than 1,000 communities from all parts of Canada. We are a nation of stories, and each Fairs student has an incredible story to tell. Each Fairs participant, each volunteer, each family member that provides advice, each visitor to a Fair, and each donor, plays an essential role in fulfilling Historica's mission to share Canada's many histories - remembering forgotten heroes, celebrating our diversity, discovering the richness of our heritage. (Historica 2006)

The second of Historica's school programs, YouthLinks, brings high school students from across Canada together in an online learning atmosphere. It allows high school students to connect on global issues and Canadian history. Learning modules are developed that allow teachers to guide their students through historically significant events that are still relevant in today's world. The Immigration Experience, Human Security, Peace and Conflict and Voices Getting the Vote are some of the modules currently available for teachers on the Historica website.

O'Neill reported that over and over again in the responses to the Historica survey, teachers spoke of the prohibitive amount of time it took to prepare their own teaching and learning activities. (O'Neill p.27) Lesson plans, assessment tools and resource links are provided in the YouthLink modules so that teachers spend only a limited amount of time on preparation. Technical and logistical support is available from Historica staff if required. The project also addresses teachers' needs for educational resources that link subject matter and technology outcomes. Students work in an interactive, collaborative environment that provides them with opportunities to network and dialogue with their peers from other provinces and territories.

The project facilitators recognize the technology limitations of some Canadian schools and therefore have made sure that accessibility is not a barrier to participation. The content and technology is accessible to schools that have dial-up or high-speed connections. The YouthLinks section of the Historica website facilitates teacher and student participation in the program by providing step by step instruction on how to sign up, how to participate in online discussion forums, how to submit articles for publication on the site and how to and participate in a one on one debate with another classroom. Once a year, six students and a teacher from a participating class from each province and territory are brought together on a Canadian university campus to participate in a YouthLinks summit where they can listen to experts and then discuss and debate an issue in person. This year the summit is at the Faculty of Education, Queen's University and the topic of discussion is Canadian Citizenship.

The survey and interview responses offer strong evidence that teachers are looking for many different kinds of teaching and learning resources and specific qualities in those resources. (O'Neill, 2004). Historica's mission is to provide the type of resources teachers called for through its website and online resources such as The Canadian Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada and interactive games such as the Canucklehead Quiz, through its seventy-four Historica Minutes that have brought the Underground Railroad and the Laura Secord into living rooms and movie theatres across Canada, its one-hundred Footprints that capture our greatest sporting moments, its one-hundred-and-two Radio Minutes. Historica has a number of tools available to help bring Canada's histories to life. The Historica website at www.histori.ca is the gateway to all Historica's programs and resources. Quick links on the opening page quickly leads to each of the individual initiatives.

The online Canadian Encyclopedia is an excellent research tool for students and teachers. The content is uniquely Canadian and includes over 40,000 articles, 6,000 photographs, maps and graphs and reliable links to other related resources on the Internet. Primary documents and artwork supplement the secondary sources on the site. The Canadian Encyclopedia and the newly added Encyclopedia of Music are free, bilinqual and easy to use. These resources are continuously updated to provide the latest information available. Many of the articles are provided in both the standard edition plus a junior edition that enables students of lower grades and abilities to participate in the systematic research approach. A bilingual CD of the Encyclopedia is also available for classrooms and students without internet access.

The Encyclopedia is not all about research. Its educational activities are fun to play while introducing students to new knowledge about the geography, arts, sciences and history of their country. Interactive maps, quizzes, games, videos sound clips and animations engage students in learning about what makes Canada unique.

O'Neill reported the finding that teachers are also very interested in resources from other than the print media. They want visuals and films; and they want help in using the vast resources of the Internet. (O'Neill p. 4) Arranged by themes and with links to related lesson plans and articles in the Canadian Encyclopedia, the Historica minutes, available on DVD and also found online at www.histori.ca, provide opportunities for the development of critical thinking skills as well as stimulation of interest for further research. When people ask the question, What is Historica? the staff at Historica often starts with the Historica minutes. Because of their exposure on television and in film theatres, they are often a good starting point to help people understand Historica's commitment to telling the many stories of Canada. Not only do such productions provide knowledge of Canadian history and its people but they also furnish an example for students interested in producing their own multi-media productions. After generating a heritage minute or a documentary of their own, students seldom forget the story they have told.

Recently, Historica has added to its media collection. The 100 Footprints tell of the stories of Canada's athletes and our sporting traditions. Its Radio Minutes explore 100 of Canada's most inspiring, innovative and challenging moments. The past year to commemorate the Year of the Veteran, Historica, with the help of CN, produced fourteen military minutes and two teacher guides to help students remember and celebrate the efforts of the Canadian military. The new guides join the other lessons plans on the website to help teachers use media resources more effectively.

Professional development is the third goal of Historica's mission to improve the teaching of social studies and history in Canadian classrooms. In his report, Osborne reports that the Shields/Ramsey and Charland/Moisan data is clear. There is at the moment very little professional development in history. (Osborne, page 39) Historica is committed to doing its part to change this. The professional development section of the website is constantly refreshed with up-to-date resources to help teachers. Some of the lesson plans for both the elementary and secondary levels have been created by teachers commissioned by Historica. The majority of lesson plans on the site, however, are provided by teachers from across the country. Teachers share an idea that has worked in their classroom on the website so that others can benefit from their experience. The Historica website arranges the lessons by themes for easy access by teachers looking for new and unique ideas.

A second component of Historica's professional development is the Historica Teacher Institutes which annually in July brings together teachers from all parts of Canada for a week of sharing ideas and learning from educational experts. In 2006, two such institutes will be held - one in Montreal for teachers of grades 4 to 8 and the other in Winnipeg for secondary school teachers.

The website also promotes professional development by listing conferences across the country that teachers might be interested in and often hosts current articles of experts in the educational field. An interactive Teacher Talk forum allows teachers to make queries or responses about teaching ideology or teaching strategies for specific Canadian curricula and resources. A recent addition to the website is the Black History portal that provides information, links to curricula guidelines, a timeline of Black history in Canada and links to other reliable internet sources. The website is updated regularly and its producers take all suggestions seriously and are constantly exploring new ways to make the site more useful in the teaching of Canadian history.

Anything that will foster enjoyment and excitement in Canadian history is worth the effort it takes to find. Romeo LeBlanc, past Governor General of Canada, in a speech to teachers at the award ceremony at Rideau Hall for the Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History stated, Canadian history is not dead; it is just undernourished...@ (LeBlanc, 1998) The Historica Foundation of Canada is doing its part to provide the nourishment that will make history viable and alive. By constantly revisiting and revising its current educational programs, its multi-media resources and professional development opportunities, it constantly strives to provide teachers with what they need to foster a love of Canadian history and help all Canadians find their place in history

References

Charland, Jean-Pierre, and Sbrina Moisan. The Teaching of History in French Canadian Schools. The Historica Foundation, October, 2003

Historica Foundation of Canada
http://www.histori.ca

LeBlanc, Romeo, in an address to Governor General Teacher Award Recipients, Ottawa, November, 1998

O'Neill, Maryrose, Final Report on gaps in resources available to deliver history and social studies curricula in Canada. The Historica Foundation, September 2004.

Ontario Ministry of Education and Training, The Ontario Curriculum Social Studies Grades 1 to 6 History and Geography Grades 7 and 8 (Revised, 2004)

Osborne, Ken. Canadian History in the Schools. The Historica Foundation, January 2004.

Shield, Patricia, and Douglas Ramsay. Teaching and learning about Canadian history across Canada. The Historica Foundation, October, 2002.


Carol White is a retired classroom teacher in Kingston and Educational Consultant for the Historica Fairs Program. She may be reached at cwhite@kingston.net.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
(The History and Social Science Teacher)

CANADA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
VOLUME 40, NUMBER 1, Summer 2006
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Special Issue: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies.


Canadian Social Studies is an indexed, refereed journal published quarterly on-line at the University of Alberta. It is a journal of comment and criticism on social education and publishes articles on curricular issues relating to history, geography, social sciences, and social studies.
Canadian Social Studies is under copyright. Unless otherwise designated, permission is granted to download and distribute individual student copies of anything in this journal as long as it is for non-profit educational use in the classroom. Copyright permission includes the requirement to include the following on the first page of any duplicated material: "Canadian Social Studies, www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css Canada's national social studies journal - by permission." All other duplication or distribution requires the editor's permission.
George Richardson - Editor

| Manuscript Guidelines


Introduction: History Alive! Old Sources, New Technologies

Articles

Discovering the Past:
Engaging Canadian Students in Digital History.
Dr. Stphane Levesque

Library and Archives of Canada Collections
As Resources for Classroom Learning.
Gordon Sly

Power corrupts, PowerPoint corrupts absolutely
Why Digital Technologies Did Not Change the Social Study's Classroom.
Michael Clare

The Importance of Educational Research In the Teaching of History.
Joseph T. Stafford

Educating The Next Generation Of Global Citizens Through Teacher Education,
One New Teacher At A Time .
Lorna R. McLean, Sharon Anne Cook and Tracy Crowe

You Can't Have a Digital Revolution Without Critical Literacy.
John Myers

Discovering Your Place in History.
Carol White


CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
(The History and Social Science Teacher)

CANADA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
VOLUME 39, NUMBER 2, Winter 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History.


Canadian Social Studies is an indexed, refereed journal published quarterly on-line at the University of Alberta. It is a journal of comment and criticism on social education and publishes articles on curricular issues relating to history, geography, social sciences, and social studies.
Canadian Social Studies is under copyright. Unless otherwise designated, permission is granted to download and distribute individual student copies of anything in this journal as long as it is for non-profit educational use in the classroom. Copyright permission includes the requirement to include the following on the first page of any duplicated material: "Canadian Social Studies, www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css Canada's national social studies journal - by permission." All other duplication or distribution requires the editor's permission.
George Richardson - Editor

| | |


From the Guest Editor: New Approaches to Teaching History

Articles

We Interrupt This Moment: Education and the Teaching of History.
Jennifer Tupper

To what questions are schools answers? And what of our courses?
Animating throughline questions to promote students' questabilities.
Kent den Heyer

Teaching second-order concepts in Canadian history:
The importance of historical significance.
Stéphane Lévesque

History and Identity in Pluralist Democracies:
Reflections on Research in the U.S. and Northern Ireland.
Keith C. Barton

The Great Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian History:
Using a web-based archives to teach history.
Ruth Sandwell

Doin' the DBQ: Small Steps Towards Authentic Instruction
and Assessment in History Education.
John Myers

Engaging Students in Learning History.
John Fielding

Book Reviews

Carl A. Raschke. 2003.
The Digital Revolution and the Coming of the Postmodern University.
Reviewed by Bryant Griffith.

Françoise Noël. 2003.
Family Life and Sociability in Upper and Lower Canada, 1780-1870.
Reviewed by George Hoffman.

Itah Sadu. Illustrations by Stephen Taylor. 2003.
A Touch of the Zebras.
Reviewed by Todd Horton.

Carl E. James and Adrienne Shadd, Editors. 2001.
Talking About Identity: Encounters in Race, Ethnicity, and Language, 2nd Edition.
Reviewed by Todd Horton.

William M. Reddy. 2001.
The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions.
Reviewed by Jane Lee-Sinden.

Janet Ajzenstat, Paul Romney, Ian Gentles and William D. Gairdner, Editors. 1999.
Canada's Founding Debates.
Reviewed by Ernest LeVos.

Norah L. Lewis, Editor. 2002.
Freedom to Play: We Made Our Own Fun.
Reviewed by David Mandzuk.

Michael Adams. 2003.
Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values.
Reviewed by W.S. Neidhardt.

Bruce W. Clark and John K. Wallace. 1999.
Making Connections: Canada's Geography.
Reviewed by Virginia Robertson.

Reinhold Kramer and Tom Mitchell. 2002.
Walk Towards the Gallows: The Tragedy of Hilda Blake, Hanged 1899.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Senger.

Editor
George Richardson
Guest Editor: Carla Peck
Manuscript Review Editors
Robert Fowler, University of Victoria
Alan Sears, University of New Brunswick
Columnists
Kevin Kee, McGill University
Penney Clark, University of British Columbia
David Kilgour, M.P., Edmonton Southeast
John McMurtry, University of Guelph
Ken Osborne, University of Manitoba (Emeritus)

Features Editors
Kathy Bradford, University of Western Ontario
(Book Reviews)
Jim Parsons, University of Alberta
(Classroom Teaching)

Articles appearing in this journal are abstracted and indexed in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life and by the Canadian Education Association; Corpus Almanac Canadian Sourcebook; Ulrich's lnt. Pedcs. Directory; ERIC; Canadian Education Index, Micromedia Limited; and H. W. Wilson Company.


CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Introduction to the Special Edition of Canadian Social Studies :
New Approaches to Teaching History

Carla Peck
University of British Columbia


By the time this issue of Canadian Social Studies is published the United States will have elected (and inaugurated) their 44th president and thanks to CBC programming, Canadians will have chosen The Greatest Canadian of all time. Talk about priorities. I am curious about what Canadian teachers and students are discussing more which event is given more significance and why? If students are talking about the U.S. election, what are they saying to one another? Are they engaging in an informed debate or relying on what they watch on TV and read on the internet for all of their information? Do they know any of the history behind the issues in this election? If students are talking about the top ten candidates in the Greatest Canadian contest, what kinds of things are they saying? Do they know any of the history connected to the people on the list? How would they go about making their own decisions about the Greatest Canadian? Finally, do students even care about presidential elections in another country or popularity contests in their own?

History teachers ask questions like these almost every day in their efforts to engage students in an exploration of current events and the important history behind them. This issue of Canadian Social Studies is dedicated to their work. As the contributing authors to this special edition demonstrate, much is being done to understand how students best learn history and how we, as teachers, can improve our practice. Much of what we have learned about history education over the past 15 years has been a direct result of the research and thinking about what it means to think historically. This research has definite implications for what we do in classrooms.

Historical Understanding: Theoretical and Conceptual Issues

For many years historical understanding has been thought of in terms of recall. That is, how much could students remember (or forget) from their encounters with history in school or elsewhere? Indeed, some researchers and organizations still think of historical understanding in this way (Ravitch and Finn 1987; See also The Dominion Institute at www.dominion.ca). In Canada, the public regularly faces newspaper headlines that proclaim the demise of our historical understanding: Canadian history, corpus delicti (Francis 1998), WOE, CANADA: Survey shows majority of Canadians could not pass own country's citizenship test (Duffy 2001), and Ignorance of our history 'appalling'; Historian wants mandatory teaching of achievements in Canadian classrooms (Poole 2002). But recall does not tell us anything about our (or our students') capacity to think historically.

Fortunately, many historians and history educators alike have sought to redefine what is meant by the term historical understanding. In the United Kingdom in the mid 1970s, for example, the government funded a history curriculum development project which was charged with generating a new history curriculum for pupils aged between 13 and 16 and which took as its starting point the nature of history and the needs of the pupil (Booth 1994, p. 63). This was a radical shift from earlier practice in two fundamental ways. First, researchers began to focus on the particular nature of the discipline being taught (Booth 1994, p. 62) and argued that the object of the historian's study the human past is incommensurably different from the object of investigation of the natural scientist the world of here and now and the thinking it engenders is equally different (Booth 1994, p. 63). At question is the nature of what is being taught. As Dray (1957) points out, the logic of historical thought is not primarily deductive and there is little sympathy amongst historians for those who have tried to force the discipline into the clear cut framework of the natural sciences (pp. 7-12, as cited in Booth 1980, p. 247).

The unique nature of the discipline was also an important consideration from a pedagogical standpoint. The argument that pedagogical methods could be designed without considering what was being taught (the subject matter) did not hold up under close scrutiny. In fact, the opposite was (and is) true. History education researchers then and now feel strongly that content and pedagogy cannot be separated because historical knowledge develops most successfully by doing history using the discipline's (or historian's) tools to construct historical knowledge. As Seixas (1999, p. 329) writes, content and pedagogy are inseparable in doing the discipline. Even conceiving of them as two different categories that must be united is no longer helpful (See also Rogers 1987; Holt 1990; Levstik and Barton 1997; VanSledright 1997-98; Wineburg 1999; Levstik and Barton 2001; Wineburg 2001; Barton and Levstik 2004). Thus, doing history becomes the same as learning history, and pedagogy and content are married rather than falsely separated.

The needs of students were an additional concern for the researchers in the UK and are certainly important to researchers and teachers in North America and elsewhere (Seixas 1993; Epstein 1997; Seixas 1997; Levstik 1997-98; VanSledright 1997-98; Barton and Levstik 1998; Levstik 1999; Epstein 2000; Wertsch 2000; Barton 2001). To what end is history education the means? Some research is beginning to shed light on the processes students engage in as they try to orient their contemporary circumstances to people, events and developments in the past but, as Barton (2004, para. 4) illustrates, there is room for much more work to be done in this area:

If educators hope to build on what students know - a basic tenet of contemporary theories of learning - they must start with attention to how people lived in the past and then help students understand the broader developments that shaped their lives. This necessarily means expanding students' understanding of society, politics, and the economy, so that they recognize how such forces affect people's lives.

The second fundamental shift in the conceptualization of historical understanding concerns the Piagetian notion that children are not developmentally capable of thinking historically because this is too abstract for their young minds. This theory has begun to unravel under closer examination. Some British researchers challenged this supposition and the earlier research that supported it by conducting their own studies designed specifically to see if children could, in fact, be taught to begin to think like historians (Booth 1980; Booth 1983; Lee 1983; Ashby and Lee 1987; Booth 1987; Short and Carrington 1992; Lee et al. 1993; Booth 1994; Short and Carrington 1995; Ashby et al. 1997; Short and Carrington 1999; Lee and Ashby 2000; Lee and Ashby 2001). It turns out that they could. I think I can safely say that all of the authors who have contributed to this special edition of Canadian Social Studies also believe that students of any age can be taught to use some of the tools of the historian to varying degrees of sophistication in order to begin to understand the nature of historical thought and to orient themselves in space and time.

Unraveling the threads of historical understanding

Awakened to the possibility that students can be taught to think historically, historians and history educators alike began to delineate what historical understanding might look like. Tom Holt (1990) is widely recognized as a seminal author on this topic. His book, Thinking Historically: Narrative, Imagination, and Understanding, succinctly outlines the kinds of skills and habits of mind required to think historically. Interspersed throughout Holt's discussion of these attributes are excerpts from interviews between Holt and a number of high school history students. He convincingly uses the excerpts to demonstrate the historical understanding of these students.

One of the first things we learn from Holt's (1990) conversations with students is that they conceive of history as an uncontested story (as if the facts themselves are incontrovertible) a story written from the winners' perspective which is of virtually no use to them unless they need to memorize it to pass a test. In other words, history is a story with a predetermined plot to be memorized but not interpreted. Shemilt (2000, p. 85) concurs, and notes that constructivist research into pupils' historical thinking suggeststhat students conceive the aim of History to be the presentation of a uniform 'picture of the past'. Holt seeks to disrupt this notion of history and suggests that history teaching should shift from a process of handing over stories for students to learn to a process of giving students the raw materials of history and letting them discover and decide what story should be told and for what purpose (p. 10). According to Holt, students need to learn that, to make sense, the narrative must have a point, and that the point might be different depending on who is constructing the narrative (p. 5).

Jennifer Tupper's contribution to this special edition of CSS asks us to consider this very issue. In an article that seeks to interrupt the grand narrative(s) of Canadian history that have traditionally placed white men at the forefront and everyone else in the distant background (think about the CBC's top ten list again), Tupper proposes using interruption as a means of reintroducing figures often left out of narratives of Canadian history.

Kent den Heyer's article raises similar concerns. In this piece, den Heyer draws on his own experience as a high school history teacher as well as his experience as a researcher to explore the use of what he calls animating throughline questions with students. The phrase alone is thought-provoking. den Heyer readily admits that asking these types of questions can prove to be quite challenging for teachers and students alike because they do not have clear cut answers. But neither do the questions historians ask about the past.

Helping students move away from the notion that history is a done deal also requires that they begin to develop thinking skills most commonly associated with historians. Lee and Ashby (2000) refer to these as second-order or procedural concepts and explain that these are ideas that provide our understanding of history as a discipline or form of knowledgethey shape the way we go about doing history (p. 199). Second-order concepts differ from substantive concepts in that the latter simply make up the content of our history lessons whereas the former contextualize, support and provide evidence for whatever claims one might make in the course of those same lessons. Key second-order concepts are: historical significance, epistemology and evidence, continuity and change, progress and decline, empathy and moral judgement, and historical agency (Seixas 1996).

Two authors in this collection draw on their research at the elementary, middle and high school levels to explore the topography of students' historical understanding. Stphane Lvesque focuses specifically on the second-order concept of historical significance and in so doing sheds light on the criteria some Francophone and Anglophone students use to assign significance to particular people and events from the past. The results of Lvesque's research are particularly relevant for anyone interested in how various contexts (social, linguistic, political, etc.) can affect one's understanding of history.

Keith Barton's work with children in Northern Ireland and the United States offers Canadians an interesting perspective on the interplay between history education and identity formation. In this article on American and Northern Ireland's students' understanding of history we learn that many of the difficulties and questions Canadian educators have been confronting are also being tackled by educators in other parts of the world.

The Raw Materials of History

If we return for a moment to Holt (1990) we find that he considers (as do many others) the process of working with the raw materials of history to be crucial for introducing students to the essential skills a historian must cultivate (p. 10). These include knowing the type of material or document with which they are working, asking questions of the document such as (a) Who produced it? (b) Is there evidence of bias? (c) What is the point of view? (d) What is the purpose of the document? (e) What are the apparent silences, gaps and assumptions made by/about this document? Finally, this process concludes with students using the document or documents to synthesize a narrative about an event or development (p. 10).

Admittedly, finding raw materials to work with can prove challenging. Fortunately, people like Ruth Sandwell have recognized this difficulty and developed a solution. In her article, Sandwell describes how she and her colleagues developed an on-line history education project that not only makes primary sources available to anyone with internet access, but also provides the structure within which one can use these resources. Through this website students can begin to develop, or continue to refine, their ability to think historically.
John Myers attends to the issue of using primary sources but does so from a different angle. In this article, Myers discusses his experiences with pre-service teachers as they worked together to create authentic assessment tools for evaluating students' ability to work with sources to produce an historical narrative. Their ideas about assessment fill in the gap that often remains when teachers move away from traditional tests but are unsure of the evaluation tools that will replace them.

Primary sources, animating throughline questions, examining concepts like significance and identity - surely these will help us, as teachers, engage our students in the study of history. Of course, we want to do more than engage them in the content of history; we also want to help them develop the skills to think historically, as has been discussed above. John Fielding brings this special issue to a close by describing some proven teaching strategies and activities that can help us achieve both of these lofty - but important - goals. Fielding, drawing on his experiences as a student, history teacher and teacher educator, delineates the effectiveness of a number of teaching strategies and then highlights those that he feels provide students with the most meaningful learning encounters.

Concluding Thoughts

Research on history education has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. In the past fifteen years we have gained a great deal of knowledge about how students think about and learn history. However, there is still much to discover. It is my hope that the articles in this special edition of Canadian Social Studies provide a glimpse into what has become a burgeoning field of research. I hope that you can create opportunities to try out some of the suggestions found within each article.

As a final note, I want to extend my deep appreciation to my supervisor, Dr. Peter Seixas. At the time of writing, Peter is on leave from the University of British Columbia and thus is unable to contribute an article to this collection. Peter, thank you for your continued support of this project and let me express what many are surely thinking: Your contribution is dearly missed and we look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

References

Ashby, R. and Lee, P. 1987. Children's Concepts of Empathy and Understanding in History. In The History Curriculum for Teachers, edited by C. Portal, 62-88. London, UK: Falmer.

Ashby, R., Lee, P., et al. 1997. How Children Explain the 'Why' of History: The Chata Research Project on Teaching History. Social Education 61 (1): 17-21.

Barton, K. C. 2001. A Sociocultural Perspective on Children's Understanding of Historical Change: Comparative Findings from Northern Ireland and the United States. American Educational Research Journal 38 (4): 881-913.

Barton, K. C. 2004. Research on Students' Historical Thinking and Learning. Perspectives 42 (7): Available on-line at: http://www.historians.org/Perspectives/Issues/2004/0410/0410tea1.cfm, visited 1 November 2004.

Barton, K. C. and Levstik, L. S. 1998. It Wasn't a Good Part of History: National Identity and Students' Explanations of Historical Significance. Teachers College Record 99 (3): 478-513.

Barton, K. C. and Levstik, L. S. 2004. Teaching History for the Common Good. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Booth, M. 1980. A Modern World History Course and the Thinking of Adolescent Pupils. Educational Review 32 (3): 245-257.

Booth, M. 1983. Skills, Concepts, and Attitudes: The Development of Adolescent Children's Historical Thinking. History and Theory 22 (4, Beiheft 22: The Philosophy of History Teaching): 101-117.

Booth, M. 1987. Ages and Concepts: A Critique of the Piagetian Approach to History Teaching. In The History Curriculum for Teachers, edited by C. Portal, 22-38. London: The Falmer Press.

Booth, M. 1994. Cognition in History: A British Perspective. Educational Psychologist 29 (2): 61-69.

Duffy, A. 2001. Woe, Canada: Survey Shows Majority of Canadians Could Not Pass Own Country's Citizenship Test. Daily News (June 30): 16.

Epstein, T. 1997. Sociocultural Approaches to Young People's Historical Understanding. Social Education 61 (January): 28-31.

Epstein, T. 2000. Adolescents' Perspectives on Racial Diversity in Us History: Case Studies from an Urban Classroom. American Educational Research Journal 37 (1): 185-214.
Francis, D. 1998. Canadian History, Corpus Delicti. The Gazette (May 2): H1.

Holt, T. 1990. Thinking Historically: Narrative, Imagination, and Understanding. New York: College Entrance Examination Board.

Lee, P. 1983. History Teaching and Philosophy of History. History and Theory 22 (4): 19-49.

Lee, P. and Ashby, R. 2000. Progression in Historical Understanding Ages 7-14. In Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives, edited by P. Stearns, P. Seixas and S. S. Wineburg, 199-222. New York: New York University Press.

Lee, P. and Ashby, R. 2000. Empathy, Perspective Taking, and Rational Understanding. In Historical Empathy and Perspective Taking in the Social Studies, edited by J. O.L. Davis, E. A. Yeager and S. J. Foster, 21-50. Maryland: Rowman Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Lee, P., Ashby, R., et al. 1993. Progression in Children's Ideas About History: Project Chata (Concepts of History and Teaching Approaches: 7 to 14). Draft. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the British Educational Research Association, Liverpool, England.

Levstik, L. S. 1997-98. Early Adolescents' Understanding of the Historical Significance of Women's Rights. International Journal of Social Education 12 (2): 19-34.

Levstik, L. S. 1999. The Well at the Bottom of the World: Positionality and New Zealand [Aotearoa] Adolescents' Conceptions of Historical Significance. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Quebec.

Levstik, L. S. and Barton, K. C. 1997. Doing History: Investigating with Children in Elementary and Middle Schools. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Levstik, L. S. and Barton, K. C. 2001. Doing History: Investigating with Children in Elementary and Middle Schools. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Poole, E. 2002. Ignorance of Our History 'Appalling'; Historian Wants Mandatory Teaching of Achievements in Canadian Classrooms. The Windsor Star (April 15): A8.

Ravitch, D. and Finn, C. E. 1987. What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know? A Report on the First National Assessment of History and Literature. New York: Harper Row.

Rogers, P. 1987. History: The Past as a Frame of Reference. In The History Curriculum for Teachers, edited by C. Portal, 3-21. London, UK: Falmer Press.

Seixas, P. 1993. Historical Understanding among Adolescents in a Multicultural Setting. Curriculum Inquiry 23 (3): 301-325.
Seixas, P. 1996. Conceptualizing the Growth of Historical Understanding. In Handbook of Education and Human Development: New Models of Learning, Teaching, and Schooling, edited by D. Olson and N. Torrance, 765-783. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Seixas, P. 1997. Mapping the Terrain of Historical Significance. Social Education 61 (1): 22-27.

Seixas, P. 1999. Beyond Content and Pedagogy: In Search of a Way to Talk About History Education. Journal of Curriculum Studies 31 (3): 317-337.

Shemilt, D. 2000. The Caliph's Coin: The Currency of Narrative Frameworks in History Teaching. In Knowing, Teaching and Learning History: National and International Perspectives, edited by P. Stearns, P. Seixas and S. S. Wineburg, 83-101. New York: New York University Press.

Short, G. and Carrington, B. 1992. The Development of Children's Understanding of Jewish Identity and Culture. School Psychology International 13: 73-89.

Short, G. and Carrington, B. 1995. Antisemitism and the Primary School: Children's Perceptions of Jewish Culture and Identity. Research in Education 54: 14-24.

Short, G. and Carrington, B. 1999. Children's Constructions of Their National Identity. In Critical Multiculturalism: Rethinking Multicultural and Antiracist Education, edited by S. May, 172-190. London: Falmer Press.

VanSledright, B. 1997-98. On the Importance of Historical Positionality to Thinking About and Teaching History. International Journal of Social Education 12 (2): 1-18.

Wertsch, J. V. 2000. Is It Possible to Teach Beliefs, as Well as Knowledge About History? In Knowing, Teaching and Learning History: National and International Perspectives, edited by P. Stearns, P. Seixas and S. S. Wineburg, 38-50. New York: New York University Press.

Wineburg, S. S. 1999. Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts. Phi Delta Kappan 80 (7): 488-499.

Wineburg, S. S. 2001. Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.


Carla Peck is a PhD student working in the Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness and a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education at UBC. She can be reached by email at peckc@interchange.ubc.ca.

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CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

We Interrupt This Moment: Education and the Teaching of History

Jennifer Tupper
University of Regina

Abstract

The history that students learn in schools supports a view of the past that casts men as dominant and universal subjects. As such, the way that students understand the past will inevitably influence the way they think about the present and consider the future. Rather than perpetuating dominant narratives, this paper argues that history and social studies teachers much engage in a re(hi)storation through the pedagogical process of interruption as a means of bringing into view that which has always been there but has been neglected, abandoned and forgotten.

There were still women surgeons at the end of the seventeenth century, but women healers were increasingly associated with witchcraft and the practice of the black arts. As medicine became a science the terms of entry into training excluded women, protecting the profession for the sons of families who could afford education. Women were forced to the bottom. Midwifery, an exclusively female branch of medicine, was taken over by the male doctor when rich women gave birth. The female midwife attended only the poor. (Rowbotham 1973, p. 3).

Not so long ago, as I was teaching a group of third and fourth year university students with minors in social studies education, I encountered a distressing but not necessarily surprising comment from one of my students. As a class, we had been discussing the importance of including multiple perspectives in the content of social studies and the students in the class had seemed supportive of this approach from the moment we first began discussing it. Half way through the semester, I dedicated a three hour block of time to exploring the representation of women in social studies curriculum as well as issues of gender inherent in the structure and content of the discipline. While this was an obvious extension of our multiple perspectives discussion, it did not receive the same widespread support, and was indeed met with open resistance from certain members of the class. One student in particular asserted that women had not been widely included in social studies curriculum for good reason. When I asked him to elaborate he suggested that had women been engaging in important historical activities, then surely they would have been included in the curriculum.

The implication here is palpable. This student believed that women played only a minor role in history and were thus not deserving of any in-depth study in social studies classrooms. Rather than being angry with this student for what I perceived as a troubling perception of the past, I reminded myself that he was a product of his own schooling. It is possible, even probable, that he had little if any encounter with the lives and experiences of women in his own history lessons, hence his views on what had historical value. Thus, another implication that emerges from this encounter is the role that social studies and history classrooms have played in perpetuating historical narratives that privilege men as dominant historical actors with little critical reflection on the exclusions and omissions inherent in such a study of history. To imagine that women were not doing anything of importance and are therefore not worthy of study in schools is distressing, but sadly not surprising.

Many people claimed that medicine was an unsuitable field for women, arguing that the study of the human body and the dissecting course would cause them to lose their 'maidenly modesty.' They also claimed women had weak nerves, unstable health, poor powers of endurance and could not withstand the stresses of medical life. In short, the home was the place for women; the world was the place for men. In response, those in favour of women doctors pointed to the many women healers of the past. They also pointed out that the many women who toiled long, exhausting hours in factory sweatshops were proof enough of women's ability to endure hard physical labour. The question of female endurance, they suggested, was merely a smoke screen to keep women out of the well-paying professions. (Merritt, 1995, p. 90).

Joan Wallach Scott (1999, p. 17) in her book Gender and the Politics of History, maintains that history as a discipline has failed to reflect upon knowledge of the past, choosing instead to reproduce it. From her perspective, studies of history have perpetuated a view of the past whereby men are well established as dominant and universal subjects, central historical actors who have come to represent moments of historical significance. Because of this, Scott believes that historians face a particular challenge,

to make women a focus of inquiry, a subject of the story, an agent of the narrative - whether that narrative is a chronicle of political events (the French Revolution, the Swing riots, World War I and II) and political moments (Chartism, utopian socialism, feminism, women's suffrage), or a more analytically cast account of the workings or unfoldings of large scale processes of social change (industrialization, capitalism, modernization, urbanization, the building of nation-states).

I would argue that not only are historians faced with a particular challenge in relation to the inclusion of women in historical narratives as Scott asserts, but so too are educators invested with the challenge of teaching history to students, and connecting students with history. It is no secret that history and social studies curricula have tended to reflect a canon of accepted truths and acted as vehicles for cultural hegemony and ideological reproduction (Dolby, 2000; Osborne, 2000). In her examination of the teaching of history, Nadine Dolby (2000, p. 158) writes about a student, Susan, who believed that historically there weren't a lot of leading ladies and even though she wanted to know more about women, she seemed to accept the universality of male history, she seemed to accept that women's history is of minor value and only of interest to girls and women. What this suggests is that the universality of male history is so normalized in historical discourse that even young women accept that the (in)activities and (in)actions of their foremothers are not worthy of significant study. In my own research with five high school social studies teachers, there was an awareness that the history taught in schools was narrowly constructed and failed to reflect multiple experiences and perspectives. However, each participant struggled with ways of approaching history in more inclusive ways beyond the confines of the curriculum and in relation to the realities of high stakes testing and educational accountability. The challenge is what we, as educators do with this knowledge. How might we approach the teaching of history knowing full well that what we are mandated to teach is not reflective of the multiplicity of historical narratives and experiences?

No woman, then, has any occasion for feeling that hers is an humble or insignificant lot. The value of what an individual accomplishes, is to be estimated by the importance of the enterprise achieved, and not by the particular position of the labourer. The drops of heaven which freshen the earth, are each of equal value, whether they fall in the lowland meadow, or the princely parterre. The builders of a temple are of equal importance, whether they labour on the foundations, or toil upon the dome (Cott, N.F., Boydston, J., Braude, A., Ginzberg, L., Ladd-Taylor, M., 1996, p. 135).

Canadian educator Ken Osborne (2000) maintains that we need to ask ourselves how the study of history might contribute to what our students should know about the world in order to live fully as citizens and human beings. This question, coupled with Scott's call for reflection on historical knowledge, has implications for the way in which we approach the teaching of history in schools regardless of the existence of canonized knowledge in curriculum documents. In the discussion that follows, I attempt to elaborate on this point and argue not only for a new approach to teaching history, but for a re-discovery or re(hi)storation of the past in the hopes that it will at the very least influence and at the very most transform classroom practice so that comments, such as the one made by my student, no longer emerge from historical consciousness.

We wanted to petition the men, we said, to let us own our land as they owned theirs The town had waited on a factory company in the north part of the place for their taxes for years, till the company failed, and they lost several thousand dollars by it. We had our share of this money to pay; a larger share, as it appeared by his books, than any other of the inhabitants, and there was no risk in waiting for us to pay. But they were men, and we are women. (Kerber, 1998, p. 90).

The italicized text that I have interspersed throughout this writing is my attempt at re(hi)storation through the process of interruption. The notion of interruption is not new in education and has been discussed as a vehicle through which thinking and learning might be transformed. Michael Apple (2002) refers to a politics of interruption in the context of critically exploring the events of 9/11 and attempting to understand the complexities of the terrorist attacks beyond the superficial and simplistic rhetoric espoused by the American government. For Apple, it is crucial to interrupt dominant discourses which often present only a very narrow view of events if we are to engage in transformative teaching. Similarly, Roger Simon, Claudia Eppert, Mark Clamen and Laura Beres (2001, pp. 286-287) speak about the need to re-appraise current presumptions about the past and its inheritance. For these authors, the process of remembrance, of bringing into view that which has been lost so that one might 'know' what happened is a call to examine the pedagogical terms on which the teaching of history is founded. Dwayne Donald (2004, p. 25) suggests that we must contest the official versions of history and society through a process of active and critical re-reading as a way to re-present what has been left out. I believe, however, that there is an important precursor missing from these conversations. Before we can engage in remembrance, before we can memorialize that which has been known but now must be told again (Simon et al. 2001, p. 287), before we are able to critically re-read the past, we must first engage in the process of interruption. Interrupting dominant historical discourse creates the spaces through which a re(hi)storation of the past can occur.

Despite her important contributions and influence in certain areas, the Indian woman in fur-trade society was at the mercy of a social structure devised primarily to meet the needs of European males By the turn of the century some of the bourgeois had stooped to the nefarious but profitable scheme of selling women to their engags. At Fort Chipewyan in 1800, when the estranged wife of the voyageur Morin tried to run away, she was brought back by her Indian relations, only to face the prospect of being sold by the bourgeois to another engag. (Van Kirk, 1980, p. 88-89).

It is no secret that we are socialized to believe that interrupting the speech of another is poor etiquette and that we must always let the other person finish speaking before we begin. But what if their speech is seemingly without end? What if we believe that the words of an individual are incomplete, representative of only one perspective in the midst of many? Must we remain silent for the sake of politeness all the while anxious to be heard ourselves? What is lost in this moment? Why is it that we accept the interruptions that occur on television, in the form of commercials, or even, in more extreme cases, when programming is interrupted for the sake of 'breaking news'? WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM The term 'breaking news' is an interesting one for it implies only just happening, on the verge of historical significance, and as such offers a justification for interrupting television programming. Yet breaking also implies being shattered, no longer whole, damaged in some way. When something breaks, it is often discarded, thrown away. That is the legacy of women's lives and experiences in relation to the historical narratives that students encounter in schools and textbooks. For women, there have been no interruptions, no moments of historical significance worthy of memorialization, or at least that's the implicit message embedded in the history taught in schools. Thus, I believe, as in 'breaking news', that interruptions are necessary - pedagogically imperative particularly in the context of historical narratives.

Re(hi)storation is about restoring something that already existed in the first place but that has been neglected, abandoned, and forgotten. The official versions of history that students encounter in schools must be interrupted as a means of restoring that which has been lost, so that all students, male and female, white and non-white have an opportunity to see their lives and experiences reflected in historical narratives. Here it is useful to return to Donald's (2004, p. 49) work and remember that the responsibility to tell a story is given to all of us because stories are all that we are. But how might teachers, mandated to teach a required curriculum, engage in such historical interruptions? Pedagogically speaking, it requires teachers to interrupt their own historical knowledge, to bring to mind that which they think they know and that which they might need to know if they are to approach the teaching of history differently. I am not suggesting that teachers need to re-read or read anew vast tomes of historical narratives. Rather, what I am suggesting is that teachers, in teaching the history prescribed in the curriculum, allow spaces for 'breaking news' that might otherwise be overlooked, that they allow for what Simon et al (2001, p. 296) describe as a shattering of the hermeneutic horizon on which past and present meet and within which historical interpretation becomes possible. It can be as simple as asking students to consider their own understandings of the past, to consider what they know and what they do not know, to consider what is missing and why it might be missing, and how all of these things might inform our present understandings and influence the way we think about the future. It can be as complex as working with students to step outside their own historical consciousness long enough so that this consciousness might be disrupted, interrupted. It might entail using gender as a category of analysis in all historical discussions, or it might require specific moments of interruption in which students and teachers take a step back from the topic at hand, allowing historical spaces to open up, allowing for flexibility and fluidity.

I recently took a group of third-year teacher education students to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Museum in Regina as part of a three-day off campus experience. Many of my students had visited the museum previously and were familiar with the displays and artefacts it housed. On this visit I asked each student to consider three questions as they moved through the museum: Whose story is being told? How is it being told? Whose story is not being told? The questions were my attempt to interrupt my students' interactions with the past. Many of them commented to me during and after our experience at the museum that it was as if they had visited the museum for the first time. Such questions, when used in the classroom, create the necessary pre-conditions for students and teachers to pause in their reading of the past so that they may critically re-read it. For my students, the questions created a need for each of them to interrupt his or her own historical understanding and engage in the process of re(hi)storation in very real and meaningful ways.

Returning to the comments of my student which began this discussion, it was necessary for me, in that moment, to interrupt the narrative in-process. Rather than disagreeing with, or becoming angry with this student for what was so apparently a narrow view of the past, I needed to take that moment to push him outside of his own historical location as a white man, to interrupt if you will, his sense of himself, and his sense of the past regardless of any perceived risks to my own position as teacher. For it is in those moments of interruption that remembrance, memorialization, and re(hi)storation are made possible. And it is in these moments that we can engage in new pedagogical practices of historical understandings.

References

Apple, M.W. 2002. Pedagogy, patriotism, and democracy: On the educational meanings of 11 September 2001. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 23 (3): 299-308.

Cott, N.F., Boydston, J., Braude, A., Ginzberg, L., and Ladd-Taylor, M. 1996. Root of bitterness: Documents of the social history of American women, Second edition. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

Dolby, N. 2000. New stories: Rethinking history and lives. In Multicultural Curriculum: New Directions for Social Inquiry, edited by R. Mahalingham C. McCarthy, 155-167. New York: Routledge.

Donald, D.T. 2004. Edmonton pentimento: Re-reading history in the case of the Papaschase Cree. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies 2 (1): 21-54.

Kerber, L. 1998. No constitutional right to be ladies: Women and the obligations of citizenship. New York: Hill and Wang.

Merritt, S.E. 1995. Her story II: Women from Canada's past. St. Catherine's, ON: Vanwell Publishing Ltd.
Osborne, K. 2000. 'Our history syllabus has us gasping:' History in Canadian schools - past, present, and future. Canadian Historical Review 81 (3): 404-436.

Rowbotham, S. 1973. Hidden from history: 300 years of women's oppression and the fight against it. London: Pluto Press.

Scott, J.W. 1999. Gender and the politics of history, revised edition. New York: Columbia University Press.

Simon, R. I., Eppert, C., Clamen, M., and Beres, L. 2001. Witness as study: The difficult inheritance of testimony. The Review of Education/Pedagogy/Cultural Studies 22 (4): 285-322.

Van Kirk, S. 1980. Many tender ties: Women in fur-trade society, 1670-1870. Winnipeg: Watson Dwyer Publishing.


Jennifer Tupper is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina. She can be reached by email at Jennifer.Tupper@uregina.ca.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

To what questions are schools answers? And what of our courses?
Animating throughline questions to promote students' questabilities.

Kent den Heyer
Kent State University

Abstract

Schools are too often places in which answers are conveyed to questions students are rarely, if ever, asked. This article offers, therefore, some examples of content - animating and throughline questions - and assessment practices that centralize questions rather than answers. While animating questions return teachers to the mysteries that excite us as intellectuals (excitement that is crucial to share with students), they also spark throughline questions - provocative questions that give the content of our courses apparent purpose. Using a notion of dangerous teaching, I argue that such practices serve to disrupt the ahistorical stance of much of social studies and history teaching that offers students little opportunity to connect what they learn in schools to political charged debates over what and how they should be taught.

Rather than a seemingly ubiquitous appeal to best practices, S.G Grant (2003) describes and calls for ambitious teaching. Grant argues that ambitious teaching and learning occurs when smart teachers, curious students, and powerful ideas come together (p. 187). Ambitious teachers display several characteristics. First, they know their subject and they believe in the capacities of students who they spend time getting to know. Ambitious teachers create space for themselves and for their students to explore important questions, issues, or problems in a schooling context that rarely validates the vitality of such work Finally, ambitious teachers also know when to support, praise, and prod students and push them to realize that learning consists of struggle as much triumph (p. 211). In ambitious teaching, Grant offers a worthwhile goal and description. But is it ambitious enough?

Like Grant, I wish here to signal parameters of possible middle and high school practices as much as prescriptions. Perhaps, rather than teaching described as ambitious, in what ways might we as teachers engage in dangerous teaching? I use the term dangerous teaching to describe teaching that helps students connect what they learn in schools to politically charged debates over what is worth knowing. Such inquiry is dangerous because it is for teachers personally challenging, professionally frowned upon, and systemically discouraged. Yet, it is necessary. Such teaching supports disadvantaged students and those less so by questioning whether their school success or failures should rest on their shoulders alone. It does so by helping students to identify the class, gender, cultural, and political biases that are manifest in the content and practices of schooling. In this regard, dangerous teaching constitutes a critical pedagogy:

Critical pedagogy constitutes a set of practices that uncovers the ways in which the process of schooling represses the contingency of its own selection of values and the means through which educational goals are subtended by macrostructures of power and privilege (McLaren, 1995, p. 50; For a critical theory more directly related to history and social studies, also see Segall, 1999).

Despite the challenges, such teaching is necessary for the health of schools as sites of critical thought. It is disingenuous that students have no opportunity to think deeply about the struggles over what history and whose perspectives we offer them to make sense of their personal identities and social commitments (e.g., disagreements about whether to offer sex education, books depicting homosexuality positively, debates over the insufficient attention to women in history textbooks). Yet, that seems to be the case. There are no examples from Grant's synoptic review of the history and social studies literature of schooling-as-such and just one of the content learned therein being submitted to students' critical review. It is therefore necessary to ask, What quality of inquiry do teachers hope to inspire with students in planned settings that are rarely themselves called into question or submitted to teacher and student analyses? In the absence of such opportunities, is history and social studies teaching also profoundly ahistorical?

As a high school history teacher, I taught in an ahistorical manner. One morning, with little encouragement to continue from a class of grade 10 World History students, I stopped my lesson, pulled my chair to the middle of the classroom and asked, What are we doing here, why are you in this class, this morning, with me, with each other, studying history when you clearly have no interest in either being here or doing so? Following each response with a why? my privileged students agreed that they were here for the following reason(s): Because our parents make us get up in the morning to come here because we need to graduate from high school because we need to go to university because we need to get a job because if we don't get a job, we can't eat!

My students correctly identified contextual realities producing their education as a commercial transaction. They offered very real, daunting, and fascinating connections between schools, economic access, and material well-being. Yet, none of these students could offer any opinion as to how this state of affairs might have come to be let alone consider how it might be otherwise. The possibility that enforced and differential experiences of schooling and economic servitude might reflect and reconstitute social inequalities was a question they found odd. So too was my follow-up question: O.K, given we have little choice but to be schooled, why do we study in schools the particular subjects we do, in the way that we do, and test them as we do?

My students taught me another lesson that morning. I learned that my course's historical analysis was inappropriately directed too far away, in that it was not, itself, historically situated. My world history course was, in fact, ahistorical. It became an odd feeling to think I had taught units on colonialism - about the military, economic, and educational imposition of particular practices and ways of thinking about the world - with students forced by law to attend school but with no opportunity to consider their education a questionable and historically curious practice (or good or worthwhile). I was missing an educationally powerful question ideally suited for historical study: Where do present schooling practices come from? Or, to what questions are schools answers? In what ways have different societies educated their young (and do and might we)?

I do not think my experience is unique. I do believe that much of schooling involves conveying answers to questions students are rarely, if ever, asked. It appears that only with graduate or undergraduate studies, if lucky, are students introduced to the questions, controversies, and the mysteries that constitute each discipline and that make them worthwhile humanizing activities in which to engage. It is as if teachers feel compelled to protect students from the very questions and controversies that make their disciplines both exciting and worthwhile (See for example, Levstik's study (2000) of the questionable reasoning of social studies teachers for avoiding controversial topics in their teaching). How many social studies students even know that national and international controversies regularly break out regarding what content and skills they should be taught (See for example, Anna Clark's (2004) review of international controversies regarding history teaching)? What might they learn about social power, struggle, continuity, and change by such a consideration? Again, what insights might these questions spark for those students struggling in their lives and in schools to succeed?

These are some of my concerns and questions: Do we as social studies teachers teach about the past in a profoundly ahistorical manner? In what ways do schools reconstitute a colonial space in which those it assumes to serve are permitted little opportunity to analyze the conditions that shape a good portion of their adolescent lives? And in what ways might we clarify the questions or concerns to which our courses are but one response? These are animating questions for me. In the space remaining, I will connect my notion of animating questions to throughline themes developed by Harvard's Project Zero. I will then provide an example of students beginning to think critically and historically about their present schooling experiences.

Animating questions are those concerns, issues, or themes put in question form that first attracted us to the subjects we choose to study in university (in my case, history, philosophy, education). These questions inspire and teach. These questions inspire because they are without definitive answers. They recharge our capacities for wonder when we reconnect to mysteries that led and lead us to intellectual pursuit. They also teach intellectual humility, as different possible answers to our animating questions spring forth depending on the analytical framework employed (e.g., feminist, critical theory, Marxism). It is instructive, for example, to watch my education students struggle to articulate what attracts them to study humanities and social sciences: What mysteries beckon them forth? Who would have thought that such a straight-forward question could cause such mental turmoil? Yet, in all their years of education, they had never before been asked!

While animating questions return us to the mysteries that excite us as intellectuals (excitement that is crucial to share with students), they also spark throughline questions - deep questions that give the content of our courses apparent purpose. I adopt the idea of throughline questions from the people at Harvard Project Zero. That project was organized around Constantin Stannislavsky's argument that everything in a play should connect to five or six themes. Likewise, scholars at Project Zero make a strong case for the benefits of teachers identifying major themes around which their social studies courses revolve. Of course, teachers organize social studies in many ways. Amongst others, we organize units or courses around themes (e.g., the changing meaning and enactment of freedom), issues (e.g., racism), narrative-chronologies (as in the chapter organizations of most textbooks), and episodes (e.g., the weighing of evidence to offer an educated opinion as to Who killed William Robinson? http://web.uvic.ca/history-robinson/indexmsn.html). But what questions do the skills and content learned help students address? Let me offer a few worthy examples.

My first example of throughline questions comes from Dwight Gibb, a retired high school teacher from Washington State. Here are 2 of 10 from his course syllabus:

What is history? a) What should be included in history we learn at schools? b) What is the relationship between facts and interpretation? c) How do I relate to history?

What is diversity? a) What are the sources of prejudice? b) What is the relationship between prejudice and genocide? c) When is toleration possible?

Gibb supplements the larger questions with sub-questions (a, b, c). They help students think through the larger questions and identify key terms necessary to do so. Gibb writes these questions on posters and affixes them to his classroom walls for the year. Throughline questions provide students with points of reference throughout the year to which content, however organized, can help answer. Throughline questions are not unlike the critical challenges discussed by Case and Wright (1999) in that they are rich invitations to think critically (p. 184). Case and Wright argue that four questions can be asked by teachers to judge a good critical challenge. I argue that the same questions can be asked to determine the effectiveness of throughline questions:

Does the question or task require judgment? Will the challenge be meaningful to students? Is the challenge embedded in the core of the curriculum? Is the challenge focused [and connected to] requisite skills? (Case Wright, 1999, p. 184)

Let me offer a few more examples, some from a unit on world religions from my Grade 10 world history course and others from my social studies methods course (in the interests of space I will skip the a, b, c's):

In what ways do cultures (food practices, governance, social rituals, sports, etc.) and religions influence each other?

What do religions offer those who subscribe to their tenants? (2 of 7 Grade 10 oral evaluation throughline questions.)

What should be the place of economics, geography, and political science in social studies? Can history be taught independently of these forms of analyses or vice versa?

In what ways can teachers cultivate individual expression, inclusion, and cultural diversity in a 'system of learning'?

In what ways can teachers reconcile the time required in learning to ask worthwhile questions with the demands of course coverage and evaluation?

In what ways does our understanding of the past influence what we believe is possible in the future? (Examples from my recent social studies methods syllabus.)

Student understanding and teachers' evaluation of that understanding are potentially enhanced through the use of throughline questions. Rather than hide-and-seek or peek-a-boo forms of evaluation, in which students try to anticipate questions and take a scatter shot (and usually last minute) approach to study, throughline questions front load the process. They are announced at the beginning of a unit or course. In my experience, they also are often further clarified, changed, or replaced as we discover more meaningful questions. I summarize daily lessons and check student understanding by asking, So, what throughline questions can we think more about with what we did today?

With the questions the content helps address clarified, evaluation becomes more flexible. For one evaluation I might assign a throughline question as an essay, another for presentation, or leave it more open for students to decide. For example, students have produced startling art pieces accompanied with an artist's statement to explore a throughline question. Sometimes, I choose the questions students have to address and sometimes students pick. Each student can choose depending on interest and the connections they make between the content and a throughline question. Questions can also be modified to meet the needs of students with learning challenges.

I also employ oral evaluations where students know the questions, but not necessarily which one they will be asked. Taking three students at a time for 20 minutes, I give each one a question. Once assigned and with a moment to gather their thoughts, each student, in turn, addresses the throughline question assigned using class notes, textbooks, and outside sources. A criterion is that they back up assertions with evidence or citation (students usually work together to produce answers and evidence for each question). When a student gets stuck, the other two students can offer insights to the question, helping that student to get the ball rolling. After initial responses are made, and from notes taken as students speak, I either ask for clarification regarding a point raised or ask a follow up question, and then move onto the next student. Precious moments emerge when each student in turn has addressed their initial question and the four of us suddenly find ourselves engaged in unscripted intellectual debate. Often, these conversations lead to more relevant questions than I have posed. These in turn help clarify what I am on about in my units and course for next year's students.

When finished, I hand a rubric to each student and have them assign themselves grades. Overwhelmingly, I give the students more credit for their work/responses than they judge for themselves. One powerful effect of throughline questions is the intellectual humility they encourage, and I am continually impressed to witness this in students. Another effect of the oral evaluation of throughline questions is that of students seeing their teacher equally bewildered by significant questions. For many students it might be a rare sight to see an adult engaged in open-ended intellectual conversation with them about clearly articulated questions. Where this is the case, students are, I submit, learning crucial lessons that extend beyond the formal curriculum.

The sight of an intellectually excited teacher is not rare, however, in Mary's classes (a pseudonym). Mary offers students opportunities to engage in deep thinking about their education, and thus, opens the doors to a historically informed social studies classroom.

Mary has taught in suburban West coast Canadian junior and high schools for 34 years. A colleague described Mary as a masterful teacher with a glowing reputation throughout the school and community for the quality of her teaching. In her classroom, Mary provided an emotional grounding for her students while at the same time challenging them intellectually. Her teaching was shaped around the goal of developing students' deliberative capacities:

I just want the students to look, stop, and look at themselves. What do you believe, why do you believe?

Impressed with her rapport with students, I asked Mary how she developed those relationships. She recounted an activity she has her students do the first month of school. This activity ruptures the normality of schools and opens them up as historically curious practices:

Mary: I start the Grade 9 year off with a thing called Animal school and it's a little passage about these animals who start a school because they want to change the world and it is a fabulous parody.

KdH: Is this the one where the duck learns to do something that the fish does better and they all end up losing their special gifts and become mediocre?

Mary: Yes, that one. So then what I have them do is design what they think is the ideal person for their community. What would a great human being look like- a father, a mother, a lover, a neighbor, what do you want? What are those qualities? They come up with a person and then they design a school that would turn out the person. So, we talked a lot about scheduling and time and what kinds of things it would take to contribute to the qualities they want in people. Then what would be the physical plan that would make you gain these attitudes and what sorts of activities would go on in a school like that. So we spend a month at the beginning of Grade 9 doing nothing but that exercise, we don't even start the curriculum yet. They design the courses, staff, and everything in the building.

Mary uses this activity to get her students to consider the big picture before narrowing in on the specific content of school curriculum. She wants them to have a chance to think about schooling as a social practice. Her distinction between what she is doing with this exercise and not having started the curriculum yet is noteworthy, for the distinction is not so neat. Mary is conveying important lessons with this month-long activity: Now I am teaching learning style in there and I am teaching cooperative learning in there and I am teaching a lot of the skills I am going to depend on.

Mary's activity constitutes one example of what I have named as dangerous teaching. To recall, dangerous teaching refers to teaching that engages students in the often-unasked questions about the 'what and how' students learn in schools, connecting schools to broader debates over what is worth knowing. Again, such teaching can be directed towards the institution of schooling and its practices or about specific subject content taught. In Mary's case, this exercise provokes a different type of engagement, leading students to consider the ways that schools contribute to student success and failure:

Mary: The activity is all about building community and saying it sucks you know. If you have not done well it is probably not your fault and all things are not the best they can be. So, now we talking about the inside of our world [the school] and how can we make that the best it can be.

KdH: So it sounds like you leaning present practices against what they could or ought to be?

Mary: Totally. This is me standing up at the front of the room going this is like an assembly line, right? You go into your English classes and open your head and they go dumping stuff in and fill you up with crap and then you go down the hall and someone else does it again. Then finally, you get to the end of three weeks and your open your head and regurgitate on a test and then you start all over again. So that is nuts! It doesn't make any sense.

Providing students with activities that allow them to lean present practices against preferable practices produces the special relationship Mary has with her students:

KdH: So this gives the kids a chance to sort of take that deliberative stance

Mary: Well, I think they know that I am on their side now. They know that I am not going to ask them to do stuff that doesn't make sense. I am never going to say because it is on the test or because I said so We are going to do things because they make sense in terms of becoming better people.

As described by Grant, Mary is engaged in ambitious teaching. Her relationship with her students is built on mutual respect and the respectful tasks she sets for them. But there is something more. Part of that respect emerges from the opportunity Mary provides her students to question school practices and her engagement of their deliberative and imaginative capacities for how it might be otherwise. Of course, this activity is a beginning. While it has students question their education, it can also lead to powerful throughline questions: What qualities would a great human being possess? In what ways have different societies educated their young (and do and might we)? Or, where do present schooling practices come from? What do national and international controversies over school history content tells us about social power and struggle? To what questions are schools answers? Students require the opportunity to consider the big, vital, and animating questions about their social life in schools as we hope they will ask in and about the public sphere as citizens:

Citizenship education is (or ought to be) about preparing citizens to constructively engage in an ongoing moral argument about how to live together, in other words, how to participate in various public spheres characterized by diverse perspectives and understandings (Farr Darling, 2002, p.299)

Rather than the time wasted cajoling reluctant students from one unit to another without apparent purpose, throughline questions clarify purpose and provide examples for adolescents of what critical questions can look like. Doing so, however, shifts many of our familiar terms of engagement. This should not be taken lightly as a concern. Many teachers equate their success with content coverage. We should not, however, accept schools as a colonial space reproduced daily when we convey answers to questions students are rarely, if ever, asked in places and through practices they have little opportunity to critique. For students are smart and they take the obvious lessons from such teachings. As a former education student once described her approach to being a successful high school and university honors student, I just wanted to know what I had to know, I didn't want to think about it! In response to my question whether she thought she might one day be a dangerous teacher, she replied, I don't know. If we have students think all day when will we get anything done? Indeed.

References

Case, R., and Wright, I. (1999). Taking seriously the teaching of critical thinking. In The Canadian Anthology of Social Studies, edited by R. Case and P. Clark, 179-193. Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press.

Clark, A. (2004). History teaching, historiography, and the politics of pedagogy in Australia. Theory and Research in Social Education 32 (3): 379-396.

Farr Darling, L. (2002). The Essential Moral Dimensions of Citizenship Education: What should we teach? Journal of Educational Thought 36 (3): 229-247.

Grant, S. G. (2003). History lessons: Teaching, learning, and testing in U.S. high school classrooms. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Harvard Project Zero: http://learnweb.harvard.edu/alps/tfu/info3b.cfm (Last accessed, October 1, 2004).

Levstik, L. S. (2000). Articulating the silences: teachers' and adolescents' conceptions of historical significance. In Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives., edited by P. Stearns, P. Seixas, S. S. Wineburg, 284-305. New York: New York University Press.

McLaren, P. (1995). Critical pedagogy and predatory culture: Oppositional politics in a post modern age. London: Routledge.

Segall, A. (1999). Critical history: Implications for history / social studies education. Theory and Research in Social Education, 27(3):, 358-374.

1Content that could be used to address these questions range from age-appropriate philosophical writings, education practices from around the world, colonialism, the Nazification of Germany in the 1930's, residential schools in Canada, industrial modernization, and present debates over increasing Canadian university tuitions.


Kent den Heyer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of teaching, leadership, and curriculum studies at Kent State University. He can be reached by email at Kdenhey1@kent.edu.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Teaching second-order concepts in Canadian history:
The importance of "historical significance".

Stéphane Lévesque
University of Western Ontario

Abstract

This article addresses the second-order concept of historical significance and attempts to answer the question of what criteria are used to make decisions about it in history and school history. Specifically, it explores the way Francophone and Anglophone students ascribe significance to selected historical events in Canada and discusses the implications of this study for history students and educators. The necessity of (re)considering how officials make decisions about historical significance in the school system is also examined.

What makes a Canadian event or character historically significant to study? How do historians, teachers, and students make their selections between the significant and the trivial? What prompts individuals and groups to identify with certain events and figures and not with others? Traditionally, English Canadian historical monographs and school textbooks have carried the implicit message that historical significance should be ascribed to white middle- and upper-class British males in positions of power or authority. Understandably, French Canadians have had, for their part, a high suspicion of such a hegemonic definition of Canadian historical significance, for obvious political and cultural reasons. Historian John Dickinson (1996, 148) has summed it up as this, Canadian historiography has never been unified, and the two linguistic traditions are as different from one another as from foreign historiographies.
Nowadays, with greater recognition of the French fact, the empowerment of previously marginalized groups, and a redefinition and enlargement of the field of history, answering the question of Canadian historical significance remains highly problematic. Recent studies (Barton 2001; Barton Levstik 1998; Epstein 1998; Seixas, 1994; Yeager, Foster Greer 2002) indicate that the concept of historical significance appears to be shifting and politically contested. Standards of significance, Seixas (1997, 22) contends, apparently inhere not only in the past itself, but in the interpretative frames and values of those who study it - ourselves. Teachers, students, and people in general, no less than historians, confront the study of the past with their own mental framework of historical significance shaped by their particular cultural and linguistic heritage, family practices, popular culture influence, and last, but not least, school history experience.

The school community is an official site where some forms of common history are explicitly introduced to students. In Canada, as in other jurisdictions, the selection of historical events and characters to study as well as the design of curricula and textbooks rely on the notion of historical significance. In one way or another, Ministries of Education do (voluntarily or not) make distinctions between what they perceive as historically significant and trivial, and between what is approved and ignored. In the same way, students do not passively absorb what is mandated by the Ministry or presented by their teachers and textbooks. Rather, they filter and sift, remember and forget, add to, modify, or reconstruct their own framework of historical understanding (Wineburg 2001).

Clearly, the result of this complexity has serious implications for school history. Because of the potential disparity between the official versions presented in class, what professional historians may think, and the vernacular stories of the collective past commemorated at home or in their community, students are faced with contradictory and puzzling accounts of their past. And if not well addressed in class, these collisions and contradictions can lead novices to be highly suspicious of historical study. With these concerns, one wonders how Canadian students respond to such contradictions. Are there differences between Anglophone and Francophone Canadian students, as suggested by Dickinson? What criteria do they use to adjudicate between the significant and trivial in Canadian history?

Historical significance: the second-order concept

Growing evidence suggests that learning history is far more sophisticated (and fascinating) than remembering a pre-digested set of historical dates, events, and figures of the collective past - the so-called traditional content of history. Historical thinking implies the ability to use such first-order knowledge to (gradually) engage in the practice of history, i.e., the disciplinary inquiry into the past using historical sources and agreed-upon procedures within the domain. Preparing students to make informed decisions or to understand different perspectives cannot be accomplished by telling them what to learn and think. To be able to understand, for example, why World War I is important to Canadian identity or what makes Louis Riel a traitor for some English Canadians and a hero for the Mtis demands more intellectual rigueur than remembering a story of the past, which typically appear to students as socially uncontested and historically self-evident. The ability to make sense of competing accounts of the collective past or divergent selection and meaning ascribed to historical events is crucial if we are, as educators, to help students prepare for the complex world they (will) encounter outside the classroom. But, as Wineburg (2001, 7) observes, historical thinking, in its deepest forms, is neither a natural process nor something that springs automatically from psychological development.

One way of accomplishing this challenging task is to render more explicit the second-order concepts of history, such as significance. Unlike first-order concepts (i.e., events and stories of the past), these concepts implicitly arise in the act of doing historical inquiries. They are not the content of history per se but are necessary to engage in investigations and to anchor historical narratives (or interpretations) of the past. Because they are seldom discussed in text or presented in the works of historians, they are largely ignored in school history. Students typically receive no instruction on how they operate or how to employ them in historical inquiries. Yet, without these concepts it would be impractical to seriously engage in the study of the past. As Tim Lomas (1990, 41) argues, in trying to make sense of history, [o]ne cannot escape from the idea of significance. History, to be meaningful, depends on selection and this, in turn, depends on establishing criteria of significance to select the more relevant and to dismiss the less relevant. For Lomas, historians necessarily use (implicitly or explicitly) certain criteria to decide between the significant and the trivial. But what criteria?

To this day, it is not entirely clear, even within the history community, what criteria are accepted as valid for determining historical significance. There has been very little research on this second-order concept of history, even in England where it is formally part of the new school curriculum. As part of a larger study on Francophone and Anglophone students' understanding of historical significance, I reassessed the whole notion of historical significance by distinguishing three (simplified) communities that largely define the domain(s) within which constituents (historians, policymakers, teachers, and students) define their historical significance (see Figure 1).1 As a general rule, professional historians have (often implicitly) addressed questions of significance by employing a set of at least five disciplinary criteria outlined by Phillips (2002):

Importance: Refers to what was considered of primary influence or concern to those who lived the event, irrespective of whether their judgements about the importance of the event was subsequently shown to be justified. Key importance questions include: Who were/have been affected by the event? Why was it important to them? How were people's lives affected?;

Profundity: Refers to how deeply people were/have been affected by the event. Key profundity questions include: Was the event superficial or deeply affecting? How were people's lives affected?;

Quantity: Refers to the number of people affected by the event. Key quantity question include: Did the event affect many, everyone, just a few?;

Durability: Refers to how long were people affected by the event. Key durability questions include: How durable was the event in time? Was the event lasting or only ephemeral?; and

Relevance: Refers to the extent to which the event has contributed to historical understanding or meaning-making supported by evidence. Comparisons and analogies are more complex and lead to better appreciation of the past. Key relevance questions include: Is the event relevant to our understanding of the past and/or present? Does the event have a sense or signification to us?

Yet, these familiar criteria in historiography have never been fully articulated outside the history community. The result has been the development or usage of other criteria by Ministries and school history members; a sort of bric--brac of standards, many of which are driven by present-day commemoration, or what I call memory-history. Instead of advancing historical knowledge and understanding, these memory significance criteria have a collective memory function, designed to tailor the collective past for present-day purposes. More specifically, they can be seen as identifiable contemporary reasons for ascribing significance to events of the past. They help explain how and why people from the education and public communities establish few disciplinary connections of significance with the collective past. These types of memory significance are (at least) threefold:

Intimate interests: Use of personal, family, religious, cultural, or ancestral connections to the event to ascribe relevance (e.g., I was there, so it is relevant to me);

Symbolic significance: Use of particular events for present-day national or patriotic justification (i.e., this is our national holiday so it is relevant to me);

Contemporary lessons: Use of historical events to draw simplistic analogies in order to guide present-day actions, usually away from the "errors" of the past (e.g., the Great Depression shows what happens when the economy is over prosperous).


These factors of memory significance largely used by the public and education communities, coupled with the five criteria of disciplinary significance employed by professional historians, demonstrate the complexities of understanding how students themselves relate and connect to the past. Because people belong to different communities (see Figure 1), notably the background cultural/linguistic communities that historical actors participate in from generation to generation, historical significance is, therefore, not a fixed concept, but one that can mean diverse things to various people in different eras (Yeager, Foster Greer 2002, 200). And, this has particularly important consequences for how Canadians from different communities look at their national past because disciplinary, political, cultural, and educational forces do influence the version(s) of history conveyed to students in school.

Figure 1



Francophone and Anglophone students and historical significance

Studying Francophone and Anglophone students' conceptions of historical significance is useful for at least two reasons. First, paying closer attention to their conceptions can help clarify the extent to which students' development of historical thinking is shaped by the (different) school communities they inhabit. In other words, what students see as historically significant in Canadian past, and the reasons they offer for their selection, does not occur in vacuo. Rather, it is to varying degrees shaped by their classroom teaching and school community. Since Francophone and Anglophone students are educated in different school systems, their understandings of historical significance can potentially highlight how this second-order concept is (similarly or differently) employed by them. Second, studying students from these two groups helps us look at and compare the unclear environmental influence of family, language, and culture on students' understanding of their national past. Growing evidence (see Barton 2001; Epstein 1998; Ltourneau 2004; Seixas, 1997) suggests that class, ethnicity, culture/language, and popular culture are important factors in students' decisions between what they perceive as important and trivial in history.

Results (see Table 1) from the study conducted with 78 high school students in Ontario show that the most significant events selected by students are the establishment of Canada (Confederation, 1867), the participation of the colony/country in international conflicts (War of 1812 and World War I), granting of democratic rights to women (Women's right movement, 1920s) and the adoption of Canada's maple leaf flag (1965). The most recent event (September 11 terrorist attacks, 2001) came fifth, followed closely by a number of other more distant historical events dealing with wars and conflicts (World War II, Canada and peacekeeping), social movements (Underground railroad), socio-economic issues (Great Depression), and French-English relations (Franco-Ontarian Resistance). Results in Table 1 revealed that students selected events on a large temporal scale, ranging from the 16th century (Discovery of Canada) through to the 18th (Fall of New France), 19th (Confederation, Underground railroad), and 20th century (World Wars, Great Depression, Canada and peacekeeping, Canadian flag, Referendum).

However, the breakdown of results by school community presents more divergent selections. If the first two most significant events (World War I and the Canadian flag) offer comparable results (17 and 15 respectively for Francophones compared to 20 and 17 for Anglophones), other selected events present more contrasting views, which can be explained by school and cultural/linguistic divides. The War of 1812, the Franco-Ontarian Resistance, Canada and peacekeeping, and the 1995 Referendum, for example, were approached very differently depending on whether the informants were Francophone or Anglophone. Only three students in the Francophone school system selected the War of 1812 as opposed to 24 on the English side. As a total, this contrasting result represents only 8 percent of Francophones' selection compared to 60 percent for Anglophones. At the other extreme, 17 students in the Francophone school system chose the Franco-Ontarian Resistance (for a total of 45 percent) as opposed to two students on the Anglophone side (for a total of less than 1 percent).2

Table 1
Most significant events in Canadian history

Historical Events Total
Responses
Total
(M)ale
Total
(F)emale Total
Franco
Total
Franco
(M)
Total
Franco
(F)
Total
Anglo
Total
Anglo
(M)
Total
Anglo
(F)
World War I, 1914-1918 37 26 11 17 9 8 20 17 3 Canadian flag, 1965 32 20 12 15 8 7 17 12 5 Confederation, 1867 32 10 22 12 5 7 20 5 15 Women's rights, 1920s 30 8 21 17 2 15 12 6 6 War of 1812 27 16 11 3 0 3 24 16 8 September 11 Attacks, 2001 27 12 15 18 7 11 9 5 4 World War II, 1939-1945 26 14 12 16 8 8 10 6 4 Underground Railroad, 1840s 21 9 12 8 0 8 13 9 4 Great Depression, 1930s 20 10 10 10 5 5 10 5 5 Franco-Ontarian Resistance, 1916 19 7 12 17 5 12 2 2 0 Canada and peacekeeping, 1956-1957 18 13 5 4 2 2 14 11 3 Fall of New France, 1759 14 8 6 4 1 3 10 7 3 Discovery of Canada, 16th century 14 9 5 4 2 2 10 7 3 1995 Referendum 12 4 8 10 3 7 2 1 1 Qubec Act, 1774 9 7 2 2 1 1 7 6 1 Patriation of Constitution, 1982 8 4 4 6 3 3 2 1 1 Oka crisis, 1990 5 2 3 4 1 3 1 1 0 Free trade agreements, 1988 5 2 3 2 1 1 3 1 2 Colonising the west, late 19th century 5 3 2 1 0 1 4 3 1 Rebellion of 1837-1838 5 2 3 2 1 1 3 1 2 Migration of Loyalists, 1776-1783 4 1 3 2 1 1 2 0

2

Red River Rebellion, 1869-1870 3 1 2 1 1 0 2 2 0 Quiet Revolution, 1960s 3 1 2 1 0 1 2 1 1 October crisis 1970 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0

Equally interesting is the personal explanations students offered for their selections. Of the total text units coded (for each respective group), Anglophone students were more inclined to use disciplinary criteria (65%) than their Francophone counterparts (59%). The latter group, however, used more frequently criteria of memory significance (41%) than the Anglophone group (35%). More specifically, Anglophone students were more likely to use importance and relevance (disciplinary significance) and symbolic significance (memory significance), while Francophone students used more frequently duration and quantity (disciplinary significance) and intimate interests (memory significance).

So what can be inferred from this study? Clearly the discrepancy between students of the two language groups when selecting and justifying events of Canada's past must be considered carefully. If certain events and criteria offer comparable results, others clearly support Dickinson's notion of two historiographical traditions in Canada. School history can help explain the various/divergent selection of events by students from the two language groups. Official documents allow teachers flexibility in their selection and interpretation of Canadian history, especially in the Francophone curriculum which has a complete section on Les Franco-Ontariens. However, official documents cannot account for students' justifications of the events selected. In both school systems historical significance is an implicit tool used to present Ministry's expectations and justify textbook selections, not a second-order concept of history to be studied in class.

As such, it is unlikely that Anglophone teachers have more successfully stressed its meaning and conceptualization than their Francophone counterparts. In fact, no teacher reported having taught explicitly the concept in class. If one refers back to my earlier model of communities of historical significance (Figure 1), we are then left with a much more limited influence of school and history communities on students' disciplinary justification. What this suggests is that students by and large made their selection and justification within their own particular community without necessarily knowing or recognizing the influence of the community on their selection. Francophone students, for example, were more likely to use intimate interests than Anglophones precisely because the minority culture in which they find themselves endorses such connectedness to the collective past a Canadian past that was traditionally tailored by British Canadian authorities. Anglophone students, on the other hand, used their higher dependence on notions of relevance and symbolic significance. Being members of the dominant linguistic group, they more frequently referred to the positive effects of the selected Canadian events (national symbols) than Francophone students. Studies conducted in the U.S. support this argument (see Epstein 1998).

My study also leads me to believe that Francophone and Anglophone students employed different criteria of significance not so much because they were taught to intelligently do so, but because the minority/majority cultural world in which they live pushes them to make such decisions. This is not to say that these high school students have no agency, but, as Wertsch (2000, 40) observes, individuals and groups always act in tandem with cultural tools. The process by which students internalize particular conceptions and events of the collective past is shaped by both their own sense of their selves (i.e., individuality) and their implicit (or explicit) acceptance and endorsement of the values, traditions, behaviours, and experiences of their cultural community (i.e., socialization).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be argued that without a defensible conceptualization of historical significance, it becomes extremely problematic for teachers and students to articulate their own selection and conception of the collective past. So far, the notion of historical significance, and the disciplinary and education criteria to define it, have largely been overlooked in both history and history education. The result has been the imaginative bricolage of various understandings of historical significance by stakeholders, many of which are purely driven by present-day commemoration of what I call memory-history.

High school students need direction and guidance on this complicated historical terrain. They must (re)consider the implicit and explicit interpretative frames and collective values used to make sense of the past. Often, the criteria they employ to make the selection and justification of the collective past are shaped by the cultural communities they inhabit without understanding how the conceptual tool of historical significance operates and could inform their decision. If we, as educators, ignore this second-order concept, as well as how students from different communities relate to events of the collective past, our history teaching is likely to fail to address students' misconceptions and misunderstanding of the past. Historical thinking is, indeed, an unnatural act.

References

Barton, K. C., and Levstik, L. S. 1998. It Wasn't a Good Part of History: National Identity and Students' Explanations of Historical Significance. Teachers College Record 99 (4): 478-513.

Barton, K. C. 1997. ''I Just Kinda Know: Elementary Students' Ideas about Historical Evidence. Theory and Research in Social Education 24 (4): 407-430.

Dickinson, J. 1996. Canadian Historians - Agents of Unity of Disunity. Journal of Canadian Studies 31 (2): 148.

Epstein, T. 1998. Deconstructing Differences in African-American and European-American Adolescents' Perspectives on U.S. History. Curriculum Inquiry 28 (4): 397-423.

Ltourneau, J. 2004. Mmoire et rcit de l'aventure historique du Qubec chez les jeunes Qubcois d'hritage canadien-franais: coup de sonde, amorce d'analyse des rsultats, questionnements. The Canadian Historical Review 84 (2): 325-356.

Lomas, T. 1990. Teaching and Assessing Historical Understanding. London: The Historical Association.

Phillips, R. 2002. Historical Significance - The Forgotten 'Key Element'? Teaching History 106: 14-19.

Seixas, P. 1994. Students' Understanding of Historical Significance. Theory and Research in Social Education 22 (3): 281-304.

Seixas, P. 1997. Mapping the Terrain of Historical Significance. Social Education 61 (1): 22-27.

Wertsch, J. 2000. Is it Possible to Teach Beliefs, as Well as Knowledge about History? In Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives, edited by P. Stearns, P. Seixas and S. S. Wineburg, 38-50. New York: New York University Press.

Wineburg, S. S. 2001. Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Yeager, E., Foster, S., and Greer, J. 2002. How Eighth Graders in England and the United States View Historical Significance. The Elementary School Journal 13 (2): 199-219.

1I owe special thanks to Bruce VanSledright (University of Maryland) and teacher participants in the Historica Summer Institute 2004 for their insightful comments and suggestions for (re)structuring the model of historical significance presented in Figure 1.
2The Franco-Ontarian Resistance refers to the struggle of Franco-Ontarians for the recognition of their collective rights in the province, notably in education. Following the adoption of the infamous Regulation 17 by the Ontario government in 1912, which virtually eliminated French language education in the province, the francophone community engaged in long confrontation with the authorities for better recognition and acceptance. The struggle culminated in an altercation with police authority in Ottawa in 1916. Regulation 17 was finally amended in 1925, but it continues to serve as a defining element in the ongoing resistance of Franco-Ontarians against assimilation.


Stphane Lvesque is an Assistant Professor of History Education in the J.G. Althouse Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario. He can be reached by email at slevesqu@uwo.ca.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

History and Identity in Pluralist Democracies:
Reflections on Research in the U.S. and Northern Ireland

Keith C. Barton
University of Cincinnati

Abstract

This paper addresses the role of history education in developing a shared sense of identity in modern democracies. It does so by presenting findings from research into children's ideas about history in the United States and Northern Ireland, two settings that share important political and social characteristics with Canada and other pluralist countries. In the United States, the history curriculum revolves around developing a unified national identity, and it provides few opportunities for students to examine diversity within or outside the country. In Northern Ireland, schools avoid issues of identity and thus do little to help students move beyond the bonds of their own political/religious communities. A more productive way of incorporating identity into the history curriculum would involve attention to those events in a nation's past that have promoted pluralism and democracy.

As social studies educators, we might benefit from more frequently considering how our subjects are taught in other countries. There's nothing quite so effective at challenging our assumptions as coming face-to-face with another way of doing things. Such encounters can help broaden our ideas about what is possible and desirable in our own settings. My research in Northern Ireland over the past seven years has helped me better understand the nature of history and social studies in the United States, and it has alerted me both to the strengths of the U.S. approach and to areas that need rethinking. Canadian educators draw from both British and U.S. traditions, and they work in contexts in which issues of diversity and national identity are critical just as they are in Northern Ireland and the United States. Comparison of the differing approaches to these issues in the two locations, and of the effects of each, might be a profitable way for Canadians to reflect on their own goals and procedures.

I have interviewed hundreds of elementary and middle level students in the United States and Northern Ireland with regard to their ideas about history. At first, similarities in responses from the two locations seem clearest: In both, even the youngest students are interested in the past and think of themselves as historically knowledgeable and aware. They have learned about history not only at school but also from relatives, print and electronic media, museums, and public historic sites (Barton 2001). Older students can clearly articulate the importance of specific events and patterns and can explain the significance of broad historical themes (Barton 2005, Barton and Levstik 1998). However, there are crucial differences in the kinds of history students have encountered in these two countries, and the impact of these differences on students' ideas about the past are striking.

In the United States, the creation of a sense of national identity is at the core of the social studies curriculum from the earliest years of schooling through senior high. This takes place not through overt nationalism or patriotic indoctrination, but through repeated and systematic attention to national origins and development. Children's earliest exposure to history at school is likely to consist of semi-mythical stories of Christopher Columbus, the First Thanksgiving, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. events and characters that established the origin or current status of their nation. In later years, students usually study a narrative of national history on at least three occasions in upper elementary, middle school, and high school and in many states they also take a course in civic education. Textbooks in these courses convey a clear and consistent national story that emphasizes the founding people, events, and documents of the nation (Avery and Simmons 2000/2001), and teachers repeatedly use first person pronouns like we, us, and our when discussing the nation's past. Public history, in the form of museums, historic sites, and the media, also reflects this emphasis on national origins and development.

Given their consistent exposure to national history, it is not surprising that students identify with the U.S. past, even when they or their families are recent immigrants. When asked why history is important, they focus on the subjects' relationship to their own national identity: They say history helps them understand the origin of their country and the nature of its development, and that it provides lessons in how to relate to their fellow citizens (Barton 2001). Like their teachers, they consistently use first person pronouns when discussing the past, and the events they select as historically significant are those that established the country's political origins, marked it off as unique from other nations, and led to its current demographic makeup and social relations events such as the American Revolution, the Bill of Rights, immigration, the Civil Rights movement, and so on. The story they tell of the nation's past, meanwhile, is one of progress: Theirs is a nation that has faced up to its dilemmas foreign domination, slavery and social inequality, lack of suffrage for women, economic downturns-and solved them. Middle school students in the United States are aware that problems such as sexism and racism remain, and they know that some historical events have provoked dissent (such as the Vietnam War), but their belief in progress is so strong that they have few resources for reconciling these discrepancies with the dominant image of the national past (Barton and Levstik 1998). This is not to say that all students have exactly the same view of U.S. history; African American students, for example, select somewhat different people and events as historically significant than do students of European backgrounds, and they point to a much greater level of hardship in achieving social equality (Epstein 1998). Nonetheless, their focus remains very much on the history of the United States and on their place within the nation.

History in Northern Ireland is very different. There, accounts of the national past inevitably fall into either Nationalist or Unionist camps, and so any story of the region's history is controversial. As a result, national history is completely avoided in the primary school curriculum (up through about age 11), as well as in most other settings in which primary-aged children learn about the past. Instead of learning a narrative of national development, students study a variety of past societies, such as the Ancient Egyptians, Mesolithic peoples, and the Vikings. Even when focusing more directly on Northern Ireland, as in units on daily life in the Victorian Era or during World War II, the curriculum emphasizes social and material life rather than national political developments.

National history is also largely absent from children's experiences outside school. Most museums and historic sites avoid political history, and family stories often focus on the details of daily life; in addition, Northern Ireland's history rarely appears in children's literature or popular television programs. Although some students undoubtedly encounter politicized accounts of the national past in their homes and communities, these are not reinforced in schools, public sites, and the media as they are in the United States. Only when they enter secondary school do students encounter a systemic treatment of national history. In three years of required study (between ages 12-15), students are exposed to major topics in the development of Northern Ireland as a political entity. These topics are presented in a balanced, almost apolitical way, and teachers rarely go beyond the official cut-off date of 1922, even when they could make pertinent modern parallels meaning that links to current controversies are often missed (Kitson 2004). Moreover, students are neither explicitly nor implicitly encouraged to identify with any particular version of Northern Ireland's history, and pronouns like we and our, omnipresent in U.S. classrooms, are almost entirely absent as they are throughout Britain, where promoting national identity is generally not considered an appropriate goal of history teaching.

Without consistent attention to national origins and development, students in Northern Ireland develop a different view of history's purpose than their counterparts in the U.S. The elementary students I have interviewed there almost never refer to history in ways that would suggest identification with the nation, whether conceived of as Britain, Ireland, or Northern Ireland. Instead, students talk about history as a way of helping them understand people who are different than themselves, people who are far removed in time and place and for some students, the further removed the historical time period, the more interesting it is (Barton 2001). When secondary students are asked which historical events are most important, some point to those that have led to the current social or political makeup of Northern Ireland, but others note themes that are relevant to the region without necessarily implying national identification themes such as death and suffering, conflict, and injustice (Barton 2005). At both primary and secondary levels, first-person pronouns are virtually absent in students' discussion of history.
Directly asking students in Northern Ireland about their historical identifications yields a more complex and revealing picture. When shown pictures from Irish, British, and world history and asked which have the most to do with themselves, students in the first year of secondary school give a wide range of responses. Some identify with Northern Ireland's troubles, some with Unionist or Nationalist perspectives, and others with a variety of topics that suggest local or regional identifications but not explicitly political ones old castles, the Titanic, prehistoric sites, and so on. But as students progress through three years of secondary historical study, their identifications become narrower and are increasingly politicized far more students identify with Unionist or Nationalist perspectives after studying national history at school than before. Not only do students' identifications narrow, but they also become more detailed and specific, which suggests that many students are drawing selectively from the school curriculum to bolster developing sectarian perspectives (Barton and McCully, 2004).

The United States and Northern Ireland, then, represent two extremes in dealing with issues of identity: U.S. students are encouraged to identify with a single story of the national past, one that emphasizes unity and progress; the Northern Ireland curriculum avoids identity altogether. Neither approach seems adequate to dealing with the demands of a pluralist democracy. U.S students are poorly equipped to deal with the diversity of experiences and viewpoints that have existed throughout the nation's history and that are still a vital part of public debate. Students who recognize those omissions particularly those from minority backgrounds may eventually come to reject national identification, because the official story of the past excludes or minimizes their own backgrounds. Many of the debates over multiculturalism in the United States have focused on the apparent contradictions of ethnic and national identities. And indeed, it is hard to see how citizens of the United States could fully identify with the nation when its past is portrayed in such exclusive terms. Nor does this kind of narrow history help students develop an understanding of the perspectives of people from backgrounds other than their own.

Primary-level history in Northern Ireland shows greater promise because of its emphasis on the experiences of diverse people from around the world, and students recognize that the subject can help them move beyond their own perspective. At the secondary level, however, history there fails to capitalize on its early success: Students move away from the study of other societies and toward their own national past, yet the subject is presented in such a way that it does not encourage any common identification. As a result, students are left to draw from it selectively in support of historical identities that arise in their families and communities. Often these identities are conceived of in sectarian terms, and the lack of shared identity is a key aspect of Northern Ireland's problems: Because the two communities do not perceive a set of common interests, they have little motivation to work together for the benefit of the entire region. When teachers there learn about the U.S. emphasis on creating identity through history, they often suggest that Northern Ireland would benefit from such an approach and yet they also know how difficult it would be, because practically all people and events in history are perceived as part of either Unionist or Nationalist traditions. Moreover, which national identity should be promoted-that of Britain, Ireland, or Northern Ireland itself?

If citizens are to work together as members of a democratic society, they must share a sense of identity, and that identity must be parallel to the political system within which citizen action takes place and in today's world, nations enjoy a privileged position in that regard. Nations can bestow rights and demand actions that ethnic groups, religious communities, and subnational regions such as states and provinces cannot. (Since devolution in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland would qualify as such a nation if its contending parties could agree to work together.) Yet there is no doubt that many people feel a strong sense of identification with ethnic, religious, or other groups, and they are likely to continue to do so. Pluralist democracies must recognize this fact by promoting national identities that encourage inclusiveness and diversity and that do not dismiss other identities that are important to its citizens (Barton and Levstik 2004). In the United States, that would mean a shift away from stories of European settlement and early political leaders, and toward accounts of the diverse populations that have made up the country throughout its history. It would also mean a greater emphasis on events that have led to broader participation in the nation's public life, and on groups and individuals who have championed pluralism. If we hope to promote identification with a pluralist democracy, then surely diversity and participation must be at the center of the historical accounts we emphasize in school.

As a U.S. citizen, I must continually suppress my temptation to tell people in other countries what they should do, and in particular how they should teach history. Therefore I will not presume to end with conclusions about the implications of this research for the Canadian context. Instead, I will simply suggest some of the questions it raises. The first set of questions revolves around students' prior understanding: What ideas do Canadian students bring with them when they take part in formal study of history at school? Where do these ideas come from, and how do they affect students' learning of required content? Moreover, how do students' ideas (whether specific content knowledge or perceptions of broader trends and processes) vary by region or ethnicity? Researchers across Canada are currently working on precisely these questions, and they are poised to surpass scholars in other countries in their contributions to our understanding of the development of historical understanding.

But even with the empirical evidence that is being developed, Canadian educators still must face difficult, philosophical questions that cannot be answered by research alone. These include questions such as: What is the purpose of teaching history? How can history promote national identity (if it should) and still respect diversity of perspectives? What implications are there for changes in the course of study and for the selection of specific content? (After all, saying that there should be more Canadian history says nothing about which people, periods, topics, and themes should be addressed.) How much regional diversity should be encouraged, and how much should the curriculum be differentiated to deal with the prior perspectives of students? At a conference in Montreal not long ago, I heard the suggestion that because recent immigrants are unlikely to have developed the same myths of the Canadian national past as other students, they should be taught those myths first-and then taught that they are all wrong! Although the comment was made in jest, it illustrates how Canadian educators must address the tension between unity and diversity at the same time that they juggle the complex relationship between educational purposes and students' ideas. These are difficult issues, but they cannot be avoided.

References

Avery, P. G., and Simmons, A. M. 2000/2001. Civic life as conveyed in United States civics and history textbooks. International Journal of Social Studies 15 (Fall/Winter): 105-30.

Barton, K. C. 2001. You'd be wanting to know about the past: Social contexts of children's historical understanding in Northern Ireland and the USA. Comparative Education 37 (February): 89-106.

Barton, K. C. 2005. Best not to forget them: Adolescents' judgments of historical significance in Northern Ireland. Theory and Research in Social Education 33 (Winter). 9-45.

Barton, K. C., and Levstik, L. S. 1998. It wasn't a good part of history: National identity and ambiguity in students' explanations of historical significance. Teachers College Record 99 (1998): 478-513.

Barton, K. C., and Levstik, L. S. 2004. Teaching history for the common good. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Barton, K. C., and McCully, A. W. 2004. History, identity, and the school curriculum in Northern Ireland: An empirical study of secondary students' ideas and perspectives. Journal of Curriculum Studies 37 (January/February): 85-116.

Epstein, T. 1998. Deconstructing differences in African-American and European-American adolescents' perspectives on U.S. history. Curriculum Inquiry 28 (October): 397-423.

Kitson, A. 2004. History teaching and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego.


Keith C. Barton is a Professor in the Division of Teacher Education at the University of Cincinnati. He can be reached by email at keith.barton@uc.edu.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

The Great Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian History:
Using a web-based archives to teach history.

Ruth Sandwell
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Abstract

Over the past few years, there has been a growing trend in the use of primary documents, those original historical documents used by historians, to teach history in high school and even elementary classrooms. This article uses the author's experience of designing a web-based history education project, The Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History project (www.canadianmysteries.ca) to explore some of the promise and problems of using primary documents to teach history. The article suggests that this approach not only makes history more interesting to students, but it does so by drawing students into the processes of critical and imaginative thinking needed to 'do' history.

Over the past few years, there has been a growing trend in the use of primary documents, those original historical documents used by historians, to teach history in high school and even elementary classrooms. Whether history educators believe that the analysis of primary documents does a better job at teaching the kinds of critical enquiry and historical thinking that are at the heart of history education, or whether they believe that this approach is simply more interesting to students, teachers are using primary documents more often in their classrooms as they encourage students to DO history (Wineburg, 1999; Seixas 1993; Sandwell, 2003; Osborne, 2004).

Since 1995, John Lutz (a historian at the University of Victoria), and myself (a historian now teaching in a faculty of education at the University of Toronto) have been involved in an on-line history education project that has tried to both encourage the use of primary documents in the teaching of Canadian history, and to alleviate some of the problems associated with it. Working with Dr. Peter Gossage, now the third co-director of our project, we have created a series of documents-based websites called collectively The Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History (www.canadianmysteries.ca). This article describes some of the reasoning behind our decision to teach Canadian history through this documents-based approach. After a discussion of the philosophical and pedagogical background to the sites, I will present an overview of lesson plans that provide some examples from one of the Teachers' Guides to demonstrate just how these theories are translated into practical lessons that are helping to change the way history is taught.

The big idea

Everybody loves a mystery. And the work of historians resembles that of detectives in many respects. Like detectives, historians sift through evidence in order to build convincing interpretations about some aspect or aspects of the past Unfortunately, it is this very process of building historical knowledge that is so often missing in school history (Sandwell, 2003, Seixas, 2003). Teachers tend to represent history as a series of facts to be memorized and given back to the teacher is a slightly altered form, while historians generally understand history instead as a series of interpretations built up, evaluated and argued for in the context of what other people have already argued. John Lutz and I decided to introduce history students to the more delightful, contested, evidence-based and interpretive aspects of history by creating the website Who Killed William Robinson? Race, Justice and Settling the Land. This website presents students with some brief contextual materials about the mystery , and the place and times in which it occurred, but most of the site is comprised of hundreds of primary documents letters, government reports, photographs, maps, newspaper reports about the mystery surrounding the death of William Robinson.

Here is the mystery described in a nutshell: Between December 1867 and December 1868, a small rural community in colonial British Columbia (Salt Spring Island) was the scene of three brutal, seemingly unconnected murders. All of the victims were members of the island's African American community, and Aboriginal people were widely blamed for all of the deaths. This African American community had fled persecution and slavery in California in 1858, but the murders in 1868-9 fractured the community and drove many away. Many of Salt Spring Island's African American community returned to the United States which was more congenial to them after the Civil War had brought an end to slavery. An Aboriginal man, Tschuanahusset, was convicted and hanged for the murder of one of these men, William Robinson. The trial was to all appearances a sham and afterwards, compelling evidence came to light suggesting that he was not the murderer. The site invites students to re-solve this real-life murder, while the Teachers' Guide that is available to teachers provides units and individual lesson plans that provide more guidance for using the primary documents that make up the bulk of the site.

To our surprise, the website was a great success after its launch in the late 1990s, demonstrating to us that teachers were keen to use primary documents to teach history, and that there was a real shortage of such materials for teachers. Although we had originally designed it for use in first year university survey courses, it was, and is, used extensively in high school classrooms, and not just in western Canada but across Canada and the United States. This site, which has been used in over 40 universities/colleges and 100 high schools , has won the NAWEB (North American Web) Award for the best educational site in North America in 2002 and the 2003 MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources in History (www.merlot.org).

In 2003, we decided to expand the project. Working with University of Sherbrooke historian Dr. Peter Gossage we received funding from the Canadian Content Online Program (CCOP) of the Canadian Heritage Ministry to move ahead with Phase Two of the project, including two new mysteries The Cruel Stepmother: the Aurore Gagnon Case, (Peter Gossage, Research Director) and Nobody Knows His Name: Klatssasin and the Chilcotin Massacre (John Lutz, Research Director) to complement the pilot Who Killed William Robinson?.

Although virtually unknown in English Canada, Aurore Gagnon is an icon of Quebec popular culture. Known universally in Quebec as 'Aurore, L'enfant martyre', she was a twelve-year-old girl whose tragic death in February, 1920 became a cause clbre in the province. Her father and stepmother faced murder charges for the neglect and abuse that ultimately killed her, leaving over fifty welts and scars on her body. Although 'who' the father or the step-mother was responsible for Aurore's death remains an intriguing question, the deeper unsolved mystery surrounding Aurore's story must be framed in terms of 'why'. Why did this poor, rural couple behave so brutally towards a twelve-year-old girl in the first place? And why has this story resonated for so long in Quebec? In ensuing decades, the events surrounding her murder were interpreted by theatre troupes, novelists, and the filmmaker Jean-Yves Bigras, whose 1951 melodrama La petite Aurore l'enfant martyre etched a version of this domestic tragedy in to the collective memory of a generation of Qubcois and Qubcoises.

The third website in the Great Mysteries project, Nobody Knows His Name: Klatssasin and the Chilcotin Massacre, looks at a crucial but nationally unknown war between the TSILHQOT'IN (Chilcotin) people and the Colony of British Columbia, in 1864. Who did it is only part of the mystery here. Klatsassin, whose name literally means, We Do Not Know His Name was hanged with a number of others including his 17 year old son for the death of a road building crew, a team of packers and the only settler in the area. The mystery lies in asking why the Chilcotin launched their attack, and in deciding who won the Indian War that followed.

The overall multi-year goal of this project is to provide teachers and students in high schools, colleges and universities with 13 websites, each an archives of primary historical documents and supporting resources about different unsolved mysteries in Canadian history. As students work their way through the mysteries, they are engaging the major themes in Canadian history, learning about all the regions of Canada, and the major ethnic groups in the country. Students are also developing the complex analytical and critical skills of historians, identifying, selecting and evaluating the 'evidence' left to us from the past, and incorporating it into a coherent narrative framework of description and explanation. Each of the new sites is now available in French and English. All the sites are accompanied by teachers' guides synchronized as much as possible with provincial education department teaching outcomes.

Pedagogical Orientation

As we have already noted, these educational websites work by providing students with the opportunity to use primary documents from history to build a meaningful and reasoned historical interpretation. These sites are, therefore, designed to simulate the kind of critical thinking necessary for primary archival research. The sites are not written as a story with a beginning and end, much to the consternation of students, but rather are a collection of documents and images which relate to the particular mystery and to the social history of Canada more generally. It is up to students to provide the explanatory framework that can best make sense of the documents. The sites are not meant to be used as stand alone teaching tools. Instead, working with the teacher and their classmates, students are required to build their own stories around the incident. More junior students require more direction about where to look than others.

All of the sites work on four main levels. The level to which instructors push their students will depend on the abilities of the group being taught. The first two levels are accessible to grade school as well as junior university students. The third level is probably appropriate for university students at a junior and senior level. The final level is aimed at upper-level undergraduates and graduate students.

Level One: Reading and Understanding Primary Documents
The first level is the most obvious. This site brings ready access to a wide variety of primary documents about particular episodes in Canadian history. Obtaining these documents is usually a time-consuming and difficult process, even for skilled researchers with the time and resources to travel to several archival repositories. For students with little experience and limited access, the examination of primary documents is practically impossible. Yet, it is the personal and immediate nature of primary sources like letters, diaries and newspapers that bring the past alive for most of us. To assist students, the documents have been transcribed. The first level at which the site works, therefore, is the exposure to a wide variety of the raw materials and some basic skills used by historians. Ideally, it will excite interest in doing more historical research.

Level Two: Exploring the Social History of Colonial Canadian Society
At the next level, students acquire a basic understanding of some of the major elements of life in Canadian society at the time of each mystery. Given the right questions and learning environments, this information comes easily to students as they seek and weigh the evidence surrounding each mystery. In their attempt to solve the mystery, they come to grips with the historical antecedents of current issues such as racism, social violence, inter-ethnic conflict, judicial independence, Eurocentric colonial law, economic change, English/French relations, and settler society and aboriginal resistance to it. In solving the mysteries, they examine the real lives of ordinary people who lived in the mid-nineteenth century, down to the details of everyday life. The localized nature of this study brings the period to life in a way that is impossible when the scale of reference is larger. To consolidate this information, students can be presented with specific factual questions, or higher-level interpretative questions which require them to use each site to find specific answers.

Level Three: Doing History
At the third level, students are drawn into the work of doing history. The students go through a number of obvious stages as they learn about this practice. At first, each site seems novel and even amusing to student surfers. Quickly, however, they are confronted with the complexities and difficulties of doing history. The students will encounter, probably for the first time, evidence that is not laid out in a linear/narrative form for them. They realize, painfully, that history is a process of creating their own narrative from complex and often contradictory bits of evidence, all of which must be evaluated according to particular standards and used in particular ways. Merely asking them to describe what happened forces them to evaluate evidence and make choices about what they consider most reliable. At this level, students are doing or making history: they are using their own critical skills to judge significance, evaluate evidence and form an argument.

It is at this point that students can benefit most from the classroom discussion and workshops that are integral to using this site as a teaching tool. Barring this, an on-line discussion group moderated by an instructor could be used as a substitute. Students will be in a position to discuss the minutiae of the case, and of the lives of many of the individuals associated with it. They can be asked to defend their interpretations and in so doing must reveal their strategies for discriminating among contradictory evidence. Instructors/moderators can, at this point, draw out the successful interpretive strategies and foreground them for those students who used them unconsciously or who did not have the skills to judge at all. Students can be encouraged to develop a schema for analyzing historical evidence and present that to their discussion group.

Since students will follow different research strategies and so view different kinds of evidence, they will inevitably come to different conclusions about what the issues really were in each of the mysteries. Either through role-playing, class discussion or written assignments students will have to consolidate their understanding of the murder and its historical context in arguing for their interpretation. In this way, this telling of this murder, and series of murders, reverses the logic of standard texts and teaching formats. Too often a text, like a lecture, raises a topic and then attempts to invoke rhetorical closure by offering one interpretation as the most convincing and authoritative. By contrast, this format is open-ended, designed to provoke discussion about major questions such as racism, justice, or economic relations, in a specific historical and geographical situation, as students solve the mystery. Instead of answers, students are given the criteria by which they can make sense out of the past.

Level Four: What is History and How Can We Know It?
For more sophisticated students, the website also operates at a fourth, or historiographical/epistemological level. Since students will have looked at the same information base and much of the same basic evidence and yet come to different conclusions, they can be introduced to questions about the status of historical knowledge and the interpretation of facts. If they come to a variety of conclusions, they can discuss the interpretative and tentative nature of History and the importance of understanding the location of the historian as the mediator. If instructors wish, they can introduce post-structuralist critiques of history and the rejoinders, using the documents about the murder of William Robinson contained in this site. At this level, the Website allows students to explore some of the most important theoretical questions in the discipline.

Lesson Plans for Secondary Students

The following chart provides an overview of one of the Unit Plans contained in the Teachers' Guide for the Who Killed William Robinson? website, written by historians Ruth Sandwell, John Lutz, together with teachers Heidi Bohaker, Tina Davidson and Grace Ventura, and history educators Janet N. Mort and Mia Riemers. As you can see, these lesson plans, directed at a junior secondary level class, attempt to teach students about the nature and uses of primary documents, leading them into the questions of interpretations of evidence in the context of larger issues of history and historical interpretation. In the culminating activity, students enact a re-trial, using the skills and evidence they have uncovered in their research on the site.

As John Myers has carefully argued in his article in this special issue, if students are really going to learn a new way of learning and understanding history by using primary documents, assessment strategies must be carefully designed to assess the skills, techniques and kinds of knowledge that the site is designed to teach. History teachers tend to focus their assessments on the factual 'products' of historical knowledge, a much easier task than designing assessments to measure the more complex processes of creating historical knowledge. But teachers will need to refine and develop their assessment strategies if they are going to convince students that history is more than 'just the facts.' They will want to assess how well students can select evidence, and how well they use it to construct historical knowledge. To answer these questions, students will need to understand what makes some evidence better than others, and how much is enough to make a convincing argument in favour of a particular interpretation.

Assessment strategies must, in addition, test how well students are able to contextualize their specific evidence within broader themes and issues raised by other historians, and at a level that is appropriate to students' abilities and knowledge. Assessment strategies appropriate to each of the lessons listed below can be found in the detailed lesson plans for this site, at www.canadianmysteries.ca, while John Myers' article in this collection provides a broad discussion of the practical and theoretical issues that need to be taken into account when using primary documents to teach history.

Key Question: Who Killed William Robinson? LESSON TITLE TIME NEEDED OVERVIEW Preparatory Lesson 1 class lesson (75 minutes) In this introduction to historical documents, the class comes up with a list of the kinds of documents (primary sources) that historians of the future might use to make inferences about our lives hundreds of years from now. Students then select the three primary sources that they think will best describe their own lives for future historians, and use a data chart to explain why Lesson 1: Who Killed William Robinson? 2 classes In this lesson, students are first given an overview of the murder of William Robinson, and introduced to the terms Primary and Secondary Sources. They are then asked to read a selection of documents (primary sources) relating to the incident, and assess the information they contain and the point of view they represent. If Tshuanahusset was not guilty of murdering Robinson, who might be? In the second part of the exercise, students develop a timeline for the events of the crime. Lesson 2: Historical Contexts 3 classes In this three-class lesson, students work in groups to explore one of six areas that provides a broader historical context for understanding the crime. Each group will create a poster that represents their research, and present it to the class on one of the following topics: Settler Society on Salt Spring Island, Crime and Punishment in late 19th century Vancouver Island and British Columbia, Aboriginal Issues and Aboriginal/Non-aboriginal relations on the west coast in the 19th century, the larger Canadian historical context and the American (particularly West Coast) historical context. Lesson 3: Criminal Law-Then and Now 2 classes In this two-class activity, students are introduced to the basic concepts of criminal law and given an opportunity to explore Canada's criminal law tradition. Students are asked to identify the similarities in customs today with those in the past, as well as changes. Lesson 4: Reading Between the Lines: Listening for Other Voices 2 classes In this lesson, students learn to use critical skills for historical and legal investigation. In the first part, students learn how to interrogate a document for factual clues about the William Robinson murder. In the second part, students gather in groups to assess the quality and suitability of their documents to the investigation of Robinson's murder. Lesson 5: Thinking it Through 1 class In this in-class writing activity, students refine their communication skills as they think through and summarize the evidence either in a newspaper-style article or in a report on inconsistencies in the trial testimony. Lesson 6: Taking it to Court (mock trial and written paper). 4 classes In this culminating activity, students participate in a mock trial. They use this information and the documents on the website as a whole to create a dramatisation of the court case that will settle the matter, assigning roles and writing scripts for a final performance in the last class. As an option or an extension activity, students can write and submit individually their finding on the case.

Conclusion

Over the past few years, history teachers have drawn increasingly on primary documents to teach history. While teachers and students enjoy the engagement with the past provided by this kind of active learning, history educators argue that this critical examination of historical texts more closely resembles what history is - the ongoing interpretation of evidence about the past - than the memorize and regurgitate model that continues to influence history education across the country. The Great Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian History project was designed to provide the historical documents, or evidence, that teachers and students need if they are to do history. The Teachers' Guides for the sites help to articulate just what is different about this approach to history, and to provide teachers with the support they need as they steer students through this extended exercise in critical thinking and historical contextualization. In our experience with students and teachers using the site, the sites not only make history more interesting, but they help give students a deeper knowledge of our society, past and present, and a deeper understanding of how that knowledge is obtained.

References

Osborne, K. 2003. Teaching History in Schools: a Canadian Debate. Journal of Curriculum Studies 35 (5): 4-7.

Sandwell, R. 2003. Reading Beyond Bias: Teaching Historical Practice to Secondary School Students. McGill Journal of Education 38 (1/Winter): 168-186.

Sandwell, R., Lutz, J., Bohaker, H., Davidson, T. and Ventura, G., Mort, J. N and Riemers, M. 2004. Teachers Guide to Who Killed William Robinson?. Available on-line at www.canadianmysteries.ca.

Seixas, P. 1993. The Community of Inquiry as a Basis for Knowledge and Learning: The Case of History. American Educational Research Journal 30 (2/Summer): 305-324.

Wineburg, S. S. 1999. Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts. Phi Delta Kappan 80 (7): 488-499.


Ruth Sandwell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. She can be reached by email at rsandwell@oise.utoronto.ca.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Doin' the DBQ: Small Steps Towards Authentic Instruction and Assessment in History Education.

John Myers
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Abstract

Even the best teacher education programs are notoriously short and barely adequate for preparing students to teach in today's schools. At the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) several projects have been undertaken in the use of sources in history classrooms (see Ruth Sandwell's article in this issue). This article describes the origins, features and challenges from an ongoing project exploring the use of sources in the history classroom.

Origins

Over the past few years, students in my history education methods class have been looking at the use and interpretation of sources in an effort to influence history teaching that relies far too much on textbooks and regurgitation and too little on critical interpretation of the evidence. I shall not go over the ground Ruth Sandwell examines in her article about the authentic nature of source analysis. Instead I wish to add two additional reasons for engaging in this work.

The Literacy Challenge

In many jurisdictions such as the U.K. and Ontario literacy is being seen as a neglected goal of the curriculum. As a result there have been a number of initiatives to improve student reading, writing, and oral levels, including the increasing use of provincial and national tests.

History content presents many challenges in comprehension. Since this area of the curriculum is highly literate and concept rich, it may be that student difficulties arise from the nature of its language demands, especially those reading demands made upon students by teachers, textbooks, tests and examinations (Myers, 1999). Reading critically and for meaning is seen as increasingly basic, not just in history but across the curriculum (Wineburg and Martin, 2004).

It seemed that more emphasis on using documents in the classroom would assist students in improving literacy and provide further justification for the place of history in the school curriculum, in addition to promoting critical thinking and all of those exciting things we try to do.

The Assessment Challenge

Assessment and evaluation are contentious issues these days. In many cases, the assessment tail wags the curriculum dog. Assessment shadows everything we do: from the student question, Does this count? to the editorials decrying our failure to educate the young.

As more traditional views of assessment such as standardized tests on a provincial or state level are re-emerging and as teachers find newer ideas harder to implement than first assumed, contrasting trends in assessment and evaluation now compete for prominence. These include: a movement towards more authentic measures contrasted by more large-scale standardized testing to satisfy demands for accountability, increased use of document-based questions and performance tasks countered by more multiple choice testing as busy teachers try to get a set of marks for their grade books (See Myers, 2004 for a fuller examination of these and other issues related to history and the social studies.)

As a result this project developed as a way to introduce our teacher-candidates to literacy, the nature of history as a discipline, and both traditional and new forms of classroom assessment as an efficient and effective combination.

Doin' the DBQ

From the primary grades on we have always used primary sources: pictures, artifacts, maps, written and oral accounts. In the context of sound teaching the use of documents can help students consider multiple perspectives, reconcile different positions, evaluate the strength of competing arguments, and promote deeper levels of thinking through the development of critical skills and sound habits of mind.

We have been less successful in using these sources in assessments and evaluations. In North America, document-based questions (DBQs) used to be considered appropriate only for senior high students in IB or AP programs, though the British have been using sources for decades. Now there is a move to use them to bring more authenticity to instruction and assessment. The Begbie Contest in British Columbia has used document-based questions since 1994 (see http://www.begbiecontestsociety.org/ for sample items) and a number of states such as New York have brought them into prominence in their Regents Exams (see http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/dbq/ssindex.html for two short courses for teachers wishing to use documents for assessment purposes). Canadian provinces such as Qubec are using DBQs in their provincial examinations.

What follows is the assignment instructions undertaken by 56 teacher-candidates in two history curriculum methods classes at OISE/UT from November, 2003 to February, 2004.

The Assignment

Rationale: One of the current trends in assessment and evaluation in history is a revival of the use of traditional test items combined with the use of primary source documents. Well-designed DBQs have the potential to promote higher order thinking and enhanced literacy combined with rigor and interest for students.
Components: Form teams of three to four- no more than four Select a course, a grade, a unit and a level (based on the Ontario curriculum) For your unit identify a central question which might serve as a major essay in a test. Design a quiz that includes the following:
6 to 8 DBQ multiple choice items requiring more than simple recall; i.e. inferencing, drawing conclusions, interpreting data from charts, graphs, pictures, or maps, understanding, deriving meaning from quotes, songs, poetry, prose or other forms of written text.
a major essay question in which students read, analyze and interpret a set of 3-8 documents (depending on course, grade, and level) based on an important question in history.

Evaluation Criteria

up to 5 marks based on your ability to design multiple choice DBQs that go beyond simple recall up to 10 marks for the essay question based on
- appropriate choice and number of documents for grade and course level
- well-designed essay question including clear instructions for students

Weighting: 15% of the course grade

Additional Notes to Teacher-Candidates:
- All components will be modeled in class
- There will be time in class for working on this assignment
- The teams you form now may be used in the major assignment of the second term, so learning to work together now will be advantageous
- Scoring your essays using a rubric will be done in January
- Please hand in two copies. I shall mark one and have the other for use by your classmates in either class. This way, we shall develop a bank of quality DBQs
- While students in applied level classes or grades 7-8 may work with fewer documents, the choice of appropriate sources for an essay item at this level may be more challenging than the design of academic or senior DBQs using more documents.

Sample Work (these represent typical items produced by teacher candidates)

Here are samples of the work based on the curriculum in our grade 10 Canadian History: 1900-2000 course. The multiple choice samples were designed for a quiz on the 1920s. The essay sample come from a World War One unit for this same course.

Sample #1

Do you feel justified in holding a job which could be filled by a man who has not only himself to support, but a wife and family as well? Think it over.
Based on the quote, the moral code of the 1920s could be best described as:

understanding and accommodating of the need for women to work encouraging women in the work force hesitant to give women equal rights condemning women for wanting to work.

Sample #2

Based on the quote by the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs to his agents in 1921, what best describes Canada's policy towards First Nations peoples?
I haveto direct you to use your utmost endeavors to dissuade the Indians from excessive indulgence in the practice of dancing. You should suppress any dances which cause waste of time, interference with the occupations of the Indians, unsettle them for serious work, injure their health, or engorge them to sloth or idleness.

Assimilation Multiculturalism Nationalism Alienation.

Sample#3

Unit Question:
Did the events of World War 1 help to unify Canada and contribute to a sense of Canadian identity?
Document-based essay question:
After returning from a trip to Europe, Prime Minister Borden became concerned that a system of voluntary enlistment would not be sufficient for a victory in Europe. Evaluate Robert Borden's decision to implement conscription. Was it a wise decision on his part? Support your answer by making references from the documentation provided.
(The teacher candidates then offered six documents including quotes, texts, photographs and charts.)

Feedback and Conclusions

In addition to the discussions we had in our classes we received feedback on the project from Dr. Ruth Sandwell at OISE/UT, a social studies professor at Niagara University familiar with the New York state use of DBQs, and three teachers from Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia who had experience in using documents in their classrooms. The B.C. teacher was Charles Hou, the originator of the Begbie Contest. The teacher-candidates found the assignment to be as interesting as it was challenging. Their own feedback matched that of the outside reviewers.

Our goal in designing the Multiple Choice Questions was simple: to design items that required students to read the documents in order to determine the correct responses. This was a challenge and even with major revisions we had many multiple choice questions that still needed better wording or did not require examination of the document to be answered. The outside feedback complimented us on our efforts while pointing out the difficulties of sound multiple choice question design. The teacher-candidates commented on the surprising challenges of the multiple-choice format: surprising given the surface simplicity of a multiple choice question. Several groups had begun by looking at questions they had used during the recent practicum experiences in schools, but quickly found that the items they designed asked for recall only.

Designing DBQ essays requiring an analysis and interpretation based at least in part on the specific documents was easier. Still the timelines were pretty tight and most of the teacher-candidates went to the internet for sources. Some of these were not adequately checked and a number of historical errors crept in to the DBQs. In other cases documents were selected that were simply too long, did not provide a good fit with the question or were attached to questions that were vague or wordy. In addition, teacher-candidates found the search for appropriate documents to be frustrating given the tight timelines. While they also recognized the value of working in teams, some teams were more cohesive than others.

The construction of the rubric was also a challenge though the work of the Begbie Contest helped us in our thinking a great deal.

A Generic Instructional Set and Rubric for Our DBQ Essays
(adapted from the work of the Begbie Contest, op cit.)

The purpose of a DBQ essay response is to test your ability to analyze and interpret historical documents and to write an essay. To complete this task successfully you should consider the following steps:

Read the instructions Read and analyze the documents and think about the possible positions on or interpretations of the question or issue raised. Decide on a thesis or position you think is strongest on the issue and prepare an outline for your essay Write your essay Proofread your essay

Use information from as many of the documents as possible in order to provide evidence for your position. While you must also hand in your outlines and notes, only the essay will be marked.

We chose to use four levels to match current rubric-based assessment practice in Ontario. To present to students an image of quality from the outset, we began our leveling at the highest level by asking, What does a quality response look like?

The Ontario Achievement Charts are the bases for determining final grades for a course. These are designed to broaden what teachers assess based on:
K/U= knowledge and understanding
T/I= thinking and inquiry
C= communication
A= application

Thus, each criterion in our DBQ Essay Rubric was matched with one or more of the achievement chart categories. We did not attach a grade range to our levels though the inference is that these fall in line with Ontario practice.

Based on our work we designed the following rubric:

Criteria level 4
outstanding

level 3
good

level 2
needs improvement
level 1
poor
Clarity of thesis and conclusionHow well is the position stated and summarized?(C, T/I) Both the thesis and conclusions are clearly stated with key criteria for judgment stated. Both the thesis and conclusions are clearly stated. Criteria for judgement is implied but not explicitly stated. Thesis and conclusion are clearly evident though only one of these is clearly stated.Criteria implied. Thesis and conclusion are evident but neither is clearly stated.Criteria for judgment is implied. Organization of argumentHow well are the thesis, body of the argument and conclusion linked?(C, T/I) The essay is easy to read as the argument is clearly linked to thesis and conclusion through consistent and appropriate use of connectives; e.g., but, and, , because of, moreover, yet, since therefore. The argument is linked to the thesis and conclusion though the reader needed to read carefully to see the links as connectives not always used consistently or appropriately. The essay is not easy to follow and needed at least a good second or third reading to see the connections among data supporting an argument. Either the thesis or the conclusion did not clearly link to the arguments made.Spelling and grammar errors too few to detract further from the ease of understanding of the argument. Use of evidenceHow is data from the documents used as evidence?(K/U, T/I, A) Data from required documents incorporated into interpretation along with other data. Data from competing interpretations is weighed and conclusions drawn based on criteria. Data from required documents incorporated into interpretation along with other data. There is an attempt to consider data from competinginterpretations. Data from required documents incorporated into interpretation along with other data. Competing interpretations not acknowledged. Data from required documents interpreted though little data from outside sources evidenced and there is no attempt to acknowledge data supporting competing interpretations. Additional criterion based on task.

None of the criticisms expressed during the DBQ Project took away from the quality of the work or the view held by the candidates and the outside reviewers that this project was and is worthwhile. A number of candidates modified this work during their second practicum period and were pleased with the results. The school associates were also very interested in this work and wanted copies of the entire project. A colleague from another university, Dr. Marianne Larsen from Trent, is currently doing a similar project based on this original work.
Postscript
It is important yet challenging for history teachers entering the field to have a sense of what is possible and to strive to be the best they can be while recognizing that there is so much to learn.
We (and this definitely includes myself) have learned a great deal from the first year of this work.. A number of students and professors doing similar work attested to the challenges of question design (Niagara University teacher candidates, personal communication on Portfolio Night, Dec. 6, 2004; Larsen, personal communication, Jan. 26, 2005).
This year we have just finished doing this assignment for the second time. The examples and experiences from the first year result in better work judging from the lower level of anxiety by teacher candidates and the higher grades I gave.

While the title of this article refers to the concept of authenticity, we have some reservations about how this has applied to our project to date: reservations shared recently by Grant, Gradwell, and Cimbricz (2004).
In response to these reservations we shall be incorporating the use of documents into our work on performance assessment based on the Critical Challenges model of inquiry (Case and Wright, 1997). Perhaps in a year we shall be able to report on this phase of the project.

References

Case, R., and Wright, I. 1999. Taking seriously the teaching of critical thinking. In The Canadian Anthology of Social Studies, edited by R. Case and P. Clark, 179-193. Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press.

Grant, S. G., Gradwell, J. M., and Cimbricz, S.K. 2004. A Question of Authenticity: The Document-Based Question as an Assessment of Students' Knowledge of History. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision 19 (4/Summer): 309-337.

Myers, J. 2004. Assessment and Evaluation in Social Studies Classrooms: A Question of Balance. In Challenges and Prospects for Canadian Social Studies, edited by A. Sears and I. Wright, 290-301. Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press.

Myers, J. 1999. Literacy Is Everyone's Business. Rapport 20 (3/Summer): 17-21.

Sandwell, R. in press. The Great Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian History:
Using a web-based archives to teach history
. (submitted to Canadian Social Studies).

Wineburg, S. S. and Martin, D. 2004. Reading and Rewriting History. Educational Leadership 62 (1/September): 42-45.


John Myers is a Curriculum Instructor in the Teacher Education Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. He can be reached by email at jmyers@oise.utoronto.ca.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Engaging Students in Learning History.

John Fielding
Queen's University (Retired, 2002)

Abstract

There are two distinct sections to this article. In the first part, the author's relates, in a personal way, his conviction that the teaching of history is about the engagement and development of the historical imagination. In the second part Fielding presents not only many strategies for teaching history but also his analysis of these various activities in terms of how effectively they engage students' historical imagination.

The context

It is easier to comment on how not to teach history than it is on how to teach it. I only have to recall the hundreds of negative reactions from adults when I told them I am a history teacher. Oh! That was my worse subject. I hated history. History was boring. Names and dates, that's all it was. and I can't remember any of it!

To my question, why didn't they like history, their response was one of the following: memory work, recall, list of names and dates, not relevant, didn't interest them, teacher talked all the time, and we didn't do anything.
On the other hand, one can also learn how history was taught effectively from the 1 or 2 people out of 10 who loved history in school. Their teachers took them on field trips, they recreated history through drama, the teacher was a great storyteller, they had great discussions - the teachers made it interesting. These people often described their history learning with the word engaging.

Here is the reason I studied history and why I became a History teacher. In grade four an austere woman teacher, who slapped with a ruler any unsuspecting child who looked sideways, one day did a very unusual thing. She told us to get out of our seats and go to the huge windows at the side of the classroom. There we were instructed to observe the Grand River. Paris Central School sat on a hill overlooking the Grand, which flowed through the little town of Paris, Ontario. She said, Try to imagine Father Marquette and his partner in exploration Louis Joliet in their birch bark canoes paddling down our river through the forested wilderness past our school.

Of course our school would not have been there, she exclaimed!

After a few minutes of scene setting, dreamy gazing for some, but rather intense imaging for me, (probably a first, since I was a very weak student in my early school years, I even failed grade 2) we were smartly whisked back to our desks. Here the rest of the story with dates and details continued. From that moment on, however, I was fascinated with these explorers. I had imagined that I actually saw them. My historical imagination had been engaged and it has never been turned off. History came alive for me that day! Later in grade 12 and 13 when I was confronted with deciding what to do for the rest of my life I couldn't get that moment with history out of my head. That unusual day, the teacher did 4 important things. She made history active - we moved out of our desks. She asked us to use our imaginations. She told the story of Marquette and Joliet's travel and explorations. And she made it real and relevant - we looked at the river in our own community.

I think that the first priority in how to teach history effectively is to develop learning strategies that arouse and engage the historical imaginations of our students. How we do that is by providing them with opportunities to do and to talk about history. We need to encourage students to take on the role of the historian in a creative and critical way. It is not by filling them with a narrative of names and dates for recall and test purposes. They will learn lots of solid history, including names and dates, just as I have, but they will learn it through involvement. Ever since I read the results of a memory study conducted by Danielle Lapp of the University of Texas which revealed that we remember only 10% 0f what we read, 20 % of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, and 90 percent of what we do and say, I could no longer lecture or present history in the old way.

What I have also learned by talking with students who enjoyed History was that they continue to study and learn history throughout their lives. They continue, in most cases, not by studying history in the academic sense but more likely by how they choose to use their leisure time. They will read history for pleasure, take it up as a hobby by researching their family's genealogy, collecting stamps or antiques, telling stories of the past, or traveling and visiting museums and historic sites. What we do know is that they will have richer more interesting lives as a result of their interest and enjoyment of history. The challenge for teachers of history is to get them curious, interested, and engaged. It is almost a case of, do no harm. Then they will want to learn history and enjoy it.

Interesting but not effective strategies
I like most history teachers have searched for a variety of strategies to make my lessons interesting. I also used some of these strategies before I understood the difference and importance of making my lessons not just interesting but engaging and effective. Here is my list of interesting but not effective strategies:

Cross word puzzles, word searches, and fill in the blanks: Sure they can keep students busy and for some students they may coincidently reinforce a few dates or terms. But they don't learn any historical context, it doesn't involve an imaginative recreation of an era or event and it doesn't involve any of the skills or critical thinking of the historian. In fact I don't think it does much at all for the learning of history.

Trivia pursuit: With the popularity of various forms of trivia pursuit games and the annual Dominion Institute survey report about how little Canadians know about their history there has been a push to get young people to know more history facts. History trivia pursuit games can serve a purpose for review purposes and maybe concluding a lesson with some what facts do you know now. For too many students it just reveals how weak they are at memory work. I don't think it reveals any real understanding of history.

Posters: I have noticed a lot of teachers, desperate to break up the same old routines, resort to asking students to create posters. Their favourites are posters encouraging immigration to Canada at the beginning of the 20th century or recruitment for World War 1. If History class were Art class it would be a good assignment. Students who like to draw or paint think it is fun and different. But too often it involves little or no research, turns into a copying exercise and involves no critical thinking about the use of propaganda and why certain images appealed to people at that time in history. Without these latter dimensions it is really a waste of time in a History class.

Interesting and sometimes effective strategies

All of these activities have wonderful potential to engage students and are certainly excellent to create variety, develop skills, including critical thinking and decision-making. What they lack, however, is that component of engagement of the historical imagination.

Watching films, videos or DVD's: Videos can help students to visualize an era or event. Too often, however, they are used as a passive process without any analysis of what is being presented, why it is being presented and how it is being presented. They may stimulate an interest but unless students engage in some questioning of the experience we have to ask ourselves what the students are learning and if this is really an effective way of learning history.

Field trips: How can anyone be critical of a good old field trip? Students love them. They provide a change of scenery, some free time, and are entertaining. I suggest, without totally ruining the fun, we need to engage students in some learning of the context of the place we are visiting. We need to challenge our students to think about what they are experiencing, why a site is important, maybe why it was designated a national site, even who was involved in the designation. Pre and post field trip research and exercises can make the difference between an entertaining outing and a significant learning experience.

Debates: They are also a favourite of some teachers who like the idea of controversy and competition. I have steered clear of them since I learned about Edward DeBono's PMI. P stands for plus or positive, M for minus or negative, and I for interesting or I wonder if. The concept is that groups of students brainstorm an issue and record the plus, minus and interesting aspect of an issue. The problem with debates is students are more interested in winning their argument than creatively researching or looking at an issue, decision or event in history. Debates produce convergent rather than divergent thinking. PMI's can lead to great discussions, excellent critical thinking and thoughtful reflection on the past.

Another alternative to the debate is the U-shape forum. Many teachers are replacing this adversarial, closed-minded format with more open-ended discussions where students are encouraged to see the merits of all sides and to accept positions along a continuum. To facilitate this approach, class discussions may be configured in a U-shape. Students with polar views (either strongly agreeing or strongly disagreeing with the proposition) seat themselves at either tip of the U; students with mixed opinions sit at appropriate spots along the rounded part. At varying stages in the discussion, students are encouraged to move along the spectrum as their intellectual positions on the issue change. In this way, less dogmatic attitudes are encouraged: the implicit messages of the traditional debate black or white, fixed opinions with the objective of winning the argument are supplanted by different messages of the U-shaped discussion provisionally held positions as one tries to figure out the most defensible personal stance from a continuum of options.

Mind Map: The sounds of moaning, when we ask students to write, can be painful. For quite a few of them writing a report or essay is their worse nightmare. Yet when you do show them a video or ask them to read a book or essay you want them to show what they understood from the exercise. This is when I have found that for many students a mind map assignment works best.

A mind map is a visual representation of the student's thoughts and thought process. It can show how they connect ideas and reveal an understanding of cause and effect relationships. I have also discovered that students, using their mind maps, can explain their ideas and what they have learned quite effectively. In fact better than when they attempt to simply read what they have written. Mind maps have shown me that some students who floundered badly when I asked for a written report could not only think but could also talk.

Events graph: I use to dread starting a new topic such as the French Revolution or World War 2. How can students understand what was happening without having some knowledge of the sequence of events? But I certainly didn't want to give a lecture unless I wanted them to sleep for 40 minutes. Finally I got an idea - give them a timeline of key events and ask them to evaluate the significance of the events according to a set of criteria established by the class. For example, how many people were affected by the event? Did it cause subsequent changes? Did it cost lives or save lives? Was the impact of the event short or long term? Students have to do some reading and research to learn more about the events. I usually did this as a group assignment so that the students could divide up the research, pool their knowledge and talk about their ranking of the events. Finally, they made a bar graph ranking each event between 0 and 10, with ten being most important. Then the students presented their findings using their graphs. The presentations led to many a lively discussion, as the students' interpretations of events were never the same. Once we understood the timeline then we could move on to study many other issues and concepts. Is there a pattern to revolution? How significant is the role of any one person? What was the role of women in this revolution or war? Do we have enough solid information to reconstruct what really happened? How is our present day view of the world affected by this event?

Interesting, imaginative, and effective strategies

I do believe teachers can effectively engage students in learning history through teaching strategies that employ a whole range of learning styles. The most important element for a strategy to be effective is, however, that it must activate the historical imagination of the student. Some strategies that are not just interesting but actively engage students in an effective and creative manner are described here. One word of caution, however, there are no guarantees - these activities can go wrong. Good research habits are needed to avoid blatantly inaccurate false history. Differences in interpretation are, of course, encouraged but factual errors and imposing present day thinking and values on the past are not.

Role-playing, re-enactments, tableaux and simulations: I made sure my students participated in at least one of these a semester. Why? Because year after year, for over 20 years, when I asked my students to rate their favourite lesson, most said the re-enactment or simulation. Simulations, such as re-enacting the Quebec City Conference of 1865, or playing the part of immigrants with passports and immigration officials armed with the rules of entry for a specific year, put students into decision-making situations. [Most of the components of the learning resource We Are Canadians involve some form of role-playing.] Students learn not only about the event, rules, dates, and people but they learn even more about process. In the case of a Confederation conference, students learn how to negotiate, compromise, and even make a good impression. In the case of the immigration simulation students not only learn about the process of immigrating by going through some aspects of it but they also feel some of the emotions that are a big part of the whole debate about immigrants, immigration, immigration rules and restrictions.

Tableau: A tableau is a striking scene or picture created by people posing, often in costume. A series of tableaux can be used effectively to recreate an event, especially when a narrator is used to describe the various scenes and/or progression of events. Another variation on role-playing, tableaux can be less intimidating because not everyone needs to speak but everybody can participate.

Not the most important fun but the most important aspect of this activity is the debriefing. What was portrayed, why was it important, is it a reasonably accurate recreation of the event, what aspects do we need to learn more about, are there other interpretations of what happened, and, of course, what have we learned from this activity?

Stepping into the picture (a combination of role-playing and tableau): This is a concept I developed after participating in a History Alive! workshop presented by Bert Bower from the California Teachers Institute. Basically it involves students role-playing people in a picture. Some of my favourite photographs for this strategy are famous ones, such as; The Last Spike or Fathers of Confederation at the Charlottetown Conference. The idea is to assign roles based on the people in the picture, students research their person, and then they create a conversation about the issue that is the subject or reason for the photograph. For example, in the two photos I mentioned, the issues are obviously, the building of the transcontinental railway and Confederation. This exercise is excellent for stirring up the historical imagination, researching, discussing issues, and identifying people and places. It can, with thoughtful help from the teacher, involve some excellent critical thinking. The teacher will need to encourage students to ask some penetrating questions in order to recreate a realistic or accurate historical context. Students do tend to want to impose the present on the past. There are opportunities for some imaginative but not authentic dialogue - that is neither good history nor good history teaching. A complete, ready-to-use Stepping into History lesson with the Last Spike photograph is available on the histori.ca website: www.histori.ca/teachers/lessonPlan.do?ID=10086sl=e

I have not made a clear distinction between role-playing and a simulation although some people do. They see simulations as remaking not re-enacting or trying to recreate history. I think of a simulation as a more formalized or structured and involved role-playing. I am interested in historical accuracy not remaking history.

Postcards from the Past: Students get bored and frustrated with writing essays and reports. Here is an interesting alternative. When you are studying a unit of time or about an event, whether it is the Loyalists, Confederation or Settling the West, ask the students to create postcards from the perspective of that time period. The postcard should be as historically accurate as possible - we may have to suspend some historical accuracy for the Loyalists since they were far too busy and disoriented to be writing postcards even if they had them back in the 1780's. The postcards should, of course, be written in the first person and have proper postcard format, including a representative picture on the front. I think this is a much more useful exercise than simply writing a letter or drawing a picture. This will involve the student in doing some research, which too often is not what they do if you ask them to simply draw a picture or create a poster. I found that to motivate my students to do the research I made it clear that I expected accuracy in factual information as well as to their character's opinions about what was happening. I required that some answers to the 5 W questions, what, where, who, when and why and some aspects of how had to be included in the postcard narrative.

This exercise includes all my criteria for an effective lesson: it calls on the imagination, requires research, appeals to different learning styles and is creative, active learning.

Heritage or history minutes: This is a strategy that developed very naturally out of the popular television advertisements called Heritage Minutes produced originally by The CRB Foundation Heritage Project and more recently by Historica (www.histori.ca). The length is just right for a student project. Organize the class into small production teams and ask them to write a storyboard for a history minute. You don't actually have to do a video although the students usually want to and it does teach them other skills in a real, worthwhile way. It is great for learning across the curriculum or integration of skills. It is especially effective if you are studying an era, such as the 1920's or even the 1960's or an event such as Confederation. You can allow the students to choose to do a person, event, even a popular product of the time and do the research necessary to tell the story. It is active, creative learning at is best, especially when you can show an actual Heritage Minute and critically analyze it before using it as a model. Information about this type of lesson plus background information about the real Heritage Minutes can be easily found on the Historica website: www.histori.ca/teachers/lessonPlan.do.

Historical fiction: Most people enjoy reading historical fiction. In fact the sales of historical fiction novels have never been greater. So why not introduce your students to the genre and let them be creative while they still learn some real history. You can also encourage the use of primary documents as the source of the information for the students' fictional creations. I am encouraged in my thinking that it is okay to let young students of history write historical fiction by an article in the The Archivist, No.121, 2003, page 14. The author Dale Simmons writes,

Aspiring writers are often cautioned to write only about what they know. But if writers followed this advice, there would be no fantasy or science fiction writing, and not much historical fiction either. Far better advice would be know what you write. The question is how do you get to know about events in the past? The answer can be summed up in one word: research.


What we want is for students to get engaged in story telling but to be as accurate as possible. Good research, application of the imagination, and writing a story about an historical event or person - it sounds like an excellent strategy to me and there are lots of examples that you can use to provide the students with models.

Obituary or Eulogy: I have lots of friends who read the obituaries every day - of course I am older and so are my friends. An obituary is a wonderful summary and interpretation of a person's life. There are excellent models in most newspapers, especially the Lives Lived column in the Globe and Mail. I like the idea of finding primary documents on famous people, such as Winston Churchill, Sir John A. Macdonald or Billy Bishop and asking the students to write the obituary from them rather than secondary sources where most of the work is already done. Of course, this suggestion will depend on the age and ability level of the students. Even writing an obituary or eulogy from secondary sources takes research, creativity, storytelling ability and writing skills. The students can practice their public speaking skills by presenting their eulogy. This is not a skill most of us want to use very often but even our students will some day get old imagine that.

When it comes right down to it students want variety with a dependable structure. They want to be challenged yet not to be overwhelmed. They want to be able to think, talk, and do history. They also need to be given the opportunity to make some decisions, walk in another person's shoes for a while, and use their imaginations.

Footnotes:

Most of these strategies or activities are described and used in textbooks, teacher's guides, learning resources and online lessons and activities that I have produced over the past 14 years. Here are some references that might be of practical value:

Canada, Our Century, Our Story, Nelson Thomson Learning, 2001. Their website is www.nelson.com. The teaching guide to this text I think is particularly useful with some of the best examples of these strategies. Canada: The Story of Our Heritage and Canada: The Story of a Developing Nation, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2000. Their website is www.mcgrawhill.ca. Again I would recommend reviewing the Teacher's Resource Binder for many examples of how to implement these strategies. I have also produced many learning resources/activities that are posted on Historica's website - www.histori.ca; and The Library and Archives of Canada - http://sources.collectionscanada.ca.


John Fielding is an Adjunct Professor of Education at Queen's University (Retired, 2002). He can be reached by email at john.fielding3@sympatico.ca.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Carl A. Raschke. 2003.

The Digital Revolution and the Coming of the Postmodern University.

London: RoutledgeFalmer. Pp. 129, $19.95USD, paper.
ISBN 0-415-36984-3
website: www.routledge-ny.com

Bryant Griffith
College of Education
Texas A University, Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, Texas, USA


There is a definite disadvantage to writing an academic book concerning the future and a double disadvantage if it concerns the internet. It is almost always wrong. Such is the case with Carl Raschke's The Digital Revolution and the Coming of the Postmodern University. When I first read the text I kept looking at the publication date wondering if Raschke had written it before the 2001 crash of hopes and dreams for a wired world; but he did not, or at least it was not published until 2003.

Despite these rather serious drawbacks the book deserves to be reviewed to draw attention to what can happen when we choose to dream about possible futures without remembering where we are and how we got here. That past, as R.G. Collingwood reminded us, is a reenactment of both the insides and the outsides of ideas, or to put it into ordinary language, the fusion of how my mind makes sense of minds in the past. This understanding is a way of knowing one's self so it is not a minimum ontological claim. We make sense of the past by constructing analogies based on the way that we make rational decisions about our own actions, so one could argue that the past and present are fused in a continuous process of self understanding. Knowing who we are right now and what we think is tied to that process.

I believe that Raschke needs to be reminded of this. Far too often his ideas are much like Collier's magazine, which presented fantastically utopian ideas about space travel and the colonization of distant galaxies. By that I mean these ideas, like most futurism, seem destined to the bin of what might or might not happen rather than a reasoned argument based upon the presuppositions of our present.

Let me examine some of Raschke's thoughts and comment upon them. He states the architecture of digital communications necessitates a new understanding of the structures and 'space' of knowledge itself. This new knowledge space is consonant with the philosophical slant on the theory of representation, language, and symbolic exchange that has come to be called 'postmodernist'(p. viii). I think Raschke is right about some of this. To understand digital communications it helps to see the world in the way that some postmodernists describe, that is a non-linear, fragmented narrative. Modernists, as a group, have tended to view history as the unfolding of a grand narrative with definite causes and effects. This has led to the critique of exclusionary voices as Other and to the attack on concepts such as 'progress'. But this is hardly news. I cannot think of a school district, even in the state of Texas where I presently live, that has not abandoned the Eurocentric school of thought and which does not acknowledge, even implicitly, the concept of difference. Also, even though I think Raschke is right here, I am not sure there is the necessary connection to which he alludes. It might be the case, for instance, that a breakdown in modernism, or a paradigm shift, has occurred allowing us to perceive a different set of presuppositions to make sense of the world.

Raschke claims that such knowledge may be called 'hyper' knowledge, because like hyperspace in post-Newtonian cosmology [it] extends the directions and dimensions of knowledge per se in ways unanticipated even a generation ago (p. viii). The matrix for these new extensions of knowledge is what we call the 'hyper' university, which in no way resembles the 'physical' university (p. viii). The necessity to accept these two points escapes me completely. I would suggest that Raschke's use of Wittgenstein's category mistake, of thinking that a university is comprised of grounds and buildings rather than a term to describe the relationship between entities, really applies to Raschke himself (p. ix). Let me explain. For most of us the university is, like the word 'curriculum', the totality of experiences which occur both on and off campus. Ask anyone who has been to Oxford about the Friday pub sessions where serious academic conversations occur over much beer. I believe that most graduates from there would tell you that these have been some of the best learning moments of their university experience. In short, I am not sure that there are many universities which define themselves by their grounds and buildings.

Raschke claims that the new university is no longer a school. It is a place of distributed leaning, wherein communication takes place over content, inquiry is prior to instruction, results rule over rules (p. 11). He argues that both the postmodern economy and the postmodern university are built on mobile capital, mobile work forces, and mobile or 'just-in-time' inventory and distribution systems (p. 11). I believe I am correct in understanding this to be an argument for a post-fordist educational system where critical thinking is replaced by just-in-time adaptability. If I am correct then I completely disagree with Raschke. My understanding of a wired university is one with infinite possibilities to extend what Robert Putnam has characterized as the growth of social capital. In Bowling Alone Putnam (2000) expresses his concern with the digital revolution's ability to foster truly open conversation. He feels that Information Technology might make us more private, passive and possibly exclusionary instead of open, conversational and community based. Putnam describes the breakdown of social capital through an analysis of civic engagement in a range of activities in the twentieth century. The fact that we bowl alone, learn alone and spend far less time in human interaction has led to a growing sense of distrust in contemporary society. Surely what our universities need to do is to remember that they have historically been the repositories of social capital, or the ways in which we have interacted to build an intellectual community. Most of us probably went to university to make friends, learn content and get a job in that order. In the process we became the embodiment of the presuppositions that define who we are as a society.

In the past 900 years, the approximate age of the university in western society, the institution has served as the birthing place of several revolutions and paradigm shifts. I see this process continuing in a form quite distinct but not separate from the present. The future, although new and unseen by us, is an ongoing process based upon understanding ourselves and the ideas upon which we have constructed our sense of what we call 'real'. When one looks back over the shattered IT dreams of the last four or five years one might think that Raschke would have done better here to skip his 'big picture' claims and concentrate on the smaller but more significant bits that fit in between them, such as how the neo-modern university can retain its independence from business and government, or how IT enhances problem-based constructive learning. One hopes that Raschke will take his interesting and challenging ideas and apply them to more concrete and historical contexts. Perhaps those are topics for another book.

References

Collingwood, R.G. (1946). The Idea of History. London: Oxford University Press.

Putnam, R.D. (2000). Bowling Alone. New York: Simon Schuster.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Françoise Noël. 2003.

Family Life and Sociability in Upper and Lower Canada, 1780-1870.

Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press. Pp. 372, $49.95, cloth.
ISBN 0-7735-2445-2
website: www.mqup.ca

George Hoffman
History Department
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan

In Family Life and Sociability in Upper and Lower Canada, 1780-1870, Franoise Nol portrays middle class family life in the mid-nineteenth century. The book is divided into three parts. Part one is entitled The Couple and deals with courtship and marriage. The second part concerns parents and children and discusses childbirth, childhood and parent-child relationships. The last section discusses kinship ties and community life.

The book contains several generalizations related to Canadian family history in the 1800s. The author contends that most couples married for love. Companionate marriage was the norm, and the role of parents in mate selection was no longer as significant as it had been. As well, Nol shows that relations within families were affectionate. Parents showed an extraordinary concern for their children, which continued even after they married and left home. She also illustrates that much of family life took place beyond the door of the home. Families were a part of a large social network which included kin, friends and neighbours. Sociability was an essential part of family life.

Nol's account has many strengths. The research, as indicated by the endnotes and bibliography, is impressive. The author shows a broad knowledge of her subject. She links her findings to scholarship in the United States and Britain. She is always aware of the larger picture. Parallels are drawn between families in the Canadas and what American historians of the period refer to as the rise of the Republican Family. When discussing child rearing, she refers to the Enlightenment and the influence which thinkers such as Locke and Rousseau were having on the view that children could be nurtured. Such analysis illustrates the significance of family history as a field of study. Family history is not merely human interest stories from the past. Nor is it titillating tidbits related to love, courtship and marriage. Rather, as Franoise Nol shows, it is an important part of social history which helps us to better understand the overall nature of past societies.

I would suggest that readers begin this book by studying the introduction. Here the author discusses the sources upon which her work is based. The book's subtitle is A View from Diaries and Family Correspondence. In the introduction Nol identifies the diarists and letter writers. We are told when and where they lived and something about the circumstances of their lives. These people appear and re-appear in the pages which follow. It is important to consider who these correspondents are when assessing the conclusions Nol reaches regarding nineteenth century Canadian families.

The diaries and letters which are used do raise some concerns. The sample is not representative of all segments of society. Nol acknowledges this limitation but suggests that the sources accurately reflect the middle class, which in itself, of course, is a valuable historical contribution. However, some questions can be asked about some of the diarists and correspondents, particularly those who are used to illustrate that family values among francophones and anglophones and people of different religious backgrounds were similar.

There is a general contention in the book that the attitudes and principles which guided family life were similar regardless of religion, language and ethnicity. Several diaries and numerous letters of English Canadians are referred to but so are those of French Canadians like Amde Papineau and Ludger and Reine Duvernay. Considerable emphasis is also placed on the journal of Abraham Joseph, a merchant and member of a well-known Jewish family in Lower Canada. The conclusion that follows is that class, not other factors, was most influential in shaping family life in the Canadas during the nineteenth century. Nol does not ignore religious and cultural differences but in the end suggests that religion was not the deciding influence. Family life of Protestants, Catholics and Jews was similar.

But can Amde Papineau and his extended family be used to prove such a point? Papineau was the son of patriote leader Louis Joseph Papineau. After the Rebellion of 1837 he lived in exile with his family in the United States. There he met and eventually married Mary Westcott, the daughter of a merchant from Saratoga, New York. Amde kept a diary rich in detail about his life before and after his marriage. After moving to Montreal following her marriage, Mary exchanged letters with her father in New York for the rest of her life. Nol uses both the diary and letters extensively throughout the book.

Amde was Catholic, and Mary was Protestant. In 1846 they were married in Saratoga by a Presbyterian minister in a fifteen minute ceremony in the Westcott home. After their move to Montreal, Mary usually attended her own church but sometimes accompanied her husband to a Catholic mass at Notre-Dame. And occasionally Amde went with his wife to a Protestant service. A daughter was baptized in the Presbyterian church and a son in the Catholic church. Clearly this was an unusually liberal attitude toward religion and inter-faith marriage. Or perhaps it was evidence of religious indifference. This unconventional family has an important place in Nol's portrait of family life. One can well ask if Amde Papineau and Mary Westcott can be used to illustrate French Canadian Catholic families, particularly in light of the conservative forces which were growing in the Quebec church after 1850.

Despite this reservation Family Life and Sociability is a major contribution to nineteenth century Canadian social history. It will not be easily read by high school students or by students in introductory university courses. However, teachers and professors certainly can use it to introduce their students to family history as a branch of historical studies. The fascinating information which the book contains about love, birth, life and death is and always will be of interest to everyone.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Itah Sadu. Illustrations by Stephen Taylor. 2003.

A Touch of the Zebras.

Toronto: Women's Press. Pp. 32, $13.95, paper.
ISBN 0-88961-410-5
website: www.womenspress.ca

Todd Horton
Faculty of Education
Nipissing University
North Bay, Ontario


Another in a long line of issue books written for children, A Touch of the Zebras is the story of Chelsea, a grade two student who does not want to go to school anymore. Her mother, Ms. Rose, tries to find out what is the matter but Chelsea is not telling, preferring to hide in her bed under the guise of sickness. Ms. Rose talks to the school principal to no avail and wisely rules out medical problems by consulting doctors and naturopaths. Input from caring relatives does not solve Chelsea's problem but a kindly visit from Dr. Tara Lorimer does. It seems that Chelsea has taken a dislike to school because she is biracial and feels she must choose between her black and white friends. In short, Chelsea has a touch of the zebras, the feeling of being caught between two worlds.

Itah Sadu adequately captures the intellectual and emotional struggle that can develop when young children are confronted with words and behaviours that indicate race matters and people understand it in very different ways. Though we are never quite sure what transpired to make Chelsea feel like she must choose between her black and white friends, we know that whatever it was, lines of distinction have been drawn. She has heard a message that says she cannot have it both ways. The days of kindergarten play where everyone played with everyone else have gone forever and Chelsea must realize that we are grouped into racial categories. She must now choose the group with which she truly belongs. Living in a state of limbo is not an option. Sadly, the child is forced to make sense of that which is senseless.

The book also adequately captures the intellectual and emotional struggle of parents trying to understand their children and the lives they lead on a day to day basis. Ms. Rose consults her support system, asks questions and tries to fit pieces of answers together in an effort to figure out what her daughter is unable to clearly articulate. She knows that something has changed in the life of her once happy child but feels helpless to make it better. Almost every parent can relate to this feeling.

Amidst these struggles are subtle touches which lift this book above the ordinary. Stephen Taylor's beautiful illustrations provide the story with a sense of cultural authenticity. The clothing and hair styles shown throughout are suggestive of Ms. Rose's Guyanese heritage demonstrating the importance of culture(s) for our senses of identity and influence they have on the choices we make. The story demonstrates cultural accuracy in the names of Chelsea's aunts and uncle along with a sense of tradition in the home remedies they suggest to help Chelsea get better. Each suggestion reflects the relative's upbringing, highlighting the point that when confronted with something we do not understand we feel off balance and many of us turn to past practices to re-establish a sense of equilibrium. Finally, Dr. Tara Lorimer's character quietly but effectively signals to the reader that women are not only doctors but that being a doctor is as much about listening and sharing as it is about surgery and the prescribing of medication. These touches enhance the overall credibility of the book as a tool for dealing with the issue at hand.

My one criticism of the story is the simplistic resolution provided for Chelsea's problem. Though I am sensitive to the brevity of picture books and the age level at which they are aimed, I cannot help but feel that a quick personal story from a kindly doctor and a few slogans like rainbows come in all colours are not going to bring about feelings of exuberance at being biracial. The concept of race is incredibly complex and how people understand and respond to it is even more so, not to mention often idiosyncratic. The resolution is incredibly frustrating especially for anyone who has experienced feelings of in-between-ness like Chelsea's.

That point withstanding, the book never strays into anger, hatred or self-pity, feelings that are very plausible for people who experience the challenges of being biracial in a racialized world. Indeed, the book strives to honour and celebrate diversity while revealing the common bonds of humanity. From this standpoint the book succeeds admirably.

The many benefits of children's literature have been well documented. They arouse reader interest and more personal responses than textbooks. Children's literature engages students aesthetically and according to some researchers allows readers to experience and empathize with other people, cultures, places and times. While not technically literature, picture books like A Touch of the Zebras can be used with young children as an entry point into discussions of what it is like to live in a multi-raced and multi-ethnic family. As well, we can not discount the power of picture books for older children. They can be effectively used as a hook or opener into more complex discussions about race, how it privileges some and is used to diminish others, how it affects individual and community esteem, impacts on our senses of social justice and overall social cohesion, how it is celebrated by some as an aspect of individual and social identity and of course how it is often ignored.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Carl E. James and Adrienne Shadd, Editors. 2001.

Talking About Identity: Encounters in Race, Ethnicity, and Language, 2nd Edition.

Toronto: Between the Lines. Pp. 323, $29.95, paper.
ISBN 1-896357-36-9
website: www.btlbooks.com

Todd Horton
Faculty of Education
Nipissing University
North Bay, Ontario


As editors of a narrative anthology, James and Shadd have compiled a compelling series of stories exploring the complex perspectives of Canada's racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities. Quotations are used to indicate that the term minorities can be considered by some to be marginalizing to the extent that it positions entire groups of people outside the mainstream majority, perpetuating their Otherness. However, as James states in the introduction, the term also indicate[s] the power relationships in our society: 'majority' represents not simply numbers, but the cultural group with political and economic power, as compared to the 'minority,' which does not have access to that power (p. 7). Using the work of Stuart Hall, James notes that in talking about 'identity' they view this core concept as a 'production,' which is never complete, always in process and always constituted within, not outside representation (p. 2). In this vein, James and Shadd have successfully created a book that makes explicit the complex ways personal exchanges and interactions influence and inform understandings of race, ethnic and language identities. It does this by focusing on the vicissitudes of people's daily encounters and, with each powerfully written story, the reader comes to appreciate the contingent, contextual and relational nature of identities.

The stories are clustered into five themed parts: Who's Canadian Anyway?; Growing Up Different; Roots to Identity, Routes to Knowing; Race, Privilege, and Challenges; and, Confronting Stereotypes and Racism. Each part provides a space for the contributing authors to voice their individual experiences and interpretations of living in a world that defines people by their race, ethnicity and language.

In a selection from Part I entitled Where Are You Really From?: Notes of an 'Immigrant' from North Buxton, Ontario co-editor turned author Adrienne Shadd deftly weaves a story of invisibility and marginalization based on the title question. Shadd illustrates how the four hundred year history of Blacks in Canada has been made invisible in both this country and throughout the world leading to the widespread belief that there is no such thing as a Black Canadian save for recently arrived immigrants. She also draws on her experiences growing up in North Buxton, Ontario a rural Black community near Chatham once famous as a settlement of ex-slaves who escaped from the United States on the Underground Railroad to explore her views on the overlap of caste and class in the public consciousness and the affirmation that can come from education in segregated schools. However, the crux of the story is found in the complexity of daily encounters when varying forms of the question where are you really from are asked. Shadd explains how displays of frustration and annoyance to her answer of Canada and the pursuit of an answer that more satisfies the inquisitor's conception of a Canadian marginalizes her in her own country. As Shadd explains, you are unintentionally denying me what is rightfully mine my birthright, my heritage and my long-standing place in the Canadian mosaic (p. 15). Still, Shadd is not content to tie up the point in a neat little package. Instead, she ends with an encounter that blows open the discussion again as a Guatemalan Canadian tells her that except for the Native people, the rest of us are just immigrants anyway (p. 16).

While the stories in Part I focus on issues of Canadian-ness, the stories in Part II explore the experiences of growing up, that precarious time when being seen as different or viewing oneself as different can be most traumatic. Stan Isoki, a teacher living in Ontario, relates his encounters with race in a story entitled Present Company Excluded, Of CourseRevisited. Here, Isoki takes the unusual step of updating his first edition manuscript by interjecting more recent commentary and reflection. The effect for the reader is the feeling of a dialogue between who and what the author was and who and what they have become. Isoki, a Canadian of Japanese heritage, shares his feelings of being made to feel both visible and invisible, saving his most potent criticism for several teachers who taught him as a boy and those with whom he worked as a colleague. The criticism is not vitriolic or vituperative, though he has every right to heap mountains of scorn on these individuals given their charge of educating young minds. Instead, Isoki's critique is a cry for awareness and sensitivity on the part of teachers (and governments) as well as a call to action to re-create a vision of Canada that is truly multicultural.

One of the most insightful stories appears in Part III. Written by Howard Ramos and entitled It Was Always There: Looking for Identity in All the (Not) So Obvious Places, a road side encounter in northeastern New Brunswick is the catalyst for an exploration of the author's feelings about his father's identification with Canada and lack of connection to his native Ecuador. This also leads to a period of self-reflection about the ways the author has positioned his father as not quite Canadian and himself as having little or no relationship to his Ecuadorian heritage. Drawing on the work of Ernest Renan and Benedict Anderson, Ramos comes to understand that identity, like nation-building, is a process of forgetting, misinterpreting and re-creating symbols and markers (p. 108). His father, in an effort to become Canadian, forgot his past while subtly sharing that past, that part of who he is, with his son. Ramos, in turn had to acknowledge his misinterpretation of what it means to be Canadian and the boundaries he has created that prevent his father from being who he wishes to be. He also had to recognize his connection to his Ecuadorian heritage as something that was always there, waiting to be embraced in the fullest sense of Canada's yet to be achieved society based on multiculturalism and acceptance of diversity.

One of the most compelling contributions to the book occurs in Part V. Entitled I Didn't Know You Were Jewishand Other Things Not To Say When You Find Out, Ivan Kalmar's piece initially caused me a great deal of discomfort which, I believe, was his intent. Written in a quasi-advice column style, Kalmar refers to the reader as you fostering the feeling of being spoken and occasionally lectured to directly. My feelings of consternation stemmed from indignation at his assumption that I, an educated person, would ever be culturally insensitive. This is mixed with feelings of guilt as I secretly admit to myself that I may indeed have said things or acted in just the ways he describes. Once passed what at times felt like an assault on my enlightened self, I read and re-read his reasoning for offering such advice. In each case, Kalmar thoughtfully demonstrates the challenge of being culturally sensitive, noting that what is often intended as a compliment or search for common conversational ground can also be interpreted as intolerant and insulting. This duality can be frustrating, but just as you feel like you will never be able to get it right or that no matter what you do someone will take offense, Kalmar acknowledges that most people have purity of intent and exhorts that he simply wishes to encourage consideration of his points and reconsideration of our words and actions. The coda to the piece emphasizes a generosity of spirit toward people as they struggle to live in a world characterized by multiple perspectives on identity, saying that even if we occasionally slip up, not to worry as we mean well. As he says, I'm not only a Jew. I am a human being, like you (p. 240).

James and Shadd's book was written as an effort to make explicit how identities related to race, ethnicity and language influence and inform individuals' life experiences and relationships (p. 2) and in this regard it succeeds brilliantly. Highly readable, the book is applicable to any university course wishing to delve into the complex world of identities. While not written for secondary school, portions of this book could be used by teachers to introduce a concept, encourage discussion or address a relevant issue. Indeed, there are few more effective entry points into discussions of race, ethnicity and language than the daily encounter.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

William M. Reddy. 2001.

The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 380, $69.95USD, cloth.
ISBN 0-521-80303-9
website: http://us.cambridge.org/

Jane Lee-Sinden
Faculty of Education
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario


The Navigation of Feeling is a valuable contribution to emotion literature. There are few books that provide a significant examination of relevant and recent research on emotion. The first two chapters are devoted to a critical review of the research including a conceptual analysis from the lenses of cognitive psychology and anthropology. A comparison of emotion theories is presented to gauge both the extent of convergence that is going on in these two fields, as well as the extent of conceptual blockage that has developed as new research findings have come up (p. xiii). Further, there is an extensive list of sources at the end of the book that will prove useful to students studying emotion research.

The book is divided into Parts I and II with a total of eight chapters. In chapter one, the author addresses ongoing debates regarding emotions, such as whether or not emotional experiences are solely biologically based and thus universal. For instance, Reddy explains that efforts to uncover the hidden order among emotion words in various languages have yielded very different results because it is difficult to know how to distinguish one emotion term from another in a given language; there is no yardstick for emotion terms (p. 5). Moreover, Western specialists who study emotion cannot agree on what the term emotion means. Reddy pulls from the work of Isen and Diamond to explain their views on how emotions operate like overlearned cognitive habits that may be learned, altered, or unlearned by conscious decision. It is suggested that emotions are involuntary in the short run in the same sense that such cognitive habits are, but may similarly be learned and unlearned over a longer time frame.

In chapter two the debate continues with a view from anthropology. Among anthropologists, there is a prevalent tendency to regard emotions as culturally constructed. This idea has led to recent persuasive ethnographic accounts of worldwide emotional variation, providing grounds for a political critique of the Western thought that identifies emotions as biological and feminine. Further, Reddy pulls from psychological research that supports the constructionist approach to emotions as deeply influenced by social interaction (p. 34), which supports that idea that emotions may be learned and no different from other cognitive contents.

In chapter three the author attempts to bridge the gap between anthropology and psychology by examining emotional expression as a type of speech act. Reddy considers emotional expressions as utterances aimed at briefly characterizing the current state of activated thought material that exceeds the current capacity of attention. Such expression, by analogy with speech acts, can be said to have descriptive appearance (p. 100), rational intent (p. 100), and self exploring and self-altering effects (p. 101). He also describes forms of expressions, such as: first person past tense emotions, first person long term emotion claims, emotional expressive gestures, facial expressions, word choices, and intonations, other claims about states of the speaker, and second and third person emotion claims, all of which he characterizes as emotives (p. 103).

In chapter four Reddy explains how the theory presented in chapter three offers a new way of understanding what he calls emotional regimes and their relation to emotional experience and liberty (p. 113). Chapters five through eight are devoted to historical examination, concluding with an attempt at pulling together historical significance for our understanding of present emotion research.

I found significant value in the chapters discussing present views of thought on emotions. Reddy's comparison of emotional expression to a speech act and the idea of emotives are insightful additions to the understanding of emotion. I found the later chapters less useful. As a doctoral student new to the field of emotion, chapters five through eight are mundane and heavy historically. In addition, although I finished the book with a better understanding regarding the present and past theories of emotion, the conclusion left me in a similar place where I started, namely that western specialists who study emotion cannot even agree on what the term emotion means (p. 3). Nevertheless, the book provides a thorough and well-packaged examination of emotion.

The Navigation of Feeling would be useful to those who have previous understanding or background for the purpose of studying emotion or who wish to ponder on new ideas. In relation to students, this book is a good compliment to Jenkins and Oakley's (1996) Understanding Emotion and Boler's (1999) Feeling Power. Jenkins and Oakley's conceptual analysis of emotion touches on many of the ideas that Reddy addresses, however Understanding Emotion, which looks at emotion from a sociological perspective, is presented with consideration to students who have no previous experience with emotion literature.

References

Boler, M. (1999). Feeling power: Emotions and education. New York: Routledge.

Oatley, K. Jenkin, J.M. (1996). Understanding emotion. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Science.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Janet Ajzenstat, Paul Romney, Ian Gentles and William D. Gairdner, Editors. 1999.

Canada's Founding Debates.

Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Pp. 380, $69.95USD, cloth.
ISBN 0-8020-86071
website: www.utpress.utoronto.ca

Ernest LeVos
Grant MacEwan College
Edmonton, Alberta


Here is a book that will interest Canadianists, and those high school and university students interested in constitutional and political developments. Students wanting to do some reading and research on Confederation, and who may not have the luxury of time to read the original legislative records on Confederation, will find Canada's Founding Debates a valuable source. There is an enormous amount of material packaged into this one volume. Do not skip reading the introduction, since it explains very succinctly that this book is about Confederation. But more specifically, it is a book of excerpts from official reports of the debates in the different colonies (p. 7), that is, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada, Red River and British Columbia, on whether they should join a more viable union. One will read the views of less familiar names such as Robert Carrall, Francis Barnard, and James Ross, along with those more familiar figures like George Brown, George Etienne Cartier, John A. Macdonald and Louis Riel.

The authors have neatly divided the book into five parts covering what was said by the politicians of the seven British North American colonies on liberty (constitutional liberty, responsible government, parliamentary government, the Upper House, equality of representation); individual as well as collective economic opportunity; American, British and Canadian identity; the new nationality(federal union, majority and minority rights), and how to make a constitution (consulting the people and the issue of direct democracy). The book is a convenient source for the views of Macdonald and Brown as well as other lesser known figures. The reader will detect not only individual perspectives and tones, but also the anxieties, enthusiasm and urgency these politicians shared in establishing a new union.

The conservative and liberal views held by the supporters and opponents of Confederation are included in this volume. They were very much like us today, concerned about the future of their country and the well being of future generations. Indeed, they were very concerned about the purpose and form of a new government that would work properly. One will observe that these politicians, at the crossroads of change, brought about by such events as the Civil War in the United States, did not hesitate to study other constitutional models and political systems seeking the best pragmatic insights from these models and systems. As a group of legislators, they were a reservoir of experience and knowledge, men who illustrated their arguments with references to European history through the centuries, the great poets and the Bible, and men who subscribed to the belief that good arguments lead to good resolutions (p. 2).

But the legislators from each colony had their respective concerns. Those from Prince Edward Island did not think they would gain anything from being in the new union. The delegates from Newfoundland worried about their fisheries and the starving population, and feared that they would lose control over their properties, liberties and lives (p. 61). In the Red River Colony, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, there was the concern that their respective colonies would be overwhelmed by Upper Canada and swamped by newcomers. Above all, they feared the lost of their individual identities.

A large book such as this one can be viewed as a book filled with a lot of details and speeches, but is can prove to be a valuable source. It can be a useful reference source to high school students interested in what the fathers of Confederation had to say on issues such as liberty and identity, and it can be a valuable source to college and university students who wish to compare and contrast the views of either Macdonald and Brown, or another set of politicians, on topics such as responsible government, representation by population, whether the vote should be given to householders, or on other related issues that were debated in their respective legislatures.

While some readers may not bother reading footnotes, it would be a disservice to themselves to ignore them since there are many valuable explanations. The footnotes provide the reader with an understanding of the historical context in which political developments such as responsible government, developed. One example is John A. Macdonald's view on the debate, in the parliament of the province of Canada, on responsible government: I speak of representation by population, the house will of course understand that universal suffrage is not in any way sanctioned, or admitted by these resolutions, as the basis on which the constitution of the popular branch should rest and in the footnote, William D. Gairdiner, one of the authors, offers this explanation: Macdonald is giving his assurance that the house need not fear the spectre of mob rule, which is what many informed people at the time would have expected from universal suffrage in a democratic system (p. 70-71). These are more than footnotes, they are explanatory notes. Read and reflect on these notes for a fuller understanding of the developments on the road to Confederation.

The book offers much potential for assignments and research topics on the internal aspects of Confederation, as well as on the external influences. It is interesting to learn, as William Ross from Nova Scotia noted, that the Quebec scheme is largely copied from the Constitution of New Zealand (p. 268). Bear in mind, however, that the book is a compilation and, as such, critics of the book may accuse the authors of not portraying the complete views of certain politicians. In this case, one should read the entire speech of that politician in the legislative records. This book, however, is a very good reference source.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Norah L. Lewis, Editor. 2002.

Freedom to Play: We Made Our Own Fun.

Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier University Press. Pp. 224, $24.95, paper.
ISBN 0-88920-406-3
website: www.wlupress.wlu.ca

David Mandzuk
Faculty of Education
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba


Norah Lewis' book Freedom to Play echoes a sentiment that is heard increasingly often these days among teachers and the general public. That message is that children used to be better able to make their own fun than today's children and that the nature of what it means to be a child has drastically changed during our lifetimes. Essentially, Lewis' book is a compendium of recollections from older Canadians, selections from writings by Canadian authors, and letters written by children during the period from 1900 to the mid-1950s at a time when play was very much a part of childhood. The book is structured into six basic sections under the following headings: Go Outside and Play, Playing is Playing When Shared, Playing is Playing Games, Creating Their Own Equipment, Animals: Friends, Foe or Food and There Was Always Something to Do. Overall, Lewis provides the reader with 100 letters, excerpts from interviews, and anecdotes that illustrate how the nature of childhood has changed over time. Interspersed throughout are over 20 photographs that make that distinction even clearer.

To her credit, Lewis openly discusses some of the challenges in trying to reconstruct the past with a book like hers. She notes that memories can be faulty as they can be colored with time, subsequent experiences, and frequent retelling [and] contributors tend to be selective in which memories they retain (p. 4). However, the end result is still a reasonable reflection of how things were different at a time when life seemed to be simpler but perhaps was simply different than it is nowadays. As a result of reviewing the countless letters, interviews, and writings, Lewis suggests that there are nine characteristics that distinguish the idyllic world of childhood in the days before television and electronic games became realities: parents regularly sent children out to play to get them out from under foot and to ensure young people got plenty of fresh air and exercise; children in rural and urban areas were free to play, to roam, and to explore and they felt free to do so; many of the games were physically active and were self-organized; toys and equipment were frequently limited but children created or modified whatever was needed to play the game; playing was often more important than winning and therefore, most available children were included; domestic animals played important roles as companions, and wild creatures were sources, of interest, food, and income; holidays were welcome breaks from daily chores and seasonal tasks; although the letter writers highlighted in this book belonged to organizations for children and youth, adults tended not to recall organizations such as The Pathfinders Club, The Maple Leaf Club, and The Young Canada Club to be a vital part of their childhood; and, children of pre-television times do not recall being bored as there was always something to do. On this final point, Lewis points out that children for whom life was difficult - or who were confined in detention camps, residential schools, or crowded inner city areas - tried to adapt what time and materials they had to suit their situation.

In fairness to Lewis, she does try to avoid the tendency to overly romanticize how life used to be and how children used to be treated. She admits that today's children are probably more knowledgeable and better informed on many topics than were their grandparents (p. 23). She also admits that many of the games and activities discussed in the book such as hopscotch, snow angels, and skipping stones are still as popular today as they were in the past. However, in spite of these provisos, one still gets the impression that she feels that children were better off in the past.

Of the 100 anecdotes and letters, a number are particularly reflective of a time gone by. For example, Helga Erlindson's A Trip on a Steamer written in 1911 recalls a Victoria Day excursion on Lake Winnipeg that takes an unexpected turn when the captain of the ship drops a party of girls off on an island and does not arrive until almost 12 hours later. A letter from 1944 called Boy Scout Week reminds us of the role that Victory Gardens played during the Second World War. Finally, an anecdote called Charlie Riley's Pasture for Gopher Shoots reminds us of the perils of gopher hunting and the money that children could make in collecting such things as gopher tails, crows' eggs and crows' feet.

Overall, I found reading of this book to be reasonably satisfying. The introduction sets the stage well by providing the necessary context before the reader is allowed to dive into the many letters, interviews and anecdotes and the photographs add authenticity and interest. As interesting as I found the reading, however, I do feel that the book has a number of weaknesses. The most obvious for me is the organizational structure of the book. The six headings simply do not, in my mind, provide enough of a framework for conceptually organizing the book and because the individual sections lack proper introductions, one is left with the impression that more thought could have been put into its overall organization. For this reason and others, I cannot see this book being used by teachers of Social Studies other than as a general interest collection. Therefore, if readers feel like reminiscing and are looking for an easier read, this might be the book for them. If they are looking for more of a critical analysis of how childhood is different now than it was in the past, I suggest that they look elsewhere.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Michael Adams. 2003.

Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values.

Toronto: Penguin Press. Pp. 224, $35.00, cloth.
ISBN 0-14-301422-6
website: www.penguin.com

W.S. Neidhardt
Northview Heights S.S.
History Department (retired)
Toronto, Ontario


For many years now Canadians - at least those who are interested in their country's history - have been exposed to countless books and articles about the Canadian-American relationship. Most of the authors inevitably concluded that Canada was slowly but surely drifting into a closer relationship with the United States. In fact, some writers even predicted that Canada's ultimate destiny was nothing less than complete absorption into the American republic. In Fire and Ice, Michael Adams challenges what he calls the existing myth of inevitability and advances the rarely heard, and even more rarely substantiated, thesis that Canadians and Americans are actually becoming increasingly different from one another (p. 4).

Adams is quite aware that most Canadians may not, at first, believe him. He readily admits that Canada is increasingly dependent on the U.S. economy and that Canadians consume increasing amounts of American popular culture, products, services and imagination (p. 140). He also points out that in a recent public opinion poll - taken in 2002 - 58% of Canadians thought that Canada had been becoming more or less similar to the United States during the preceding ten years (p. 3). He also fully acknowledges that the two North American nations do have, indeed, much in common, including such things as common founding principles and similar political institutions.

However, Adams also wants his readers to know that there are, in fact, some very fundamental differences that have developed between the two countries over the years. For example, he refers to the 'revolutionary tradition' in the U.S.A as opposed to the 'counter-revolutionary tradition' in Canada, the contrasting attitudes Americans and Canadians have towards the roles of government, and the quite different beliefs they have about the role of religion in their daily lives. As one reads each chapter in Fire and Ice, one begins to believe that Adams is onto something and that his thesis is not a mere flight of academic fancy but rather a thoroughly researched and carefully constructed argument.

The book is filled with a vast array of statistics that he and his colleagues at Environics compiled while conducting over 14000 individual interviews and numerous focus groups and surveys. Based on these findings, Adams argues that fundamental values, motivations, and mindsets were changing (p. 7) in recent years in both Canada and the United States and that these changes in peoples' social values have, in fact, created two distinct societies in North America. The author, who is more a social scientist than a historian (Seymour Lipset seems to be his much admired role model) believes that much of what people say when they are asked specific questions during public opinion polls tends to reveal only how they feel about specific issues. Furthermore, he argues that these polls generally do not involve the social value assessment criteria that are required in order to elicit peoples' more fundamental beliefs and values.

Adams makes skilfull use of the social scientist's repertoire as he examines a variety of areas of social change that have taken place in Canada and the United States including religion, multiculturalism, immigration, the status of women, patriarchal authority, consumerism, social welfare, gun-control and many others. In the final analysis, Adams concludes that his research data clearly establishes that Canadians and Americans embrace a different hierarchy of values (p. 147) and that the two nations are socio-culturally distinct and will remain so for many years to come - perhaps indefinitely (p. 76).

Some of Adams' conclusions may well be seen as quite provocative and will probably not endear him to some readers - especially those who espouse the neo-conservative vision for the Canada of the future - when he suggests that the United States is becoming a country where we find values of nihilism, aggression, fear of the other, and consumptive one-upmanship (p. 72). While he supports the commonly held view that the United States is a more competitive society than Canada and that Americans are more innovative, he also describes America as being more violent and more racist (p. 115). He suggests that Americans worship money and success more than Canadians do but he also admits they are more willing to take risks in the hope that they might win than to ensure against disaster in fear that they might lose (p. 115). Meanwhile, Canada, according to Adams, is showing increasing flexibility, openness, autonomy and fulfillment (p. 74) and is perhaps becoming the home of a unique postmodern, postmaterial multiculturalism, generating hardy strains of new hybrids that will enrich this country and many others in the world (p. 143).

Fire and Ice is a clearly written and carefully researched book. In his introduction the author spells out what he wants to say and in the subsequent six short chapters he does what he said he would do. For the amateur social scientists in us he has included seven appendices (60 pages in length) which provide ample information about the social values methodology that was used to collect and interpret the vast amount of data. In addition, the book has a useful Trend Glossary, a carefully prepared index, several humorous but thought-provoking cartoons from the New Yorker, numerous graphs, and a short bibliography. As far as usability in the classroom is concerned, Fire and Ice is a must read for teachers and students who study the Canadian-American relationship because it provides a compellingly different view from the traditional interpretation as to where Canadian and American societies are heading.

In my opinion, Fire and Ice richly deserves to be the winner of the Donner Prize as the best book on Canadian public policy in 2003/04. Perhaps this paragraph - found at the end of chapter four of the book will best sum up Michael Adams' message: In my nightmares, I may see the American fire melting the Canadian ice and then dream of the waters created by the melting ice drowning the fire, but this will not happen - at least not in our lifetimes. The two cultures will continue side by side, converging their economies, technologies, and now their security and defence policies, but they will continue to diverge in the ways that most people in each country, I believe, will continue to celebrate (p. 126).

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Bruce W. Clark and John K. Wallace. 1999.

Making Connections: Canada's Geography.

Prentice Hall: Toronto, Ontario. Pp 506, $53.95, hardcover.
ISBN 0-13-012635-7
website: www.pearsoned.ca

Virginia Robertson
Lower Canada College
Montreal, Quebec


The sheer size and diversity found within this country make writing a national geography a formidable task. However, Clark and Wallace have done an admirable job of producing such a volume. Making Connections: Canada's Geography is successful in its aim of leading students to discover our country's geography. It provides a comprehensive study of Canada's complex and interrelated geographic elements. The main theme is making connections and this is what students who use this book will do. The reader is encouraged to take responsibility for her/his learning and to make connections between elements of the physical environment, between the human environment and the physical environment, and between elements of the human environment. The book is rich in content and skills and offers students a wide range of knowledge and techniques to effectively understand the geography of Canada and the role it plays in the global community.

Designed primarily for grade nine students and to fulfill the requirements of the Ontario curriculum for Canadian Geography, the authors compiled a very practical and user-friendly textbook. Although there is an emphasis on the geography of Ontario, this textbook is an appropriate and effective tool to learn the country's geography and to develop geographical skills, regardless of what province or country one inhabits. From beginning to end, this book invites and challenges students to think. Not only is the book visually appealing but it treats the inquiring students as young adults who possess intelligence and sophistication in their learning. At the beginning of the book there is an introduction which provides a clear statement of the knowledge and skills that will be acquired, followed by a section which explains how to effectively use the textbook to achieve this goal. The central core is structured into seven major units, each representing a significant theme. There are a total of thirty-six chapters, unevenly distributed among the units; the number varies according to the extent and complexity of the concepts being presented. The final section of the volume contains a valuable glossary that provides excellent definitions for all the bold face terms presented in the text.

The main body of the book is organized around seven units; one unit is devoted exclusively to geographical skill development while the other six provide content and learning activities pertaining to geographical topics that are both familiar and engaging to the adolescent mind. Although there are a varying number of chapters per unit, each chapter is structured somewhat the same. Each begins by presenting the concepts and learning expectations and lists the key terms that are integrated into that particular chapter. To clarify and establish the connections between the different geographical realms, some chapters provide case studies which serve to illuminate these interrelationships.

Throughout the text there is a wide range of learning opportunities presented by the variety of exercises and activities aimed at the whole spectrum of learning styles and intellectual abilities. These assignments help the students better understand and review the facts, concepts and connections while developing critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. There is ample opportunity to develop such geography-specific skills as cartography, statistical analysis and graphing techniques. Suggestions of ways and means of developing technological skills are another important aspect of each chapter. GIS activities and Internet addresses are provided and the use of computers to research relevant topics and to produce graphic and written responses to challenging and complex questions is encouraged.

This book moves logically and smoothly from one unit to another while demonstrating the interconnectedness between them. The students are drawn into the learning process from the first unit which introduces them to significant and unique facts regarding our country. Students are encouraged to discover Canada's position physically, economically, politically and demographically in the world. Using graphics, statistics and surveys Canada is compared to various other countries, thus providing an opportunity to examine Canada from many different angles and perspectives. The second unit is aimed specifically at exploring and developing essential skills that are required for geographical analysis. This unit is an excellent reference tool for the students as they progress through the book. The third unit focuses on Canada's physical geography. Geological regions, landform regions, climate regions, vegetation zones and soil zones are portrayed independently with all the interconnecting factors responsible for their formation and they are portrayed collectively by demonstrating the interaction between them. These interrelationships are effectively and clearly explained through the appropriate and clever use of a vast array of graphics. Unit four is primarily concerned with concepts and principles pertaining to Canada's demographic situation. The changing demographic scene highlights Canada's multicultural heritage. Dynamism in Canada's population is further demonstrated via the study of population growth and movement, changing settlement patterns and land uses, and urbanization. The fifth unit emphasizes the diversity and complexity of economic activities in Canada. The students easily discover that Canada's economy is closely tied to its physical and demographic situations. Categories of industries, industrial location, resource management, transportation and communication are explored in all of their complexity and diversity. The main focus is on the exploration of the connections between the physical environment, demographic patterns and economic development. Unit six examines Canada's role on the world stage. It shows Canada's cultural, political, economical and environmental links with the global community and presents the major international organizations with which Canada is involved. Much of the unit focuses on Canada's relationship with our most important trade partner, the United States. The final unit called Future Connections is largely concerned with the possible challenges that Canada will face in the future and takes a problem solving approach to these concerns. Environmental issues such as global warming, water resources and alternate energy sources are explored. The concept of ecological footprint is demonstrated and the environmental impact that Canadians have on the world is examined.

Making Connections: Canada's Geography provides the curious adolescent with a high level of geographical study and analysis within the framework of a familiar environment. Although the reluctant and challenged learner may have difficulty with the vocabulary and concepts presented, the average and advanced learner will be stimulated into becoming a more responsible and independent learner. The colorful graphics enhance the learning and appeal to the whole spectrum of intelligences found in the typical grade nine classroom. The book has tremendous potential as a valuable resource or reference book in any senior high school library. Although it is a valuable teaching tool, it does have several weaknesses that prevent it from universal acceptance as a national geography textbook. First, one of its strengths as a resource book becomes a weakness as a textbook. There is such a vast amount of information and a large number of skills and suggested activities presented, that some teachers, and many students, might feel overwhelmed by the size and extent of the textbook. Secondly, the emphasis on Ontario's geography, and limited reference to other provinces, could pose a problem for geography students outside Ontario. They may not have a familiar point of reference on which to hang new learning. Thirdly, the high reading level and advanced vocabulary would also be a challenge for students who experience language acquisition difficulties or who speak English as a second language. However, an alert and experienced teacher could easily compensate for these inadequacies and adapt the book to any level of learner in today's multifaceted classroom.

In general, this book offers high school students an intelligent and insightful look at Canada's geography. Opportunities to apply and develop geographical skills and life skills are found in abundance throughout the text. Although broad in scope, the authors clearly communicate the importance of the interconnectedness between human activity and the natural environment in Canada's ecozones and highlight Canada's relationship and unique position in the global community. They encourage students to think, explore and develop their own understandings; this supports the modern socio-constructivist approach to learning. In short, the book prepares students with the skills, knowledge and understandings that are necessary to meet the new realities of the 21st century.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 39 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History

Reinhold Kramer and Tom Mitchell. 2002.

Walk Towards the Gallows: The Tragedy of Hilda Blake, Hanged 1899.

Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press. Pp 318, $23.95, paper.
ISBN 0-19-541686-4
website: www.oupcan.com

Elizabeth Senger
Henry Wise Wood High School
Calgary, AB


Walk Towards the Gallows is a tragic story of murder, but much more significantly, it is a commentary on social practices and society of the late 19th century. While the legal facts of this case of murder are presented, even more pertinent personal and social facts are presented about this young woman, Hilda Blake, and how she found herself in a situation where she ended up committing murder.

A question that this book repeatedly raises is Can history every truly be known? While the authors attempt to set a clear context of historical time and place, this work is rife with questions and suppositions. Rather than confusing us as readers, however, these tactics lead us in to the lamentable story of Hilda Blake, and encourage us to, in turn, question what we know of our own reality. Walk Towards the Gallows is a captivating, thought provoking work which offers an illuminating insight into Canadian society, and broader perspectives on what makes people behave the way they do.

According to Kramer and Mitchell, it was common in the late 1800s for England to send destitute orphans to Canada so that the British government would not be responsible for their maintenance, and so that members of Canadian society could benefit from cheap, if not free, labor. The officials at the time appealed to the recipients with claims of Christian charity [and] inexpensive labor (p. 17). These claims deluded people into believing that they were helping the poor orphans, and made them willing to accept the orphans so they could realize some financial gain. This policy, given the euphemism of assisted emigration (p. 12) was at best exploitation, and at worst it was outright slavery.

Hilda's story was fairly typical of children in her predicament. She came to Canada at the age of ten and worked in a variety of homes as a domestic servant. Since she was seen as an inferior, not very intelligent young girl, she naturally encountered conflict in her young life. Removed unwillingly from England, the only home she had ever known, she was shuffled from one unfortunate situation to the next. She ran away twice in her first eighteen months at the first farm in Manitoba where she was placed. She fled to a kindly neighbor, but soon became disillusioned there, changed her mind, and asked to go back to the original family. By the age of 16 Hilda entertained thoughts of suicide (p. 62).

Several themes run through Walk Towards the Gallows. On one level, this is a brief history of the newly emergent country of Canada in the late 1800s. Kramer and Mitchell provide detailed descriptions of the land, agricultural business, the state of immigration, and even the Riel Rebellion of 1885. On another level they provide insight into the Victorian values prevalent at the time. They go so far as to state that the British ideal of family society strongly influenced attitudes in all levels of society in Canada at this time. According to evangelical thinking at the time the family was the cornerstone of the social order (p. 53). They go on to quote the Christian Guardian as stating that All society, civil, political and moral originates in and receives its character from this (p. 53). Their point appears to be that Christian, British morals were a large part of what convinced Canadian society to convict Hilda Blake of murder and send her to the gallows. In these traditions, she was a wanton tramp who could have no redeeming moral qualities.

At the same time as they are demonstrating the influence of the Christian ethic on our society, Kramer and Mitchell point out many anomalies in such morals. They comment, for example, on the business ethics at the time as being a ruthless pursuit of wealth, and the necessity of subjugating nature to Man's will in pursuit of that wealth. One result of such thinking was that women were placed in positions of subordination, and did not play a fair or equal role in society. An example of this was that Hilda ended up condemned by a law she had no voice in forming (p. 72) and, because of her lowly origins, she had even less chance of truly understanding her circumstances.

Another theme which permeates this work is a running commentary on class privilege and class structure. The authors demonstrate repeatedly that Hilda was a young woman taken advantage of from the age of ten, used as virtual slave labor, misled by her employer, and ultimately abandoned by the very system which purported to have acted in her best interests. The authors make note of the fact that Ms Blake's trial took only 5 minutes, and she was convicted mainly on the evidence of her confession. On pages 214 and 215 they detail the unfairness of laws regarding women, particularly when it came to sexual mores. Parliament was attempting to make changes to a law intended to protect men of means from blackmail by being seduced by women of loose character. While Parliament was willing to change the law slightly to indicate that women of a certain age would be victims, and not perpetrators of such crimes, it still was not prepared to challenge the gender orthodoxy that demanded chaste character of young women and winked at the philandering of middle class men as long as they restricted themselves to 'ruined' women (p. 214). These double standards of moral and legal behavior have been with us down through the centuries, and late 19th century Canada was no different.

The authors also make reference to the influence of the literature of the time period on Hilda's life and her actions. They make her out to be a woman misled by romantic notions of love and marriage, and imply she was misguided into believing she could have a life of wedded bliss (by killing the wife of her employer) which in reality was never open to her. They seem to be painting parallel portraits of Christian versus romantic ideals, perhaps to contrast them and again encourage the reader to deeply consider their own values and beliefs.

Walk Towards the Gallows is an insightful perspective into many aspects of 1880s Canadian society. The authors encourage us to examine gender roles then and now, assess the appeal to the media and the public of sexual scandals, and understand more fully the complicated process by which society has developed in our country. In many ways, the class and gender distinctions, which were present in the late 19th century, haunt us still.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
(The History and Social Science Teacher)

CANADA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
VOLUME 39, NUMBER 2, Winter 2005
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Special Issue: New Approaches to Teaching History.


Canadian Social Studies is an indexed, refereed journal published quarterly on-line at the University of Alberta. It is a journal of comment and criticism on social education and publishes articles on curricular issues relating to history, geography, social sciences, and social studies.
Canadian Social Studies is under copyright. Unless otherwise designated, permission is granted to download and distribute individual student copies of anything in this journal as long as it is for non-profit educational use in the classroom. Copyright permission includes the requirement to include the following on the first page of any duplicated material: "Canadian Social Studies, www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css Canada's national social studies journal - by permission." All other duplication or distribution requires the editor's permission.
George Richardson - Editor

| | |


From the Guest Editor: New Approaches to Teaching History

Articles

We Interrupt This Moment: Education and the Teaching of History.
Jennifer Tupper

To what questions are schools answers? And what of our courses?
Animating throughline questions to promote students' questabilities.
Kent den Heyer

Teaching second-order concepts in Canadian history:
The importance of historical significance.
Stéphane Lévesque

History and Identity in Pluralist Democracies:
Reflections on Research in the U.S. and Northern Ireland.
Keith C. Barton

The Great Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian History:
Using a web-based archives to teach history.
Ruth Sandwell

Doin' the DBQ: Small Steps Towards Authentic Instruction
and Assessment in History Education.
John Myers

Engaging Students in Learning History.
John Fielding

Book Reviews

Carl A. Raschke. 2003.
The Digital Revolution and the Coming of the Postmodern University.
Reviewed by Bryant Griffith.

Françoise Noël. 2003.
Family Life and Sociability in Upper and Lower Canada, 1780-1870.
Reviewed by George Hoffman.

Itah Sadu. Illustrations by Stephen Taylor. 2003.
A Touch of the Zebras.
Reviewed by Todd Horton.

Carl E. James and Adrienne Shadd, Editors. 2001.
Talking About Identity: Encounters in Race, Ethnicity, and Language, 2nd Edition.
Reviewed by Todd Horton.

William M. Reddy. 2001.
The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions.
Reviewed by Jane Lee-Sinden.

Janet Ajzenstat, Paul Romney, Ian Gentles and William D. Gairdner, Editors. 1999.
Canada's Founding Debates.
Reviewed by Ernest LeVos.

Norah L. Lewis, Editor. 2002.
Freedom to Play: We Made Our Own Fun.
Reviewed by David Mandzuk.

Michael Adams. 2003.
Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values.
Reviewed by W.S. Neidhardt.

Bruce W. Clark and John K. Wallace. 1999.
Making Connections: Canada's Geography.
Reviewed by Virginia Robertson.

Reinhold Kramer and Tom Mitchell. 2002.
Walk Towards the Gallows: The Tragedy of Hilda Blake, Hanged 1899.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Senger.

Editor
George Richardson
Guest Editor: Carla Peck
Manuscript Review Editors
Robert Fowler, University of Victoria
Alan Sears, University of New Brunswick
Columnists
Kevin Kee, McGill University
Penney Clark, University of British Columbia
David Kilgour, M.P., Edmonton Southeast
John McMurtry, University of Guelph
Ken Osborne, University of Manitoba (Emeritus)

Features Editors
Kathy Bradford, University of Western Ontario
(Book Reviews)
Jim Parsons, University of Alberta
(Classroom Teaching)

Articles appearing in this journal are abstracted and indexed in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life and by the Canadian Education Association; Corpus Almanac Canadian Sourcebook; Ulrich's lnt. Pedcs. Directory; ERIC; Canadian Education Index, Micromedia Limited; and H. W. Wilson Company.


CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
(The History and Social Science Teacher)

CANADA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
VOLUME 38, NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css



Canadian Social Studies is an indexed, refereed journal published quarterly on-line at the University of Alberta. It is a journal of comment and criticism on social education and publishes articles on curricular issues relating to history, geography, social sciences, and social studies.
Canadian Social Studies is under copyright. Unless otherwise designated, permission is granted to download and distribute individual student copies of anything in this journal as long as it is for non-profit educational use in the classroom. Copyright permission includes the requirement to include the following on the first page of any duplicated material: "Canadian Social Studies, www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css Canada's national social studies journal - by permission." All other duplication or distribution requires the editor's permission.
George Richardson - Editor

| | |


From the Editor

Columns

Voices from the Past by Ken Osborne - M.W. Keatinge: A British Approach to Teaching History through Sources

Quebec Report by Kevin Kee - Towards a New World History and Citizenship Course in Quebec

Articles

On Political Cartoons and Social Studies Textbooks: Visual Analogies, Intertextuality, and Cultural Memory
Walt Werner

The Historical Imagination: Collingwood in the Classroom
Lynn Speer Lemisko

Scripted Drama Assessment in a Middle School Social Studies Class
Ronald V. Morris and Michael Welch

Book Reviews

R. D. Gidney. 1999.
From Hope to Harris: The Reshaping of Ontario's Schools
Reviewed by Margaret E. Brci.

Barry Corbin, John Trites & Jim Taylor. 2000.
Global Connections: Geography for the 21st Century.
Reviewed by Kenneth Boyd.

David W. Hursh & E. Wayne Ross, Eds. 2000.
Democratic Social Education: Social Studies for Social Change.
Reviewed by Jon G. Bradley.

Greg Nickles. 2002.El Salvador: The Land.
Greg Nickles. 2002.Philippines: The Land.
Bobbi Kalman. 2002.Vietnam: The Land (Revised Ed.).
Noa Lior Tara Steele. 2002.Spain: The Land.
Reviewed by Linda Farr Darling.

Janet Siskind. 2002.
Rum and Axes: The Rise of a Connecticut Merchant Family, 1795-1850.
Reviewed by Michael J. Gillis.

Phyllis A. Arnold, Penney Clark Ken Westerlund. 2000.
Canada Revisited 8: Confederation, The Development of Western Canada, A Changing Society.
Elspeth Deir, John Fielding, George Adams, Nick Brune, Peter Grant, Stephanie Smith Abram Carol White. 2000.
Canada: The Story of a Developing Nation.
Reviewed by Larry A. Glassford.

Anthony DePalma. 2001.
Here: A Biography of the New American Continent.
Reviewed by George Hoffman.

David Lambert and Paul Machon, Eds. 2001.
Citizenship Through Secondary Geography.
Reviewed by John R. Meyer.

Mark Evans, Michael Slodovnick, Terezia Zoric Rosemary Evans. 2000.
Citizenship: Issues and Action.
Reviewed by John R. Meyer.

Bruno Ramirez. 2001.
Crossing the 49th Parallel: Migration from Canada to the United States, 1900-1930.
Reviewed by W. S. Neidhardt.

Christine Hannell and Stewart Dunlop. 2000.
Discovering the Human World.
Reviewed by Virginia Robertson.

Niall Ferguson. 2001.
The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Senger.

Andrew C. Holman. 2000.
A Sense of Their Duty: Middle-Class Formation in Victorian Ontario Towns.
Reviewed by Richard A. Willie.

Editor
George Richardson - Editor
Manuscript Review Editors
Robert Fowler, University of Victoria
Alan Sears, University of New Brunswick
Columnists
Kevin Kee, McGill University
Penney Clark, University of British Columbia
David Kilgour, M.P., Edmonton Southeast
John McMurtry, University of Guelph
Ken Osborne, University of Manitoba (Emeritus)

Features Editors
Kathy Bradford, University of Western Ontario
(Book Reviews)
Jim Parsons, University of Alberta
(Classroom Teaching)

Articles appearing in this journal are abstracted and indexed in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life and by the Canadian Education Association; Corpus Almanac Canadian Sourcebook; Ulrich's lnt. Pedcs. Directory; ERIC; Canadian Education Index, Micromedia Limited; and H. W. Wilson Company.

From the Editor

In this issue of Canadian Social Studies, we mark a passing of sorts. Jon Bradley, our long-time Qubec columnist has passed on his responsibilities to different hands. In his place, Kevin Kee, a faculty member of the Department of History and Canadian Studies at McGill University will be our regular Qubec columnist. We thank Jon for his commitment and for his many contributions to CSS these past years and welcome Kevin to the journal.

While they are not themed in any deliberate way, the articles and columns that appear in this issue represent the research/classroom practice dynamic that has characterized Canadian Social Studies for most of its existence. To illustrate this dynamic, a good case in point is Lynn Lemisko's article on the ways in which R. G. Collingwood's theories of historical understanding might be applied to classroom teaching contexts. The same emphasis on praxis can be seen Walt Werner's piece that draws on cultural theory to suggest how editorial cartoons might be better read in social studies classes.

I hope you enjoy this issue and invite you to read the forthcoming Special Issue of CSS (Spring 2004) in which we focus on graduate student's work in social studies.

The Editor


CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Voices From The Past

Ken Osborne
M.W. Keatinge: A British Approach to Teaching History through Sources


In previous articles I have described the enthusiasm for teaching history through sources that began in the 1890s and lasted into the 1920s. This article continues this theme but leaves North America to examine the contribution of a British educationist, M.W. Keatinge, Reader in Education at Oxford University, who in the early 1900s published a number of source collections and generally promoted the use of sources in the classroom at all ages, from elementary to high school.

Keatinge agreed with his American counterparts that source material would add interest to lessons and give students a basic introduction to the principles of historical method, but his main reason for advocating the use of sources was that it would make the study of history intellectually respectable. Unlike his American colleagues he could not take history's place in the curriculum for granted. By the early 1900s American historians and educationists had won their fight to entrench history in the curriculum. They did not always like the patriotic and citizenship mantle with which policy makers and school officials often cloaked it, and instead argued for it on the grounds of its contribution to a liberal education, and to mental training, but they did not have to worry about whether it should or should not be taught. In the England of the early 1900s, by contrast, Keatinge and others found themselves still having to fight history's battles.

For the most part, history occupied only a minor place in English school curricula. In the elementary schools that most English children attended it was taught primarily through readers rather than as a distinct subject. In the secondary schools, which only a minority of children attended, history's supporters were faced with, on the one hand, the centuries-old tradition of Latin and Greek and all the vested interests and entrenched arguments associated with them, and, on the other, the claims of the newly emerging natural sciences. Philosophically, both the classical languages and the new sciences claimed to be not only educationally valuable in their own right, but also powerful vehicles for mental training. Pedagogically, they presented themselves as subjects that taught generalizations, abstractions, or rules which can be applied to fresh matter, and where students were active in their own learning, whether in solving problems or in applying lessons previously learned, as in translation exercises or laboratory experiments (Keatinge, 1910: 2).

In the light of such arguments, history was easily dismissed too easily in Keatinge's view as a soft option, a mere memory subject in which teachers did all the work and students simply repeated what they were told or what they read. As Keatinge put it, in history as conventionally taught It is difficult to devise preparation other than the learning from a text-book of the facts of a lesson that is to be given or the revising of the facts of a lesson that has been given (Keatinge, 1910: 3). According to Keatinge, the repertoire of the typical history teacher consisted of lecture, questioning, elaboration of the textbook, and written exercises and essays, none of which he saw as especially inspiring, but which seemed unavoidable so long as the study of history was seen only as the accumulation of factual knowledge. Unlike science or languages, history left nothing original for the student to do: In this subject more than in any other it seems as if the maximum of work were demanded from the teacher and the minimum from the pupil. The old relations are reversed; the teacher prepares his lessons and the pupil hears them (Keatinge, 1910: 4).

In these circumstances, Keatinge found himself tempted to agree with history's opponents and to conclude that history was indeed a bad school subject (Keatinge, 1910: 4). At the same time, he was convinced that history was too important to be ignored. The health of a modern self-conscious democracy depended on its citizens' ability to think rationally about the problems they faced and this in turn demanded an understanding of the past. Keatinge deplored the fact that most people knew more about sport than they did about history. More important than this, however, was the potential of history to expand people's horizons, to illuminate personality and character. It was as an introduction to the world of human nature that history is chiefly to be prized (Keatinge, 1910: 3).

To the claims of the scientists that their subject taught valuable principles of scientific method and prepared students for citizenship in an increasingly scientific world, Keatinge replied that most people had little occasion to use their scientific knowledge once they left school, taking technology for granted and leaving science to the experts who alone could understand it. History, by contrast, taught ways of thinking and ways of seeing the world that people used every day of their lives. It was simply too important to be neglected: If school is to educate for life, it appears that the department of social science is many times of greater value than that of physical science, and if this is so, a sound method of teaching history is of the first importance (Keatinge, 1910: 35). The key question was this: How can history be made into a real training school for the mind, worthy of no inconsiderable place in the curriculum of schools where classics are taught, and of a large place in modern schools and on modern sides where little or no classics are taught? (Keatinge, 1910: 38). In other words, Keatinge did not expect, or even want, history to displace classics, but he did hope to open a space for it in the classical curriculum.

In his view, the way to do this was to redefine history by emphasizing the value of historical method as well as historical knowledge. To do this he turned to the German historian, Ernst Bernheim, and to the French historians, Charles Seignobos and Charles Langlois, all of whom were widely regarded in the 1890s and beyond as the arbiters of historical method. Keatinge singled out Bernheim's argument that historical science was sui generis, different from the natural sciences but no less scientific for all that. The science of history was to be found in the disciplined attempt of the historian to reconstruct the past from the evidence it had left behind it. In short, the critical analysis of sources was central to historical study. As Keatinge put it, It is to the criticism and analysis of documents that a great part of historical method devotes itself (Keatinge, 1910: 30). Moreover, this analysis taught skills and ways of thinking that were important in all areas of life.

Thus, Keatinge found a way of claiming a place in the curriculum for history: If only we make use of this material, if we fashion this new instrument to suit our needs, the problem of history teaching is by no means solved, but the avenue through which it may attacked is opened up (Keatinge, 1910: 38). And proceeding along this avenue meant rethinking history both as a discipline and as a school subject. Above all, it must be reduced to problem form and the way to do this was to use sources. Source-work was central to historical method. It made the study of history intellectually rigorous. It was a powerful vehicle for mental training. It closed the gap between history as an academic discipline and history as a school subject. It put the onus of work on the student not the teacher. And it was teachable: The schoolboy can be given materials to observe and to manipulate, opportunities for drawing inferences, for exercising his power of working with accuracy, and for testing his strength in the attack upon difficult problems (Keatinge, 1910: 32).

As with all proponents of the use of sources on both sides of the Atlantic, Keatinge disavowed any notion of training students to be historians. The logic of his argument required him to maintain that history was a science that was as intellectually demanding as any other and therefore beyond the grasp of school students, while also arguing that it could nonetheless be taught to them. Nor was he willing to adopt the approach of what he called the American votaries of the source method that required the student to construct his own history and write his own text-book (Keatinge, 1910: 39). He did not want to replace knowledge with method, or to replace the textbook with a source-book. The textbook was half the apparatus; the other half was a collection of sources supplemented by a good classroom library (Keatinge, 1910: 40). Anticipating what later came to be known as the patch or post-hole method of course design, he favoured teaching broad survey courses but with provision inside them for detailed study of selected topics. He wanted students to gain a broad historical knowledge in order to expand their mental horizons while also gaining a basic understanding of historical method.

Unlike Fred Morrow Fling in the United States, Keatinge did not work out a specific teaching strategy for source-work. He contented himself with providing examples supplemented with brief explanatory comments. In the source-books that he produced he used a wide variety of questions ranging from factual comprehension to the use of imagination and judgment, as in this example: Make a list of the adjectives and adverbs that refer to Lollards in this Statute. How far do you think them justified? (Keatinge Frazer, 1912: i). Apart from questions calling for personal judgment (e.g. What does this extract show as to Elizabeth's character?) he also included questions that called for the evaluation of evidence, for example What is the value of private letters like the Patson (sic) letters as evidence? Or again, Why must Polydore Vergil's statements about Richard be received with caution? (Keatinge Frazer, 1912: i-iii). Along the same lines, some of his questions required students to combine or compare two or more different sources, as in this example: Do you notice any difference in their attitude towards the English of the French and the English accounts of Agincourt? (Keatinge Frazer, 1912: i). In addition, Keatinge designed some exercises which, while based on documents, called on students to use their imagination, as in this example: How far would Bacon's high estimate of the Star Chamber have been shared in the reign of Henry VII by: (1) a turbulent noble; (2) a judge on circuit; (3) a well-fed liveried retainer; (4) a parish priest; (5) a prosperous farmer; (6) a country armourer? (Keatinge Frazer, 1912: iii) He also used exercises that required students to write speeches or letters on the basis of evidence contained in the sources provided for them (e.g. Write a conversation upon Joan of Arc between an English archer and a French archer - Keatinge Frazer, 1912: i).

An examination of Keatinge's questions and exercises shows that he focussed on these kinds of questions:

Describe what a document says. Describe what a document tells us about the person who wrote it. Describe what a document tells us directly or indirectly about the character of the person it describes. Write an account of a person or an event using two or more sources. Compare two or more documents for points of agreement and disagreement. Date and identify a document on the basis of internal evidence. Assess a document to see what in it represents the real views of its author and what does not. Go beyond a document to predict how a given person or group might respond to it.

Given what Keatinge saw as the novelty of his source-method and the strength of the barriers against using it, he said surprisingly little about how to deploy it in the classroom. On the one hand, he criticized teachers for making history so dull; on the other, he expected them to be able to use his source-method with little or no support or advice. He ignored the difficulties likely to be created for students by the often archaic and obscure language of his sources. He wrote of his method that it was designed to teach students to apply the more simple criteria of accuracy and sincerity to read closely and to extract from a document all the internal evidence that is to be found there, to compare and to rationalise conflicting accounts of characters and of events; and more important than all, though less showy, to summarize and extract salient points from a series of loose, verbose, or involved statements (Keatinge, 1910: 39). These are all valuable goals but Keatinge said very little about how to achieve them.

He also ignored the very real difficulties imposed by time constraints. In one exercise, for example, based on a lengthy report of a speech by Mary Tudor, followed by three fairly complicated questions, he suggested that it was the kind of thing that could be done in ten minutes at the end of a lesson. In most classes, however, it would probably have taken at least one lesson simply to make sure that students understood what they were required to read. A similar weakness is to be found in Keatinge's discussion of examinations. After a thoroughly negative dismissal of conventional examinations, he proposed an alternative form of examination based on source-work. The problem he ignored, however, was that, even in a three hour examination, students would have had to spend so much time reading the sources that that they would have little time to answer the questions based on them.

In a sense, these are mere nuts and bolts objections, but they help explain why Keatinge's source-method met with so little success. He ignored the reality that, given the existing pattern of schooling, it seriously complicated teachers' lives. What he saw as the relatively straightforward introduction of a new teaching strategy in fact called for a fundamental rethinking of schooling. This is why, apart from one or two short-lived experiments, and despite general dissatisfaction, fact-based examinations did not change and textbooks remained largely the same. At best, a minority of teachers incorporated some sources into their teaching, although largely to serve as illustrative material, not as the basis for teaching the principles of historical method. As one British teacher observed in 1918, he had been through the source-book fever and while he was no doubt better for the experience he had concluded that it was more advantageous to take it in small doses, on the analogy of smallpox and vaccination (History, 3, 1918, p.21).

All this said, Keatinge deserves to be remembered. Like others of his generation he pioneered trails which we seem once again to be exploring, albeit unaware that they were there before us. What he wrote over ninety years ago, remains as true today as it was then: It is only if thought-compelling exercises can be devised that history is worth treating as a serious school subject. (Keatinge, 1910: 110).

References

Keatinge, M.W. (1910) Studies in the teaching of history. London: A. C. Black.

Keatinge, M.W. N. L. Frazer. (1912) Documents of British history 1399-1603 with problems and exercises. London: A. C. Black.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Quebec Report

Kevin Kee
Towards a New World History and Citizenship Course in Quebec

Several years ago, cultural commentators lamented the apparent death of Canadian history. Whatever the state of the subject in English-speaking Canadian schools, history has been alive and well in Qubec for some time. The development of a new curriculum is testament to this fact - once the Rforme is in place, students in Qubec schools will study more history than their counterparts in other provinces. But if history in Qubec is healthy, it is also hotly contested. The recent release of a new Grade 7 and 8 world history and citizenship course raises interesting questions about why and how we teach history and citizenship, questions that educators in the rest of the country may also be facing in the years to come.

The prominence of history in Qubec schools should come as no surprise history has always had a special status in the province. Soon after arriving to Montral from Ontario, I remarked to Jacques Lacoursire (the unofficial Dean of Qubec history education) that the people of la belle province knew their history better than most English-speaking Canadians. No, he replied, the difference was that in Qubec, l'histoire est plus prsente. He's right, of course - Quebecers of French origin are surrounded by reminders of their past. Their four hundred year presence in North America is commemorated in folk songs, stories, and place names. Even Qubec license plates declare Je me souviens I remember. For a French-speaking people living in an English-speaking country in an increasingly English-speaking world, identity in the present is closely tied to memories of the past. And schools are an important avenue by which this identity can be sustained.

In Quebec, history is a mandatory subject until Grade 11. Within the curriculum as a whole, the Qubec Education Program (QEP) highlights Geography, History and Citizenship Education as one of five core Subject Areas. As the title indicates, the creators of the QEP consider teaching about one's past to be central to an understanding of one's civic identity in the present. The connection is not unique to Qubec educators across the country agree that, while students can learn to become good citizens in a variety of contexts, history can play a special role in providing young people with a sense of place in the world.

The consensus begins to break down, however, when educators start to define citizenship. What do we mean by this word? Answers abound in Canada, with varying emphases on what we hold in common as members of a shared community versus the diversity of our identities. The recent release of History and Citizenship Education, a course that will be taught in Qubec through Secondary Cycle 1 (Grades 7 and 8 in other provinces) provides insight into citizenship as defined by the QEP.

The course is no cakewalk citizenship evidently involves some hard work. A world history, with an emphasis on the development of the West, it begins with sedentarization and the organization of societies, and winds its way to the present-day. Course modules include, among other topics, political life in Athens in 500 B.C.E., the rise of the Roman Empire, the Christianization of the West and the growth of cities in the Middle Ages. In each case, developments in other parts of the world are considered: when it comes to the medieval period, teachers are reminded that it is important for students to realize that urban growth and the expansion of trade also characterized some non-European cities in the same period: Baghdad or Constantinople or Timbuktu.1 At each step, the history of people outside of the West is recognized in parallel to the main story.

By focusing on the history of the Western world, and then making reference to corresponding examples, the curriculum writers have attempted to create a historically informed citizenship that will meet the challenges facing contemporary Qubec society: to reconcile shared membership in a community with the diversity of identities.2 Students are taught, via a world history, that they are part of a historical continuum, and that the values and principles associated with democracy evolved over time.3 In the case of the Middle Ages, the rise of a merchant class led to the growth of European cities and the expansion of trade. Students are reminded that these developments occurred in Baghdad as well. The underlying principle is one of mutual respect and understanding.

But will a citizenship that is built around a respect for difference be enough for the challenges of 2010 and beyond? In cities such as Montreal, international migration is resulting in increasing diversification of the population, with a concomitant loss of a common historical identity. As McGill philosopher Charles Taylor has pointed out, adding to the dissolution of a common identity is increasing differentiation within the population. With the rise of feminism, to cite just one example, unity on political issues has faded, replaced by an increased diversity of opinion. We are witnessing the rise of what Taylor calls a diasporic consciousness. As a result, people now live in imagined spaces, spaces where they see themselves situated within a certain society and more and more of these spaces straddle borders and other boundaries.4 A society such as this requires a sense of citizenship in which differences are not just respected, but valued. According to Taylor, our differences will make us stronger and more resilient in an increasingly globalized age.

Returning to the history of the Middle Ages, I suggest that it would be better for both history and citizenship if Baghdad were treated as more than an example of similar events. elsewhere I would like to see the history of Baghdad taken seriously on its own. And students could go further, and examine how the contributions of people in this city were central to developments in the Western world. Translations by scholars in Baghdad made the writings of ancients such as Aristotle available to intellectuals in Europe. In this way, the expansion of culture in Baghdad played a central role in the rebirth of culture in the West, helping to bring about nothing less than the Renaissance. Teaching the Middle Ages along these lines would bring the history of Baghdad away from the periphery and towards the centre. At the same time, it would provide opportunities for Iraqi immigrants to Canada to be included in the story. A world history course taught in this manner would promote a citizenship that went beyond respecting difference, to valuing diversity. Just as Baghdad helped bring about a renaissance in Europe, so too might immigrants from Iraq work together with Quebecers to build a better society, open to the world and all that it offers. In this diversity lies our future strength.

Will we take advantage of opportunities to make these parallel stories a part of the main story? The curriculum writers have taken a step in the right direction by including the history of the world outside of the West. Now we must wait and see how much teacher in-service, time in the school schedule, and resources from the education budget are made available. And we must remember that, in the end, the kinds of history and citizenship that will be taught in Quebec classrooms will be determined by teachers in the classroom. We have reason to be hopeful.

1Qubec Education Program Approved Version, Secondary Education Cycle One, Social Sciences: History and Citizenship Education, 28.
2Ibid., 16.
3Ibid.
4Charles Taylor, Globalization and the future of Canada, Queen's Quarterly 105:3 (1998), 332.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

On Political Cartoons and Social Studies Textbooks:
Visual Analogies, Intertextuality, and Cultural Memory

Walt Werner
University of British Columbia

Abstract

Political cartoons are animated through visual analogies that imply a likeness between the event portrayed in the image and the issue on which the cartoonist is making comment. Although many kinds of analogies can be used, meanings arise as the viewer is able to recognize and interpret them. This becomes difficult, though, when a cartoon's analogy is drawn from contemporary or historical events, plays on literary allusions, or uses past cultural knowledge not readily available to a viewer. The resultant intertextuality assumes an ideal viewer and a narrow cultural memory that have consequences for who is included in, and excluded from, the ongoing editorial conversation. Issues flowing from this assumed memory are discussed in relation to social studies textbooks used in British Columbia.

My first stop with the morning paper is the political cartoon. I expect to be surprised and delighted, and on a good day, to be provoked or even jolted. On some mornings, though, I puzzle over a cartoon that doesn't make much sense. This experience causes reflection on the viewer-text relationships taken for granted by newspaper readers, editors, and cartoonists. Cartoons work as long as these deeply taken for granteds are not countered or questioned.

My purpose is to focus on assumptions embedded within cartoons themselves rather than what is assumed by viewers1 and editors.2 Every cartoon assumes an ideal viewer who has the relevant cultural memory. This assumption underlies the analogies used to activate meaning, and has consequences for who is included in, and excluded from, the ongoing editorial conversation. When analogies are drawn from historical events, literary allusions, or past cultural knowledge, and are also Eurocentric, the resultant intertextuality appeals to a narrow cultural memory that positions most viewers as outsiders. Let me explain.

Visual Analogies

Cartoons are meaningful to those who understand something about the larger discourse within which they are constructed and read. Since the mid-eighteenth century when cartoons began to be used in North American newspapers, this discourse included, among other things, assumptions about ideal viewers, ethical standards, criteria for excellence, and competitive publishing practices that define what counts as a cartoon, and that regulate the work of cartoonists in particular time periods (Hess and Kaplan 1968, Hall 1997, 6, 44, Werner 2003). This discourse also includes a visual language of signs, conventions and rhetorical devices used to convey and interpret meanings. Most rhetorical devices can be grouped under the broad categories of caricature and visual analogy (Hou and Hou 1998).

Visual analogies are the heart of cartoons and what animates thought and emotion (Burack 1994, 19). They consist of simplified situations, characters or objects designed to stand for more complex issues. Rather than making a literal statement about an issue, the artist likens it to something else, and through this comparison invites interpretation. The point of an analogy is not just to present an opinion, but also to stimulate interest and thinking. Meanings arise as each viewer sees a comparison between the portrayed scene and the larger issue. By bringing two things together and implying a likeness between them, though, a metaphor is essentially ambiguous because it both highlights and hides meanings, and allows for multiple entailments and implications.

When constructing analogies, cartoonists use three sources. They can draw from (1) mundane situations and everyday objects that most newspaper readers have experienced, (2) contemporary popular culture such as current movies, TV shows, national sports events, etc. with which many readers have some acquaintance, or (3) historical events and personages, and past literary and aesthetic texts, that fewer readers recognize. Let me illustrate. Within the first source, simple cartoons frame a current topic by suggesting its likeness to an event, place or object drawn from the reader's everyday life. For example, visits to the doctor's office or neighbors talking over the fence are immediately recognizable settings. Analogies that rely on shared memory of mundane experiences are relatively easy to grasp if the viewer has background knowledge of the current event.4
Other cartoons draw their analogies from contemporary popular culture. Characters, events, or quotations from current movies, popular TV shows, and national sporting events are used as analogies to suggest a message. A startled Osama Bin Laden is shown clutching his suitcases, as he realizes that he is standing on the bull's eye of a large target; the caption states The LORD of the RINGS.5 Although the cartoon is readable for someone not acquainted with Tolkein's book or the movies (e.g., Bin Laden is targeted and will eventually be hit), subtler meanings arising from the ambiguous allusion will be missed. As Gruner (1992, 7) notes, one can appreciate satire as humor (based upon style and partial knowledge of the material's content) but still not understand the serious, satiric thesis of the author.

Less common, and more difficult to read, are cartoons that draw their analogies from historical events, literary references, and other past cultural texts. They make it possible to say a great deal, tease the reader with all sorts of implied parallels, without giving away so much information as to become obvious (Burack 1994, 153). For example, during the Alliance's 2001 leadership convention in Ottawa, a cartoon showed Stephen Harper boating along a jungle river; as he comes upon the river-side convention centre decorated with skulls, guarded by strange creatures holding spears, and draped with an ironic banner that says Welcome Leadership Candidates, he thinks to himself THE HORROR! THE HORROR! Meanwhile the caption says Apocalypse Now REDUX.6 A viewer would have little access to the metaphor's layers without some understanding of the main character in Conrad's novel (Heart of Darkness), the plot of Copploa's remade Vietnam war movie (Apocalypse Now Redux), the cultural significance of jungle within Western imperial history (e.g., a chaotic, dangerous, exciting place), Harper's redux relationship (i.e., a brought back or renewed relationship) with the Alliance party, and its squabbles over leadership.

Although there are numerous strategies for constructing analogies from the simple to the complex (Walker and Chaplin 1997, 119-25, Werner 2003), insightful interpretation is only possible as the viewer recognizes the analogy and is able to think with it. This becomes difficult, though, when the nave eye misses the analogy's intertextuality.


Intertextuality

Intertextuality refers to the cartoonist's borrowing or quoting from prior visual or written texts, and to the viewer's interpreting of the cartoon in the light of (i.e., through, against) those other texts. For example, the touching of God's and Adam's fingers in Michelangelo's Creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Mona Lisa's gaze in Rembrandt's painting, or Rosenthal's 1945 photo of the flag being raised at Iwo Jima, are playfully paraphrased in many political cartoons, commercial advertisements, and journalistic photos. This echoing of themes, quotations, symbols, storylines, or compositional elements from older images and famous written texts may create visual metaphors that encourage layered meanings in novel or ironic ways (Walker and Chaplin 1997, 142, Sturken and Cartwright 2001, 121-130, Howells 2003). But readers who do not recognize this intertextuality will also miss the ways in which the analogy animates the cartoon.

Because there is an important reader accessibility issue at stake here, I examined Canada's most widely distributed newspaper, The Globe and Mail (1992 through 2002), in order to identify the range of historical sources for analogies (only the third category discussed above). During these years Brian Gable was the cartoonist, and at times, Anthony Jenkins. The following ten sources of historical themes and images are listed from greatest to least usage:
Jewish and Christian scriptures (e.g., events, characters, quotations). Renaissance art (e.g., famous images such as Michelangelo's Creation). British literature from about 1700 to 1950 (e.g., themes, characters, and quotations from novels, poetry, political treatises). Historical events and characters (e.g., from the Roman Empire through to WW II). Fairytales (e.g., Aesop's and Grimm's fables), and children's stories and rhymes. Proverbs and clichd sayings. Symbol characters (e.g., Grim Reaper, Cupid, Justice, Liberty, Saint Peter adjudicating the Pearly Gates). Movies (e.g., titles, characters, events, quotations). Famous paintings and photographs from the past two centuries. Television shows (e.g., characters, events, quotations).

These ten sources were used to create analogies whose design and message were often clever. (Rarely were viewers alerted to the embedded intertextuality with self-conscious captions such as With apologies to Salvador Dali or After Goya.) The implied ideal reader is well informed and literate, but in very particular ways. These categories do not just call upon, but also create and celebrate, a selective Eurocentric and sometimes classist cultural memory. And herein lies a problem.

Cultural Memory

Cultural memory refers to the store of background knowledge that one calls upon when interpreting the everyday commonsense world. Political cartoons are part of that mundane world as long as viewers share four areas of understanding. Most obvious is the contextual knowledge of what the cartoonist is commenting upon, whether an immediate social problem or a specific news item. Second, there is knowledge of how the cartoon works, including its visual language of signs (images, symbols, captions, and quotes), conventions (expectations about what a sign is meant to signify), and rhetorical devices (caricature and analogies) used to convey satire, irony, and ridicule. Third, allusions to historical events and personages, or to past cultural texts (e.g., poems, novels, famous quotations, art), are only successful as the reader is able to access the allusionary base from which the analogies are drawn. And lastly, there is some understanding of the broader discourse itself that distinguishes political cartoons from the comics, political or commercial ads, and photojournalism. Lack of any aspect of this assumed shared memory might render an image opaque. The fact that most adults and students experience difficulties with cartoons raises questions about the status of this shared memory.

Intertextuality only works as readers have access to the assumed memory bank that provides currency for communication. In reality, though, this communal memory is fictive and highly exclusionary within a diverse society. The very assumption creates an elite in-group able to make the connections, and an out-group lacking the requisite cultural capital because of generational, ethnocultural or social class experiences that differ from the cartoonist. The result is a cartoon that often functions as a sort of inside joke between the cartoonist and the readers who get the veiled reference (DeSousa and Medhurst 1982, 49). To test this premise I selected 100 cartoons from the previous ten categories, and showed samples to groups of teachers (n=125) working in the ethnocultural and social class diversities of the greater Vancouver metropolitan area. These individuals had at least a baccalaureate degree in history or the social sciences, as well as one or two years of teacher training, and worked with a curriculum that includes political cartoons. For each image they were asked to identify the source of the analogy and to explain the intertextuality. Only a quarter of the respondents had a 50 percent success rate. More importantly, this exercise sparked group discussions about the ideal reader and cultural memory taken for granted by Canada's national paper, and the accessibility implications of these assumptions for students.

These images assume an audience that has considerable memory of selected Western European literature and iconography, as well as important historical events and personages. An ideal reader is thereby created. Excluded from this selective memory base are cultural and historical allusions to Africa, Eastern Europe, South America, and Asia, references to the Islamic and Buddhist traditions, as well as recent North American prize winning literature or art, and sports. Commonly used analogies that reference a jungle as a dangerous but exciting place (it's a jungle out there) draw on stereotypes about the developing world that harken back to earlier Western imperialism. This reliance on an older Eurocentric (and perhaps patriarchal) canon of a bygone era is surprising, given that The Globe and Mail's masthead bills itself as Canada's National Newspaper and is published in the continent's most diverse city. This need not be interpreted as a conscious collusion on the part of cartoonists to privilege a particular memory bank as more important than others, or to create a elitist politics of insiders and outsiders. Such cultural and class chauvinism would not play well in the diverse and competitive market where newspapers seek increased readership. Rather, the cartoons speak back to their authors (telling us something about their social locations, and about what these artists take to be a shared literacy) and to the conditions within which they work (the debates that do or do not take place in editorial offices). This illustrates the process of what Bourdieu (1977, 82) refers to as habitus, a deeply taken for granted system of dispositions a past which survives in the present and tends to perpetuate itself into the future by making itself present in the practices structured according to its principles; it consists of the actions, perceptions, and expectations that provide cartoonists with their feel for the game within a particular time and institutional place (Roth, Lawless and Tobin 2000, 8). Similar is Apple's notion of hegemony as the unquestioned assumptions about the social world that groups carry in the bottom of their heads, constituting a common sense that serves to naturalize and perpetuate social inequalities (Apple 1990, 5-7). The particular habitus or hegemony operating within this newspaper assumes that there is a storehouse filled with traditional symbols, stories, images, stereotypes, quotable quotes, and references to famous people, events and places from which cartoonists can draw their generative allusions. And because this storehouse is assumed to be widely available, and hence legitimate, well-rounded Canadians are able to interpret public texts from newspapers to billboards.

However, the very idea of this imagined memory bank has proved to be controversial during the past two decades. Whose memory should be privileged? Who is left out? On one side of the debate are those literary critics, philosophers, historians, and educators who argue that there is (and needs to be) a widely shared literary, historical, and artistic ground that makes ongoing public conversations possible (e.g., Bloom 1994, Broudy 1988, Hirsch 1987, Osborne 1999, Ravitch 1992, Ravitch and Finn 1987). This allusionary base, they contend, is even more important as society becomes diverse. As one historian warned many years ago,

the problem is that there is little common cultural ground among [college students], and there can be few allusions to writers, to seminal works, or to historical personages that will evoke general recognition. In literature, students need a common foundation of readings. Unless they have read, as a minimum, the classical myths, the Bible, and some Shakespeare, they will be unable to comprehend the fundamental vocabulary of most Western literature (Ravitch 1985, 314-15).

On the other side are those who view a so-called common memory as representing the ideals and experiences of some groups, and who reject this as arrogant and exclusionary (e.g., Banks 1993, Hilliard 1992, Stotsky 1992). The notions of canon and master narrative, counter Cornbleth and Waugh (1995, 41), have outlived whatever usefulness they may have had and should be abandoned in favor of literary choice and multiple historical perspectives or reciprocal history. This debate illustrates a tension for cartoonists, though, because their work centrally depends upon analogies. Within a classed and pluralistic society, what are the best sources of these metaphors? What interests are served, and who is excluded and included, by using Eurocentric literary and historical sources for analogies? Answers to such questions have to be worked out by cartoonists if they hope to remain relevant across cultural diversity.7

But it is too easy to blame cartoonists. More important is the onus on schools to help youth negotiate the issue. The social studies classroom is one site dedicated to providing all youth with some shared understandings for critical citizenship. As part of doing so, all social studies curriculum and textbooks purport to teach students to read political cartoons, assuming that this interpretive skill is representative of aspects of a larger civic literacy. I perused fifteen social studies textbooks used in British Columbia (grades 8-11) to identify the conceptual tools provided for this task.8 The range of cartoons included was from one to sixteen, with an average of over five per book. In most instances, authors focus on the content of a cartoon rather than on how it positions the reader and makes assumptions. Usually students are asked to summarize the message, without also focusing on the ways meanings are produced. For example, After studying this cartoon, explain the issue and the cartoonist's point of view. Do you agree with the statement being made? (Eaton and Newman 1994, 96; grade eleven); What do you think the cartoonist is trying to say? (Francis, Hobson, Smith, Garrod, and Smith 1998; grade eleven). These questions assume that the message is intuitively obvious or that readers already have the tools for interpreting and judging the image. Although three of the books outlined brief steps for reading cartoons, only one explicitly used the term analogy (as well as caricature, stereotype, symbol, rhetoric), but without explanation of what visual analogies and intertextuality entail, how they work to encourage and constrain meaning, and some of the accompanying issues of social exclusion (Cranny and Moles 2001, 23; grade eleven). Nor did any text ask students to consider what a cartoon assumes about the audience or about a shared cultural memory: Who is (and is not) the ideal viewer? Whose experience and history are taken to be most relevant and important? Why might this be the case? What might be the consequences of these assumptions? For whom? When four of the books ask students to evaluate a cartoon, the criteria include effectiveness and humor: Political cartoons are a very effective means of convincing a reader to see an issue in a specific way. How effectively does it deliver its message? (Cranny and Moles 2001, 23; grade eleven). Their purpose is not simply to amuse but also to stimulate thought and discussion . They are designed to make the reader think about both the event or people being portrayed and the message the cartoonist is trying to communicate. Is it thought-provoking? funny? (Frances et al. 1998, 206-7; grade eleven). Did you find the cartoon effective, funny, or both? Think about why (Cranny, Jarvis, Moles, and Seney 1999, 424). What makes the cartoon funny?. Bring to class an editorial cartoon that makes you laugh (Cranny 1998, 257; grade eight).

But humor is not a necessary criterion, and in order to judge effectiveness, students need tools for understanding how a cartoon works to produce effects. In short, young readers are not richly introduced to the discourse and its issues. This lack is surprising because youth find cartoons had to interpret.9

Learning how to read and critique political cartoons continues to be a part of social education. But this task is too taken for granted. Although visual analogies are commonplace in popular culture, the ways in which they produce meaning and the consequent issues of exclusion can be complex. Students need critical concepts. A place to start is with four sets of questions: (1) What is the analogy in this cartoon? What is its source? (2) What does this analogy assume about the viewer and about cultural memory? Who is excluded? (3) What are the consequences of these assumptions? (4) How could the analogy be changed to make it more inclusive?

Notes

1Readers expect the image to inform and persuade. But unlike columnists and editorialists who must argue their positions, cartoonists are allowed to hit and run. They quickly make a point without having to explain. As a consequence, though, readers do not take the cartoon as seriously as the written word. Rarely is there a published letter taking issue with a cartoon's bias or expressing delight or concern with how it was expressed. And it is easy to be uncritical because, after all, these modest images pursue the high and mighty and strike back at unpopular policies. They seem to be on our side and allow for each viewer's prejudice or grievance to be read into the image. Even if we don't agree with a perceived message, we can still admire the artist's brash attempt to undress arrogance, privilege and stupidity. This tolerance, though, grants the cartoonist power to position both the object of ridicule and the viewer.

2Newspaper editors also take the cartoon for granted. Day after day these little goads are presented without explanation on the assumption that the public recognizes the content and knows how to interpret the embedded editorial. Rarely does a newspaper ask the artist to give written account for a series of harsh cartoons. During the second Iraqi war, The Guardian ran a series of in-your-face denouncements of George Bush and Tony Blair by Steve Bell, whose blunt caricatures and crude analogies got his message across, as he said, with extreme prejudice. In a rather unusual move, the newspaper had him write an explanation for the series published over the prior two months. He irreverently justified himself by hopping on the high road of countering misinformation provided by radio and TV! (Cartoonists were, understandably, absented from traveling the low road taken by other media.) In terms of news about Iraq, he characterized himself as:

wading up to my metaphorical eyeballs through the swollen torrent of shit pouring out of my radio and TV. One of the real advantages of being able to draw in this awful context is that it affords the chance to manipulate a little of this flood of imagery and turn it back on itself; since I'm certain the vast bulk of these mega pictures constitute a campaign of deliberate obfuscation. This explains the western media's strange combination of squeamishness and prurience. They don't want the gory bits, thank you very much . for isn't such explicit imagery both tasteless and intrusive? Surely that's the bloody idea. I might be a little more sympathetic to the Bush-Blair axis if they would at least own up to the effects of what they are actually doing out there (Bell 2003).

More interesting, though, was his assurance to readers that although his hard-hitting work attracted the editors' attention, there was little censorship:

Apart from the inevitable risk of seeming flippant and trivial in the face of tragedy and heroism [the Iraqi war], is it any more difficult working as a cartoonist now than under normal conditions? Personally speaking, there is no more censorship than usual. The only thing I've been obliged to adapt slightly was the turd count in my cartoon on the role of the UN, published on April 4-I agreed to remove three splattered turds from the version that appeared in the printed edition of the Guardian. The version on the web went out unaltered (Bell 2003).

This self-justification suggests us that at some point in the series, the editors' assumptions about cartoons and readers could no longer be taken for granted, and so a process of normalization through explanation came into play.

3Signs include the visual images (e.g., caricatures and stereotypes of individuals; symbols such as a flag=country, parliament building=government) and the words (e.g., captions, quotations) used in a cartoon. The particular meaning of a visual symbol is established by arbitrary conventions that change over time; in the past, for example, a short and stout man wearing a pin-stripped suit with top hat, and smoking a cigar, symbolized capitalists or the broader system of capitalism. Similarly, during the past two centuries, conventions for symbolizing Canada shifted from the young and slight Miss Canada to the robust Johnny Canuk, and then to the beaver (see Hou and Hou 1997, 2002).

4In addition to mundane analogies, cartoons also draw on caricature that appeals to readers' embodied emotional memories (e.g., of fear, surprise, embarrassment) and vulnerabilities (e.g., potential pain, death). Reference to concrete body experiences makes the cartoon accessible.

5Brian Gable, The Globe and Mail, December 10, 2001, A18.

6Brian Gable, The Globe and Mail, August 16, 2001, A12.

7Many college students could not recognize the iconography of past symbols, according to a study by DeSousa and Medhurst (1982, 49), because the visual language was in part rooted in a repertoire of images and allusions that have not kept pace. Are the root metaphors upon which cartoonists draw the symbols of a bygone era incapable of touching a responsive chord in a modern readership?

8Vivien Bowers and Stan Garrod. 1987. Our Land: Building the West. Toronto, ON: Gage (grade 10); Desmond Morton. 1988. Canada in a Changing World: History. Toronto, ON: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (grade 11); Diane Eaton and Garfield Newman. 1994. Canada. A Nation Unfolding. Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson (grade 11); Carl Smith, Daniel McDevitt, and Angus Scully. 1996. Canada Today. Scarborough, ON: Prentice Hall Canada (grade 11); Beverly Armento, Jorge Klor de Alva, Gary Nash, Christopher Salter, Louis Wilson, and Karen Wixson. 1997. Across the Centuries. Toronto, ON: Houghton Mifflin Co. (grade 8); Bradley Cruxton and Douglas Wilson. 1997. Challenge of the West. A Canadian Retrospective From 1815-1914. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press (grade 10); Alyn Mitchner and Joanne Tuffs. 1997. Global Forces of the Twentieth Century. Edmonton, AB: Reidmore Books (grade 11); Michael Cranny. 1998. Crossroads. A Meeting of Nations. Scarborough, ON: Prentice Hall Ginn Canada (grade 9); Michael Cranny. 1998. Pathways. Civilizations Through Time. Scarborough, ON: Prentice Hall Ginn Canada (grade 8); Daniel Francis, Jennifer Hobson, Gordon Smith, Stan Garrod, and Jeff Smith. 1998. Canadian Issues: A Contemporary Perspective. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press (grade 11); Michael Cranny, Graham Jarvis, Garvin Moles, and Bruce Seney. 1999. Horizons. Canada Moves West. Toronto, ON: Prentice Hall (grade 10); Elspeth Deir and John Fielding. 2000. Canada. The Story of a Developing Nation. Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. (grade 8); Phyllis Arnold, Penney Clark, and Ken Westerland 2000. Canada Revisited. Edmonton, AB: Arnold Publishing (grade 8); Angelo Bolotta, Charles Hawkes, Fred Jarman, Marc Keirstead, and Jennifer Watt. 2000. Canada. Face of a Nation. Toronto, ON: Gage Educational Publishing; Michael Cranny and Garvin Moles. 2001. Counterpoints. Exploring Canadian Issues. Toronto: Prentice Hall (grade 11).

9According to Heitzmann (1998, 7), American research from 1930 through the early 1990s shows that secondary school and college youth, as well as most adults, have difficulty understanding editorial cartoons. Gruner (1992) summarizes some of the reasons why people miss the point of satire; among others, these reasons include ignorance about the issue under discussion, prior political allegiance or prejudice, close-mindedness and dogmatism, and verbal intelligence. Reasons why elementary students might have difficulties are discussed by Steinfirst (1995). See also Bedient and Moore (1985), DeSousa and Medhurst (1982), and Langeveld (1981).

References

Apple, Michael.1990. Ideology and Curriculum (Second Edition). New York: Routledge.

Bal, Mieke. 2002. Travelling Concepts in the Humanities. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.

Banks, James. The Canon Debate, Knowledge Construction, and Multicultural Education. Educational Researcher. 22, No. 5 (1993): 4-14.

Bedient, Douglas and David Moore. Student Interpretations of Political Cartoons. Journal of Visual/Verbal Languaging. 5, No. 2 (1985): 29-35.

Bell, Steve. Drawing fire. The Guardian. April 10 (2003): online edition.

Bloom, Harold. 1994. The Western Canon. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Broudy, Harry. 1988. Uses of Knowledge. New York: Routledge.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge, MS: Cambridge University Press.

Burack, Jonathan. 1994. Understanding and Creating Editorial Cartoons: A Resource Guide. Madison, WI: Knowledge Unlimited.

Cranny, Michael. 1998. Pathways. Civilizations Through Time. Scarborough, ON: Prentice Hall Ginn Canada.

Cranny, Michael and Garvin Moles. 2001. Counterpoints. Exploring Canadian Issues. Toronto, ON: Prentice Hall.

Cranny, Michael, Graham Jarvis, Garvin Moles, and Bruce Seney. 1999. Horizons. Canada Moves West. Toronto, ON: Prentice Hall.

Cornbleth, Catherine and Dexter Waugh. 1995. The Great Gpeckled Bird. New York: St. Martin's Press.

DeSousa, Michael and Martin Medhurst. The Editorial Cartoon as Visual Rhetoric: Rethinking Boss Tweed. Journal of Visual/Verbal Languaging. 2, No. 2 (1982): 43-52.

Eaton, Diane and Garfield Newman. 1994. Canada. A Nation Unfolding. Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

Francis, Daniel, Jennifer Hobson, Gordon Smith, Stan Garrod, and Jeff Smith. 1998. Canadian Issues: A Contemporary Perspective. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press.

Gruner, Charles. 1992. Satire as Persuasion. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association, Chicago, IL, October 28-November 1, 1992. EDRS ED 395 321 CS 215 303.

Hall, Stuart (Ed.). (1997). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Heitzmann, William. 1998. The Power of Political Cartoons in Teaching History. Occasional Paper. Westlake, OH: National Council for History Education, Inc.

Hess, Stephen and Milton Kaplan. 1968. The Ungentlemanly Art. A History of American Political Cartoons. New York: Macmillan Co.

Hilliard, Asa. Why We Must Pluralize the Curriculum. Educational Leadership. 49, No. 4, (1992): 12-14.

Hirsch, Eric. 1987. Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. Boston, MS: Houghton Mifflin.

Hou, Charles and Cynthia How. 1997. Great Canadian Political Cartoons 1820 to 1914. Vancouver, BC: Moody's Lookout Press.

Hou, Charles and Cynthia Hou. 1998. The Art of Decoding Political Cartoons. Vancouver, BC: Moody's Lookout Press.

Hou, Charles and Cynthia Hou. 2002. Great Canadian Political Cartoons 1915 to 1945. Vancouver, BC: Moody's Lookout Press.

Howells, Richard. 2003. Visual Culture. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Kellner, David. 1991. Reading Images Critically: Toward a Postmodern Pedagogy. In Henry Giroux (Ed.), Postmodernism, Feminism, and Cultural Politics. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 60-82.

Langeveld, Willem. Political Cartoons as a Medium of Political Communication. International Journal of Political Education. 4, No. 4 (1981): 343-71.

Osborne, Ken. 1999. Education. A Guide to the Canadian School Debate-Or, Who Wants What and Why? Toronto, ON: Penguin Books.

Ravitch, Diane. 1985. The Schools We Deserve. New York: Basic Books.

Ravitch, Diane and Chester Finn. 1987. What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know? A Report on the First National Assessment of History and Literature. New York: Harper Row.

Ravitch, Diane. A Culture in Common. Educational Leadership. 49, No. 4 (1992): 8-11.

Roth, Wolff-Michael, Daniel Lawless and Kenneth Tobin. Towards a Praxeology of Teaching. Canadian Journal of Education. 25, No. 1 (2000): 1-15.

Steinfirst, Susan. 1995. Using Editorial Cartoons in the Curriculum to Enhance Visual (and Political) Literacy. Literacy: Traditional, Cultural, Technological. Selected Papers from the Annual Conference of the International Association of School Librarianship, 63-69.

Stotsky, Stotsky. Whose Literature? America's! Educational Leadership. 49, No. 4 (1992): 53-56.

Sturken, Marita and Lisa Cartwright. 2001. Practices of Looking. New York: Oxford University Press.

Walker, John and Sarah Chaplin. 1997. Visual Culture: An Introduction. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.

Werner, Walter. Reading Authorship into Texts. Theory Research in Social Education. 28, No. 2 (2000): 193-219.

Werner, Walter. Reading visual texts. Theory Research in Social Education. 30, No. 3 (2002): 401-28.

Werner, Walter. Reading Visual Rhetoric: Political Cartoons. International Journal of Social Education. 18, No. 1 (2003): 81-98.

Walt Werner is an associate professor in the Curriculum Studies Department of the University of British Columbia.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

The Historical Imagination: Collingwood in the Classroom

Lynn Speer Lemisko
University of Saskatchewan

Abstract

Philosopher and historian R.G. Collingwood developed and elaborated a theory and approach to re-constructing knowledge about the past that relies on the historical imagination. This paper argues that Collingwood's theory offers teachers sound reasons for using constructivist approaches in their classrooms and that his methodological approach can be adapted to develop instructional strategies that recognize the importance of the human imagination in the learning process. Important aspects of Collingwood's theoretical approach will be briefly explained, a description of his suggested method for handling primary source materials will be provided, and an instructional strategy for imagining the past, based on his method, will be outlined.

Introduction

the historian's picture of the past isin every detail an imaginary picture
For those who assume that the term imaginary means 'fictional', this may seem a rather strange and controversial statement. Perhaps as peculiar, this statement was made by philosopher and historian R.G. Collingwood (1946/1994, p. 245), who spent his working life asserting the significance and validity of historical knowledge. This statement begs the question: If the historian's picture of the past is in fact imaginary, what then is the difference between a novel and a historical account?
Collingwood has a clear answer to this question an answer that will be addressed in this paper.

As a historian and social studies educator who has explored various theories about the origins, limitations and nature of historical knowledge (Howell Prevenier, 2001; Smith, 1998; Bermejo-Barrera, 1993; Kosso, 1993; Deeds Ermarth, 1992; Ankersmit, 1989; Stone, 1987, Tosh, 1984, Fogel Elton, 1983; Atkinson, 1978), as well as ideas about teaching and learning history arising from educational research (Wineburg, 2001; Levstik Barton, 1997; Seixas1997 1999), I find Collingwood's philosophy particularly appealing for two main reasons. First, I think that Collingwood's ideas about how historical knowledge is produced offers teachers sound reasons for using constructivist approaches in their classrooms. Secondly, I think that Collingwood's methodological approach to the construction of historical knowledge, relying as it does on the historical imagination, can be adapted to develop instructional strategies that recognize the importance of the human imagination in the learning process.

In this paper I will first briefly discuss important aspects of Collingwood's theoretical approach, including (a) the idea that history has an 'outside and an 'inside', (b) the notion that history is 'ideal' and (c) the idea of the historical imagination. Secondly, I will outline Collingwood's suggested approach to handling primary source documents to re-construct the past using the historical imagination. This includes a discussion of the processes of re-enactment, interpolating, and interrogating. Finally, I will sketch out a strategy for imagining the past based on Collingwood's suggested approach. This strategy will sound familiar. It is related to an approach advocated by Seixas (1999) who argues: Good history teachingexposes the process of constructing warranted historical accounts so that students can arrive at their own understandings of the past through processes of critical inquiry (p. 332). However, the point of this paper is not to suggest a totally novel or unique classroom practice. Rather, it is my intention to add further theoretical support for constructivist approaches and to demonstrate how Collingwood can be used in the classroom.

Who was Collingwood and why did he think history is 'imaginary'?

Robin George Collingwood (1939) was born at the end of the 19th century in England, and worked as a philosopher and historian between c. 1910 to 1943. His theories about historical methodology came out of his resistance to the positivist or scientific approach to knowledge construction that was being adopted by all disciplinary areas at the turn of the last century. Collingwood believed that there was a fundamental difference between history and the natural sciences. He thought that the scientific method, which includes the observation of phenomena, measuring, classifying and generating of 'laws' based on the observations, was a perfectly legitimate way of 'knowing' the natural world. However, Collingwood argued (1946/1994) that history is fundamentally different because the events that historians study have both an 'outside' or observable part, and an 'inside' which can only be described in terms of thought. By the 'outside' of historical events, Collingwood meant the part of the historical event which could have been perceived using our senses; for example, we could have seen the movement of troops during a World War I battle. By the 'inside' of historical events, Collingwood meant the thoughts of the people involved in the event which caused them or motivated them to act as they did before, during and after the event. For example, the 'inside' of the World War I battle includes the thoughts of the general who ordered particular troop movements, or the thoughts of the troops themselves as they followed their orders. Collingwood argued that historical knowledge is fundamentally different from knowledge about the natural world because it involves knowing both the outside/observable and the inside/unobservable.

Collingwood pointed out another fundamental difference between knowing things in the present (or in the natural sciences) and knowing history. To come to know things in the present or about things in the natural sciences, we can observe 'real' things - things that are in existence or that have substance right now. The problem with coming to know things about history is that while past human actions did actually or really happen, these actions took place in the past. These actions, then, have no real existence or substance at the point in time that the historian is studying them. Based on the understanding that the events and actions that historians study have already happened - that they are finished and so cannot actually be observed - Collingwood (1946/1994) claimed that historian must, necessarily, use their imaginations to reconstruct and understand the past. Because we cannot observe human events that have already taken place, he argued that we must imagine them.

While Collingwood concedes that imagining is often thought of as being related to the fictitious, he argues that the imaginary does not necessarily have to be about the 'unreal'. To demonstrate this, he provided the following example: If I imagine the friend who lately left my house now entering his own, the fact that I imagine this event gives me no reason to believe it unreal. (1946/1994, p. 241) To Collingwood, imagining is simply a process we use to construct or re-construct pictures, ideas or concepts in our minds and he points out that this process should not necessarily be correlated with either the fictitious or the real.

Collingwood does claim, however, that the historical imagination reconstructs pictures, ideas, and concepts that are related to what really happened and what was really thought. It is within his support of this claim that we see the difference between a between a novel and a historical account. To counter those who might argue that imagination produces only fiction, Collingwood (1946/1994, 245-246) pointed out the main difference between a historian and a novelist. While he noted that both use imagination to construct a narrative that has continuity and coherence, the novelist's entire construction or picture can be derived out of 'fanciful' imagination. The historian's construction, on the other hand, is constrained by two important elements that can be ignored by a novelist. The historian's picture must be localized in a space and time that has actually existed and it must be related to the evidence which the historian gathers from sources. If the historian cannot demonstrate any link between the picture that she/he constructs and this evidence, then it will be assumed that the picture is merely fantasy. The key difference, then, is that historians must use sources as evidence in their imaginative process.1

Collingwood argued that if historians do not have some type of source - that is, written testimony, relics, or remains - to help them imagine what happened and what was thought about within a particular human event, then they cannot know anything about the event. Historians cannot make things up based on guessing or fanciful imaginings. Evidence from the sources provides the grounds on which we imagine the past, and this evidence must be referenced so that others could 're-imagine' the events and ideas we used in our narrative.

With these ideas, Collingwood developed a methodology for handling primary source documents and relics as evidence to re-construct the past using the historical imagination. I will outline the main features of this approach, including re-enactment, interpolating and interrogating. I think that these aspects of his approach provide sound ideas that could be used to develop instructional strategies that recognize the importance of the human imagination in the knowledge construction/ learning process.

Re-enactment

In order for historians to use their sources as evidence to help them imagine and thereby come to know something about the past, they engage in a process that Collingwood called 're-enactment'. Collingwood argued that to understand and imagine past human actions and thought, we must think ourselves into the situation - that is, we re-think the thoughts of the persons engaged in the situation. The process of re-enactment involves reading documents related to an event, envisaging the situation discussed in the documents as the author(s) of the document envisaged it, and thinking for yourself what the author(s) thought about the situation and about various possible ways of dealing with it (Collingwood, 1946/1994, 213 215). In presenting themselves with the same data or the same situation that was presented to the historical character involved in the past event, historians draw the same conclusions or offer the same solutions that had been offered by the original thinker. In this way historians are able to think the same thoughts as the human beings who created the document or relic. While this sounds like a somewhat mystical process, it is actually the same process we use to understand what anyone has written. When we read student journals, for example, we often do so with the intent of 'getting inside their heads' to determine what they are thinking.

Collingwood did argue, however, that merely reading and translating the words written by the author of a document does not amount to knowing the historical significance of those words and thoughts. To be able to re-enact past events historians go beyond what the sources explicitly tell them in two ways, by interpolating and by interrogating.

Interpolating

Because the authors of our sources do not tell us everything we need to know, we must interpolate between one statement and another within a document, or between what the author said explicitly in a statement and what was implied, and sometimes we must interpolate between statements made in different documents. Collingwood (1946/1994) referred to this process of interpolation as 'constructing history'. Interpolating, or bridging the gaps in what our sources tell us, is an obvious use of the historical imagination. Collingwood (1946/1994, p. 240-241) offered a simple example to demonstrate how interpolation is used to construct the whole picture of a past event. He supposed that the sources available told us that Caesar was in Rome on one day and in Gaul on a later date, but that the sources did not tell us anything about Caesar's journey from the one place to the other. We naturally interpolate, or imagine, that Caesar did undertake the journey, even though the sources do not tell us that he did so. Note however, that the historian does not fill up the imagined journey with fanciful details such as the names of people Caesar met along the way. The historian must imagine that Caesar took the journey, because the sources do not explicitly tell us that he did, but imagining anything more about the case would be to enter the realm of fiction. Historians go beyond what the sources tell them by constructing a picture of the past using historical imagination to fill the gaps in the sources.

Interrogating

Collingwood pointed out that this is only part of the process. Historians also go beyond what the sources tell them by being critical. The historian's web of imaginative construction (Collingwood, 1946/1994, 242-245) is pegged down by, or pegged between, the statements found in the sources. But Collingwood argues that historians cannot accept these statements at face value. The statements themselves must be evaluated using critical questions. Collingwood argues that historians must act like lawyers, placing the authors of historical documents and relics in the witness box. Here, the historian tries to shake the testimony by asking probing questions to interrogate the source. Statements must be corroborated, the biases of the author of the document and the historian must be taken into account, and the historian must judge whether or not the evidence makes sense in terms of the whole picture that is being imagined.

Collingwood points out that ultimately, the entire web of imaginative construction created by the historian, including the pegs on which the strands are hung and the strands strung to fill the gaps, is verified and justified by application of the historian's critical and imaginative mind.

In summary - to imagine the past, we get inside the heads of people who created documents in the past and rethink their thoughts. In addition, we must construct our picture of the past by interpolating, or filling in the gaps, and interrogating, or asking questions of the sources, including: 'What does this mean?' In other words, we critically and constructively use sources as evidence to help shape what we imagine. Using our sources as evidence, we create an imaginative picture of a past human event that we can claim is an accurate reconstruction of what really happened.

A Strategy for Imagining the Past

I have claimed that insight into Collingwood's methodological approach could provide a basis for the development of instructional strategies that recognize the importance of the human imagination in the learning process. While the strategy that I suggest below is closely related to familiar inquiry models, the strategy for imagining the past which I have developed directly out of Collingwood's theory is based on his ideas about how we should use documents as evidence to help us imagine. At its heart, the strategy is based on the development of two sets of questions that guide student imagining when examining primary source documents. Processes involved in the strategy are as follows:

Develop a question to guide the inquiry.

This question is related to the historical time period, topic, theme, concept, or event being studied. Depending on the age and developmental level of the students, this guiding question can be formulated by the teacher alone, or by students, or by students and teacher working together. For example, a guiding question could be: What problems and issues did Canadian families face during the 1950s?

Locate and collect primary source documents.

Government memos and legislation, newspaper articles, diaries, and letters created during a particular time period are just a few examples of the kinds of sources that students can examine themselves or have read to them. The documents located and collected should be directly related to the topic or event the teacher wants the students to imagine and can be supplied by the teacher or located and gathered by students, depending on the age and developmental level of the students. There are a number of published books as well as Internet websites that contain transcripts of such documents-see the appendix for some Canadian examples.

Develop probing questions to interrogate the document.

As mentioned, this strategy relies on the use of two sets of guiding questions. Each set is designed to guide students in a particular aspect of imagining/re-constructing the past as they explore the primary source documents. The one set of questions is particular to the inquiry - that is, the probing questions should be 'sub-questions' of the main inquiry question and should be formulated to help students dig deeply into the document as they 'mine' for information, determine the bias of the document creator, and search for corroborating statements from various documents before arriving at a final interpretation. Note that the degree of sophistication of the interrogative questions is dependent on the age and developmental level of the students. These questions could be supplied by the teacher, formulated by students, or formulated by students and teacher together. For example, the following questions could be used to interrogate documents that would be used to imagine and construct an understanding of the problems and issues faced by Canadian families in the 1950s:
What does the document reveal about the social, economic, political and intellectual concerns of families?
What does the document reveal about child rearing practices of the time period?
What does the document reveal about women's work, men's work, and the lives of children both inside and outside the family?
What does the document reveal about relationships between family members and between family members and other people?
According to the document, to which gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic class does the document creator belong?
In what ways might these aspects of personal identity affect the views of the document creator?

Introduce re-enactment and interpolation questions.

The other set of questions, designed to assist in the processes of re-enactment and interpolation, can be used to examine documents used in all inquiries as these questions are general guides to help students 're-think' thoughts and fill in gaps. During any historical inquiry, student can use some or all of these questions as a guide to re-enact and interpolate:

What pictures/images form in your mind as you read the document?
What sounds do you hear, odours do you smell, textures do you touch, emotions do you feel?
What do you imagine the author(s) thinking when s/he wrote this?
What do you imagine their main concerns seem to be?
What do you imagine was their intention(s) when creating the document?
Do you think the author left things out of the account?
Why might the author have left these things out?
Can the things the authors left out of the account tell me as much as the things that they decided to include?
What could I reasonable imagine about the things that the author has left out?
Do consistent patterns or trends emerge from the various documents created by one author? If so, do these patterns or trends match with findings from other documents created by other authors during the same time period?

Imagining, Analyzing and Interpreting Using the Questions.

During this phase of the strategy, documents are explored with the goal of answering the questions and imagining the past situation - in our example, students would be imagining what life was like for Canadian families during the 1950s. As they read [or are read to] and imagine, students need to record their responses. Older and more experienced learners can record written responses to the pre-formulated sets of questions and they can learn to record statements [quotations] from the document that support their responses. To organize this written information, student could begin by writing each question at the top of an index card or piece of loose-leaf paper, or the questions could be entered into a database or spreadsheet. Responses and supporting quotations can then be recorded with the corresponding question. In this, students must keep track of the sources from which they copied their quotations, so they need to learn appropriate referencing and citation styles. These responses and supporting quotations are the 'data' students will use as evidence to support the picture of the past they have imagined and as the evidence they will use to answer the general inquiry question posed at the beginning of the process.

With younger learners, teachers could have students respond to one or two questions and draw pictures or create a collage of images that represent what they imagined as a primary source document was read to them. To demonstrate the relationship between their imagined picture of the past and the evidence [primary source] used to create this picture, young learners could be assisted in choosing a quotation from the primary source that would become the caption for their drawing or collage. While young learners will likely not have the necessary skills to engage in all of the processes of this strategy, they certainly have the capacity to imagine the past by listening to readings from primary source documents.

Conclusion

While the instructional strategy I have outlined above involves familiar inquiry method processes, I think that illuminating Collingwood's particular approach provides teachers with two important insights. Understanding Collingwood's ideas about constructing historical knowledge provides teachers with sound theoretical reasons for choosing constructivist strategies. Secondly, Collingwood encourages us all to recognize and acknowledge the profound importance of the human imagination in learning and knowing.

Notes

1 Seixas (1997) makes a similar argument:[empathy or historical perspective-taking] is the ability to see and understand the world from a perspective not our own. In that sense, it requires us to imagine ourselves in the position of another. However - and this is crucial - such imagining must be based firmly on historical evidence if it is to have any meaning. (p. 123).

References

Ankersmit, F.R. (1989) Historiography and postmodernism. History and Theory, 29, 137-153.

Atkinson, R.F. (197) Knowledge and explanation in history. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Bermejo-Barrera, J.C. (1993) Explicating the past: In praise of history. History and Theory, 31, 14-24.

Collingwood, R.G. (1994) The Idea of history [1946] Revised edition with lectures 1926-
1928
. (Jan van Der Dussen, ed.) Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Collingwood, R.G. (1939) An autobiography. London: Oxford University Press.

Ermarth, E.D. (1992) Sequel to history: Postmodernism and the crisis of historical time. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Fogel R. and G.R. Elton (1983) Which road to the past? New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kosso, P. (1993) Historical evidence and epistemic justification: Thucydides as a case study. History and Theory, 31, 1-13.

Levstik, L.S. Barton, K.C. (1997) Doing history: Investigating with children in elementary and middle schools. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Seixas, P. (1999) Beyond content and pedagogy: In search of a way to talk about history education. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 31, 317-337.
Seixas, P. (1997). The place of history within social studies, in Ian Wright Alan Sears (Eds.) Trends and Issues in Canadian Social Studies. Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press.

Smith, B.G. (1998) The gender of history: Men, women, and historical practice. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Stone, L. (1987) The past and the present revisited. London: Routledge Kegan Paul.

Tosh, J. (1984) The pursuit of history. London: Longman Group Ltd.

Wineburg, S. (2001). Historical thinking and other unnatural acts. Paper presented at Canadian Historical Consciousness in an International Context: Theoretical Frameworks, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Retrieved February 11, 2004, from http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kwin9903.htm


Appendix

Websites for locating Primary Source Documents
[or, where you can find more websites with primary source documents]
Active as at 11 February 2004

Canada Speaks
http://collections.ic.gc.ca/canspeak/english/

National Archives of Canada
http://www.archives.ca/02/0201_e.html

Learning and Researching Canadian History
http://web.uvic.ca/history/web/learning.html

Curricular Resources in Canadian Studies: Canadian History
http://www.cln.org/subjects/can-hist_cur.html

A Taste of Canada - History
http://www.rockies.net/~spirit/charlene/canada/toc-history.html

Canadian History on the Web
http://members.rogers.com/dneylan/hisdoc.html

Canadian History on the Internet
http://www.ualberta.ca/~bleeck/canada/canhist.html

Lynn Speer Lemisko is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Scripted Drama Assessment in a Middle School Social Studies Class

Ronald V. Morris
Ball State University
and
Michael Welch

Abstract

Students who use drama assess their work through using a science fiction essay to help them look for and make connections between times, places, people, and situations. The students then use assessment guidelines to focus their ideas, stimulate their creativity, and demonstrate minimum standards of excellence. Finally, students have access to scoring rubrics as they complete their projects.

Introduction: Scripted Drama Assessment in a Middle School Social Studies Class

One seventh grade class uses drama nearly every day to improve individual student performance in social studies.1 The students study ancient world history content, and they read and act out the script. As the story unfolds students move into action in past times and places. Students find drama helpful in learning social studies content and developing thinking skills. Students also use structured role play to learn about people, place, and events form the past. Students empathize with characters from history in these events and spend time anticipating their actions and predicting their next words.

Procedure

Since students have multiple experience with drama in social studies class the teacher draws upon these experience to help students determine the next events in the lessons. The teacher uses assessment to help guide the instructional planning.2 For the action to unfold in the classroom requires substantial preparation from the teacher before instruction. First the teacher decides what instructional objectives to include in teaching a unit. After reading multiple sources the teacher writes guiding questions to consult in preparing the script. The questions range from factual recall to evaluation; then the teacher creates the script. The teacher injects the guiding questions into the margins of the play to get the students to reflect and discuss what they have read. Before the students start reading and acting out the play the students discuss the evaluation rubric. Next, the class chooses roles through a student run lottery and acts out the play. At the conclusion of the play the students form groups and discus the scoring rubric their teachers prepared and how they might make use of it. During these discussions students exchange ideas about the content, examples, and process they might use in answering the questions. Many times students work in small groups and exchange answers with several group before debriefing with the whole class.


Example

Students became the character everyday form the beginning to the unit to the assessment, and in a series of role plays students learned about the Age of Exploration. In this particular example the students learned about Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and English exploration of the Americas. The topics of the chapters included: early explorers, Cortes and Mexico, Spanish Explorers, and searching for the Northwest Passage. After the students acted out a scripted play on this topic, they were given the following science fiction article to read.

Exploring the Planet AMI

In the year 2050 one political nation exists on the surface of Earth, and all Earth people believe that only democracy allows each person a meaningful life. However, twenty billion people pack onto Earth's very crowded artificial islands, so that they do not waste land. The people of Earth find minerals scarce especially iron and uranium.

People explored space for the last quarter century. No intelligent life other than that of Earth exists in the solar system, but a recent discovery led to a new way to power space ships, allowing people to travel to the stars. The advanced technology of 2050 also allows a space ship to monitor what occurs on a planet with out people from Earth actually going down to it.

Last year, in 2049, scientists discovered a new planet, AMI; this planet seems like a possible solution to the people of Earth's problems. The planet resembles Earth in its climate, atmosphere, plants, and animals; it contains unique things too. The planet AMI possesses large amounts of natural resources Earth lacks, including iron, uranium, zinc, gold, and many more minerals. Even better, many people dot the surface of AMI. The electronic technology shows that the people of AMI resemble the size of sixth grade students on Earth, but have absolutely no hair, and usually have yellow, cat -- like eyes. They also manifest different shades of skin pigmentation ranging from light blue to very dark indigo.

The people of AMI live in many different cultures. Twenty separate cultures represent the northern continent, and most of these use a hunting and gathering economy. Some of these cultures also farm a crop not farmed on earth. This crop, that they called JO, seems to grow easily and produces a great deal of food; it might make an excellent crop to help feed Earth's every-growing vast population. These people of the northern continent use a very simple technology; they use stone tools and weapons only. They base their society on tribes that include about 1000 people, and a few people called Dreamers seem to rule the tribes. These Dreamers do not hunt, gather, or farm JO; instead they act as the priest and the doctor to their people. When a depressed, sick, or worried person goes to the Dreamer, the Dreamer dreams about the patient to find a cure. The dreams of these Dreamers seem to become real in some way the scientists of Earth do not understand. The tribes regard these real dreams as their group's most advanced technology. Each tribe prizes its Dreamer's skills, and people often use the real dreams in their attacks on each other.

The dominant culture of the southern continent organizes its culture around on a mulch larger social unit -- the kingdom. The Royal Dreamer rules this southern kingdom and lives in a huge palace covered with jewels. The people posses many diamonds, but the people also use two other kinds of jewels not found on Earth. These jewels are very beautiful and glow like cold fire. The Royal Dreamer only eats from gold dishes and the drinks a rare drink not found on Earth made from the red berry of a small bush. His 2000 wives and he wear lovely clothes that look like the constructions of clouds.

The large city with gleaming white and blue buildings surrounds his palace. Busy people all fill the market place buying and selling many different well-made trade goods. Although these people live in a large, beautiful city, they only use stone weapons. They enjoy war, however, and the Royal Dreamer sacrifices a human being every morning from one of the tribes he conquered. He believes the blood of the sacrificed person that he drinks helps his dreams become real. Recently the a nightmare woke the Royal Dreamer from a deep sleep, and the dream returns night after night showing ugly new gods coming from the sky. He fears these ugly brown, white, and yellow gods may destroy his blue people and the whole world he knows.

The students get into small groups and discuss their opinion of the story, and then the students share with the whole class their ideas about the story. Next the students get the series of questions that guides their evaluation of this unit.

Assignment Rubric

The assignment rubric helps the students to consider topics and construct a response. The students integrate their knowledge of history, written communication, and incorporate new knowledge to form a response.

As a member of the Earth ship watching the blue people of AMI from near their moon you fulfill your duties as a historian. As a result of past human failures to learn from their past by 2050 a professional historian goes on every space expedition; the historian's duties include writing a report to the captain.

In the historian's report, the captain expects to find the following information:

Please consider both technology and motivation in the first paragraph in answering these questions: How does the Earth expedition to AMI compare to the European explorers who sailed to America just after 1492?
Please consider economic, social organization, and technology in the second paragraph when answering these questions: How does the culture of AMI's northern continent compare to the culture of North America before 1492?
Please consider economy, social organization, belief systems, and technology in the third paragraph when answering these questions: In what way is the main culture of the southern continent of AMI like the culture of the Aztecs of Mexico before 1492?
The fourth paragraph should answer these questions: When the Europeans contacted the hunting and gathering culture of America, what happened? When the Europeans met the advanced Mexico culture, what happened? What effect did this have on the Native American peoples? What effect did this have on the Europeans? Why?
In the last paragraph answer these questions: Considering all this history make a recommendation to the captain. Should the captain order the space ship to land? Why or why not? If the recommendation is to land where should the ship land? Why do you recommend this spot? What precautions should a landing party take? Why do you recommend this? Please consider Earth's need for more resources and new crops to feed Earth's vast population. Consider how much this expedition cost and how it looks if you do not land. Consider what might happen to the blue people and to the Earth people if landing does occur

Students first use historic precedent to interpret future possibilities, they then focus their response around concepts. Finally, students must evaluate situations and make recommendations. Students speculate about ideas to create products that require the students to examine and interpret controversial or value based issues.

Scoring Rubric

Students may use the scoring rubric while they construct their responses. The students demonstrate that they master basic minimum competencies in comprehension and thinking.

A. How does the technology of Earth expedition to AMI compare to the technology of the European explores who sailed to America just after 1492?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
How does the motivation of the Earth expedition to AMI compare to the motivation of the European explores who sailed to America just after 1492?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
_____ (+6) Total
A. How does the culture of AMI's northern continent compare to the culture of North America before 1492?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
Economic
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
Social Organization
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
Technology
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
_____ (+12) Total
A. In what way is the main culture of the southern continent of AMI like the culture of the Aztecs of Mexico before 1492?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
Economy
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
Social Organization
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
Belief Systems
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
Technology
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
_____ (+15) Total
A. When the Europeans contacted the hunting and gathering culture of
America, what happened?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
B. When the Europeans met the advanced Mexico culture, what happened?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
C. What effect did this have on the Native American peoples?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
D. What effect did this have on the Europeans? Why?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
_____ (+12) Total
A. Should the captain order the space ship to land? Why or why not?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
B. If the recommendation is to land where should the ship land? Why do you recommend this spot?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
C. What precautions should a landing party take? Why do you recommend this?
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
D. Please consider Earth's need for more resources and new crops to feed Earth's vast population.
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
E. Consider how much this expedition cost and how it looks if you do not land.
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
F. Consider what might happen to the blue people and to the Earth people if landing does occur.
_____ (+3) Three or more examples
_____ (+2) Two examples
_____ (+1) One example
_____ (0) No examples
_____ (+18) Total
_____ (+53) Total

Students complete each area of assessment with a rubric. The students know where to develop their thoughts and where to provide multiple examples; students must consistently apply their historical knowledge to future situations. The teacher guides the students toward developing thoughts in certain areas, but the students have multiple ways to elaborate and improvise with in the expectations.

Conclusions

In this example of assessment students in a seventh grade class learn about world history, and they combine that knowledge with a science fiction essay. They use an assignment and a scoring rubric to apply their knowledge. Many times teacher say they ask students to see connections between, people, places, events, present political situation and historical occurrences; however, teachers rarely assess these connections or abilities to see interactions. By asking students to make connections in an assessments to science fiction the educational community can perceive how well the students transfer knowledge in problem situations. When students work to find solution to problems they must use real life skills and demonstrate how they will use them now and possibly in the future.

Curriculum development and assessment rubrics remain contingent upon the initiative of teachers to read multiple sources before constructing materials. Teachers have this time to read and create imaginative methods, but they must have creative time to study their topics of individual interest. Some teachers will want to work in groups for mutual support in exploring common interests. The learning and working style needs to remain the choice of the teacher, but time for individual study needs to remain present. Teachers need individual and group planning time, and the more people they work with the more time they will need to plan.

Teachers need to help students look for connections between historical events and situations where students may apply their knowledge of the past. Teachers need to look at current events and future scenarios; both provide examples for comparison. The teacher uses assessments to help the students understand what they learned in social studies class. In an assessment process such as the one described here, students who use social studies can see connections across time. Students used enactive experiences and then continue to interpret think, and talk about the experiences through the assessment.

Notes

1 Ronald V. Morris, "The Gifted and Talented Profit from the Social Studies." Southern Social Studies Journal 23(1) (1997, Fall): 19-29; Ronald V. Morris, "Common Threads: How to Translate Best Practices into Teaching." Journal of Social Studies Research 22(2) (1998): 11-18; Denee J. Mattioli and Fredrick Drake, "Acting Out History: From the Ice Age to the Modern Age." Middle Level Learning 4 (1999): M9-M11; Ronald V. Morris and Michael Welch, How to Perform Acting out History to Enrich Social Studies Classrooms (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2000); Ronald V. Morris, "Achieving Democratic Habits through a Sense of Community." The Texan 16(3) (2001): 63-65; Ronald V. Morris, "Teaching Social Studies through Drama: Student Meanings," Journal of Social Studies Research 25(1) (2001): 3-15; Michael Welch and Ronald V. Morris, Plays for an ethical world. (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2001); Ronald V. Morris, "How to Use Artifacts to Teach Ancient History in the Elementary Classroom." Social Studies Review 42(1) (2002): 70-74; Ronald V. Morris, "Acting Out History: Students Reach across Time and Space." The International Journal of Social Education (in press 2003); Ronald V. Morris, "Using Social Studies and Art to Nourish the Spirit." MSCSS Journal. (in press 2003); Ronald V. Morris, and M. Gail Hickey, "Writing Plays for the Middle School Social Studies Class: A Case Study in Seventh Grade." International Journal of Social Education (in press 2003).

2 Dana G. Kurfman, Testing as Context for Social Education, in Handbook of Research on Social Studies Teaching and Learning (New York: Macmillan, 1991), 310-320; Sandra Mathison, Assessment in Social Studies: Moving toward Authenticity in The Social Studies Curriculum: Purpose, Problems, and Possibilities (Albany, NY: SUNY, 1997) 213-224; Ronald V. Morris, Drama and Authentic Assessment in a Social Studies Classroom, Social Studies 92(1), (2001): 41-44.

Ronald V. Morris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Ball State University

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

R. D. Gidney. 1999.
From Hope to Harris: The Reshaping of Ontario's Schools.

Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Pp. 362, $24.95, paper.
ISBN 0-8020-8125-8.
website: www.utppublishing.com

Margaret E. Brci
City University of New York
New York, New York

Why is it expedient to re-visit a book written in 1999? Because the information it contains remains valuable for clarifying common issues surrounding change within an education system. Moreover, controversy over educational change is not limited to one province or any single time, in this case Ontario in the second half of the twentieth century. Educational change is fast becoming a decisive issue over which political wars are fought provincially, nationally and internationally. My various roles as an educator have, until recently, been played out on the Alberta stage. As I witnessed the latest educational policy changes under the Klein Conservative government, in both structure and curriculum, it was impossible not to make a comparison of that journey with the one on which From Hope to Harris takes the reader. Finding myself on yet another stage, this time in the United States, where once again the complexities of major educational policy and curriculum restructuring are being played out, I can only ask: Is there nothing new?

Therefore, it was with deliberate resolve that I revisited Gidney's work, this time using the context of comparative decision-making in matters of educational policy. Larry Cuban remarked that the loci of impetus for any educational change are often to be found in the current malaise of society. His one liner When society has an itch, the schools scratch (1992, p. 216) underscores the acute vulnerability of educational change to social change. Gidney's work is a case study of Cuban's critical theory. The historical examination of the process of decision-making involved in developing the present system in Ontario provides valuable insights and serves as a Rosetta Stone for those wishing to contribute to an understanding of educational change in their own jurisdictions.

The volume provides possible answers to a series of relevant questions using Ontario as an example. It identifies the thematic strands of the theoretical framework of policy formation. These strands are imbedded in the 15 chapters and can be identified as: the steps of the decision making process; the classification of the agents of the decision making process; the aims of policy; the methods of legitimization of policy decisions; the competing views of the process; the models or styles of policy formation, and the decision making process as a factor of innovation. When applied to the upheaval within Ontario's education from the Hope commission, 1945-1950, to the changes implemented by the Harris government, the volume provides a skillful, fifty year historical sweep in an attempt to answer: who made what decisions, how were they making them and why were they making them?

From Hope to Harris, however, involves more than a chronological story of the events or even a blueprint for other studies of this nature. It aims to understand the processes of policy making and to offer it as a guide to present practices and thereby provide implications for the present decision makers. Employing the research strategy of the descriptive case study and using the documentary content analysis technique of the historiographer, Gidney is well qualified. As an educational historian and Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario, he has spent his career examining primary source documents, and gained a reputation as a scholar of educational history in Ontario with volumes such as Elementary Education in Upper Canada: A Reassessment and Inventing Secondary Education: The Rise of the High School in Nineteenth-Century Ontario. He demonstrates a delightfully subtle sense of humor with statements such as: In 1943 Ontario's voters put the Conservatives in power, and, in a fit of absent-mindedness left them there for just over forty years (p.43). The reader is challenged to reflect on the information by choosing the context in which to use the information and thereby make it meaningful and useful on a personal level.

The volume has become required reading on campuses for courses in such diverse areas as: Sociology of Education, Educational Policy and Program Evaluation, Topics in Comparative Politics, Ontario Government and Politics, and The Economic Development of Ontario. It is my hope that it would also appear on the required reading list for all members of the various levels of government. The volume is profusely documented with bibliographic notes, an extensive index, and an appendix filled with statistical charts all testimony to the quality of research that is the foundation of this volume.

In each chapter, the focus is on a different era in policy, pedagogy, curriculum, and political change. The topics record changes in fiscal policy, educational professionalism, growing teacher militancy, union action, the structure of education, the government's role, administration/supervision of schools and school districts, movements for equality in education, and the progress toward university trained elementary and secondary teachers. Although extensively using edu-speak, Gidney heroically attempts to make the story of Ontario's education restructuring into a suspenseful who-done-it, as he unfolds the plot and chronicles the move toward a centralized policy but a decentralized curriculum. He clearly describes the actions of the Ontario government that moved from sharing administrative power with local educational authorities to stripping school boards of their power. In doing so, the Conservative government's decisions, made by powerful individuals, weakened public education and badly eroded teacher morale. Gidney examines Ontario's experiment with universal education, including secondary education for all, and seems to indicate that the experiment was not as radical as it could have been.

The final impression I take away is that educational decision-making, and the resulting changes, is a political process closely tied to the social and political milieu. The government reacted to internal and external pressures and intervened in structuring. For the average teacher this resulted in a loss of autonomy. Gidney demonstrates that any form of change is enlivened by the political interaction that took place between individuals and groups as they sought to influence the decision making process. Re-reading the work in this context, calls to attention the process of contending with competing interests, agendas and preferences in attempting to create educational policy and administer its implementation. Society changes over time, legislative power changes over time, educational philosophy and pedagogy change over time and the development of a jurisdiction's educational policy is a lengthy process.

In re-visiting this volume, I can only suggest that a new edition is in order with added chapters bringing the reader up to date on the issues in Ontario's education system. Issues such as corporate donors and their involvement in the curriculum, the two tiered system, the restructuring of the high school, the present level of local control of education, the existing teacher morale and the overall current state of the teaching profession should be addressed.

References:
Cuban, L. (1992). Curriculum stability and change. In P.W. Jackson (Ed.). Handbook of Research on Curriculum.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Barry Corbin, John Trites & Jim Taylor. 2000.
Global Connections: Geography for the 21st Century.

Toronto: Oxford University Press, Pp. 442, $52.80, cloth.
ISBN 0-19-541341-5.
website: www.oup.com/ca

Kenneth Boyd
Rosetown Central High School
Rosetown, Saskatchewan

This textbook approaches the main threat and issues that the planet will face from a global geographic study perspective. Six concepts of geography are used to help the students learn to approach and analyze global issues. The book starts with justifying a geographic approach. It outlines the reasons why we should be studying geography. The area of geography plays an important role in deciding if our very survival is at risk. Geography also offers us the opportunity to study a wide range of topics. From this study we have a unique framework to examine global conditions and global issues.

Unit II examines the connections between humans and the physical world. It starts with the global village and the interdependence that is so important to the study of geography. Technology now brings people closer together, allowing them to communicate with each other almost instantaneously. By exposing things like sweatshop labour that produces clothing for the North American market we begin to see how we are interconnected. Dealing with subjects like education levels, economic development and standards of living also helps to make the North-South Gap more clear.

By looking at the Earth's cycles and systems we begin to realize just how delicate the balance is on Earth. We come to realize the connection between the human world and the physical world. Unit III deals with the threats that are putting our planet at risk. While some of these originate in the physical world, the more serious ones come from humankind and the human abuses of the physical world. If we are to solve these problems we are going to need to understand how the problems developed. We must look at both the natural events and the processes that do pose risks for human life along with the human activities that pose threats to the planet. Natural hazards can quickly turn into natural disasters. One just has to look at things like the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington State. One hundred years ago there was almost no human activity that could cause more than local damage to the Earth and the environment. Along came tremendous advances in our scientific and technical knowledge. Now we have global warming, ozone depletion, loss of biodiversity, forest destruction, desertification and introduced species. All these problems are global in nature and will require co-operation at the global level to overcome them.

Unit IV takes an in-depth look at the question of population in order to get a clearer idea of why the health of the planet is so closely tied to the health of its human population. With the rate of population increase we need to be looking at questions like what will be the outcome of such explosive growth? Population problems are among the most serious and pressing issues facing the world today. We see the need to collect information on the world's population and utilize this data for analysis. Global Connections helps us to see how applying the numbers dealing with population will help us to understand more about the current state of the world's population and what this information tells us about the Earth's future. The concept of carrying capacity is dealt with by examining the trends of world population and the very serious consequences of overpopulation.

Can the Earth's natural resources support the population and quality of life?
Unit V deals with global resources. It is resources that allow us to satisfy different human needs and wants. In this unit we look at the various ways humans have developed natural resources on both land and sea, as well as the methods of sustainable development that may hold the key to preserving these resources for future generations. The textbook addresses the impact of resource development, the impacts on the environment, and our need of an understanding of ecology (the science that studies the way organisms relate to one another and to their physical surroundings).

Unit VI deals with the global economy. This unit looks at the ways the economy influences people and their environment. It examines why economic conditions vary so widely in the different regions of the globe. Global Connections looks at the ways in which a country develops or fails to develop wealth by, for example, examining the Industrial Revolution and its impact around the world. Economic systems of the world and the spacial distribution of wealth around the planet are addressed. The topic of global trade is also examined. We see how the globalization of the world economy has shifted its geographical focus from the countries surrounding the Atlantic Ocean to those surrounding the Pacific Ocean. The impact that the increase in world trade has had on the environment is explored. There is a study of the act of buying and selling between nations of the world. Trade is one way in which nations can acquire the wealth necessary to develop their human and natural resources. Topics such as the Exxon Valdez oil disaster, NAFTA, the Group of 8 and multinational organizations are also addressed.

Unit VII deals with the subject of urbanization. It looks at the growth of the modern city and the ways in which this concentration of large numbers of people in relatively small areas has presented new challenges to the global environment. It is the city that is the breeding ground of much of society's innovations and inventions and the driving force in economic development. More and more of the world's population are living urban lifestyles. The concept of the mega-city is dealt with along with the push and pull factors influencing the migration of the world's population to the cities.

Unit VIII looks at the heartening signs that are out there. The authors identify the positive steps and encouraging signs that give us cause for hope for the planet and our species. We examine how the actions of government and individuals can together make humankind's occupation of earth a more sustainable enterprise. The world does have difficult problems to overcome but we do have reason to expect that we will overcome these problems. We see how education is key for achieving a better world. It is the means by which we tax the potential of the human brain. We see from one study how increasing the average education of a country's labour force by one year will increase its GDP by nine per cent.

The text is well illustrated with colour. The pictures and examples used throughout the book are current and should appeal to students. Case studies, quick facts, student activities and web sites are clearly indicated by colourful icons along the borders. Overall I am highly impressed with Global Connections.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

David W. Hursh & E. Wayne Ross, Eds. 2000.
Democratic Social Education: Social Studies for Social Change.

Falmer Press: New York. Pp. 263, $37.50, paper, $97.95, cloth.
ISBN 0-81533-728-0, paper
ISBN 0-81532-855-9, cloth
website: www.routledge-ny.com

Jon G. Bradley
Faculty of Education
McGill University
Montreal, Quebec

Democracy is a way of life controlled by a working faith in the possibilities of human nature. Belief in the Common Man is a familiar article in the democratic creed. That belief is without basis and significance save as it means faith in the potentialities of human nature as that nature is exhibited in every human being irrespective of race, color, sex, birth, and family, of material or cultural wealth. This faith may be enacted in statutes, but it is only on paper unless it is put in force in the attitudes which human beings display to one another in all the incidents and relations of daily life (Dewey, 1940, p. 226).

Democratic Social Education: Social Studies for Social Change is the third volume to be released within the Garland Reference Library of Social Science series. This is a timely publication, not only in that it nicely balances the first two books that dealt with the dramatic arts and art education, but more importantly in that the whole issue of democratic/citizenship education is coming to the fore in many differing and varied societies. Taking their cue from George S. Counts' (1932) professional admonishment to educators to develop a new democratic society within a new social order, Hursh and Ross have compiled an extremely interesting array of articles that attempt to rise to this long-ago issued challenge.

The authors clearly note that they feel that Counts' seventy-year old challenge still needs to be met, albeit within a revised world framework that takes into account the modern realities that currently confront the educational landscape. Additionally, they state the essays in this collection respond to Counts' question with theoretical analyses of education and society, historical analyses of efforts since Counts' challenge, and practical analyses of classroom pedagogy and school organization (p. 1).

Without wishing to wander too far from the centrality of this book review, it is necessary to take a small side step in order to quickly review Counts' 1932 tome. Readers are asked to bear in mind that the Great Depression was in full swing and that both Europe and Asia were experiencing the rise of various forms of autocratic regimes. It is within this somewhat unsettling world situation that Counts issued his famous educational challenge.

For those of us who have an interest in the history of philosophical ideas, George Sylvester Counts can be ranked along with John Dewey, Charles Beard and Harold Rugg (to name but a few) as notable and vocal American philosophers who were actively engaged in confronting the realities that [North] America was experiencing during this time frame. To some, the collective and empowering ideals of socialism were an attractive carrot that appeared to mute the harshness of the loss of individuality promulgated by other more strident forms of governmental control.

In many ways, Dare the School Build a New Social Order? is a timeless document. Counts opens his epistle by noting that we are convinced that education is the one unfailing remedy for every ill to which man is subject (page 3). While his views must be tempered by his times and his own heritage, Counts nonetheless raises some of the age-old issues that surround the place and purpose of public education within a democratic society. He criticizes, to be sure, but also holds out the hope that it is this general education adventure which will eventually triumph and permit democracies to overcome, not only current ills, but to potentially make the future a better place for all citizens. In particular, Counts notes that it is the classroom teacher (see particularly pages 27 - 31) that might well wield the most significant power and influence such that meaningful societal transformations might occur.

Hursh and Ross recognize that Counts' long-forgotten call to teachers to become meaningful agents of social change still resonates today. While the historical times of the mid-thirties are clearly not applicable to the beginning of the twenty-first century, some of the same general ailments still persist. The call for teachers to become democratic leaders within their own small communities drives this volume and provides, at the same time, a framework upon which to construct an active (or, to use Counts' phrase 'progressive') model of education.

The fourteen chapters that make up Democratic Social Education offer the reader a wide-ranging overview of contemporary views. While the Hursh and Ross opening chapter is a tad staid and preachy in its introductory comments, and although this is too often the case with overview chapters, this reviewer was nonetheless captivated by the remaining entries. The following thirteen offerings are wonderfully varied and stimulating intellectual forays into the domain. One grounding feature that resonates time and time again, regardless of individual chapter author or topic, is the centrality of the classroom practitioner to affect and effect change. Honouring Counts, the individual authors have each in their own diverse way placed teachers and teaching at the core of the landscape. They have anchored this social democratic process solidly within the contemporary realities of the classroom.

The editors are to be congratulated for allowing all of the contributors to authenticate the voice of elementary and secondary teachers. After all, it is in the privacy of individual classrooms that great things are wrought and it was to individual practitioners that Counts issued his seminal challenge. Hursh and Ross have compiled a scintillating collection of material that must be read by anyone who has even the most passing interest in citizenship education within a democratic framework.


References:
Counts, G. S. (1932). Dare the School Build a New Social Order? New York: The John Day
Company.
Dewey, J. (1940/1991). Creative Democracy - The Task Before Us. In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), John
Dewey: The Later Works, 1925-1953, Volume 14 (pp. 224-30). Carbondale: Southern
Illinois University Press.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Greg Nickles. 2002.
El Salvador: The Land.

Crabtree Publishing: New York, St. Catherines, ON, Oxford.
Pp. 32, $19.16 RLB, $8.96 paper.
ISBN 0-7787-9367-2 RLB
ISBN 0-7787-9735-X PA

Greg Nickles. 2002.
Philippines: The Land.

Crabtree Publishing: New York, St. Catherines, ON, Oxford.
Pp. 32, $19.16 RLB, $8.96 paper.
ISBN 0-7787-9352-4 RLB
ISBN 0-7787-9720-1 PA

Bobbi Kalman. 2002.
Vietnam: The Land (Revised Ed.).

Crabtree Publishing: New York, St. Catherines, ON, Oxford.
Pp. 32, $19.16 RLB, $8.96 paper.
ISBN 0-7787-9355-9 RLB
ISBN 0-7787-9723-6 PA

Noa Lior & Tara Steele. 2002.
Spain: The Land.

Crabtree Publishing: New York, St. Catherines, ON, Oxford.
Pp. 32, $19.16 RLB, $8.96 paper.
ISBN 0-7787-9364-8 RLB
ISBN 0-7787-9732-5 PA

website: www.crabtree-pub.com


Linda Farr Darling
Department of Curriculum Studies
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

What do elementary students and their teachers want to discover in a geography book? We could start with engaging and authoritative descriptions of places, stunning photography of landscapes and human activity, and a sensitive portrayal of what makes the cultures of a country unique and dynamic. In the four books I examined in this new geography series for young students-The Land, Peoples, and Cultures Series which includes twenty-two titles to date-vibrant pictures, straightforward text, and a well-organized layout introduce the natural features and resources, the industries and architectures, and the past events and pastimes that shape the diverse countries of El Salvador, Vietnam, Spain, and the Philippines. All four books have been produced with a keen eye for colour, design and sensible layout in an 8 by 11 inch format. The contents of each volume cover a lot of ground in about thirty pages, so understandably we see a few slices of life, and not a great amount of detail. I was pleased to see that modern urban areas are represented alongside more traditional rural communities, and that an appealing mix of photographs includes children at play as well as loaded ships at port (a staple it seems in geographical archives). Each book begins with a 'facts at a glance' box and ends with a brief index (very helpful) and glossary with brief definitions (not as helpful).

The narratives provided by the authors are informative without being overly dry. Nickles tells us, for instance, that the Philippine swamps are thick with mangrove trees, which are tropical trees held high above the water by their tangled roots (p. 7). Later we read that bancas and vintas are both traditional boats still in use for fishing; the former hollowed from logs called tongli that do not rot, the latter made with bamboo arms for stability and colourful, kite-like sails. Newer forms of transportation are also featured including the motorcycles with sunroofs and the minibuses (jeepneys) created from discarded military vehicles that have all but replaced horse drawn carriages (tartanilla) in downtown areas. Throughout, a careful balance of the old and new is presented, from the ancient tradition of sending to sea a raft filled with rice cakes for fishing luck, to the high-tech production of microchips in Manila.

Also part of the Pacific Rim, Vietnam is described as a peaceful and growing nation in Vietnam, the Land. Author Bobbie Kalman (the series creator) begins her narrative with a detailed account of the water, highlands, and lowlands of this narrow country shaped like a bent bamboo pole carrying a rice basket at each end (p. 6). A brief introductory history takes the reader through 1000 years of Chinese rule, the nine centuries of dynasties that followed, the many colonial years, the Vietnam War, and the country's decades of rebuilding. There is a paragraph on 'new hope' for the economy (increased trade with the West) and a short section on the challenges of change including paragraphs on poverty, disappearing forests, and industrial pollution.

El Salvador, written by Greg Nickles, is described as a lush and gorgeous country still recovering from the civil war years, and facing the constant problems of rebuilding from earthquakes and hurricanes. The vitality and resilience of its people are evident in the photographs of children swimming and playing, women marketing, and men harvesting coffee beans. The last four pages are devoted to describing El Salvador's remaining wildlife habitats with information on some of the more exotic residents of the cloud forest such as orchids, toucans and tigrillos (ocelots). More than the other three books, Nickle's El Salvador reflects a kind of poignancy, a portrait of a land as beautiful as it is endangered.

Spain, the Land, written by Noa Lior and Tara Steele, is fairly dripping with history beginning with the Moors and the Romans. Of the four, this book comes the closest to a travel brochure in tone, yet like the others, it is rich with factual information on mainland Spain and its two large groups of islands, the Balearic and the Canary Islands. An emphasis on cultural celebrations, architecture, and artists lends a festive air to this volume, as do the photographs of Spain's colorful produce: oranges, grapes, olives and saffron. Like the other volumes, an inset on one of the final pages describes some of the environmental challenges Spain is facing (particularly pollutants in the Mediterranean) and an additional inset addresses issues related to the preservation of wildlife.

With only thirty pages in which to traverse an entire country, each book in the series is ambitious, but, for the most part, successful in its portrayal of diversity with regard to landscape, natural resources and human footprints. A few problems might be remedied in the next round of publications. For instance, the insets on environmental concerns and wildlife preservation were welcome but occasionally seemed tacked on as afterthoughts. Social and political problems are occasionally mentioned, but in the most general of terms. I wish the glossaries featured longer and more useful definitions of unfamiliar words and phrases. However, these are minor points when set against the up-to-date information and striking visual images that characterize these four books.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
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Janet Siskind. 2002.
Rum and Axes: The Rise of a Connecticut Merchant Family, 1795-1850.

Cornell University Press: Ithaca, NY. Pp. 191, $39.95USD, cloth.
ISBN 0-8014-3932-9
website: www.cornellpress.cornell.edu

Michael J. Gillis
Department of History
California State University, Chico
USA

Siskind's Rum and Axes is an examination of the rise of industrial capitalism in Connecticut after the American Revolution. The author uses the Watkinson-Collins family as her vehicle to reveal the social tensions and economic motivations that permeated the rise of capitalism during this era. Relying on three generations of primary materials Siskind recreates and explains the changing world of the Watkinsons. As members of a religious 'dissenting society' while living in East Anglia England, the Watkinsons subscribed to the practice of maintaining social distinctions based on class. However, as middle class dissenters the family found itself being squeezed between an aristocratic land owning class above them and a tradesman and shop-owning class below them. As religious and economic conflicts continued to grow in England, they sought safe harbor for themselves and their capital in America.

In America the families discovered that labour was too expensive to go into farming or wool production so they entered the West Indies import business, focusing mostly on rum and dry goods. As importers and merchants they were able to become a member of New England's elite without severing their personal relationships with their workers. Eventually, however, the Watkinsons and Collins moved beyond the simple importation of goods when they established their own axe factory and by doing so they firmly established themselves as part of New England's emerging industrial capitalist class.

Siskind does a good job of examining the inner workings of the Collins Axe Company and its labour force. Initially the company sought to employ skilled workers by providing long-term contracts, company housing and schools. With the introduction of new machinery, however, there was a gradual transition in the factory from skilled to unskilled labour. As skilled Yankee artisans were replaced by Irish labourers so too did the Watkinsons and Collins move from being paternalistic employers to distant supervisors with little interest in their employee's welfare. Remarkably, when it became apparent that many of their axe company employees were dying from lung diseases brought on by the airborne particles created in the axe grinding process, the owners simply wrote it off as the price of doing business. Here we can see how removed from their employees the company owners had become. The transition from Christian 'dissenters' on the run to crass company owners who see the deaths of their employees as the price of progress makes for interesting reading. Siskind explores this transition by examining the family's letters, their religious ideology, and emerging capitalist society in New England.

This book ably examines the early rise of capitalism in New England as well as exploring numerous familial and business relationships associated with it. The author's close reading and interpretation of Samuel Watkinson Collins' memoir is also valuable. Here she traces how quickly the relationship between worker and company owner had changed and how the ideology of the capitalist class was changing as well.

Rum and Axes is suitable for use in high schools with the understanding that this is more than just a simple straightforward colonial history. Siskind, an anthropologist, places strong emphasis on the means of production and how its attendant labour systems create culture. For younger students, this approach will perhaps be difficult to understand and for teachers difficult to demonstrate. However, there is plenty here to create lively classroom discussions. In addition, the author's extensive use of primary materials offers the readers an intimate look at a remarkable yet troubled family in post-revolution America.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
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Phyllis A. Arnold, Penney Clark & Ken Westerlund. 2000.
Canada Revisited 8: Confederation, The Development of Western Canada, A Changing Society.

Arnold Publishing: Edmonton. Pp. 392, $35.95, cloth.
ISBN 0-919913-49-0
website: www.arnold.ca/

Elspeth Deir, John Fielding, George Adams, Nick Brune, Peter Grant, Stephanie Smith Abram & Carol White. 2000.
Canada: The Story of a Developing Nation.

McGraw-Hill Ryerson: Toronto. Pp.376, $48.45, cloth.
ISBN 0-07-560738-7
website: www.mcgrawhill.ca

Larry A. Glassford
Faculty of Education
University of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario

What is the purpose of a history textbook in 2003? Is it yesterday's learning tool, the pedagogical equivalent of spats and buggy whips - hopelessly out of fashion, and no longer very useful? Has the computer, with its CDs, DVDs and program software, plus the Internet with its virtually limitless websites and e-mail possibilities, rendered book learning obsolete? Only if teachers and students lack flexibility and imagination. Having access to an attractive, informative and challenging print resource does not exclude any of the electronic learning possibilities. The two are compatible, even complementary. If the roles were reversed, computers were the traditional technology, and books had just been invented, imagine the excitement. For that matter, imagine the advertising: So durable, so compact, so interactive, so cost-effective, so easy to use. Put one of these new lightweight 'books' in your child's hands, and watch the learning curve rise. Beg, borrow or buy one NOW. Use books every day!

Little more than a decade ago, history textbooks aimed at the senior elementary/junior high school market were still largely dependent upon traditional print communication - black-ink words on a white page - to convey a mass of factual information to students. Accompanying illustrations, be they photographs, diagrams, charts or cartoons, were usually black and white, too. Authors considered themselves lucky to be allotted one accent colour - blue, say, or red - to add a bit of variety, and serve as a means to emphasize key points. Such books were essentially narrative texts, with periodic breaks for the usual questions of recall or comprehension, perhaps supplemented by a few suggested learning activities of a higher order.

Nowadays, history textbooks for this age bracket have a dramatically different look. Bigger, bolder, and brighter, they are awash in colour. Marginal notations, boxed vignettes, captioned illustrations and full-colour charts augment, perhaps even interrupt, the flow of the central narrative, which is purposely kept short with frequent headings and sub-headings. It is as though the original designers of USA Today have been at work, creating a new kind of textbook for students who do not particularly like to read. The end result is a visually appealing book, though, and one that invites pupil browsing.

The two textbooks covered in this review are similar in many ways. While Arnold Publishing was a pioneer in Canada of the more visually oriented textbook, the Ontario publishers such as McGraw-Hill Ryerson soon caught on, and there is now little to distinguish the two on this score. Both of these books are clearly aimed at the Ontario Grade 8 history course, which covers Canadian history from the 1860s to the 1910s. To be absolutely clear to potential buyers, the Arnold book deliberately lists the three prescribed topics from the Ontario guidelines in its sub-title, namely Confederation, The Development of Western Canada, and A Changing Society. The McGraw-Hill Ryerson book, by contrast, is content to make those three topics the basis of the three main units prominently listed in its Table of Contents. Both books have received approval from the Ontario Ministry for this grade and course.

Following the lead of the Ontario curriculum document, the two books focus on comprehension of material over rote recall, and provide frequent suggestions for learning activities by which the students will demonstrate their mastery of the content. For the topic of Confederation, the McGraw-Hill Ryerson text suggests that students design a poster either supporting or opposing Confederation (p. 97). Under the same topic, the Arnold text invites students to create a series of diary entries that might have been written by John A. Macdonald (p. 115). In each case, the learning task would require students to take information provided by the textbook and communicate it in a new way.

Similarly, the two textbooks overtly provide opportunities for students to practise and acquire key skills in the areas of inquiry research, critical thinking and communication. For example, as part of a chapter on the National Policy, 1878-1896, the Arnold book presents a series of questions by which students can critically analyse a political cartoon (pp. 244-5). In the McGraw-Hill Ryerson book, a pioneer's account of settling in Manitoba in the 1870s is presented, with suggestions for ways to test its authenticity by examining other available evidence (p. 187). Each publisher offers further support materials and activity ideas for teachers in an auxiliary resource package (sold separately).

The Ontario history curriculum shies away from overt expectations in the values domain. However, it is clear that both author teams have understood the need for equity in terms of both gender balance and attention to visible minorities. While males outnumber females in the Indexes of both books by a sizeable margin, a clear effort has nevertheless been made to depict women as well as men in the numerous illustrations. The extension of full legal and political rights to women is highlighted in both books as part of the changing society at the turn of the twentieth century. Attention to various aspects of social and cultural history also provides valid opportunities to focus on the contributions of female Canadians. Aboriginal Canadians warrant significant coverage in both texts, as well, particularly in the chapters devoted to the development of Western Canada. Other visible minorities - Asian Canadians and African Canadians - are periodically mentioned, along with supporting photographs. Furthermore each of the books invites students to imagine situations from more than one perspective, thus encouraging both empathy and tolerance.

It is easier to describe how the two books are similar than to point out how they differ, although there are some minor contrasts in how a chapter is laid out. In each case, the authors provide a highly visual opener, previewing what the student will encounter in the pages to follow, along with a listing of key phrases. A combination of short narrative bursts, punctuated by colour headings and frequent illustrations - photos, cartoons, maps, charts, historic posters - constitute the body of each chapter. Boxed items provide supplementary information, such as a thumbnail biography of a related historical personality, invariably accompanied by a photograph or other visual material. In the Arnold book, the periodic questions of comprehension spaced throughout the chapter are grouped under the heading, For Your Notebook, whereas in the McGraw-Hill Ryerson text, the corresponding heading is The Story So Far. The kinds of questions provided appear to be similar, however, as do the more substantive tasks offered at the end of each chapter. The McGraw-Hill Ryerson book does provide a one-paragraph summary at chapter's end; the Arnold text moves right into its series of learning activities.

Here are a few general differences to guide a curriculum committee's choice between these two fine print resources. The Arnold book leans a little more to bright colours in its presentation, though the ratio of print to visual is close to 60:40 in both cases. The McGraw-Hill Ryerson book seems to follow the suggested content of the Ontario curriculum a little closer, although an alert teacher would have no trouble matching chapters to expectations using either resource. The references to related Internet websites are more frequent in the McGraw-Hill Ryerson text, and more likely to be used by students. An appendix on learning skills in the Arnold book is more comprehensive than the scattered items entitled Research Is Happening Here in the McGraw-Hill Ryerson book. The ongoing visual timelines in the latter book are very helpful; the frequent appearance of colour maps in the former serve a similar purpose in illustrating changes over time. At the risk of gross simplification, it seems that the Arnold book might work better with students who have not yet developed any real liking for history. The McGraw-Hill Ryerson book, by contrast, might be a better fit for students already turned on to the subject, and ready for a little more challenge.

Has the trend to a more student-friendly textbook, replete with colourful visual content, and broken up into the print equivalent of short sound bites, been a positive one? One well-known critic of progressive educators does not believe so. J.L. Granatstein, in Who Killed Canadian History?, has bemoaned the fact that a certain textbook familiar to him had been noticeably glitzed up in appearance but watered down in language and detail between its first and third editions (p. 39). Granatstein is determinedly old school, in that he continues to insist that factual content is important, and chronology is vital. Not for him a present-minded issues approach that begins and ends with the present. Nevertheless, the two books featured in this review have managed to retain a fair amount of factual information, have not abandoned their chronological integrity, and yet have managed to integrate a skills-based approach that trains students in how to do history, all the while presenting the course material in a lively and challenging fashion. This is no small achievement, and both author teams deserve credit for blending the traditional and progressive approaches to history so skilfully.

Assuming the curriculum guidelines stay the same, what should the authors and publishers be doing for the next edition of these books? For starters, they should continue to look for ways to dovetail the print-oriented textbook with burgeoning Internet resources. Specific website references that are integrated into the flow of the textbook will promote meaningful investigation, and discourage aimless fishing trips on the web. Secondly, the skills components can be more overtly and systematically woven through the content of the textbooks, possibly arranged in such a way that simple skills from previous years can be practised again, then developed into more complex ones as the students move through the book. Thirdly, more thought can be given to the values potential of history, in particular the opportunities for values clarification and values analysis exercises. Admittedly, the Ontario curriculum guidelines for this grade are largely silent on values, so the authors have had to tread carefully here. Finally, new discoveries and interpretations from academic historians must continually be woven into the fabric of the text, so that the students, and their teachers, are exposed to the best and most recent syntheses of our country's history. Otherwise, a text can easily become outdated.

That there will be a need for new editions of these textbooks, I have no doubt. Just as print newspapers have survived the arrival of the radio, then television, and now the Internet, so print textbooks will continue to play a useful, albeit modified, role in the schools of the future. These two books under review represent the current state of the art in textbook technology, and properly updated, should continue to inform, stimulate and challenge Canadian students, well into the future.

References:
Granatstein, J.L. (1998). Who Killed Canadian History? Toronto: HarperCollins.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
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Anthony DePalma. 2001.
Here: A Biography of the New American Continent.

PublicAffairs: New York. Pp. 375, $39.50, cloth.
ISBN 1-891620-83-5
website: www.harpercanada.com

George Hoffman
History Department
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan

In this much-acclaimed book, Anthony DePalma argues that the traditional continental divisions in North America are fading. Canada and Mexico, though still distinctive, are becoming more American and the United States is beginning to pay more attention to its northern and southern neighbours. By the end of the 20th century North America was more than a geographic expression; it was becoming an economic, cultural and even political entity.

DePalma reported from both ends of the continent in the 1990s. He was the New York Times foreign correspondent in Mexico City from 1993 to 1996 and in Ottawa from 1996 to 1999. This gave him an unusually good vantage point during an interesting decade. In 1994, from Mexico, he reported on the peso crisis and the assassination of Luis Donaldo Cololosio, who many expected to become the next Mexican president. He travelled deep into the forests of Chiapas and heard Subcomandante Marcos address his Zapatista followers. In Canada he reported on the Nisga'a Treaty, visited the Inuit of Igloolik in the Arctic, and commented on the aftermath of the sovereignty referendum in Quebec. Here: A Biography of the New American Continent is based on such experiences. It is impressively reported and eloquently written. DePalma has an acute reporter's eye.

The book is the story of the personal re-education (DePalma uses this term in the preface, p. xiii) of a journalist who understood little about Mexico and Canada before he lived there. He reports to Americans on their neighbours and informs them that the three countries can no longer exist as islands. In the new global age they have no choice in this matter; they are stuck with each other. DePalma believes that the United States, because of its wealth, power and past errors, has a special obligation as these new realities take shape. The book is an appeal for Americans to look southward and northward. Canada and Mexico are vital to the future of the continent. They have great potential and are interesting, culturally diverse societies. And surely, DePalma argues, diversity is a virtue in the interdependent world of the 21st century. Here is a book more for Americans than for Canadians and Mexicans. The author hopes that by reading it the American public will experience some of the re-education which he did.

The title of the book is interesting. DePalma attempts to write the biography of a place, the new America, which he believes emerged in the 1990s. But, of course, biography cannot be written without looking back at where the subject came from. Thus the author reflects extensively on the histories of Mexico and Canada in light of the critical changes on the continent which he witnessed. However, the book should not be read primarily to understand Canadian history. There are over generalizations, misleading impressions and errors. Are the thousands of loyalists (p. 78) who settled in Canada at the time of the American Revolution the major explanation for Canadian anti-Americanism over the next two centuries? Did Eastern Europeans who settled in the Canadian west bring socialist ideals with them (p. 78), which contributed to the development of cooperatives on the prairies and a national publicly funded medical system? This would be news to the vast majority of Ukrainians, Poles, Hungarians and Mennonites who came from Russia and Austria in search of land. Has Pierre Trudeau's Charter of Rights made Canada more American? Is use of the charter to enhance Native treaty claims and gay rights evidence of creeping Americanism (p. 203)? Certainly many Canadians, and likely most Americans, would question that assumption. Can the massive Progressive Conservative defeat in 1993 and Brian Mulroney's personal unpopularity be explained by a backlash against the Free Trade agreement (p. 50)? This ignores Meech Lake and the rise of the Reform party in the west, a party that supported free trade. And surely DePalma's sympathetic treatment of Andy McMechan's hatred for the Canadian Wheat Board (pp. 204-208) sheds little light on the differences between Canadians and Americans and even less on the history of prairie agriculture.

January 1, 1994, the date NAFTA went into effect, is central to the thesis of the book. It marked the birth of the new America. DePalma acknowledges that there was considerable opposition in all three countries. Some people in the short run were hurt. Others were more marginalized than ever. Change never occurs without a social cost. But, in the end, the author argues, the proponents of NAFTA were right, and the agreement created a new and better continent. He concludes that in the mid-90s the United States, Mexico and Canada, though still different and despite continuing tensions, began to focus on what they had in common and not to accentuate their differences. In the process Mexico became more democratic, less corrupt and more economically stable; Canada was less nationalistic, less obsessed with its identity; and the United States was less insular, more outward looking, more international. DePalma sees the outcomes of the three almost concurrent national elections in 2000 as a manifestation of that continental conversion (p. 343) that had begun earlier in the decade. The winners, George W. Bush, Vincente Fox and Jean Chrtien strongly supported NAFTA and greater continental cooperation.

DePalma's views are optimistic, even idealistic. He approvingly refers to Vclev Havel's speech to the Canadian parliament in 1999. The poet-president of the Czech Republic claimed that the nation state was passing away and that he foresaw a world in which traditional states would cede power to international agencies. To Anthony DePalma the new America is a part of that future. Blurring national differences will usher in a new and better world.

Possibly this is a prophetic book, but surely it is too soon to tell. In fact, the events of the past three years lead one to question its conclusions more than support them. Large numbers of Mexicans continue to live in desperate poverty. Opposition to globalization is growing. The Balkans and Middle East appear to disprove Vclav Havel's vision of declining nationalism. The Iraq War was a disastrous setback to international cooperation. And certainly the United States, Mexico and Canada were not a triumvirate against Saddam Hussein! George W. Bush, the first president during the new North American age, is far less popular among Canadians than Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy who were in office when Canada, according to DePalma, spent much of its energy opposing continental integration and distinguishing itself from the United States.
Obviously this book is thought provoking and controversial. The issues it raises should be discussed in all Canadian classrooms.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
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David Lambert and Paul Machon, Eds. 2001.
Citizenship Through Secondary Geography.

RoutledgeFalmer: London & New York. Pp. 209, $41.95USD, paper.
ISBN 0-415-23160-4
website: www.routledge-ny.com

John R. Meyer (Retired)
Faculty of Education
University of Windsor
Windsor, ON

Two previous books on citizenship through (history, English) have been published in the Citizenship Education in Secondary Schools Series edited by John Moss. In this third book, one must read both the Preface and the concluding chapter (13th) written exclusively by British educators in order to understand the intent (pp. xvii-xix), the difficulties in writing the chapters (pp. 199-202), and the general contents (pp. 203-208). Chapters 2-5 contextualize citizenship in geography education historically, internationally and through processes of values education that have long been advocated for use in geography classrooms (p. 203). Chapters 6-10 explored the capacity of geography as a school subject to help pupils' encounters with environmental debates, with questions of identity and community, with 'otherness' and exclusion (p. 203). Chapters 11 -12 take the discussion right back into school, reviewing appropriate classroom pedagogies for citizenship education and discussing issues arising from the tensions that inevitably arise when change is advocated or imposed (p. 203). The U.K. government mandated that values education will be taught both as a fundamental subject starting in 2002 as well as a topic integrated with various subject areas in all schools at certain age levels through the revised geography National Curriculum and the 1999 Order for Citizenship statutory policy. Hence, this book and this series attempt to provide a predominantly theoretical underpinning with some specific suggestions for classroom teaching and learning. The authors have wrestled with the complexities of values education from definitional problems through curricular implementation issues.

The concept of change stalks this book (p. 2) and is also evidenced in the plethora of similar publications published in the U.K. and the U.S.A. before, during, and after the appearance of this book. A present and future issue that emerges for me is what are the results of this implementation in the U.K. or in any nation where civics or citizenship education has been mandated? It is clear that the authors, mostly teacher educators and researchers, think that statutory values education is pedagogically positive within the appropriate classroom environment, by a skilled teacher, and with an accommodating subject discipline. In some provinces of Canada and most states in the U.S.A. values education, civics, and moral education have been intermittently explored and promoted for at least the past 30 years. Where implementation of such content has been achieved, it has mainly been due to personal leadership, public opinion, and cooperation with educational authorities.

The audience is identified as teachers of geography (p. i) but my conclusion is that it is for teacher educators and highly motivated U.K. secondary teachers of the social sciences, particularly geography teachers. It is a serious read for those teachers who seek an in-depth understanding of the complexities of applying values education to the subject or discipline of geography. Since most of the articles assume a good knowledge of the U.K. national educational reforms and government mandates and their acronyms, this book will challenge and enlighten those in other countries who wish to know the developments of the promotion of values education and its implications for the geography curriculum in the U.K. The references of the U.K. literature over the past 20 years are fairly exhaustive and exclusive to the U.K. While it does provide a few practical teaching suggestions in a couple of chapters, this collection of essays is clearly not a curriculum resource in the sense of providing models of classroom lessons. One attractive feature of the book is the use of many figures, tables, and boxes throughout the essays. Also, there are a series of Further Questions at the end of each chapter.

The four chapters in Part I by Marsden, Williams, Slater, and Butt provide interpretations, perceptions, and a few suggestions for citizenship education and geography from an historical, an international, a conceptual, and a contextual perspective. Williams (pp. 34-39) reminds us of the efforts achieved by the IEA study, Japan, the Republic of South Africa, and Australia. Slater stresses active participation and experience in learning and concludes that by 2010 postmodernism will stimulate further changes in and clarification of concepts, teachers, and tensions. Butt (pp. 74-82) introduces the reader to some useful frameworks and curricular resources for active global citizenship, particularly Oxfam's (London, 1997) A Curriculum for Global Citizenship.

Part 2, Curriculum Issues features eight authors who write more directly about geographical issues of space, identity, and the environment. Morgan attempts to 'unpack' the idea of community and how it relates to the work of school geography teachers (p. 87). He advocates the notion of three communities, i.e., local, national, and global (p. 90). Jones (pp. 98-107) attends to human geography, sociology, and the promotion of a geography of inclusion. Edwards examines how one belongs or fails to belong societally as a citizen which in turn reflects the prevailing structures of socio-economic power and authority. The concept of the citizen's identity with the nation state is being undermined by the increasingly complex patterns of interconnectedness with larger political and economic networks, such as the European Community, the Asian Community, and the North American Free Trade Alliance. Edwards' response is to refute the concept of place as nation as too exclusive and he warns geography educators of using the subject as a purveyor of nationalist sentiments (p. 119).

Machon and Lambert, focus on the issue of curriculum, specifically content selection (p. 122). They have selected the Holocaust because of its political, geographical, and pedagogic implications. In the context of citizenship, the issue is considered as the denial or exclusion from citizenship (p. 122). The second part of the essay is a description of a student teacher field study to Auschwitz in Poland. This experiential learning activity is a powerful means of extended learning and can be replicated in North America by field studies to a Holocaust museum and/or one of the many visual media productions which focus on the Holocaust. The authors challenge geography teachers to move beyond traditional discipline boundaries: Our position is that geography (like any subject) is limited if it turns in on itself and chooses to serve only itself, shunning tough questions about its contribution to deeper moral thought (p. 141).

Huckle turns to the issue of ecological citizenship, ecological democracy and citizenship in the context of globalization and the need for global democracy (p. 144). The statistics in the excerpt from the 1998 UN Human Development Report are shocking. Huckle's conclusion suggests that the content and process of school geography might be shaped in three ways: teachers as transformative intellectuals; detailed guidance about a framework of learning outcomes; and a focus on the new sphere of the foundations of social structure as the goods and services people consume (pp. 155-158).

The final two chapters by Wade and Biddulph respectively are complimentary to the issues of global citizenship and to pedagogical questions. Teachers will find these articles most relevant to their lives in the classroom and they must be read in detail. Wade (pp. 161-180) presents the challenges for this century as well as a new definition of global citizenship, a role-playing activity, and how schools must change to reflect global citizenship. Biddulph (pp. 182-194) explores appropriate pedagogies for citizenship education which inform geography teaching and are based on clear and sound curriculum goals (p. 182). Her experience as a teacher, teacher educator, and curriculum specialist is evident. It should be noted that the content in both articles on the school environment, democratic classrooms, and learning styles has been extensively explored in the North American literature.

The editors and authors have achieved their objectives. Much of the material in this collection is seminal in terms of fundamental issues both in citizenship education - including values and moral components - and in geography education. The scope is broad and the limitations are noted. The strategies and classroom implementation issues are secondarily suggested, sometimes in boxes or graphics, but for extensive and significant frameworks and lesson plans one must look elsewhere. The material is exclusive to the U.K. in content and context. However, one can learn from this work in terms of the nature and the long struggle to establish citizenship education in the U.K. Combinations of chapters could easily form the basis for a series of sessions in professional development and/or related teacher education courses. The teacher educator, the curriculum specialist, the school system resource person in social sciences, and the motivated secondary geography and/or social science teacher will profit most from such a reading.

My review has provoked an interest to know the learning results of such statutory implementation in the U.K. and of the required Civics course in Ontario. While the literature is abundant, classroom implementation is often sparse, fractured, and seldom perceived as a priority. Components of values development, political literacy, and citizenship education are usually incorporated in some curriculum through the social sciences, and the social studies, or by specific courses in history, politics, and civics. In Canada, sufficient and appropriate assessment and research, if any, on learning outcomes, teacher knowledge and skills, and the classroom environment as these relate to citizenship education have not been undertaken at the jurisdictional and/or system level. Nor has the political will and resources been present due to other educational and jurisdictional priorities such as the sciences, math, communication literacy, and rapid changes in the teacher corps all within a context of budgetary restraints. When and will these challenges and logical imperatives be accepted?

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
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Mark Evans, Michael Slodovnick, Terezia Zoric & Rosemary Evans. 2000.
Citizenship: Issues and Action.

Prentice Hall: Toronto. Pp. 230, $34.95, cloth.
ISBN 0-13-088943-1
website: www.pearsoned.ca

John R. Meyer (Retired)
Faculty of Education
University of Windsor
Windsor, ON

This is one of four recent textbooks on the Ontario Trillium list of approved resources for grade ten civics courses. Hence, it conforms to the prescribed civics framework and the strands of the Ontario curriculum, i.e., informed citizenship, purposeful citizenship, and active citizenship. There is a teachers' resource aid and a companion web site, www.pearsoned.ca/civics, available but not for this review. There are ten commendable features of this book, namely, focus questions, definitions of key terms, info sources, profiles of people and organizations in action, case studies, supplementary visuals, activity blocks, skill builders, chapter reviews, and icons for media and technology analysis.

The six chapters begin with the individual as citizen and extend outward to global citizenship. While providing opportunities to investigate what it means to be a responsible citizen in a democratic setting it also assists in understanding three essential elements: a sense of membership, a set of rights and freedoms, and a corresponding set of obligations (p. vii). In chapter one, Me, A Citizen?, the reader is introduced to some fundamental skills, for example, identifying a main idea and supporting evidence as described in the citizen's toolkit (p. 11) or developing a personal decision-making strategy (p. 15). The feature, Activities: The Inquiring Citizen, includes extended activities that may be used in the classroom or for homework. The activities promote being informed, purposeful, and active. Perhaps a few more leads or examples could have been included for a more in-depth analysis but these might be contained in the teacher resource material. In the section on the meaning of democracy, the concept of equality and social justice is introduced without any analysis of what those concepts mean (p. 17). Occasionally, I find quotes that do not provide specific references which means that either the teacher has to supply such or the authors of these statements may go unrecognized. Also, mention of the Education Act (p. 29) should have been modified by the word provincial.

I believe that part of the problem for the inactivity of many citizens is that there has been undue emphasis on human rights and insufficient attention to responsibilities within those societies that have achieved an acceptable level of the implementation of human rights. Hence, I would have preferred that any discussion about a citizen's responsibilities in a democratic society be considered before the discussion about human rights and that it be emphasized that human rights are limited. We need more codes of responsibilities rather than codes of rights and the natures of both should be reinforced. Note that only three pages are given to the section on responsibilities (pp. 26-28). The concluding section (pp. 32-34) on young Canadians' potential for making a difference lacks the opportunity to provide the current thrust on service or volunteerism in the community. There are abundant examples and guidelines in most jurisdictions for such young citizenship in action. Certainly, citizens tend to be generous in times of crisis but there is a need for early development of altruism prior to crisis.

Chapters two, three, and four are heavy with information about federal, provincial, and local governments. Some aspects of these topics were probably introduced in previous grades or subject such as history, Canadian studies, and social studies. If that is the case, then these information sections should be confined to a review or avoided in favour of more attention to the purposeful and action sections which are excellent. Other minor flaws include: no mention in the profile of the date appointment (p. 117); no reference to the web site, www.electionscan.com (p. 122); no specific reference to the political party web sites (p. 129); insufficient elaboration of skills for detecting bias (p. 134); and no reference as an activity to the many and excellent web sites on various governments (p. 145). Also, the teacher and readers should try to update any data (info source 2-11, p. 62) from current and reliable resources such as Stats Canada.

Of course, since this book was published the array of internet resources has grown exponentially and students will discover them if challenged or mandated to do so. It is an increasing challenge to teachers to fill the gaps and reinforce skill building so that students will access and use the resources in the most meaningful ways. I am very much impressed with the format of this book and the many features which enhance the attraction to learning for the readers. The topic of citizenship or civics deserves more than the time permitted by the Ontario curriculum. Let us hope that other jurisdictions and Ontario itself will allocate at least a full semester or year's course carefully integrated with competing and compatible subjects.

Perhaps, a more important measure of the effects of this text resource would be an assessment of those who have been using it in their Ontario classrooms on the half semester basis for the past two years. To my knowledge, there are no results or even comparative results from an assessment study. If there is a significant use of these resources as textbooks in the classroom, then a comparative analysis and assessment of this resource and the other three approved texts and their supplementary teacher's resource publications should be done. This might inform us about the effects of consistent use of a resource or text upon student learning in conjunction with teacher skills.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Bruno Ramirez. 2001.
Crossing the 49th Parallel: Migration from Canada to the United States, 1900-1930.

Cornell University Press. Ithaca & London. Pp.219, $32.50USD, cloth.
ISBN 0-8014-3288-X
website: www.cornellpress.cornell.edu

W. S. Neidhardt
Toronto, Ontario

Professor Ramirez has provided us with an excellent study of the migration movement from Canada to the United States in the period from 1900-1930. His monograph is clearly a ground-breaking piece of work that fills a major gap in the migration historiography of both countries. It is probably one of the best books on the subject since the excellent but somewhat limited and definitely dated book by Marcus Hansen and John B. Brebner, The Mingling of the Canadian and American Peoples, which was published back in 1940. There does, of course, already exist a considerable body of the published material dealing with the French Canadian migration to the United States during the 19th century. However, the rest of the migration story has received relatively little attention even though about 2.8 million people moved from Canada to the United States from 1840-1940. Approximately two thirds of these emigrants were non-French Canadians. Crossing the 49th Parallel does much to remedy this situation.
However, this is a book that will probably only appeal to someone who specializes in immigration history. I would surmise that most high school students would use this study of Canadian-American cross-border immigration only if they were doing some very specialized research project. The rightful place for Crossing the 49th Parallel seems to be at the post-secondary level of education.

So what will an interested reader find in this book? First of all, Crossing the 49th Parallel is clearly a well-researched book with an almost overwhelming amount of densely packed information. The writing is precise and to the point, although several paragraphs that are more than one page in length could perhaps have been restructured. Within its covers are 19 pages of detailed documentation, 18 Tables of Statistics, several charts, 20 photos, a brief appendix and a very useful index. The book is also carefully structured. There is a good preface in which the author introduces the subject matter; five more or less equally long chapters make up the main body of the monograph. An excellent conclusion rounds out the book.

Chapter 1 is entitled Societies in Motion in Nineteenth Century North America and it provides the necessary background information without which the remaining chapters would seem strangely isolated. In this chapter the author explains how and why Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes contributed to the enormous population flow into the United States particularly New England, the Great Lakes region and the American Mid-west. He also examines the roles played by agriculture, commerce and industry in this southward movement of peoples.

In Chapter 2, the author examines what he calls The Rise of the Border. He argues that by the end of the 19th century, the Canadian-American border - which once used to be relatively open to cross-border migration - was no longer a mere line drawn by international agreements to mark the end of one national territory and the beginning of another; it had also become a system of controls to prevent the entry of unwanted persons into U.S. territory (p.39). It was the time when numerous inspection points began to sprout all along the Canadian-American border.

Emigration from French Canada to the United States is the title of chapter 3 and the focus here is, of course, the French Canadian migration to the United States, particularly to the New England region. Here the author - who has already written extensively on this generally well-known topic - analyzes the roles played by geographic proximity and economic opportunity in enticing so many French Canadians to leave their homeland and settle down in the petits Canadas that began to appear in many American cities. This French Canadian exodus was, according to Ramirez, largely a farm to city move (p.86) and he presents ample evidence that the presence of kin or fellow villagers(p.75) in many of these American cities served, in fact, as a primary attraction for many French Canadians. He concludes that throughout the first three decades of the new century the majority of French Canadians chose a U.S. location in which they had a member of their immediate family, a relative, or a friend waiting for them (p.76). The author also provides his readers with considerable detail about some of the men, women and children who left during this migration; who they were, from what walks of life they came, and their plans.

The focus of Chapter 4 is Emigration from English Canada: 1900-1930. Once again the same questions are asked: who were the emigrants that went to the United States? Where did they come from? Why did they leave and where did they go? For example, we are told that these emigrants came from various backgrounds and from all walks of life and that Ontario had been the home of most of them - although considerable numbers also came from the Maritimes and the West. They all hoped to find a better way of life south of the border and they made their new homes in nearly all the states of the American republic (p.105). The vast majority of them chose to settle in Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, but some also settled in Washington and California. The number of English-speaking emigrants was considerably larger than their French-speaking counterparts and Ramirez writes that on most days for every French Canadian who emigrated to the United States, two Anglo-Canadians did likewise(p.97). It is interesting to note that English Canadians, once they had settled in the United States, did not develop the same kind of ethnic institutions and did not create the same demographic clusters as their French-speaking counterparts. In fact, Ramirez states, regional dispersion and occupational diversity were the hallmarks of the Anglo-Canadian movement (p.100). Most of the English Canadian emigrants would make their homes in the cities of America and Ramirez gives considerable attention to Detroit because it acted as a continental crossroads of population and labor power (p.111). This chapter also examines some of the difficulties that Canadian emigrants encountered as they tried to cross the border and more often than not were confronted by some very hard-nosed
customs inspectors who had enormous discretionary powers as to who could enter. The migration of English Canadians actually began to slow down by 1927 and not surprisingly, of course, came to a virtual halt with the onset of the Great Depression.

The Remigration Movement from Canada is the fifth and final chapter of the book and it examines in considerable detail how Canada became an important gate through which men and women of all nationalities sought to enter the United States legally and illegally (pp.139-140). In fact, one of the more remarkable statistics found in this chapter is the fact that one in five persons who joined the migration flow from Canada to the United States was someone who had first immigrated to Canada and had resided there for a certain length of time (p.139). According to Professor Ramirez, these remigrants, too, came from all Canadian provinces with Ontario and the western provinces leading the way. Not surprisingly, most of these men and women chose to settle not far from the Canadian-American border with New York, Michigan and Washington becoming the three most prominent destinations. Once again, Ramirez provides his readers with all kinds of statistical detail about these remigrants. One particularly informative section deals with Canada's Italian community and its participation in the migration movement to the United States in the early years of the 20th century.

There is no question that Crossing the 49th Parallel makes a valuable contribution to the migration historiography of North America. Hopefully it will find its rightful place on the bookshelves and research tables of colleges and universities.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Christine Hannell and Stewart Dunlop. 2000.
Discovering the Human World.

Oxford University Press: Don Mills, ON. Pp 274, $47.44, hard cover.
ISBN 0-19-541344-X
website: www.oup.com/ca

Virginia Robertson
Lower Canada College
Montreal, Quebec

Designed generally for grade eight students, Hannell and Dunlop have compiled a very practical and user-friendly textbook to introduce young inquiring minds to the complexities of human geography. The approach is consistent with the demands of the constructivist social studies curriculum that prevails throughout modern education systems. As the title suggests, the key word is discovering. The volume aims to lead students to discover dynamic facts and concepts of human population, settlement patterns, economic systems and human migration. Students are presented with a myriad of opportunities to discover and demonstrate an understanding of geographical concepts, while developing and honing their geographical skills.

The volume is structured to provide a wide range of learning opportunities and provides a framework for the learning of a major segment of human geography. The bulk of the book is organized into three main thematic units, each subdivided into six chapters of consistently equal length. The introduction to each unit provides an overview of the unit content and states the skills that will be acquired or discovered. Each unit concludes with a summary of the knowledge gained and provides a culminating activity that promotes active student learning. The chapters that comprise each unit follow a uniform format; each deals with a significant concept related to the understanding of the wider demographic theme. Key terms relevant to understanding the concept are highlighted and defined at the beginning of each chapter. The chapters conclude with discover activities that review the content and develop geographical, communication, critical-thinking and interdisciplinary skills. The final section of the textbook is devoted to explaining the geographic skills that the student is expected to have perfected. Mapping skills, statistical analysis techniques and research methods are explained and simplified for easy understanding by the full range of grade eight students. A valuable addition at the end of the book is a glossary that explains important geographical terms presented in the text.

From the first glance, the book engages the typical young adolescent geography student. The curious contrast of human habitation in the developed and developing world, illustrated on the cover, entices even the reluctant learner to open the book. Once opened, the book has immediate visual appeal. There is a wide range of colourful photographs, diagrams, maps, charts and sketches to attract and capture the attention of the viewer. The easy readability of the text will further encourage the student to discover more about the human world. Case studies and the vast array of activities provide opportunities for challenges and successes for the whole range of student ability and creativity found within a modern classroom.

Human patterns of density and distribution are fundamental to the study of human geography. The first unit effectively deals with the terminology and the concepts relevant to this global demographic reality. Settlement patterns, urbanization, land use, population growth and standard of living are important topics explored and studied. Generally, the content is presented from a Canadian perspective but there is ample opportunity to investigate and visit other areas of the globe. By reading and engaging in the various learning activities, students are often invited to compare their way of living with that of their global neighbours. This approach solidifies the new knowledge gained, enriches it and promotes desire for future learning.

Economics is the main theme of the second unit. The basic principles of economic theory, major economic systems, level of economic development, the importance of industrialization and the major components and value of trade are presented and demonstrated. In the final chapter there is an in-depth study of Canada's economy with its interaction and interdependency on other countries in the global community. Suggested exercises and activities provide the students with opportunities to develop their media literacy, to sharpen their problem-solving ability and to manipulate data to interpret, analyze and demonstrate understanding of economic situations at home and abroad. Some contemporary global economic issues are included in this unit of study.

Although the concept of dynamism and interdependency, prevalent in human geographic systems, is well presented throughout, nowhere is it more effectively demonstrated then in the third unit. In this section, the focus is on human migration and mobility. The concept of change and evolution through time is clearly indicated. Ideas of culture, multiculturalism, human migration (permanent and temporary) and modes of transportation are extensively explored and include the discovery of positive and negative impacts inherent in human movement. Again the Canadian situation provides the background for the investigation of this topic.

Hannell and Dunlop create a multitude of valuable and varied learning opportunities within the framework of their suggested activities, projects and exercises. The specific geographic learning includes relevant vocabulary, subject content and the development of mapping, graphing and statistical interpretation skills. Cross-curricular themes and methods are clearly and frequently indicated throughout the text; they include mathematical, scientific, historical, language, artistic and web links. Possibilities for the formation and development of media literacy, co-operative group work, problem-solving techniques, and effective research methods abound as the students apply the geographical knowledge acquired.

There is no doubt that Discovering the Human World is a textbook jam-packed with positive learning possibilities. However there are a few weaknesses or deficiencies. The first drawback is the noticeable use of outdated statistics. Statistics regarding population, trade and incomes have dramatically changed since 1997. The use of incorrect figures can lead students to discover faulty conclusions. Secondly, the use of GNP (Gross National Product) per capita (p. 136) is no longer accepted as a valid indicator of a country's level of economic development, the GNP has widely been replaced by the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita or, more recently, the PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) per capita. The third disappointment is the lack of reference to contemporary global concerns such as environmental degradation caused by industrialization and the negative economic, social and political impact of globalization, especially in the less developed countries. The fourth drawback is the overwhelming emphasis on Ontario and the lack of recognition of similar situations in other provinces. This restricts the effectiveness of this textbook. If students learn by reference to what they know, learning is less efficient for students who live elsewhere. Finally, there is little in the way of concrete strategies for student assessment and evaluation. The authors are surprisingly silent on how student work is to be assessed. The inclusion of suggestions and strategies (including rubrics) would be most valuable to the success that students experience in the completion of assignments.

In spite of these weaknesses, Hannell and Dunlop have done an admirable job of producing a textbook that successfully introduces the main features of human geography, is attractive to students and teachers and, most importantly, provides ample opportunity for active student learning through a discovery approach. The knowledge and skills presented in this volume will provide a firm background for future and more sophisticated study of geography that is typically offered as the student progresses through the upper high school curriculum.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Niall Ferguson. 2001.
The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000.

Basic Books: New York. Pp. 552, $44.95, cloth.
ISBN 0-465-007325-8
website: www.harpercanada.com

Elizabeth Senger
Henry Wise Wood High School
Calgary, Alberta

The Cash Nexus is an indepth study of the complex relationship between economics and politics from 1700 to 2000. Niall Ferguson, a professor at Oxford and New York Universities, analyzes this connection in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and to a lesser extent, Asia and Africa. This makes it a valuable resource for scholars all around the world. Further, Ferguson's detailed notes for each chapter, and the extensive bibliography at the end of the book provide more than sufficient means to verify the validity of his evidence, and an avenue for further research on the part of the reader.

The book presumes an extremely broad base of knowledge on the part of the reader, literally from classical Greece Rome to 20th century pop culture. The Cash Nexus would be most appropriately utilized at a university level, perhaps even more suitably in postgraduate work. It would be an excellent resource for economics professors, and to a lesser degree for history professors. It is clearly a highly academic work, best suited as an instructor resource.

There are numerous charts, diagrams, graphs, tables, and a few cartoons. Most of the visuals are easily understandable, but there are a couple of problems. First, some of the graphs are so crowded with information as to be almost unusable. For example, Ferguson offers a comparison between the real national product indices of European democracies and dictatorships between 1919 and 1939 (pp. 366-7). A conglomeration of countries is presented in each graph, and because each is represented by a slightly different shade of grey the graphs are difficult to follow. Use of color and/or making these graphs bigger would enhance their readability and usefulness. Second, there are a number of historical political cartoons presented throughout the book. The quality of reproduction on a number of these is, regrettably, quite poor, hence their impact is diminished. Better reproductions, as well as some explanation of what we are seeing would add greatly to their value.

Ferguson's major themes include government spending, taxation, debt, interest policies and the role of social classes. He also discusses political corruption, financial globalization, the boom and bust cycles of economies, the relationship of democracy and development, and global fragmentation. All in all, the book makes for fascinating and informative reading. His sense of humor lightens an admittedly heavy topic, and his insightful analysis of a very complex topic offers some innovative views. The Cash Nexus encourages and challenges the reader to consider economics in a variety of ways, and to seek solutions to the problems presented by twenty-first century world development.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 2, WINTER 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Andrew C. Holman. 2000.
A Sense of Their Duty: Middle-Class Formation in Victorian Ontario Towns.

McGill-Queen's University Press: Montreal & Kingston, Pp. 265, $24.95, paper.
ISBN 0-7735-2083-X
website: www.mqup.mcgill.ca/

Richard A. Willie
Concordia University College of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta

This is an important book about an elusive and neglected subject in Canadian social history. The Victorian middle class, everyone acknowledges, emerged at a time of rapid economic change in Canada and did so alongside various calls for significant political and moral reform. There is much more, however, to this story than the lingering characterization of the middle class as an amorphous, even shadowy, collection of overbearing respectables (p. ix), writes Holman. In his examination of the Ontario towns of Galt and Goderich between the 1850's and 1890's, he sets out to uncover this elusive group and finds them located in well-integrated and identifiable occupational roles, each exhibiting a sense of collective identity and a set of developing ideals. By focusing on businessmen, professionals and other white-collar workers who did not work with their hands, Holman reveals the processes by which each occupational group became aware of themselves as a distinct stratum in society and how the more public roles they played in defining an approach to volunteerism and in reinforcing the dictates of moral order, a role which they played along with their wives in Victorian Ontario, further assisted in securing their special place in society.

Holman rejects static structural analysis and conflict group approaches and instead adopts Anthony Giddens' concept of 'structuralism' which is more directional than formulaic. This affords him, he argues, the necessary latitude to allow this social category the middle class to define itself against the distinctive characteristics of Canada's unfolding demographic make-up and against the values of its unique political economy. By examining the workplace as an arena of stratification and as an incubator of attitudes towards types of work, he is able to suggest that while up to the 1850s and 1860s all kinds of work were equally laudatory and moral (p. 22), already subtle changes were underway. By the 1870's a new perspective had arrived which drew perceptible lines between manual and non-manual labour (p. 26).

The most representative of this new perspective were the businessmen, local merchants, manufacturers and artisans, of small-town Ontario. In the case of Galt, success as a regional service and market centre combined with the positive character of the town's businessmen in a Creightonesque sort of way, and provided them with the ability to claim an elevated authority for the commercial members of their occupational group. In Goderich, on the other hand, situational problems, chronic economic challenges and low credit ratings saw an insular and protective attitude develop among this business group. Relations with labour were also quite different in the two centres. In Galt, Holman found that constant labour strife and strong labour organizations actually contributed to strengthening the agendas and identity of middle class businessmen and their Board of Trade. Labour relations were less of a factor in Goderich. Galt businessmen, in particular, had come to believe that their special place in society arose from their being champions of community economic success.

A second and important element in Holman's study were the brain workers whose main claim to special status and authority derived from their learnedness and occupational independence. Lawyers, doctors and clergymen each developed their own patterns of professionalism in Ontario which included educational institutions, professional associations, codes of ethics, and informal networks of fraternal value sharing. In this professionalization project, Holman again found that experiences differed in Galt and Goderich, but that lawyers in both towns enjoyed the greatest social prestige of all the professions. While their association with a legal culture that included the sanctity of courts and the rule of law made lawyers respected intellectual and moral arbiters in society, the emergence of industrial capitalism gave legal work and law offices greater utility. Interestingly, the locations of the county court houses powerfully influenced the local collective identity of lawyers. Lawyers in Goderich, which had a courthouse, were more prominent in community life than those in Galt, which had no courthouse. In the case of medicine, this period witnessed a medical practitioners' monopoly organizing to exclude alternate methods (homoeopathy) while at the same time gaining greater control of education, innovation, and hospitals. Medical practitioners competed for control in both towns. In Galt the battle was much more prolonged and pronounced simply because of the pressure, created from the start, of having a wider variety of practitioners and methods available. In Goderich, Holman found that the greatest challenge to medical practitioners came from itinerant physicians. Differences between Galt and Goderich similarly resulted in the clergy in each centre having to meet various professional challenges with non-uniform patterns of response.

Holman is perhaps at his best when he identifies this nascent middle class project among white-collar workers. As commercial, government, and professional clerks these employees aspired to become middle class on the basis of their non-manual work. They received salaries rather than wages and their proximity at work to their employers, who were established middle class claimants in the community, allowed them to indulge their often-youthful anticipation of temporarily occupying a stepping stone on the way to greater prominence. Holman notes regrettably, that the entry of women into this segment of the workplace resulted in white-collar work losing its value for many young men. A generalized anxiety or fear of never rising also hampered the project for many of these in-between men and motivated many, according to Holman, to seek opportunities of advancement elsewhere.

Having obtained a measure of authority in their respective communities by virtue of the work they performed, members of this emerging middle class began to broadcast their values regarding personal deportment and social responsibility primarily through the agency of voluntary organizations devoted to charity, fraternalism and self- improvement. That these associations were visible, gendered, exclusive, and adhered to rules of order in their meetings, allowed members to reflect and to model the ideals of social order that the towns' growing middle class valued. In both towns, work of benevolence, Holman argues, was mainly overseen by women while fraternal orders restricted membership to men, thus ensuring that proper spheres were maintained. Self-improvement societies had fewer gender boundaries and general social aims. The YMCA, for instance, sought especially to direct young men away from immoral temptations towards purposeful pastimes and to provide training grounds for cultivating the appropriate behaviours the middle class expected.

According to Holman, by the 1870s middle class interest in the cause of temperance reform in Ontario had shifted as this emerging class latched on to the cause as a means to powerfully effect societal change. Earlier in the century, those concerned over alcohol abuse had defined the problem as one of individual character deficiency. Increasingly, however, reformers from this class saw the problem as society's moral failing and they therefore championed change as a collective response to both the danger it imposed and the negative impact it had on persons and families; they especially supported legislative remedies required to curb it. Holman is quite correct about the shift in thinking he describes, however, his view that this change was largely due to the influence of the middle class is not as developed or persuasive as it might have been since his conclusion is more asserted than systematically proved. His study also begs, but does not answer, the question of whether genuine advocacy of reform in this area was perhaps more gendered than he might suggest.

Class identity was also formed and reproduced inside the home. The ideal middle-class male was expected to be a public beacon of proper deportment in his personal conduct as well as a family man; his wife was thought of as the jewel of the home. In private as in public, the middle class cultivated an ideal image of belonging to a class set apart by its prescribed behaviours from the vulgar rich above them and barren poor below. Manners, grooming, dress, speech, carriage, and respectable recreations were all included as aspects of the self-control that the progeny of middle class parents were expected to mirror and exhibit.

In A Sense of Their Duty, Holman accurately describes an important time of class formation in Victorian Ontario and explains some of the structural and ideological mechanisms involved in the change. His book will be a necessary addition to all post-secondary libraries containing sections on Canadian studies or history.

CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
(The History and Social Science Teacher)

CANADA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES JOURNAL
VOLUME 38, NUMBER 3, SPRING 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css

Special Issue: Graduate Work in Social Studies Education.


Canadian Social Studies is an indexed, refereed journal published quarterly on-line at the University of Alberta. It is a journal of comment and criticism on social education and publishes articles on curricular issues relating to history, geography, social sciences, and social studies.
Canadian Social Studies is under copyright. Unless otherwise designated, permission is granted to download and distribute individual student copies of anything in this journal as long as it is for non-profit educational use in the classroom. Copyright permission includes the requirement to include the following on the first page of any duplicated material: "Canadian Social Studies, www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css Canada's national social studies journal - by permission." All other duplication or distribution requires the editor's permission.
George Richardson - Editor

| | |


From the Editor

Articles

The Pressure Cooker in Education: Standardized Assessment and High-Stakes
Loren Agrey

Embracing Ambiguity in the Artefacts of the Past: Teacher Identity and Pedagogy
Lisa Barty

Globalization and Peace Education
Brenda Basiga

Global Awareness and Perspectives in Global Education
Laura Burnouf

Social Studies and Service-learning: The Aleph of Democratic Citizenship?
Andrew Foran

National Identity in Korean Curriculum
Hyo-jeong Kim

Making Connections: Wholistic Teaching Through Peace Education
Kris Simpson

Identity and the Forthcoming Alberta Social Studies Curriculum: A Postcolonial Reading
Laura A. Thompson

Book Reviews

J. Bradley Cruxton, W. Douglas Wilson and Robert J. Walker. 2001.
Close-Up Canada
Reviewed by Sam Allison.

George J. Sefa Dei and Agnes Calliste (Eds.), with the assistance of Margarida Aguiar. 2000.
Power, Knowledge and Anti-Racism Education: A Critical Reader.
Reviewed by Gulbahar H. Beckett.

Elaine Ursel. 2001.
Discovering Canada's Trading Partners.
Reviewed by JK. J. Bradford.

Harry Black. 2002.
Canada and the Nobel Prize: Biographies, Portraits and Fascinating Facts.
Reviewed by Jon G. Bradley.

S. G. Grant and Bruce VanSledright. 2001.
Constructing a Powerful Approach to Teaching and Learning in Elementary Social Studies.
Reviewed by Jon G. Bradley.

Bruce H. Mann. 2002.
Republic of Debtors: Bankruptcy in the Age of American Independence.
Reviewed by Ron Briley.

Adam Kuper. 2000.
Culture: The Anthropologists' Account.
Reviewed by Jean-Guy Goulet.

Franois Tochon. 2002.
Tropics of Teaching: Productivity, Warfare and Priesthood.
Reviewed by Dr. Bryant Griffith.

Brent Bryon Watson. 2002.
Far Eastern Tour: The Canadian Infantry in Korea 1950-1953.
Reviewed by Ernest LeVos.

Hildi Kang. 2001.
Under the Black Umbrella: Voices from Colonial Korea, 1910-1945.
Reviewed by Ernest LeVos.

Michel Chauveau (translated from the French by David Lorton). 2002.
Cleopatra: Beyond the Myth.
Reviewed by E. Senger.

Hope-Arlene Fennell (Ed). 2002.
The Role of the Principal in Canada.
Reviewed by Caroline J. Thompson.

Editor
George Richardson
Guest Editors: Loren Agrey and Laura Thompson
Manuscript Review Editors
Robert Fowler, University of Victoria
Alan Sears, University of New Brunswick
Columnists
Kevin Kee, McGill University
Penney Clark, University of British Columbia
David Kilgour, M.P., Edmonton Southeast
John McMurtry, University of Guelph
Ken Osborne, University of Manitoba (Emeritus)

Features Editors
Kathy Bradford, University of Western Ontario
(Book Reviews)
Jim Parsons, University of Alberta
(Classroom Teaching)

Articles appearing in this journal are abstracted and indexed in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life and by the Canadian Education Association; Corpus Almanac Canadian Sourcebook; Ulrich's lnt. Pedcs. Directory; ERIC; Canadian Education Index, Micromedia Limited; and H. W. Wilson Company.


CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 3, SPRING 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: Graduate Work in Social Studies Education

From the Editor

The current issue of Canadian Social Studies features an eclectic collection of pieces regarding several critical issues within the contemporary discourse of social studies. The authors share a common experience in that they were members of the University of Alberta's graduate education class, dealing with trends and issues in social studies education, taught by Dr. George Richardson. The students in this class include a selection of both masters as well as doctoral students at various stages of their respective programs. A variety of topics are explored and positions taken, which add to the discussion of interesting trends facing social studies teachers and scholars today. It is each individual writer's intent that their work will contribute to the discussion within the area of their selected topic and also stimulate further study and dialogue in these areas.

Loren Agrey writes about assessment and its relation to the several disciplines within social studies, reviews several perspectives on evaluation, and discusses the impact of high-stakes testing within the social studies curricula. The author notes that the goals of social studies education may be ignored due to the emphasis given to the high-stakes examinations which are currently prevalent in many jurisdictions across North America.

In her article, Lisa Barty discusses teacher identity and pedagogical choices as they relate specifically to the use of artefacts in the classroom. A link between pedagogy and teacher identity is delineated along with a review of how these correlate to methodological choice. A variety of suggestions are offered to promote reflective teaching and to support the strategy of using more primary sources in the social studies classroom.

Brenda Basiga's article explores the issues surrounding the concept of globalization and how its effects impact the teachers' pedagogies. A general discussion of these global effects provides an understanding of the threats globalization poses and how these specifically impact social studies curriculum and pedagogy within the educational context of the Philippines. The discussion then turns to how the problematic of globalization can be addressed through global education and peace education.

The theme of global education is continued in Laura Burnouf's paper as she explores the major understandings of this fairly recent addition to the social studies curriculum. Critical global education concepts are discussed and these discussions underlay the author's conclusion that to encourage the development of citizenship skills, all students need to learn about global issues. To have a truly effective citizenship program, teachers must adopt a multiple perspectives approach rather than using the traditional Eurocentric view that has dominated social studies teaching.

Andrew Foran links student identity to national identity and citizenship and indicates how these concepts can be used to develop responsible and active citizenship. Questions are raised whether education as a whole and the social studies curricula can provide a site for this development of responsible citizens. The author asserts that service learning is an aspect of social studies that can be emphasized to aid in this development and provide an experiential or active approach to learning with the ultimate goal of responsible citizenship.

Hyo-jeong Kim explores social studies education within the Korean context. She begins with a review of the changes adopted within the secondary social studies curriculum regarding national identity from the end of the Second World War to the present time. The traditional concepts of Korean national identity are being challenged by various forces-and particularly by globalization. Moreover, Koreans are attempting to re-write their concept of what national identity means in the current context. Implications of the changes which are evident within the new social studies curriculum adopted in 2000 are further discussed.

Kris Simpson explores peace education for primary students in the context of the current war in Iraq and asserts that the inclusion of peace education within the social studies curriculum is more critical than ever before. Alternatives to violence must be included in any social studies program, and it is imperative that teachers provide opportunities to do this with the social studies classroom being the ideal site for this to be accomplished. Peace education allows students to develop conflict resolution skills on a personal level which can then be translated to a more global perspective.

Laura Thompson takes a critical look at what ways multiple perspectives have been read into the Alberta junior high social studies curriculum. A review of the curriculum over the last several decades provides an understanding of the evolving constructs of citizenship and identity. This provides the foundation for a postcolonial reading of the 2002 Alberta social studies curriculum along with a clearer understanding of the concept of identity.

Loren Agrey and Laura Thompson

Guest Editors

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CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 3, SPRING 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: Graduate Work in Social Studies Education

The Pressure Cooker in Education:
Standardized Assessment and High-Stakes

Loren Agrey
University of Alberta

Abstract

While assessment has been a part of education for a long time, the current increased emphasis on standardization of curriculum and assessment is unique. The author surveys varying perspectives on assessment, considers the role assessment plays vis--vis social studies and then evaluates arguments on both sides of the debate in light of the current high-stakes testing environment which is becoming an integral component of North American education. Finally, a discussion of the implications of increased assessment, and particularly that of high-stakes testing within the social studies curricula reveals that significant portions of important social studies outcomes are minimalized or ignored because of the emphasis on standardized testing.

You cannot increase the size of the hog, by weighing it over and over again.
Anonymous

Introduction

A major development in the field of education during the last several years has been an escalating emphasis on evaluation. The content area of social studies has not escaped this mounting pressure on assessment and has increasingly been affected by those who believe that standardization and evaluation will improve the quality of education. More and more provinces, states and nations are making assessment and testing an integral part of their educational system. While this phenomenon has caught the public's attention through the media and is largely supported by politicians, it is important for educators to evaluate the divergent views, assess the advantages and disadvantages of each position and ensure that their voices are heard in the defence of what is in the best interests of students.

Perspectives on Assessment

Evaluation has traditionally been an integral part of the educational process and there have been several rationalizations developed for assessment over time. A century ago, a standard justification for testing was that examinations were indispensable for encouraging adolescents to commit to a serious and sustained effort. When there was an examination placed ahead of them, pupils and teachers could no longer behave in an easy and casual way, with allowances made for good intentions, individual temperaments, passing indispositions or changing seasons. Pupils would pay more attention to their work and teachers would make their lessons more accurate and concise when faced with mandatory examinations (Luijten, 1991). This view was partially based on the notion that encouragement and reward of individual efforts would be difficult if evaluation did not exist. Excellence would be less demonstrable and decisions on curriculum and methods would be based on prejudice and caprice rather than solid evidence (Linn Gronlund, 2000).

Educational evaluation was furthered by the ubiquitous measurement movement which gained momentum with the coming of the First World War and for the next half century or more, the purposes of evaluation were several and varied. For most of last century, Guba and Lincoln (1981) record that the function of evaluation was to document events, record student change, aid in decision making, seek understanding and facilitate remediation and that the purpose needed to be determined by the needs of different audiences. Over time, many educationists have also defined the purposes of evaluation. Its goal was to aid educators in their tasks of classroom planning, improve teaching and learning situations, provide feedback, and ascertain if a standard had been reached. Other purposes included selecting a given number of candidates for certain reasons, testing the efficiency of teaching; indicating the progress of student's present and future performance, and sampling performances which the student was capable (Buckman, 1988; Payne, 1997; Salvia Ysseldyke, 2001; Scriven, 1980; Thyne, 1974).

The above purposes have been used as the traditional rationale for the use of evaluation and many of these goals still exist, but the recent emphasis on assessment has taken on a sense of urgency. The current focus in many jurisdictions across North America is on high-stakes testing, in which the measurement of results will have significant impact on students, as promotion, graduation and the qualification for scholarships are now tied to performance of these tests.

The very term high stakes embodies both the hopes and the fears these tests inspire. Only if the stakes are high, say their advocates on one hand - only if there is something valuable to be gained or lost - will teachers and students take the tests seriously and work hard to do their best, thus serving both their own interests and the public interest in higher achievement (Heubert Hauser, 1999).

Supporters of high-stakes testing argue that these examinations force students, parents, teachers and school administration to take education seriously. The public ranking of schools and districts expose those students and teachers who do not do this. High-stakes tests require a clear standardized curriculum so that all students are taught the same material and then administered the same test. Thus, it is believed that the inequities in students' opportunity to learn would finally be eradicated (Nathan, 2002). Advocates also argue that anyone who opposes this form of testing is an apologist for a broken system of education. They claim that a good test is aligned with the curriculum so that the schools know whether children are actually learning the material that they are supposed to know (Semas, 2001).

Sceptics, on the other hand, worry that such policies may produce harmful consequences for individual students and perhaps society as a whole. Opponents present the anti-testing position which is based on the negative impact these tests have on the curriculum and more importantly on teachers and students. Black (1991) posits that public examinations are seen as assurances of fairness and reliability to a degree that is quite unjustified and that the public demands for external assessments arise from three main considerations. These factors include public distrust of teachers, the perceived superiority of standardized assessment over teacher-made tests and a desire for comparison between schools.

In viewing the impact that these tests have had on the curriculum, Amrein Berliner (2003) and Neill (1999) deplore the fact that art, music, creative writing, physical education, and recess are all reduced in time or dropped from the curriculum when schools need to increase their scores on the state's test. Even in the curricular areas that are tested, schools may drop a sub-area if they are unlikely to appear on the test. Instructional time is shifted to the curriculum that will appear on the test with the anticipation that the scores will improve. This curricular reductionism is an affront to the concept of variety, individual interest, and creativity.

Kohn (1999, 2000a, 2000b) also presents a challenge to supporters of high-stakes standardized testing with a plethora of arguments in opposition to the current maelstrom of examinations. He contends that students in North America are tested at an unprecedented rate and that the variance in test scores has a higher correlation to non-instructional factors, such as the number of parents living at home, parental educational background, type of community and poverty rate, than to instructional performance. He argues further that these tests often measure superficial thinking and ignore the most important characteristics of a good learner since standardized tests cannot measure initiative, creativity, effort, irony, judgment, good will, ethical reflection and a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes. Students care only if they get the right answer rather than how they got it. Wide-range and enthusiastic exploration of ideas that once characterized classrooms can no longer survive when the emphasis is on preparation for these exams.

Rejecting the argument that these tests provide equity and fairness for students, Kohn (2000) contends that high-stakes testing marks a major retreat from fairness, accuracy, and quality. The reasons are that the tests may be biased since they require a set of skills more likely to be possessed by children from a privileged background. Along with this, the wealthier can afford test preparation courses that the poorer segments of society cannot access and thus a greater disparity is created and fairness and equity become a hollow promise.

The damaging effects these tests have on teachers include the fact that they are often distracted from a thoughtful consideration of students and unable to appreciate their individual gifts. When a teacher's primary focus is on tests and test-taking strategies, reflective attention to individual potential is difficult to sustain (Donlevy, 2000). Along with this, many quality educators are leaving the field of education because of the intense pressures placed upon them. Widely divergent results between one group of students to another are common occurrences, even though they have had the same teacher, curriculum and pedagogical methods, but parents and the public hold the teacher and school responsible for results that are less than exemplary.

Because of these pressures, a more nefarious impact is seen in the fact that for those educators that stay in the classroom, an increasing number of teachers experience ethical lapses and rely on cheating to ensure the results from the classes are not substandard. This is expressed through a variety of methods such as giving hints or direct answers to students when asked for help on the test, and allowing more time than was allotted for the students to complete the examination. There have also been cases where teachers review the finished tests and revise the incorrect answers (Popham, 2001).

The most destructive effects of these tests are on the students that are required to take them. Popham (2001) believes that these high-stakes tests are doing serious educational damage to children. Many students are receiving educational experiences that are far less effective than they would have been if such programs had never existed. Specific harmful effects on students include increased anxiety, damaged self-concepts, a categorization and labelling of students and the creation of self-fulfilling prophecies (Linn Gronlund, 2000).

Amrein Berliner (2003) catalogue other deleterious effects as expressed in decreased student motivation, higher retention and student dropout rates and limited engagement with critical thinking. High-stakes tests also alienate students from their own learning experiences in school and deny students the opportunities to direct their own learning since they are no longer encouraged to explore the concepts and subjects that interest them. Along with these effects, many students also resort to dishonesty and cheating. The ethical values of honesty and integrity are sacrificed on the altar of improved test scores.

The notion that threats of punishment such as withholding a diploma will create a positive learning environment and radically transform beleaguered institutions has been discredited by research. High-stakes tests discourage and demoralize at least as many students and teachers as they motivate to work harder. Thus dropout rates rise, particularly for the most vulnerable students, and hurt the very students who are supposed to benefit most from them (Nathan, 2000).

The move toward high-stakes testing programs is based on several assumptions. First, tests are seen as a legitimate means of making distinctions among people on the basis of who passes and who fails. Secondly, test scores are assumed to be accurate predictors about people and their futures. If the test scores rise, it is perceived to be an indication that students must be learning more and therefore moving closer to excellence and that schools are doing a better job of educating the students because test scores are seen as an accurate reflection of education. Another assumption is that schools, governments, and test-makers know what high standards are and how to use them in tests (Hillocks, 2002). Based on these theories, the high-stakes testing movement across North America has become the norm across many jurisdictions.

This obsession with high-stakes standardized testing has not arisen in a vacuum. The ideological basis can be found in the neo-liberal value systems expressed in the current globalization phenomenon, a planetary unified global trading network operating according to a common set of rules (Smith, 2000), where the market is the only factor to consider in structuring our lives and our institutions (Currie, 1998, p. 9). With its tentacles reaching into virtually all aspects of life, just a few of its many effects on educational policies can be seen in the development of particular policies for evaluation and in the privileging of assessment (Burbules, 2000). Based on the philosophy that better education can be measured, and pushed by international organizations such as the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank (Cornoy, 2000), governments have reformed their educational procedures and have included the adoption and expansion of provincial and state-wide assessment along with national testing and student achievement examinations (Harrison Kachur, 1999).

Based on the premise that improving the measurement of what people know will enhance a country's competitive economic edge (Spring, 1998), standardized examinations, especially the recent plethora of them, are viewed as excellent preparation for the business world. Standardization, easily quantifiable results, and the willingness to reshape all intervening processes to obtain them characterize the path to success in both exams and in business (Ollman, 2003). Student success is measured through standardized testing based on multiple reasons privileging market principles such as the assessment of policies and innovations which develop a more productive workforce, the supporting of better management, the fostering of a more efficient allocation of resources, the selection of students according to ability and the evaluation of the productivity of teachers (Stromquist Monkman, 2000).

Several major corporations promote standards-based education and the accompanying high stakes standardized examinations with the ostensible goal of promoting global competitiveness. Critics charge that this is an egregious attempt at social control through the establishment of a routine, standardized schooling process which will socialize most workers to expect low level, mundane work lives that will cohere with the low skill level jobs that have proliferated with globalization and increased technology, and control through the well-established sorting mechanism provided by standardized testing (Mathison, Ross Vinson, 2001).

Assessment in Social Studies

Having reviewed the purposes of evaluation in the broad educational context, from both its adherents and opponents' perspective, attention must be given to how the subject area of social studies is being impacted by the emphasis on evaluation. Over the last two decades an increasing number of assessment programs have been dedicated to providing external accounts of student learning. Driven largely by political and economic forces, local, provincial, state and national authorities have demanded reports of student achievement in key areas. These typically include the subjects of math, language arts, science and social studies (Wilson, 1999).

In the area of social studies, it is beneficial to place assessment in an ideological context. Gaudelli (2002) presents four differing views of perennialism, essentialism, constructivism and multiculturalism and while these are not the only philosophical positions on the subject of assessment, they do represent a broad range of thought on the topic. Perennialists contend that there is an organized body of knowledge that students need to know so society might cohere around a common identity. History is the fundamental element of an exemplary social studies program and recognition of the master narrative is essential. Standardized tests are viewed as the method to see if students are being taught this information and poor tests results are often used in an attempt to illustrate that teachers are failing to pass this cultural heritage on to students.

Essentialists argue that core knowledge and skills are vital to a successful society, because these requisite abilities allow the individual to be an economically productive member of society. The economic purposes of education from this viewpoint parallel the philosophy of globalization. The learning of basic skills are seen as essential and the skills taught in history and other social studies content areas are seen as useful if they are transferable to the workplace. Assessment is seen as an important method to determine whether these skills are being learned and if not, it proves the need to return to a back to the basics approach where these primary skills are taught.

The other two viewpoints perceive the role of assessment in social studies quite differently. Constructivists see education as child-centred. The curriculum must connect to the student's living experience and the proponents of this approach charge that social studies has been reduced to a mindless heap of information which must be absorbed and then regurgitated on the tests. Poor test results indicate that the social studies curriculum has no relevance in the lives of students. The multiculturalist hypothesis, largely based on critical theory, posits that the social studies curriculum has under-emphasized and distorted the contributions of historically oppressed groups for too long and emphasizes the need for social justice. Adherents see standardized examinations as a method to reproduce the dominant culture and interpret the results of the tests as proof that equity has not been achieved and that diversity needs to be infused throughout the social studies curriculum.

With this ideological background it is important to assess the arguments in favour and against standardized assessment in social studies. Advocates argue that the tests, when developed by teachers, have been constructed to reflect the objectives of the program of studies in social studies (Belyk, 1992) and thereby support the learning of these curricular goals. O'Brien (1997) states that these forms of assessment are more than mere pencil and paper tests. Rather, they provide a relevant and comprehensive evaluation of achievement and focus on critical thinking and multidisciplinary achievement as well as being an effective instructional technique. Other proponents argue that standardized assessments would improve the status of social studies in education, since these tests would force school administrators to ensure it remains an integral part of every school's curriculum (Brousseau, 1999).

Critics of assessment in social studies claim that there has been failure in an attempt to measure students' awareness of major social studies understandings, appreciations, life applications and higher order thinking skills (Alleman Brophy, 1999). The argument continues that in life, performance is not a matter of how well one fills in blanks or selects correct answers to multiple-choice questions. Rather, a person is judged on what one can do with the attitudes, values and intellectual skills inherent in the social studies curricula such as decision-making, solving problems, critical thinking, separating fact from opinion, making sense of a barrage of data and the important task of getting along with other people. In the real world, people work in groups, not to memorize facts, but to gather, evaluate and use knowledge and skills to solve problems. Full assessment goes far beyond the narrow view of standardized testing (Biemer, 1993).

Social studies educators seek to help students become critical thinkers, problem solvers and decision makers (Yell, 1999) and since the most common testing format is the ubiquitous multiple choice question, a low level knowledge of objectives is measured rather than all the other higher order thinking objectives that are a critical element in an effective social studies classroom. Perhaps the most powerful weapon that critics of social studies wield is the results of the standardized tests themselves. They indicate that students show some familiarity with basic facts but have failed to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the broad spectrum of skills found in the social studies curriculum (Risinger Garcia, 1995).

Curricular reductionism is also a problem vis--vis social studies assessment. Although teachers have always had to work within a mandated curricular framework, the degree to which they are free to exercise their independent judgement in the implementation of the curriculum is more severely restricted with centralized testing. The teacher is constrained by having to cover course material precisely as it will appear on the examination which results in a shift from student-centred to curriculum-centred instruction. Contextualizing this problem locally, Runte (1998) observes that the Alberta social studies curriculum leaves 20 percent of the course open to the instructor. The mere presence of centralized testing compromises this elective component, because the provincial examination must emphasize the core curriculum that all students need to be taught.

Evaluating the Arguments

As one analyzes the differing interpretations of standardized testing in general and in the content area of social studies in particular, it is evident that there are strengths and weaknesses inherent in each argument. The traditional purposes of assessment were to encourage and reward effort, to improve teaching and learning practices, and to ascertain if certain standards have been reached. These are commendable goals but unfortunately more recently, standardized testing has taken on a nature different than these. It is as if the tests have themselves become an end in education rather than a means. Examinations have seemingly become the be-all and end-all of education and the teaching process. It is necessary to re-establish a connection between the examinations and the ultimate purpose of education which is the development of citizens who are socially, culturally and technically capable (Luijten, 1991).

The argument that high-stakes testing is the only way to motivate students to learn is fallacious. The question must be asked, What should be learned? and a narrow focus on factual knowledge that can be regurgitated on a multiple-choice test is not the answer. This is not to say that assessment is entirely wrong. It does serve some useful purposes as have been discussed, but with the current emphasis on high-stakes tests, the curriculum has been reduced to that which can be tested, and this becomes a self-perpetuating loop when what is assessed becomes what is valued, which then becomes what is taught (McEwen, 1995).

The emphasis of teachers preparing students for tests from January to the end of the school year has also become common in classrooms throughout Canada and the United States. Specific emphasis on only what is on the test, have caused teachers to become managers of students rather than facilitators of knowledge and social values and have caused the discontinuance of programs which should be taught. There is an inevitable de-skilling of students by reducing learning to the level of developing test-taking strategies. (Cheng Couture, 2000; Kohn, 2002; Shaw, 2000; Stromquist, 2002). When assessment has impacts like these, teachers must voice opposition to such reductionary measures.

Serious consideration must be given to the argument that excessive testing creates ethical lapses in both students and teachers. The corruption of students, teachers and administrators by placing such pressure on them through exemplary performance expectations that they turn to cheating, is a damning indictment of the assessment program. If a student cheats on an exam to pass the course, or a teacher or administrator cheats to avoid public censure, it is clear that something is being learned but certainly not that which was initially intended. The high-stakes environment and its attendant pressures certainly can lead to a compromise in values which is detrimental to the cause of education and ultimately society in general.

Reviewing the opposing sides of testing in social studies, the argument for creating assessment that reflects the program of studies and focuses on critical thinking is a strong one. When the local context of Alberta examinations is surveyed, it is evident that in contrast to the producers of school-leaving examinations in many other jurisdictions, the Alberta examiners have tried to design tests that emphasize skill development, critical thinking and a generalizable understanding of the subject matter, rather than rote learning and factual memorization (Runte, 1998). The argument that it is not possible for exams to support curriculum is contradicted by the Alberta experience. Samples of student work clearly show that students who succeed in passing the diploma exams demonstrate a wide range of skills demanded by the program of studies (Scraba, 1989). If this were the case in other jurisdictions, the move towards assessment would have a much stronger justification. Any assessment that fails to measure the major social studies understandings, appreciations, life applications, and higher order thinking is not credible. Tests that only assess low-level knowledge and do not address critical thinking, problem solving or decision-making or other skills within the broad spectrum of social studies, fall short in their attempt of appropriate evaluation.

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and other leading scholars on assessment methods have argued for assessment that is well aligned with major social studies goals, more complete in the range of objectives addressed and more authentic in the kinds of tasks included. The NCSS Advisory Committee on Testing and Evaluation recommends that evaluation focus on curriculum goals and objectives, be used to improve curriculum and instruction; measure both content and process, be chosen for diagnostic and prescriptive purposes and reflect a high degree of fairness to all people and groups. Along with this, evaluation of student achievement should be used solely to improve teaching and learning; involve a variety of instruments and approaches to measure knowledge, skills and attitudes; be congruent with objectives, and be sequential and cumulative. To support this comprehensive approach, government agencies should secure appropriate funding to support evaluation programs and professional development of teachers (Alleman Brophy, 1999).

In considering both sides of the issue, taking a personal position on the role of assessment in education is not an easy task. It is evident that the current emphasis on high-stakes testing has gone too far, but what should the role of evaluation be? While there is a place for measurement and evaluation in social studies, it is clear that multiple assessments are not panaceas (Horowitz, 1995, p. 70). Testing students on an annual or even triennial basis, is a waste of time if all that is measured is low level thinking skill and memory recall. If the assessment can truly measure critical thinking and other higher order thinking skills then tests may have a place in a student's overall educational experience. But examinations should not be the sole arbiter in making high-stake decisions. Several evaluation methods are necessary since single indicators are never a complete representation of the performance of a student, teacher or school.

Social studies assessments should require students to go beyond memorizing facts and engage them in higher-level skills such as application rather than the recall of isolated facts or definitions. Other useful skills that should be evaluated include interpretation of social studies data, identification and explanation of important concepts as well as making connections between these concepts and a position taken on contemporary public policy issues (Brousseau, 1999, p. 358). Further, if evaluation could include tasks that are interesting and engaging to the students, as well as being multi-faceted, and assessing more than one aspect of achievement, it would improve the student's educational experience.

The emphasis on high-stakes testing is in serious need of re-thinking. While the ostensible purposes of encouraging learning, and improving education are commendable, unfortunately the results are contrary to these purposes. To force students to perform on examinations that hold such significant impact on their future and to impose this pressure-filled environment on teachers and administrators creates an atmosphere that is not conducive to learning. Evaluation, when taken to these levels promotes the very results that it is trying to prevent. Demoralization of both students and teachers, increasing numbers of students dropping out of school and a widening of the gap between the successful and unsuccessful are the infelicitous results of this movement.

Implications

A move away from high-stakes testing to an educational model, in which evaluation is still a component, but not the driving-force, would be extremely positive. First, the curriculum should again be broadened to include those subject areas that are deemed unimportant because they are not tested. There is a high correlation between participating in the performing arts such as music and drama while in school and success in later life. Subjects like these, that are not easily testable, should once again take their place as important elements of the overall curriculum. Within social studies, elements of the curriculum that have been avoided, again because these skills are not easily testable, should once again be emphasized. Process should not be sacrificed for a content-driven curriculum because that is what will appear on the test. Involvement in social issues must be balanced with transmission of knowledge.

A full range of skills, knowledge, attitudes and values must be taught. Together these should form an integral component of an effective social studies program. Skills such as decision-making, problem solving and the concept of citizenship should hold as prominent a place in the curricula as knowledge of content. While these skills are more difficult to assess, their place in the social studies classroom is as essential as the components that are more easily tested. A true social studies program cannot exist if these components are absent or only exist in a concomitant manner.

Another implication of this approach will be that students' individuality will be emphasized. Rather than a one-size fits all approach, pedagogical practices will focus on the needs of the individual student instead of the curricular content that will be on the examinations. Student creativity will also be highlighted, which will in turn enrich the learning experience. Options that interest the student will be explored, rather than ignored because of a looming test that may decide the student's future path. Feeling less constricted, teachers and students will be able to investigate interesting components of the curriculum that would be avoided if under pressure to perform on an examination.

A de-pressurized learning environment would also allow the teachers and administrators, those that have been trained in appropriate educational methodology, to be removed from the stress that they face under the high-stakes testing regime. The temptation to dishonesty would be removed, if they felt that their chosen life-occupations were not being threatened by those who demand exemplary test scores from children and schools. Teachers could concentrate on meeting the needs of their students if they did not feel compelled to bow to the demanding expectations of the public. Those public officials who have the authority to implement assessment procedures should rely on the advice of educational researchers whose studies show that these tests not only have a deleterious effect on student and teacher morale, but also do not achieve the purposes that they were designed to accomplish. Further information can be gleaned from teachers in the classroom on what affect these tests are having on the lived realities of both students and teachers. With this information in hand, hopefully policy-makers will realize that the current emphasis on high-stakes testing is not the panacea that it was originally perceived to be.

Conclusion

Assessment has been a major part of education for many years. Only recently has the concept of high-stakes testing turned the practice of examining students into a pressure-filled experience for students, teachers as well as administrators. Globalization and its market-driven forces have pushed the need for more and more assessment. This has impacted the field of education profoundly. Each subject area taught in school has been affected and social studies is no exception. The drive for more assessment has reduced the curricular expectations to those that are testable and thus a wide spectrum of social studies skills and values have been lost in this testing mania. It is important for all educators, including those involved in the social studies, to evaluate the purposes of evaluation and to ensure their voice is heard in defence of what is in the best interests of the students. Only then will measurement and evaluation again be an important component of education, but not the driving force that it has become.

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CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
VOLUME 38 NUMBER 3, SPRING 2004
www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css
Special Issue: Graduate Work in Social Studies Education

Embracing Ambiguity in the Artefacts of the Past:
Teacher Identity and Pedagogy

Lisa Barty
University of Alberta

Abstract

In this paper, the author considers the correlation between the construct of teacher identity and pedagogical choice, with specific reference to secondary social studies teachers and their use of primary sources in the classroom. After a brief review of the benefits and challenges of using primary sources in the classroom, the author concludes that the more pervasive challenge to using primary sources is pedagogical rather than pragmatic, and that pedagogy is intrinsically linked to teacher identity formation. The literature suggests that the construct of teacher identity is influenced by many factors, from individual experience and teacher training, to socio-cultural discourses relating to nationalism. The article concludes with a variety of suggestions of ways in which teacher educators can promote both reflective pre-service teaching, and encourage wider use of primary sources in social studies classrooms as an effective pedagogical strategy in an increasingly global society.

Introduction

Social studies education in Canada is a complex interweaving of history, economics, geography, and politics, grounded in notions of citizenship. As a result, social studies teachers must regularly deal with issues of identity and values, on both an individual and societal level. Everyday social studies classrooms delve into topics that are, or have the potential to be, controversial in nature. Though ministries of education can standardize curriculum documents and resources, each teacher, as an individual being, brings a unique set of life experiences to his or her classroom. This individuality impacts a teacher's philosophical beliefs, and ultimately, the pedagogical approaches used in their classroom. We often refer to this construct as teacher identity. While there is a substantial body of literature relating to the general construct of teacher identity, there is surprisingly little research into the specific notion of teacher identity relating to the field of social studies. However, the literature that does exist suggests that the construct of teacher identity is influenced by many factors, from individual experience and teacher training, to socio-cultural discourses relating to nationalism.

As a former teacher, and in my current role as a museum educator, I have been especially interested in the various ways in which teachers use primary sources in social studies education. In the past, many teachers I have spoken with informally suggest that lack of access to archival documents or historical objects have prevented their frequent use in the classroom. New technologies, such as the Internet, allow museums today to provide access to an unprecedented number of archival and photographic sources. However, increased access still has not resulted in their universal use in classrooms. It follows that the more pervasive challenge to using primary sources is pedagogical rather than pragmatic. Research shows us that primary sources have tremendous potential to help students develop critical thinking skills and to understand the complexity of historical interpretation (Lee, 2001; Cox Barrow, 2000; Seixas, 1998). They also have the potential to spark ambiguity, and even controversy, in the social studies classroom. As a result, some teachers feel hesitant about incorporating primary sources into their classrooms. Focussing primarily on pre-service, secondary social studies teachers, in this paper I will demonstrate some of the benefits and challenges of using primary sources. I will then suggest that emerging teachers' reluctance to incorporate primary sources in the social studies classroom is a pedagogical issue that is firmly grounded in notions of teacher identity, which ultimately, may have profound implications for our current practices in pre-service teacher education.

Defining Primary Sources

Often the term primary sources itself is vague or ambiguous to teachers. VanFossen Shiveley (2000) offer a good working definition of the term primary sources:

we define primary sources as documentary records or materials that have survived from a particular historical era and are contemporary or nearly contemporary with the period being studied#133;.Examples of primary sources can include such materials as texts, photographs, etchings, paintings, maps, diaries, cartoons, broadsides, newspapers, or other firsthand accounts of events, and audio or video footage (p. 244).

Though the authors make reference to materials, we must not let print-based records overshadow the rich learning potential that can also come from non-print sources. Cox and Barrow (2000), Susan Wunder (2002) and White White (2000), all present interesting case studies of their work introducing pre-service teachers to the range of learning that can be facilitated by using such things as museum artifacts and historic buildings.
The Benefits of Using Primary Sources

Recently, there have been a number of interesting studies completed by Faculties of Education, in partnership with museums, which investigated the issues that pre-service teachers face when using primary sources with students. For example, Cox and Barrow (2000) developed a practicum for pre-service social studies teachers situated at a local museum. The authors concluded that the activities the pre-service teachers developed in the museum setting helped them learn to incorporate higher level thinking skills in their lessons, in addition to empowering them with the ability to construct personal meaning from primary sources.

Wunder (2002) also discusses the benefits of teaching teachers how to use primary sources. She developed a partnership between her own elementary social studies methods students from the University of Nebraska and the education staff at the Museum of Nebraska History. Each student had the opportunity to work with groups of younger students in the museum setting. Wunder (2002) notes that working with primary sources has the benefit of promoting active learning and critical thinking skills (p. 159). Yet she also notes that [f]or pre-service teachers, as for other classroom teachers, providing sufficient artefacts for historical inquiry is a challenge (Wunder, 2002, p. 160). Therefore, this partnership was not only a way to help her pre-service teachers develop the confidence to use primary sources with children, but it was also a way of modelling to her own students how the challenge of access could be overcome by working directly with the education staff of a local museum.

Moving beyond artefacts to historic architecture, White White (2000) discuss their approaches to introducing both pre-service and in-service teachers to primary sources. Pre-service teachers in a social studies methods course were taken on a field study of a historical district in Boston. The authors note the importance of teacher preparation for such field trips. The field study was also a good experience in recognizing the kinds of questions teachers should ask and questions students might raise that can be answered, at least tentatively, when they return to their classroom, using primary and secondary sources (White White, 2000, p. 29). The examples cited above show that using primary sources has positive learning impacts. However, they do not specifically address how to overcome the ambiguous nature of primary sources and the unforeseen questions they can raise. For pre-service teachers, questions of ambiguity are the greatest obstacles teachers face when attempting to incorporate primary sources into their lessons.

The Fear of Ambiguity and Controversy in Social Studies Classrooms

Lee (2001) and Seixas (1998) both have studied the challenges that pre-service social studies teachers face when using primary resources. Lee (2001) conducted a qualitative study of twenty pre-service social studies teachers and investigated their ability to effectively use digital primary sources in the preparation of instructional materials. He found that Pre-service teachers recognized the interpretive potential of digital historical collections, but downplayed controversial digital historical resources when developing their pedagogical content knowledge (Lee, 2001, para.10). Though the pre-service teachers in his study acknowledged that using primary sources helped their students develop critical thinking skills by interpreting multiple points of view, they were reluctant to introduce any new sources that could result in controversy in their classrooms (Lee, 2001, para. 18). Unfortunately, most of the pre-service teachers in his study were unable to find ways to help themselves and their students effectively deal with the ambiguity and controversy associated with interpreting past events (Lee, 2001, para. 34).

Seixas (1998) investigated the difficulties social studies methods students faced when they were asked to use primary sources in a lesson plan for their practicum. He reminds us that the use of primary sources requires teachers themselves to possess the confidence and cognitive ability (often rooted in discipline specific knowledge) to interpret the source. Thus, the process of building knowledge about the past involves an analysis of the 'remainders of the past' (or texts), which proceeds in part through understanding them in the light of what we already know about the past (i.e. contextualization) (Seixas, 1998, p. 312). Further complicating the issue of interpretation and contextualization is the postmodern suggestion that presentism prevents the accurate construction of historical knowledge because we can never truly separate our present frames of reference from our interpretations (Seixas, 1998, p. 313).

Another complication pre-service teachers face in the use of primary sources is based on their view of historical investigation itself (Seixas, 1998, p. 328). For example, Seixas (1998) found that even pre-service teachers with undergraduate degrees in history found it challenging to construct pedagogically appropriate lesson plans that allowed for multiple viewpoints to be discussed in the classroom. Two of the four pre-service teachers interviewed construed the historian as detective finding answers to a puzzle whose answers are fixed, rather than historian as a builder of interpretations with limits set by text and context (Seixas, 1998, p.334).

Language is another major challenge when using primary sources. Some authors note that the reading level of primary source documents or the colloquial terminology that is to be found in many historical documents may frustrate young students, thus negating the positive impacts (Lee, 2001; Seixas, 1998). In addition, there is the difficult question of cultural sensitivity; language used in the past may actually be deemed offensive by today's society. This is often problematic when dealing with cultural or racial topics, such as American slavery or the treatment of Japanese Canadians during World War II. One of the pre-service teachers in Lee's study struggled with the challenges of language and controversy during a lesson about the Civil War.

Noel's recognition that the language may be inflammatory and that her students needed forewarning about the offensive nature of the language was consistent with other participants' feelings about using primary source documents. Although none of the participants refused to use the documents, most insisted on mediating students' experiences. The forms of instruction chosen by participants denied their students an opportunity to deal with controversial documents. These pedagogical decisions would have the effect of limiting students' historical thinking (Lee, 2001, para. 22).

Lee's observations highlight what is perhaps the greatest challenge of using primary sources in the classroom. Introducing students to primary sources is not in itself an effective pedagogical approach. To fully realize the benefits of primary sources, teachers must possess the confidence and skills to help facilitate, not mediate, the controversial issues they may spark.

However, if teachers are unprepared to effectively deal with the challenges that primary sources can instigate, not only can the positive impacts be negated, but the result can lead to misunderstandings and uninformed conclusions. To more fully experience the range of cognitive and affective benefits, teachers must be taught how to effectively incorporate primary sources in their classrooms. More importantly, however, social studies teachers need to personally value the type of outcomes that result from using primary sources. They must envision a classroom where debate, ambiguity and even controversy are welcomed. They must see students as capable of thinking critically and compassionately about complex and potentially disturbing issues. They must have the confidence in themselves to be a facilitator of the inquiry process rather than the transmitter of indisputable facts. Ultimately, this pedagogical question is intrinsically linked to teacher identity.

The Discourse of Teacher Identity and Pedagogy

While there is a substantial amount of literature that discusses the construction of teacher identity in general terms, the literature is more limited in regards to social studies teachers specifically. Therefore, I have chosen to focus on aspects of teacher identity that directly or indirectly could be applied to the field of social studies. Of particular interest to my own work is the literature that explores the link between teacher identity and pedagogical choice (Miller Marsh, 2002; Gaudelli, 1999; Gibson, 1995).

Miller Marsh (2002), a teacher educator at Binghamton University, suggests that pedagogical choices are informed by teacher identity, which is shaped by both a child-centered discourse and a socio-cultural discourse. Working with her own pre-service education students, she challenged them to deconstruct the relationships between discourse, power and identity. She found that teacher identity is a process of social negotiation, strongly shaped by our experiences as students (Miller Marsh, 2002, p. 454), and deeply rooted in historical and contemporary constructs of power:

the various discourses that define what it means to be a particular type of student or teacher in this particular moment in the United States are rooted in the social, cultural, historical, and political contexts in which schools are situated in this country. These discourses of schooling shape what and who schools, teachers, children, and families can become. The social practices that are embedded in discourses have very real material consequences for the groups of individuals that are located within them (Miller Marsh, 2002, p. 460).

Throughout her course, she challenged her pre-service teachers to critically think about issues, from grading and standardized testing, to more philosophical issues about the role of language and the teacher's responsibilities within the classroom. In particular, she introduced strategies, such as group assignments, with collective grading, which forced her students to work reflectively within a socio-cultural discourse. Many of her education students found it challenging to move from the more traditional child-centred discourse, which establishes a linear progression of cognitive development, to a socio-cultural discourse, which questions the notion of power and encourages a more recursive approach to learning. As Danielewicz (2001) reminds us, teacher identity is shaped by the interplay of internal and external discourse. Miller Marsh (2002) concludes that, Helping teachers to make visible the power in the discourses they use and illustrating to them that they can make some choices about their own identities and the social identities of the children in their care is one way to work towards social transformation (p. 467).
Gaudelli (1999) looked more directly at the relationship between teacher's personal identity and pedagogical choice in an ethnographic study of fourteen educators, with varying levels of experience, who were teaching a course in global education. He suggests that:

The elements of identity that seemed to affect teacher pedagogy varied. The teacher identity categories included: gender, [previous] occupation, religious background, family history, athletic background and ethnic identity. Teachers, due in part to their identities, taught differently, specifically with regard to how they selected content, the amount of time and emphasis placed on topics and how they characterized course content related to their identity (Gaudelli, 1999, p. 4).

Gaudelli determined that there was a relationship between teacher identity and the strategies individual teachers used to deal with controversy in the classroom. Though most teachers avoided having their students engage in substantive discussion about controversial issues, he noted that some of the teachers in his study actually sensationalized controversial issues as a pedagogical approach to generating student interest in the topic being studied (Gaudelli, 1999, p. 15). He ultimately concluded that:

The teachers in this study lacked a firm grasp of the philosophical debate surrounding relativism and universalism. The teachers searched for criteria to limit non-judgement in the classroom, but did not engage their students in this ethical reasoning. They generally felt uncomfortable with the compromises that were struck between universalism and relativism outside the classroom. Inside the classroom, they either sensationalized the controversial practices inherent in the course of study or tried to avoid those topics completely. While these strategies seem quite opposite, they accomplish the same objective with regard to ethical reasoning: a simplification of the quandary of relativism. This simplification grew out of a lack of clarity on the part of the individual teachers about this contentious debate (Gaudelli, 1999, p. 20).

Clearly, even the experienced teachers in his study grappled with how to effectively deal with issues of ambiguity and controversy in their classrooms. Certainly this problem is exacerbated for most pre-service and emerging teachers.

Gibson (1995) completed a qualitative study with eight emerging social studies teachers as they made the transition from student to teacher. She found that teacher identity is strongly influenced by our prior conceptions of teachers, and that most emerging teachers had formed some ideas about the nature of social studies and pedagogy well before they began their formal teacher training (Gibson, 1995, p. 74). Despite the influence of their experiences as students in social studies classes, most participants agreed that extended practice teaching experience during teacher training was beneficial in helping them shape (or re-shape) their own teacher identities.

A recurring issue brought up by participants was the notion of moral responsibility. She noted that many of these teachers struggled with how to deal with controversial issues in their classrooms and though their strategies varied, all were directly linked to their personal sense of the moral responsibility of the teacher (Gibson, 1995, p. 127). The author reminds us of the need for more reflective teacher training, so that prior values and notions of social studies, pedagogy and moral responsibility can be critiqued and refined. Gibson (1995) concludes:

For most of the eight participants, one of the more central elements in their sense making about learning to teach social studies was constructing an identity of themselves as teachers of social studies. Part of this identification process involved clarifying the fuzzy thinking by becoming more aware of their initial conceptualizations of social studies as important influences on their current thinking and future teaching. At times, is also involved confronting and rethinking these initial conceptualizations, particularly in terms of