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May 2022

Thinking History!

Welcome to the new, digital version, of our newsletter, Thinking History!
A lot has happened since our last update! We continue to collect responses on our National Teacher Survey, with approximately 450 surveys completed in English and 90 in French. We would like to continue to grow these numbers so the survey will remain open at least until the end of June. The survey takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Given this is the first national survey of its kind in more than 50 years, there is a lot we want to learn from teachers about their experiences teaching history! Please continue to promote the survey to your networks and encourage teachers you know to fill it out. The survey can be found here.
In March, we successfully applied for funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage to engage Leger to conduct our National Youth Survey. We are in the last stages of development of the survey and will work with Leger to determine the best time to launch it. I would like to thank teachers from Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan who helped pilot earlier versions of the survey and provided us with valuable feedback. 
More research updates can be found in the Research Cluster updates section below.

On March 2, 2022, we partnered with the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) Faculty of Education to host the 10th Annual Dr. Ottilia Chareka Memorial Lecture in Education & Social Justice. Panelists included Dr. Nepia Mahuika (University of Waikato), Dr. Chris Andersen (University of Alberta & Thinking Historically Collaborator), Dr. Chelsea Gabel (McMaster University), and Natasha Simon, Director of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at UNB (a Thinking Historically partner organization). Darah Beaver, PhD Candidate, UNB Faculty of Education and former Director of Education at Tobique First Nation, moderated the panel. Over 150 people attended the event!
Members of the Indigenous Ethical Relationality Advisory Committee (IERAC) are developing an Indigenous Knowledges & History Education framework. This is the third framework to be developed by Thinking Historically team members and will be shared with the wider membership once it has been further refined. Together with the Historical Thinking framework and the Historically-minded Civic Engagement framework, we envision that these frameworks will serve three main purposes: They provide a theoretical foundation for the three main themes guiding our work, they will provide analytical frames which we can apply to our data, and they have the potential to be powerful teaching and learning tools for teachers and students. Sincere thanks to the IERAC and to the co-leads of Cluster 1 for the leadership they are providing on this important work.
Lastly, I am thrilled to announce that Sara Karn (Queen’s University) is the second recipient of Thinking Historically’s Visiting Doctoral Student Award! Sara will be collaborating with Dr. Lindsay Gibson at the University of British Columbia. More information about Sara’s plans can be found in the Graduate Student update section. Congratulations, Sara! To learn more about the Visiting Doctoral Student Award, visit the Opportunities section of the Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future website.
I hope that you enjoy the new format of our newsletter. Please share it widely with your networks and look for opportunities to contribute to the Bits & Bites section in the future!
Dr. Carla L. Peck, Project Director


Authorship Guidelines

Members of Thinking Historically’s Knowledge Mobilization Committee have finalized the Authorship Guidelines that were discussed at the Annual General Meeting last Fall. These are posted in the Knowledge Creation section of our website. Please familiarize yourself with these guidelines, particularly before you embark on a writing (or presentation) project related to the work of the partnership.

Save the Date: Annual General Meeting

October 18 & 19, 2022
Save the date for Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is currently being planned as an in-person event and will be held in conjunction with events being planned by the Association for Canadian Studies and the Manitoba Social Science Teachers’ Association in October, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Stay tuned!

The Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University will soon be inviting applications for a two-year postdoctoral position in history education. The postdoctoral fellow will be working with Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future and will support the research and administration of studies related to curriculum and resources for K-12 history education across Canada, with a particular focus on issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. More information about the position, including how to apply, will be shared as soon as it's available.

Heads up!

At the end of October 2022, we will be filing our mid-term report to SSHRC. Please be on the lookout for emails from Thinking Historically’s Project Manager, Dr. Vivian Lei, over the summer months as we gather important information from you for this report. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance!

Researcher Snapshot

Dr. David Scott, University of Calgary Werklund School of Education
Thinking Historically Executive Committee Member

Whether it was my grade 12 history class, reading historical fiction, or watching documentaries, I have always loved history. One of the most powerful seminars I took during my B.A. at the University of Victoria was taught by a German historian who guided our small seminar through the intersecting cultural, political, and economic developments of the Weimar period that made the rise of Nazism possible. After completing my teacher certification at Simon Fraser University, I returned to my hometown of Williams Lake, B.C. where I shifted from being a student of history to that of teacher. Despite my years of formation, however, I continued to hold quite naïve beliefs about the nature of history. It was not until I sat in on a histoire et éducation à la citoyenneté class in Trois Rivières Québec where I was teaching high school ESL that I had my first real encounter with the dissonance that comes from realizing the historical narratives one has been socialized into are not universal, but are in fact, deeply value laden and parochial.
I had the opportunity to formally explore the dynamics associated with whose and what historical narratives are taught as in schools, and what is at stake in these decisions, when I began a Master’s of Education at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Kent den Heyer. My arrival in Alberta coincided with the introduction of a new Social Studies program that included the then ground-breaking directive to help students examine curricular themes and contemporary issues through the lens of Indigenous and Francophone perspectives and historical experiences. Reflective of the tension between what Ted Aoki called the curriculum-as-plan versus the curriculum-as-lived, my Master’s study highlighted the resistances some teachers in Alberta had towards the need to attend to Indigenous and Francophone histories. Deeply influenced by the scholarship of Dr. Dwayne Donald, I returned to these themes in my doctoral dissertation at the University of Calgary where, under the supervision of Dr. Darren Lund, I was fortunate to receive a SSHRC funded Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship. As an Associate Professor in the Werklund School of Education, my more recent scholarship involves working with educational stakeholders who are seeking to broaden and expand the histories about our collective past, present, and future the young will encounter in schools –– work I look forward to continuing alongside the many incredible scholars and partners involved in this grant.

For more information: 

Recent Publications
Scott, D. (2021). A meditation on current and future trajectories for elementary social studies in Alberta. One World in Dialogue, 6(1), 1-15.
Scott, D. & Gani, R. (2018). Examining social studies teachers’ resistances towards teaching Indigenous perspectives: A case study of Alberta. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. 13(1), 167-181.   

Scott, D. (2013). Teaching Aboriginal perspectives: An investigation into teacher practice amidst curriculum change. Canadian Social Studies, 46(1), 31–43.

Research Cluster Updates

Cluster 1: Curriculum & Resources

Penney Clark (UBC), Max Dagenais (McMaster), Kristina Llewellyn (Waterloo)

Cluster co-leads are currently supervising graduate student research assistants who are analyzing two social studies or history courses in each province. They are using a critical discourse analysis methodology to determine representations of two of the three main themes of the project, historical thinking and civic engagement. A database of summaries of articles on history education is nearing completion, with a total of approximately 250 entries. We have also completed a document that articulates a theoretical framework for analysis of civic engagement. We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Alan Sears and Dr. Carla Peck to this work on civic engagement. Members of Cluster 1 participated in the November AGM, presenting an overview of their work throughout the year as well as presenting on and leading discussion around the civic engagement framework. Members of Cluster 1 have been involved in the Portraits of Professional Practice Subcommittee, the Teacher Survey Subcommittee, and the Student Survey Subcommittee (all led by Cluster 2).

Cluster 2: Teaching & Learning

Lindsay Gibson (UBC), Jacqueline Leighton (UAlberta)

There are two major research projects that members of the Teaching & Learning Cluster (TLC) have been contributing to since the last report: the student survey and the Portraits of Professional Practice (PPP). For the past year a sub-committee of project members from all research clusters have been designing a pan-Canadian survey that aims to better understand students’ experiences learning history in Canadian schools. The bilingual online student survey is nearly complete, and the next steps are to pilot and refine the survey, and apply for research ethics approval.
The Portraits of Professional Practice (PPP) research project focuses on the different contexts where history is taught in order to better understand how the context shapes how educators teach history, and the unique opportunities and challenges educators’ experience in their contexts. This study includes two phases. In Phase 1 participants are asked to complete an online teacher survey that will take approximately 30 minutes. In Phase 2, participants will be asked to participate in two 45-minute semi-structured interviews that will be conducted online using Zoom. After phase two is completed, teachers will be invited to collaborate with a member of the research team to co-create a narrative that uses text, visuals, or video to describe what it is like to teach history in their context. We have submitted the first of many research ethics applications and hope to begin recruiting participants in fall 2022.

Cluster 3: Teacher Education

Catherine Duquette (UQAC), David Scott (UCalgary)

Cluster 3 welcomes a new co-lead in the person of Prof. David Scott (UCalgary). He will replace Prof. Alan Sears, whom will continue to act as a member of the cluster. We have also gained two new members: Prof. Marie-Hélène Brunet (UOttawa) and Prof. Rose Fine-Meyer (OISE). Their help will be much appreciated with the many research projects that are currently under way. Following the completion of a thorough literature review on Zotero, our members will pilot a meta-analysis of the available data. The scan of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programs found across Canada is completed and a report will be published on the project’s website. In late spring, our main focus will move to the realization of our main project composed of both a case study and phenomonographic study focused on history teacher training programs across Canada. Finally, with our partners from the Fédération des Établissements d’enseignement privé (FEEP), we are completing a project looking at the influence on professional development on the understanding of assessment.

Graduate Student Corner

Co-Chair: James Rowinski (PhD Candidate, UNB)
Co-Chair: Alim Fakirani (PhD Student, UBC)

The THFCF Graduate Student Committee (GSC), established in 2019 to connect graduate students both in Canada and abroad, continues to see the growth of its members in a variety of fields connected to history, civics, and Indigenous education. In December 2021, the GSC elected Alim Fakirani (UBC) to co-chair the committee. Congratulations Alim! The GSC has been active initiating a speaker series with prominent scholars and researchers tied to the THFCF project and is currently exploring developing a podcast series tied to this work. In February, we hosted the first of our 2022 workshops with Dr. Heather McGregor (Queen’s University), focused on her work in Arctic and Indigenous education, historical thinking, and historical consciousness in history education, as well as environmental and climate change education. Upcoming workshops will be with Dr. Kristina Llewellyn (University of Waterloo) and Dr. Penney Clark (University of British Columbia). To date, the GSC has hosted 8 workshops with prominent scholars, sessions that continue to serve an important role for the research, support, and academic pathways of GSC members, many who continue to be actively involved as research assistants with THFCF clusters and various committees.

Visiting Doctoral Student Program

Award Recipient: Sara Karn, Queen’s University
My proposal involves an on-site visit in Fall 2022 with Dr. Lindsay Gibson in the Faculty of Education, UBC. Dr. Gibson is an ideal faculty sponsor, due to his expertise in historical thinking, experience designing lessons and workshops, and expressed interest in historical empathy. My teaching and research experience has been situated in Ontario, so I welcome the opportunity to learn about research and curriculum in B.C. The host institution offers graduate and B.Ed. courses in history and social studies education, which I would contribute to in two ways.
First, Dr. Gibson has invited me to lead a graduate seminar on historical empathy. By Fall 2022, I will be analyzing my interview data, so the seminar discussions would allow me to share my preliminary findings while considering other interpretations and perspectives on historical empathy. This experience would be invaluable to informing my theoretical framework of historical empathy, a main goal and contribution of my dissertation.
Second, Dr. Gibson and I will design and implement a lesson that models historical empathy for teacher candidates, which is focused on a Canadian history topic, aligned with historical thinking, and oriented towards cultivating understanding and care within and beyond history classrooms. We would aim to highlight relationships between the cognitive and affective dimensions of historical empathy, as this has not been clearly articulated in scholarship to date. This is an area of focus for my dissertation research and being able to share a publishable-quality lesson plan would illuminate the theoretical framework presented in my dissertation and contribute greatly to our understanding of how historical empathy can be implemented in practice. Dr. Gibson and I would gather feedback from teacher candidates to improve the lesson for future use and share our findings with others in the history education community through publications and presentations.

Partner News

Social Studies Educators Network of Canada/Réseau pour l’enseignement des sciences sociales du Canada (SSENC/RESSC)
Rachel Collishaw, President

The Social Studies Educators Network of Canada (SSENC) formed in November of 2019 after years of discussion with representatives from social studies teachers’ associations in every province. We established three main objectives:
1. To advocate for social studies education across Canada
2. To facilitate networking and cooperation among social studies educators across Canada
3. To engage with public institutions, private interests, and non-government institutions in the development and implementation of policies and/or resources related to social studies education across Canada.
Provincial social studies teachers’ associations are the members of SSENC / RESSC, not individual teachers. Each member association designates a representative to attend monthly virtual meetings, and an in-person annual meeting. We collaborate and share expertise and resources to strengthen all of our networks in each jurisdiction. We are very pleased to partner with Thinking Historically to involve K-12 history and social studies teachers at every stage of the research.
We secured funding from Heritage Canada in 2021, and we recently held our first in-person annual meeting a few weeks ago to reconnect, and to plan together for our future. We are launching our website this spring, and we are creating classroom resources about Canada’s participation in the Korean War.
Our quarterly journal, Salon is shared across Canada through our members. The current issue includes trusted resources from many of our partners and includes ideas and insights from classroom teachers across Canada. The deadline for submissions for our September issue is the end of May. The theme for that issue is Historical Thinking: Research and Practice.

While we await the launch of our website, you can find us on Twitter @ssencressc where we engage our members in monthly activities.

Bits & Bites

The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2) is excited to launch Thinking about Historical Commemorations, five free lessons (in English & French) designed to invite K-12 history and social studies students to think critically about historical commemorations. Written by Thinking Historically co-investigator Dr. James Miles (Teachers College, Columbia University) and edited by Thinking Historically co-investigator Dr. Lindsay Gibson (UBC), The Thinking About Historical Commemorations project is supported in part by funding from the University of British Columbia’s Hampton Fund New Faculty Grant.

The Canadian History of Education Association (CHEA) will hold its biennial conference, in person, at the Laurel Point Inn, Victoria, B.C., from October 13th to 15th, 2022. Individual paper and panel proposals in history of education, and history education as well, are welcome. The deadline to submit a proposal (here) is May 6th, 2022.

The Canadian Historical Association’s (CHA) Centenary Annual Meeting will take place online May 16-18 2022. You can view the preliminary program on the CHA’s website

The Canadian Museum of History (CMH) and the Canadian War Museum (CWM) are pleased to announce that virtual school programs are now available to schools across Canada. All programs are delivered by a member of our staff, through an interactive presentation. Thanks in large part to the generosity of donors, the programs are offered free of charge for the 2021–2022 school year. For more information, please follow these links:  Canadian Museum of History, Canadian War Museum.

Please join us on the following dates for virtual presentations by Dr. Georg Marschnig (University of Graz), who will be a Visiting Scholar at the University of Waterloo from June 27th to July 8th.  All meetings will be held on Zoom. More information and registration links will be shared early in June.
June 27: 12:00 pm Mountain/2:00 pm Eastern: “Sometimes, it is enough to look back to see the future clearly.” Dealing with Memory Cultures to Learn About the Past … and the Future
July 4: 12:00 pm Mountain/2:00 pm Eastern: History Education in Austria. Trends, Traditions and Transformations in School-based History Teaching
July 6: 12:00 pm Mountain/ 2:00 pm Eastern: “Some of the refugees eventually found new homes…” Narratives of German minorities in Canada, the US and Europe
Members of Thinking Historically’s Graduate Student Committee will also have an opportunity to meet with Dr. Marschnig to learn more about approaches to history, historical thinking, and history education as they are occurring in Europe, and Austria specifically. Dr. Marschnig will also share information about student exchange opportunities to the University of Graz. Thanks to Thinking Historically’s Graduate Student Committee Co-Chairs, Jamie Rowinski and Alim Fakirani, for helping to organize this element of Dr. Marschnig visit!
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