Approaching the Past 2013/14 Vancouver
The first Approaching the Past Vancouver event of this year was held in conjunction with THEN/HIER's Fourth Annual Regional Conference on October 7. Terry Point of the Musqueam Cultural Centre provided a guided tour of the Musqueam community, longhouse, and the cultural centre, with a focus on a joint Musqueam-Maori exhibition.
Interesting in starting an Approaching the Past series in your area? Click here.
Approaching the Past 2013/14 Toronto: A Series Connecting People Teaching History
The theme of this year's series is "Investigating Toronto's Histories."
The first Approaching the Past Toronto event was held on October 4 at the City of Toronto Archives. The exhibition on display was “Toronto on the Grid” which included 100 years of street photography. Participants, mostly teachers and teacher candidates, were introduced to using primary documents such as photos in their classrooms. Thanks to Gillian Reddyhoff of the Toronto Archives. Stewart Boden of the Ontario Archives did a presentation titled “Lights Camera Archives” and gave CDs of the historical footage from his presentation to all participants.
The second event took place on November 5 at Colborne Lodge in High Park. "Exploring Landscapes of Leisure" began with a tour of historic Colborne Lodge (a historical museum built in 1836s by John George Howard, an architect and engineer), and was followed by two talks. The first talk by museum educator Catherine Raven provided insight into the history and geography of the land and environment of the park. Her presentation included beautiful images of the park, the historic house, and the Toronto Waterfront. For the second talk, Toronto teacher Katy Whitfield showed photographic evidence of the diverse uses of the park's land as an important historic space, and distributed a special package of materials she created for participants that incorporated historical thinking concepts.
THEN/HiER Fourth Annual Regional Conference, Objects Matter: Making Histories in Museums, Monday October 7, 2013, Vancouver, BC
This conference was designed to bring together graduate students, professors, teachers, museum educators and community members. Topics included issues of historical consciousness; indigenous knowledges; and inclusive, community-based museology. In addition to speakers, there were break-out sessions led by graduate students which explored how museums can connect with social studies/history curricula and historical consciousness, using multiple perspectives in history education, indigenous histories, and the practices of participatory museology. Read more.
THEN/HiER and the CSHC Reception at AERA
THEN/HiER and the CSHC sponsored a reception at the AERA conference in San Francisco on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 7:45 to 10:00 pm in the Cypress/Monterey Room at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.
Approaching the Past 2012/13 Vancouver
The first Approaching the Past event in Vancouver took place February 7, 2013 at the Museum of Vancouver. Vancouver: Our Diverse Heritage, was inspired by the theme for Heritage Week 2013, “Good Neighbours: Heritage Homes and Neighbourhoods.” Talks were given by Donald Luxton, a well-known Vancouver architect, conservation consultant, educator and author; and Vanessa Campbell, educator, Squamish Nation Language Program. Donald Luxton talked about the history of Vancouver through its different architectural styles from the late 1800s to today; and Vanessa Campbell spoke of the history of the Squamish people in the area as the original inhabitants, the importance of place to First Nations people, and education and socialization within Squamish communities. A materials package included information about THEN/HiER, sources of historical information on Vancouver and the Squamish First Nation, as well as information about various school programs offered at local museums.
On May 30, the Vancouver-area Approaching the Past event, A Walking Tour of Stanley Park, was led by Jolene Cumming of the Stanley Park History Group. Participants viewed some historical sites within the park, which at one time was inhabited by First Nations and later by European newcomers. Ms. Cumming showed historical photographs of many of the sites.
Approaching the Past 2012/13 Toronto: A Series Connecting People Teaching History
The theme of this year's series is "Order and Disorder?"
The first Approaching the Past event for 2012/2013, Meetings with the Monarchy, was held on October 10 at St. James Cathedral in Toronto. In recognition of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, the historical relationship between the monarchy and the city was featured. The evening began with a tour of the cathedral and refreshments. Nancy Mallett, Educator and Archivist for St. James Cathedral, spoke about the relationship between the Church (Toronto's oldest) and the Monarchy which includes visits and a Bible signing; and between the Church and the city of York, as the building served as the city’s first school and first hospital. She revealed holdings from Church archives that extend back to the 18th century. The extensive collection of photographs, documents and artifacts was open for the audience to view. This was followed by a talk via Skype from Coll Thrush, a history professor at UBC. "Indigenous Travellers and the English and British Monarchs, 1577-2006" examined the history of relationships between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown that ranged from exploitation to close alliances, which was followed by audience questions and discussion. Folders of resource materials were provided for teachers to use in their classrooms, including a booklet provided by the Lieutenant Governor's Office of Ontario titled 60 in/en 60 that was created to support a special exhibition celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. See approachingthepast.ca for further details and photos.
The second event, Life at the Fort, was held on December 4 at Fort York in Toronto. Richard Haynes, Museum Site Coordinator, provided an introduction and welcomed everyone to the fort. In honour of the War of 1812 and the bi-centennial of the City of Toronto, historian and curator Kelly Nesbitt spoke about fort life during this period, including the role of women and children. James Jenkins, Coordinator of the Walpole Island Community Cultural Centre and doctoral student at the University of Texas, spoke about the formation of Walpole Island in the aftermath of the War of 1812 and provided an important perspective of how Anishinaabe and other First Nations peoples experienced the war as well as the challenges of settlement during the period 1777-1815. A dialogue about what commemorations of the War of 1812 mean to various First Nations communities ensued. The purpose of the talks was to provide alternative narratives about the war to counter many historical accounts told in history classrooms, supply teachers and students with materials that will enhance their study of the period, and support the use of historical thinking concepts.
The third event for 2012/13 took place at Mackenzie House on February 27. Janet Schwartz, Museum Site Coordinator, talked about Mackenzie House programming and provided insight into the lives of William Lyon Mackenzie and his family, including his three daughters, his mother and his wife. Danielle Urquhart, Program Officer, provided a history of the printing press and newspapers from 19th century Upper Canada. Participants explored the printing press program and went home with a copy of Mackenzie’s newspaper, with their name on it, which they typeset themselves. Although Chris Raible was not able to attend due to a snowstorm, his handouts were included in the resource folders.
The fourth and final event of the season, Toronto: Multiple Voices, Multiple Lives, took place at the City of Toronto Archives, Casa Loma, and Spadina House on May 1. Archives staff demonstrated their Ward-based programming that focuses on how the area known as The Ward was represented visually over time. Sarah Bassnett, curator of the exhibit, spoke about the many lenses used to “picture” the Ward and explained how her exhibit was organized by various publications, including community-based newspapers, the Toronto Globe, and municipal photographs. The exhibit demonstrated how the images of immigrants were used in different ways. At Spadina House, led by Doug Fyfe, Program Officer, participants role-played particular interest groups to ask the wealthy Austin family for financial support. Mr. Fyfe also shared with us the story of the rise and fall of Sir Henry Pellat, Toronto entrepreneur and owner of Casa Loma.
Interesting in starting an Approaching the Past series in your area? Click here.
THEN/HiER Third Annual Regional Conference, History and Emotion: Between Collective Memory and Historical Thinking, Quebec City, October 25, 2012
THEN/HiER's Francophone Graduate Student Committee organized a French-language Annual Regional Conference which took place on October 25, 2012 at the Université Laval in Quebec City with the theme of historical empathy, History and Emotion: Between Collective Memory and Historical Thinking. As the title suggests, participants looked at the emotional aspects involved in the teaching and learning of history.
THEN/HiER Events at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2012 Conference
Between April 13 and 17, 2012, thousands of scholars descended on the Vancouver, British Columbia waterfront for the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The Teaching History Special Interest Group (TH-SIG) had a strong program this year, with two symposia, two paper sessions, and three roundtable sessions. Every session was very well attended, and all sessions prompted interesting questions and discussion (some vigorous!). Penney Clark, Director, THEN/HiER organized a panel titled “Race and Nation in Canadian History Education.” Presenters were Penney Clark, Michael Marker, Marc-André Ethier, Peter Seixas, and James Miles.
In addition to the academic sessions, THEN/HiER and UBC’s Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness hosted a sumptuous reception after the Business Meeting on Saturday, April 14. With Jim Houston playing melodious music in the background, attendees visited, all the while enjoying fine beverages and delicious food.
2012 Symposium - Museums as Sites of Historical Consciousness
The purpose of this event, organized by THEN/HiER Executive Board Member Viviane Gosselin, held April 11 and 12 at the Museum of Vancouver, was to workshop chapters for the fourth edited collection in THEN/HiER’s book series. Contributors include practitioners and academics from a range of disciplines who consider historical literacy and the formation of historical consciousness within various museum and heritage site settings. Other members of the museum community from Vancouver and across the country participated and provided feedback to contributors.
Approaching the Past 2011/12: A Series Connecting People Teaching History
The first Approaching the Past event for 2011/2012, World War One and the Archives, held October 5 in Toronto, was a fantastic evening of history education focused on local narratives related to the First World War. The participatory program involved examining documents and researching the database at the Toronto Archives, and then engaging with documents that feature The Austins, a prominent Toronto family, at Spadina Museum Historic House. The visits and examination of documents at these two important sites helped history educators understand the ways in which the First World War impacted the citizens of Toronto.
The second Approaching the Past event, Secret Lives, Affective Learning: Using Drama to Teach History, was held on November 29 from 5 to 8 pm at the Zion Schoolhouse in north Toronto. Thirty-five graduate and teacher education students, faculty, and public history professionals attended. The event provided an opportunity for history educators to explore the past through historical theatre and included performances by three local theatre groups followed by discussion.
The third Approaching the Past event, Places and Their Stories: Recognizing the History around Us, took place on March 7. Dr. Geoffrey Reaume and Jay Young, both from York University, connected history to places around Toronto, such as the historic wall around the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and Toronto Transit Commission stations such as Davisville and Eglinton West. Participants also were fortunate to get a tour of the historic Wychward Barns and learn about their history as a streetcar maintenance facility.
The fourth and final Approaching the Past event of the year, A Spring Walk: Historical Landscapes and Hauntings: Connecting place to the history and social studies curriculum, took place on May 9 at the University of Toronto. The event involved a spring walk around the campus. Although a rain storm scared away all but hearty participants, a good crowd braved the drizzle which in fact brought out the best of the natural environment and enhanced the stories about underground rivers and lakes by Lost Rivers speaker Helen Mills. Richard Fiennes-Clinton from Muddy York Walking Tours provided some insight on the kinds of walking trips that work well with history students and Rose Fine-Meyer spoke of using place-based education, examining local buildings and land, to support the Ontario Humanities and Canadian and World studies curriculum. The walk underscored pedagogical strategies for using experiential learning as a way to engage all learning types in the investigation of history.
THEN/HiER Second Annual Regional Conference, Imagining Gateways: Collaboration and Innovation in Teaching and Learning History, October 27-29, 2011, Halifax, Nova Scotia
In collaboration with the Nova Scotia Social Studies Teachers’ Association, the Nova Scotia Archives, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, THEN/HiER held three days of discussion with historians, history educators, museum staff, and community members interested in pedagogy and practice related to history teaching and learning, especially through narratives of migration. The purpose of this national conference was to bring together people who are working in history education but may not necessarily connect. The three-day event featured tours and discussions at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, a keynote presentation by immigration historian Lisa Chilton, and a panel discussion with other historians and award-winning Nova Scotia teachers about ways to collaborate and extend their practice on local history and the topic of immigration. Read more.
2011 Symposium - The Many Faces of History Teacher Education
Becoming a History Teacher in Canada: Sustaining Practices in Historical Thinking and Knowing. This is the working title of another book in the THEN/HiER series edited by board members Ruth Sandwell (OISE/UT) and Amy von Heyking (University of Lethbridge). The chapters for this edited book were presented by the authors and critiqued by other contributors at the THEN/HiER invited symposium The Many Faces of History Teacher Education held in Calgary in April 2011. According to the editors, “A revolution in history education in recent years is propelling historical thinking and knowing to the forefront of history and social studies education in North America and beyond. Teachers, university teacher education programs, schools and Ministries of Education across Canada are embracing a new approach to history teaching and learning, one that promises to replace rote learning and memorization with the richer and deeper disciplinary understanding that comes from knowing how history is made.”
Approaching the Past 2010/2011: A Series Connecting People Teaching History
Approaching the Past is a quarterly workshop series in Toronto, Ontario organized jointly by THEN/HiER and Active History.ca The goal of the series is to create and strengthen ties between history educators working in a variety of contexts in the Greater Toronto Area, including middle and high schools, universities (both faculty and graduate students), and museums. Workshops offer the opportunity to connect with colleagues, meet people teaching history in unique and engaging ways, and be challenged to teach history in ways that connect more deeply with our students.
For those who were unable to attend, Tom Peace, of Active History, has created a virtual workshop based on the evening’s activities.
The second Approaching the Past event, “The Past through Place,” was held September 30 at Montgomery’s Inn Community Museum in Toronto. Professor Julia Roberts led the workshop with a discussion of the ways that place—in this case, a historic tavern—can inform our understanding of the past and act as an entry point for teaching history. The themes discussed included issues of conflict, gender, and ethnicity in teaching the history of diverse times and places. Companion reading material for the workshop can be found in Jennifer Bonnell’s article, A Comforting Past: Skirting Conflict and Complexity at Montgomery’s Inn.
The third Approaching the Past event was held at Grenadier Cafe and Tea Room in High Park, January 27, 2011. "Experiencing History" was a workshop on teaching history through experiential education. Outdoor educator Bob Henderson led participants in activities and discussion focused on more physically active ways of teaching and learning history.
The fourth Approaching the Past event, "Bridging the Gap Between History Student and History Teacher," was held on February 24, 2011. This workshop brought together faculty and students from York’s and OISE’s Faculties of Education to discuss making the transition from being a student of history to a teacher of history.
The fifth and final Approaching the Past event for the year was held on April 27, 2011.This workshop focused on teaching the War of 1812 and included discussion of teaching Aboriginal perspectives.
THEN/HiER First Annual Regional Conference, Teaching History in Diverse Venues: A Workshop Linking Historians and Educators in Bettering History Education Practice, November 4, 2010
Watch the video of Christopher Dummitt's presentation "After Inclusiveness: The Future of Canadian History."
2010 Symposium - Playing with Technology in History
This THEN/HiER symposium held on April 29 and 30 in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario organized by Executive Board member Kevin Kee was a great success! The purpose of this “unconference” was to explore using technology in history education. Comments from some of the participants include: “I spent a fair amount of time wondering how all the ‘play’ we talked about can be connected to the serious purposes of teaching and learning about the past. … At a minimum, however, it seems to me that if historians are willing to be a little more playful, we are more likely to engage a wider audience for our work” (Mills Kelly, Associate Professor, Department of History and Art History and Associate Director, Center for History and New Media at George Mason University); and, “the particular combination of playful openness and then focused productive work was really appealing and invigorating. Best of both worlds” (Josh Greenberg, Director of Digital Strategy and Scholarship, New York Public Library). Papers from the symposium will be used for an edited book titled Pastplay.
Historical Thinking Project National Meetings, 2010 to 2012
THEN/HiER has sponsored three Historical Thinking Project national meetings in Toronto, attended by instructional leaders, teachers, leading history education scholars, representatives from ministries of education from almost every province and territory, publishers, heads of a number of provincial teaching associations, and representatives from various other stakeholders. The meetings' themes have been: A Big Step Forward: Historical Thinking in Provincial Curricula, Assessments and Professional Development (2010); Continuing the Momentum (2011); and Assessment of Historical Thinking (2012).
2009 Invited Symposium for Contributors to New Possibilities for the Past: Shaping History Education in Canada
The purpose of this one-day symposium, organized and led by Penney Clark, and held on February 9, 2009, was to critique each chapter of our first edited volume, New Possibilities for the Past: Shaping History Education in Canada. All participants read a draft of each chapter in preparation for the day. Attendees were Jocelyn Létourneau, Université Laval; Stéphane Lévesque, University of Ottawa; Peter Seixas, University of British Columbia; Kent den Heyer, University of Alberta; Amy von Heyking, University of Lethbridge; Tom Morton, retired teacher, Vancouver School Board; Ruth Sandwell, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ University of Toronto; Viviane Gosselin, doctoral student, University of British Columbia; Kevin Kee, Brock University; Carla Peck, University of Alberta; Marc André Ethier, Université de Montréal; Alan Sears, University of New Brunswick; and Anne Marie Goodfellow, Network Manager.
This session was followed by an evening presentation by Jocelyn Létourneau and Peter Seixas on the findings of their research project Canadians and Their Pasts/Les Canadiens et leurs passés (Community-University Research Alliance SSHRC project – Jocelyn Létourneau, Principal Investigator).
THEN/HiER Initial Meetings
THEN/HiER's inaugural meeting took place at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto in January of 2005.
The second meeting of THEN/HiER participants, organized by Peter Seixas, UBC, and Ruth Sandwell, OISE/UofT, took place in April 2006 at the Peter Wall Centre, University of British Columbia.