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- 22 Septembre @ Bruxelles
- Book review
- Video accompanying a special feature of the London Review of Education, about history education and student national identity.
- ‘Negotiating the nation: Young people, national narratives and history education’, edited with Arthur Chapman
- S’IL TE PLAÎT, DESSINE-MOI LE PASSÉ DE TON PAYS ! Sur la forme de l’expérience historique canadienne
- 150 ans d’histoire : le Québec et le Canada entre passé et avenir
- Ce jeudi 18 mai @ Montréal / CRIFPE
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Archives de Tag: history education
Video accompanying a special feature of the London Review of Education, about history education and student national identity.
‘Negotiating the nation: Young people, national narratives and history education’, edited with Arthur Chapman
This special feature in the London Review of Education can be found here.
CALL FOR PAPERS: London Review of Education // Young people, national narratives and history education (Deadline: January, 2016)
CALL FOR PAPERS: London Review of Education // Young people, national narratives and history education https://t.co/bVUYe299b7
— Jocelyn Létourneau (@JocLetourneau) 12 Janvier 2016
— Ted Vallance (@TedVallance) November 10, 2015
— Ted Vallance (@TedVallance) December 1, 2015
— Ali Messer (@freereed59) December 1, 2015
— David Callaghan (@dbcallaghan) December 1, 2015
Professor Jocelyn Létourneau, Department of History, Laval University
Dr Arthur Chapman, UCL IoE
Anxieties about national identity and its strengthening and preservation are common in countries around the world, and it is, of course, entirely natural that this should be so in times of great change, challenge and uncertainty.
These anxieties can cause our discussions of history education to tend to the negative and to become counter-productive and even irrational. Public discussion tends, first, to base itself on impressionistic surveys – hardly fitting for matters of consequence. Second, it tends to focus on deficits – on what children do not know. Finding the same absence – repeatedly – is not a constructive act (we learn nothing new by doing it) and, more importantly, a focus on what is not present tells us nothing about what is in children’s heads. Understanding the ideas that children do have is crucial if we want to help them build historical knowledge and understanding and it is more important to know how children think about the past than it is to know which particular fact they do or do not know. Finally, as Sam Wineburg has shown, the habit of repeatedly finding that children know less than they used to has a long history – the obsessive repetition of claims about children’s ignorance of the past generation after generation is evidence of continuity more than change.
What happens if we try and find out what children do know and if we try to do so in a sustained manner and on a large scale?
In the last decade, scholars in a number of places around the world – including this Institute, Quebec, Canada, France, Switzerland (Geneva), Germany, Spain, Australia, and Belgium – have begun to undertake large-scale studies of what young people know about the past.[i] Rather than posing fastidious questions on specific historical issues (such as “Who was Horatio Nelson?”), which usually prove young people’s lack of knowledge, many of these studies invite students to tell what they know (“Tell me the story of your country, as you know it, from the beginning to the present”). With no constraint on their answers other than an injunction to be serious in responding to the task, most students were able to propose some sort of narrative in the 45 minutes allotted for the task. These narratives often revealed that students had meaningful knowledge and representations about their nation and that they were not ‘empty pots’.
[i] For Swiss, Germany, France and Spain see the Lantheaume, F., and Létourneau J. (2016). Le récit du commun. L’histoire nationale racontée par les élèves. Approche comparative: France, Catalogne, Suisse, Allemagne, Lyon: Presses universitaires de Lyon. Belgian work is currently in process.
TUE, 1 DEC 2015 AT 17:30 /// Young People, National Narratives and History Education /// Committee Room 1, UCL Institute of Education (IOE), London, United Kingdom
When entering school, kids are not empty pots. They know many things, including things about the past of their society. Getting into the body of this historical knowledge is an interesting business. It reveals to what extent assimilated family souvenirs and community memories and templates are important in shaping children’s historical knowledge and historical consciousness.
If family souvenirs and community memories are structural components in kid’s historical consciousness, they also represent limitations to take students out of the mythistories – a mix of brute facts and historical romance – they’re trapped in when telling the past. One of the main challenges to teaching the past to kids is to get them outside the thinkable they’ve been accustomed to in living in a particular society and being subjected to its broad representations.
The aim of the talk is to discuss a pragmatic approach to teaching the past to kids in the context of a strong presence of community memories and templates everywhere in society, assuming the fact that kids learn history in and out of the classroom. The proposed approach – to start from memory in order to get out of it – comes from an innovative study effectuated in Quebec in the last decade (www.tonhistoireduquebec.ca) which consisted in collecting short narratives (N = 5000) and phrases (N= 3423) produced by students responding to two basic questions: 1) “Tell me the story of Quebec as you know it;” 2) “If you had to summarize in one sentence the historical experience of Quebec, what would you write personally?”