What happens when you ask a room full of Canadian History teachers to list the top 5 significant events in our history? They discuss...then they cheat!
We were asked to complete this task today in an effort to establish a criteria for one of the most difficult parts of teaching history, that is, deciding what parts of Canadian History to teach. Along with debating the merits of essential topics, we also critiqued Peter Seixas' article, "What Is Historical Consciousness?" This is a worthy exercise, especially when one has the author in the room.
Sorry about the hot seat Peter!
In addition to the flurry of debating, we were also privileged to view a number of lithographs from the Winkworth collection. These primary traces focus on the early immigrant experience in Canada of which the Archives has several thousand. These pictures were an excellent starting point to begin the topic of Continuity and Change. Immigration continues of be a vital part of our country, and great way to look into the similarities and difference of the immigrant experience.
After a fantastic lunch, we braved the weather and made the 20 min. journey to the Canadian War Museum. It feels funny saying that in July, coming from a Winnipeger, but high temperatures and humidity continue to dog us and we were again truly grateful for an air-conditioned venue.
The Canadian War Museum is an outstanding collection of Canada's military past and present. As with most great museums, it was difficult to take it all in. The special exhibition on "Camouflage" was a highlight for me, as was the coat of Sir Issac Brock. (It has the bullet hole in it!) There are 4 main galleries covering pre-contact war to 1885, Crown and Country, 1885 - 1931, WWI & WWII and finally, "A Violent Peace" covering the Cold War, peacekeeping and recent conflicts. A "must see" museum if you are ever in Ottawa.