Michael Cromer Memorial Lecture:
Historical Consciousness and the Australian History Wars

by CSHC Visiting Scholar
Anna Clark
, Australian Centre for Public History, University of Technology, Sydney 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015, 4:15-5:30 pm, UBC, Faculty of Education, Scarfe 310

Australian history has become increasingly contested in recent decades, with heated public debates over national commemorations, history curricula and museum exhibits. The question is, do these so-called 'history wars' resonate beyond the limited public sphere in which they play out? What do ‘ordinary people' think of their history in light of these politicised debates over the past? By way of answer, this paper draws on a qualitative research project that asked participants to reflect on how they locate their own historical sensibilities in the context of wider public and academic debates over the past. By proposing a method of ‘oral historiography’ to gauge contemporary historical consciousness in Australia, it brings a critical new perspective to these ongoing debates. It offers ordinary people a chance to contribute to national discussions about Australian history and it challenges some of the more simplistic and troubling assumptions of the history wars in Australia and internationally.

Anna Clark is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in Public History at the University of Technology Sydney. She has written three books: The History Wars (with Stuart Macintyre), Teaching the Nation: Politics and Pedagogy in Australia, and History’s Children: History Wars in the Classroom, which interviewed 250 history teachers, students and curriculum officials from around Australia and Canada to explore history teaching in school. Her current project, Every Now and Then: Navigating History in Australia, uses interviews with 100 people from around the country to consider their thoughts on history alongside public and political discussions about the past. Reflecting her love of fish and fishing, she has also recently been commissioned to write a history of fishing in Australia, which will be published in 2016.


The Historical Thinking Summer Institute
6-11 July 2015, Vancouver, BC

It is offered through UBC’s Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness, in collaboration with the Museum of Vancouver, where the Institute will be held. It is designed for teachers, graduate students, curriculum developers and museum educators who want to enhance their expertise at designing and teaching history courses and programs with explicit attention to historical thinking. Participants will explore substantive themes of aboriginal-settler relations and human-nature relations over time.

Optional course credit is offered through the University of British Columbia.
A limited number of travel bursaries are available on a competitive basis (see

Registration opens March 2015. For more information and to register, please visit
Download flyer.

For a comprehensive list of related events, please visit the Upcoming Events page on the site of The History Education Network / Histoire et éducation en réseau (THEN|HiER).


New Directions in Assessing Historical Thinking
Edited by Kadriye Ercikan and Peter Seixas

In this volume, leading European and North American scholars and practitioners tackle one of the most important, yet most neglected, topics in the field - assessment. History educators at all levels will benefit from the wide range of practical, thought-provoking, and cutting-edge insights into "how we know" what students know and how they reason in history. More than a work only about assessment, this book maps out a landscape of competing ideas about it means to think historically.

For more information and to order, please download the flyer.

The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts
Peter Seixas and Tom Morton

Big-SixSeixas, Peter, and Tom Morton. The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts. Toronto: Nelson, 2012.

This beautiful and thought-provoking PD resource will help educators to better understand historical thinking and to integrate six historical thinking concepts into classrooms through model activities and teaching strategies.

Each chapter begins with a discussion of how a prominent Canadian author has engaged one of the six concepts while writing a work of history or historical fiction. The second half of each chapter provides practical teaching strategies for working with the concepts at different grade levels, and levels of sophistication.

Table of Contents:

  1. Historical Significance
  2. Evidence
  3. Continuity and Change
  4. Cause and Consequence
  5. Historical Perspectives
  6. The Ethical Dimension

DVD-ROM includes:

To order, please visit Nelson Education.


Seixas, Peter, et Tom Morton. Les six concepts de la pensée historique. Montréal : Modulo, 2013. (Traduction de The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts.)

Conçu de facture élégante pour inspirer la réflexion, le livre propose des modèles d’activités et des stratégies d’enseignement afin d’aider les enseignants à mieux comprendre la pensée historique et à intégrer les six concepts de la pensée historique dans leur enseignement.

Chacun des chapitres débute par un exposé sur la façon dont un auteur canadien de renom s’est inspiré d’un des six concepts lors de la rédaction d’une recherche ou d’une fiction historique. La seconde partie offre des stratégies pratiques d’enseignement pour utiliser les concepts, et ce, à divers niveaux d’enseignement et de complexité.

Table des matières :

  1. La pertinence historique
  2. La preuve
  3. La continuité et le changement
  4. Les causes et les conséquences
  5. La perspective historique
  6. La dimension éthique

Le DVD inclut :

Informations de commande: Modulo


New Possibilities for the Past: Shaping History Education in Canada

Penney Clark (ed.)


The place of history in school curricula has sparked heated debate in Canada. Is Canadian history dead? Who killed it? Should history be put in the service of nation? Can any history be truly inclusive?

In this volume, museum educators, secondary school teachers, and leading and emerging historians and history educators define a new agenda for history education research by shifting the focus from content to method, from what should be included in narratives about the past to how to think about and teach history. They document the state of history education theory, research, and practice and consider the implications of research for classrooms from kindergarten to graduate school and in other contexts, including museums, virtual environments, and public institutional settings. They also consider the perspectives of indigenous peoples, the citizens of Quebec, and advocates of citizenship education.

Reflecting current critical engagement among historians, educators, and the Canadian public, New Possibilities for the Past sets a comprehensive research agenda both to help students at all levels learn about the past, and, more importantly, to understand how we construct history from its infinite possibilities.

To order, please visit UBC Press.

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