History of all from the Greek verb that means to know. So at its heart, history is a search for knowledge, so the question becomes, why in Canada do we have low historical literacy rates. Why are Canadians failing to remember their past?
Although historical literacy can be considered low, pride in the Canadian project is still
Historica Canada did a series of studies on the attitudes in the knowledge of Canadians through the years and has found a lack of historical illiteracy from critical dates and figures. As an example, “A new poll suggests Canadians haven’t made much progress in expanding their knowledge of the more colourful parts of the country’s history.
The online survey from Historica Canada, the organization behind the country’s Heritage Minutes, quizzed respondents on 30 pieces of quirky Canadiana using true or false questions and tallied the number of correct responses.
The organization says 67 percent of respondents who completed the survey got a failing grade.
That’s more than the 62 percent of respondents who failed a similar survey last year.”
Furthermore, there has been a sharp decline in the arts. Fewer students have been taking history majors overall. “this has contributed to less history education at higher levels. students don’t see a future in the humanities In many universities; history undergraduate enrollment is declining, perhaps as part of the general crisis of the arts, but also possibly because of this trend toward ahistorical thinking.”
As well, it has to be considered that many history courses have a regional focus “Mark Reid, editor-in-chief of Canada’s History magazine, said history lessons in the country’s schools focus primarily on regional and provincial concerns while only touching on issues of national scope such as the First and Second World War.
Students in Nova Scotia, for instance, may learn plenty about the Acadian expulsion while learning little to nothing about the fur trade that would dominate discussion in British Columbia classrooms. The Battle of the Plains of Abraham would be taught very differently in Ontario schools than across the border in Quebec, he added.
That emphasis on more local history has many benefits. All the proceeding factors can add up to a very uneven historical literacy rate.
Historical literacy in Canada is at a low ebb. However, pride in Canada as a country is not diminishing.