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Survey of secondary school history teachers

(Press release) The spokesperson for the Coalition for History, Robert Comeau and the historian and researcher, Josiane Lavallée made public on March 1 the results of a survey carried out among secondary school history teachers which revealed that they are dissatisfied with the programs they have to teach because they are too focused on education for citizenship and the present and not enough on the acquisition of historical knowledge.

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(Press release) The spokesperson for the Coalition for History, Robert Comeau and the historian and researcher, Josiane Lavallée released on March 1 the results of a survey of high school history teachers that revealed that they are dissatisfied with the programs they have to teach because they are too focused on citizenship education and present and not enough on the acquisition of historical knowledge.

Ms. Lavallée argues in her 72-page study: "While it is true that the past sheds light on the present, the fact remains that history should never be put at the service of the present to support any ideology, whether this ideology is progressive or not. ”

“The Coalition for History conducted a sample survey to which 215 high school history teachers responded. This corresponds to approximately 20 % of history teachers from all regions of Quebec. A majority of the responses received demonstrate the dissatisfaction of secondary school history teachers. They denounce history programs, particularly with regard to the introduction of citizenship education in history lessons, the virtual absence of the history of the Quebec nation and of the political dimension. of the history and structure of the program in 3e and 4e secondary school where the same history is taught for two years, without forgetting the absence of a compulsory course in 20th century history ”notes the researcher.

The spokesperson for the Coalition for History, Robert Comeau, recalled the Coalition's previous studies funded by the Lionel-Groulx Foundation on the decline in history teaching at the college level and the lack of training in the historical discipline at the university in teacher training programs . Mr. Comeau argued that in his "Speech on school and nation", Francois Hollande of the French Socialist Party argues that "The school should be at the forefront of political commitments, because it is the condition of our cohesion national ”and insists on the importance of“ valuing knowledge, because school is first and foremost made to transmit knowledge. ”

Erase parts of history

As for the historian, novelist and biographer (author of The novel by Julie Papineau, Lady Cartier and The Fallen Girls), Micheline Lachance, she insisted on the importance of giving political history its rightful place : “Isn't erasing parts of history also serving a cause? Let's not be afraid of words: we are currently witnessing an attempt to rewrite the past by erasing in one stroke the pages that define us as a different people. "

“The Coalition for History, concludes Josiane Lavallée, asks the Minister of Education to review the content of history programs in high school. History teachers really need a more balanced history curriculum to teach our young people all dimensions of history, including political history and the crucial and founding events of our history. At the undergraduate level, history teachers are calling for an increase in the hours of history teaching. ”

Josiane Lavallée holds a master's degree in history from the University of Montreal and a bachelor's degree in history teaching from UQÀM. She taught secondary and primary for almost ten years and was a career counselor in a teachers' union.

This research was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Honor Loan Foundation, whose president Gaston Bergeron was warmly thanked by the representatives of the Coalition for History.

The Coalition for History, initiated in 2009 by the SSJB of Montreal, promotes the teaching of history at all levels of education to allow young Quebecers of all origins to acquire a better knowledge of the history of Quebec, of Canada and of western and non-western world history.

The full version of the study can be obtained at the following address: http://www.coalitionhistoire.org/sites/default/files/une-histoire-javellisee-au-service-du-present.pdf

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