History: a powerful tool for understanding society

We met Laurent Turcot, teacher in the human sciences department at UQTR, writer, historian, historical popularizer and YouTuber, who reveals how the study of history helps to develop students' critical thinking.

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We met Laurent Turcot, teacher in the human sciences department at UQTR, who reveals how the study of history helps to develop students' critical thinking. The one who is also a writer, historian, historical popularizer and YouTuber speaks to us about the technological revolution which multiplies the means thanks to which one can access historical knowledge.

Text by Alexane St-Amant Ringuette

In this interview, Laurent highlights the potential of his discipline to forge critical thinking and understand current society. He points out that history is not the study of the past, but rather the study of traces of the past. It is not a question of memorizing the dates of events, but rather of understanding their causes and impacts. The historian's job is not to open a book and tell the story; he has to confront several visions of the same event in order to learn from them. Faced with his sources, the historian must always ask himself the following questions: Who wrote? In what context? What's the point?

"The historian does not know what the truth is, but he knows what are the representations of the truth" - Laurent Turcot

Knowing how to capture the interest of your students

Laurent is convinced of the importance of investing in different forms of historical popularization. He wanted to try them all to see what works: he wrote a historical novel, was a consultant in the making of the video game Assassin's Creed and created his own YouTube channel History will tell. Through these initiatives, Laurent seeks to demonstrate the convergence between the "Great science" and the "Popularization". Above all, he wants to adapt to the times and the way of thinking of his students in order to arouse their interest.

The EDU question:

The word that allows Laurent to have a positive impact on others is ENERGY. Listen to the interview to find out what the word means to him.
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Produced with the support of Carrefour Éducation
Carrefour éducation

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About the Author

Stéphanie Dionne
Stephanie Dionne
Stéphanie Dionne is director of development and partnerships, facilitator and speaker. It contributes to the influence of players in the education sector and its ecosystem. In addition, it supports parents, teachers and workers in a mentality of co-education in order to allow young people to become fulfilled citizens in the digital age.