The Stories Nations Tell: Sites of Pedagogy, Historical Consciousness, and National Narratives

Stephanie Anderson


As Canada prepares to turn 150, this article discusses what curricular shifts are necessary to reconcile history education’s disciplinary tools with practices of historical consciousness that will encourage learners to consider the moral dilemmas associated with Canada’s colonial legacy, silenced histories, and multiple shifting identities in the present. It introduces a conceptual Framework of Canadian National Narratives that captures current constructions of Canadian national identity communicated in Canadian sites of pedagogy. Taking into consideration debates around historical consciousness as a pedagogical project, this article recommends that curricular imperatives in history education critically expose students to a country’s master national narrative templates and those narratives that contest and rebuke them through frameworks such as the Canadian one detailed in this article. Given the current historical moment, it suggests such national narrative frameworks would form part of a new curricular imperative titled the Narrative Dimension that would offer a way forward for history education in Canada and throughout the world.

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Canadian Journal of Education | Revue canadienne de l'éducationISSN 1918-5979