Say You Want a Revolution?

Posted by Daniel on Nov 23, 2010

While in Ottawa last week I attended an award ceremony at Rideau Hall. The Governor General was handing out medals (above) to a group of school teachers who were being honoured for excellence in the teaching of Canadian history.

BC was well represented. Of the eight award-winning teachers, two are from west of the mountains: Adrian French from Mount Douglas Secondary in Victoria and Dan Connor who teaches at Rockridge Secondary in West Vancouver.

There were also student prizes for essay writing on historical topics and two young students from Coquitlam represented BC in this category: Carolyn Nakagawa and Eden Nzeyimana.

One often hears the complaint that young Canadians are not learning enough about the history of their own country so it was gratifying to be surrounded by a committed group of teachers and students.

Earlier, at a forum on teaching history, I was amused to hear British historian Peter Furtado and Greg Melleuish from Australia both remark on the low level of historical literacy in their own countries. Canadians love to think that we are the only place in the world where few people know the name of the first prime minister, etc. etc. Not so, apparently. Greg Melleuish said that students in Oz often complain to him that that country's history is boring because it never had a revolution.

Where have we heard that before?