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THEN/HiER Goals and Background

1. Create a more robust history education research culture in Canada as defined by:
• increasing opportunities for collaboration among scholars, educators, and other stakeholders
• increasing the circulation of Canadian and international research findings.

2. Improve history education policy across Canada by:
• promoting research on history education policy
• promoting research-informed history education policy
• nurturing dialogue among education stakeholders (including academic historians; public historians in museums, archives and historic sites; practicing teachers; researchers based in faculties of education; graduate students; policy makers and other stakeholders) about history education policy.

3. Improve history education practice by:
• increasing communication and collaboration among history education stakeholders
• disseminating research findings in educational settings
• encouraging teachers to apply history education research
• identifying and nurturing communities of practitioners
• promoting informed uses of new media within history education.

4. Develop research-informed assessment of history learning by:
• promoting research on history assessment
• disseminating research on assessment among policy makers and teachers.

5. Provide advocacy by:
• serving as a public voice for history education in Canada
• generating research-informed policy briefs.

The History Education Network/Histoire et éducation en réseau (THEN/HiER), formed in 2005, brings together an interdisciplinary, multi-professional group interested in history education. The Network’s organizational meetings were funded in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Strategic Research Cluster Design program. Meetings of the Network encouraged a fruitful dialogue among participants and resulted in a series of recommendations designed to increase enrollments in history (at the secondary and tertiary levels), promote historical consciousness, heighten understanding of collective heritage, and improve communication between teachers and historians. The early work of the Network laid the foundations for a proposal to the SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Clusters Grant program in 2006, and a second and ultimately successful proposal to the SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Clusters Grant program in 2007.