Three Cheers for THEN/HiER
16 March 2016 - 9:43am
As I am sure many readers of this blog are aware THEN/HiER’s funding and mandate are coming to an end. The final THEN/HiER board meeting was held last week (March 11th) and as the many tweets from the meeting show, it was an impressive gathering. While I am very hopefully that the initiatives begun by THEN/HiER will continue, I do think that this is an appropriate moment to reflect upon the many achievements of this community.
Education in Canada, as we all know, is an area controlled by the provinces and territories. As such, there have been very few pan-Canadian educational organizations and even fewer that have taken on an agenda as ambitious as THEN/HiER, which has sought to bring together multiple constituencies, encourage meaningful dialogue, and generate research informed practices.
In order to achieve its goals for improving history education and creating a robust history education research culture THEN/HiER has supported a wide array of initiatives. These have included the holding of annual symposiums, the development of a ground breaking book series, supporting travel opportunities for graduate students, sharing important research via e-bulletins, and providing funding to a wide range of projects.
Taken as a whole these efforts have, in my opinion, played a significant role in the development of a truly pan-Canadian network of history educators. As a result of THEN/HiER connections have been made between individuals from coast to coast to coast. Programs like, Approaching the Past, have drawn attention to often forgotten aspects of Canadian history and helped to establish local communities of history educators. These are achievements for which everyone who has contributed to THEN/HiER can feel proud.
Since its inception in 2005 those involved with THEN/HiER have put forward tremendous efforts to help improve history education in Canada. While this task is, by its very nature, on going, the steps that have been taken are truly impressive. With this in mind I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of THEN/HiER from 2005 onward and to encourage us all to continue to improve history education in Canada.