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Morton, Desmond. "Teaching and Learning History in Canada." In Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives, edited by Peter N. Stearns, Peter Seixas and Sam Wineburg, 51-62. New York: New York University Press, 2000.


In the context of Canada’s “History Wars,” Desmond Morton argues that the enthusiasm to address the deficiency in patriotism and national knowledge through rigorous standards in history education will not actually accomplish its promise of greater national cohesion. He points to Canada’s history of being both bicultural and multicultural and the provincial responsibility for education to be logistical and regional barriers for federally mandated standards.  He emphasizes that a focus away from content standards and toward a model of historical thinking will help the nation mature by bringing a disciplined inquiry to memories and folklore. Morton argues that moving away from a push for federal standards and toward a model that teaches young people to think historically will give them the tools to consider competing versions of events, which would actually lead to a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the Canadian experience.

Samantha Cutrara