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Gaffield, Chad. "The Blossoming of Canadian Historical Research: Implications for Educational Policy and Content." In To the Past: History Education, Public Memory, and Citizenship in Canada, edited by Ruth W. Sandwell, 88-102. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006.


Chad Gaffield traces the disjuncture between academic history research and undergraduate history teaching in this chapter. He argues that starting in the 1970s, “new” social history changed the structure of history to emphasise questions over answers and plural over singular, making it difficult for textbook writers to pare this work down for mass production. To expand the vision of undergraduate survey courses, Gaffield shares two “teachable moments” in which the principles of new social history inserted themselves into his undergraduate teaching: posing his own research question to a survey class and allowing personal stories to speak their own truth about the dominant narrative of a historical period. Gaffield predicts that discovery-based curriculum and innovative links between archives and history departments will be the way forward in history education and will reconcile this disjuncture still found between research and teaching.

Samantha Cutrara