Prof Offers Thoughts on Value of Teaching History

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Prof. Karen Racine, with U of G’s Department of History, spoke to the Edmonton Journal about a new research project led by a University of Alberta education professor to investigate how history is taught across Canada.

The project will involve 28 researchers from 17 universities and aims to develop recommendations for how to teach history better.

Racine is not part of the project but was asked for her perspective. She responded that studying history is a vital component of an educated citizenry, since it helps to cultivate empathy and understand differing perspectives.

What’s more, she said, history is “about real people and is just plain fascinating.”

Racine’s research focuses on the history and culture of the revolutionary independence period throughout Latin America and the Atlantic World in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. She is interested in issues of cross-cultural contact, national identity formation and the creation of patriotic civic cultures during that period.