June 28, 2021
Canadian provinces and territories graded on their history curriculum; average score is 67%
TORONTO – June 28, 2021 – Canada’s curricula are almost all struggling in efforts to provide a more comprehensive view of the country’s history – and falling particularly short in teaching Indigenous history.
Those are key findings of a new report from Historica Canada evaluating history education in each province and territory. By the criteria set, the average score is 67 per cent – with the notable exception of Ontario, the country’s best, at 85 per cent.
The 2021 Canadian History Report Card is an assessment of mandatory Canadian history curricula across grades 7-12. While Ontario scored highest, the lowest score is Alberta, at 50 per cent.
The report marks the third iteration of the report cards. Previous versions were released in 2009 and 2015. Each year the evaluation criteria change to reflect new pedagogical research and shifting societal expectations.
A new category was added this year, which assessed whether curricula incorporated the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Calls to Actions 62-65. Points were awarded on how a curriculum covered the history and legacy of residential schools; Indigenous peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada; treaties; and Indigenous knowledge.
Each curriculum was also evaluated on content and skills. Bonus marks were added to the total score based on the number of mandatory courses. The Canadian History Report Card offers each province and territory tailored suggestions to improve their approach to history education.
“More than ever, we see general agreement that history is best taught when it incorporates a full range of diverse voices and experiences,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO of Historica Canada. “But that continues to be an area that is lacking across much of the country – with, in particular, a lot more work to be done to give students a more comprehensive awareness of the history, traditions, contributions and perspectives of Indigenous peoples.”
The 2021 Canadian History Report Card was made possible through funding from the Wilson Foundation. The report was researched and developed by Dr. Samantha Cutrara, a history education strategist, in close collaboration with the Historica Canada team.
Historica Canada offers programs you can use to explore, learn, and reflect on our history and what it means to be Canadian.