Research article

History as a 'GPS': On the uses of historical narrative for French Canadian students' life orientation and identity

Author
  • Stéphane Lévesque

Abstract

This article presents the results of a study that analyses students' historical narratives of the nation in relation to historical consciousness and how their sense of self-identification with groups affects their narrative structure and orientation. This study was conducted with French Canadian students registered in two high schools (n=58) and one university (n=18) in Ottawa, the federal capital of Canada. I found that a strong sense of identification leads young people to construct more engaging and militant stories of the collective past, with greater historical appropriation (using the collective 'we') and a sense of continuity with past actualities. I then discuss the implications of this study for research on the narrative competence of historical consciousness and what history education might do in school to promote historical consciousness in Canada.

Keywords: HISTORICAL CONSCIOUSNESS, HISTORICAL NARRATIVE, NATIONAL IDENTITY, HISTORY EDUCATION

How to Cite:

Lévesque, S., (2017) “History as a 'GPS': On the uses of historical narrative for French Canadian students' life orientation and identity”, London Review of Education 15(2), 227–242. doi: https://doi.org/10.18546/LRE.15.2.07

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Published on
01 Jul 2017
Peer Reviewed
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