History, Oh History…

At the bottom of this post is a link to a series of question and study sheets, including some sample essay questions, for the Secondary 4 History of Quebec and Canada course in the province of Quebec. I’ve only uploaded the questions and study sheets for module 4 so far. The rest should be up soon – 2 wee things called report cards and final classes are taking up some time this week :).

I love teaching this course, though I absolutely abhor the end of year exam that is attached to it. It is a high stakes exam – without it you just can not graduate from high school in Quebec.

The course and the exam are supposed to change with the education reforms in Quebec, though now that teachers and parents are calling for a moratorium on the reform who knows when that might happen.

For now, students (and teachers and parents) still need to suffer through the injustice of the course and its exam, with the convoluted questions that can drive even the most knowledgeable history student crazy. The course has a bad reputation because of the testing. Unfortunately this dulls the short, though vibrant, history of Quebec and Canada for our students.



  • Tracy says:

    Somehow I missed replying to your comment! Let me know if you still need help – I can certainly try!

    I’ve changed the look of the blog since then (can’t seem to find something I like for longer than a few days!) but would be happy to chat about blog design any day :)

    The last blog template I used was called myjournal-hypereal . Here is a link to the theme. I modified it a bit when I used it.

  • Sharen says:

    Hi Tracy,
    Yes, I really like your new site look. How do you get the photos at the top to change? That is so cool! I am on a committee doing PR for a literary festival for next fall in Hudson and that would be such a neat thing to add. Can you tell me how? or tell me where to look? ‘Cause I know how busy you are but would appreciate your guidance! ;-) Also I found a great quote to share with you – will go to your Word section!
    Thank you again for all the work you have done to help students
    to prepare. Much appreciated! Enjoy a sunshiney day!

  • Tracy says:

    Thanks Sharen! And thank you so much for the link to that site. If history were taught as an investigative practise as it should be rather than the memorization race it is (due to the ‘teach-to-the-high-stakes-test’ nature of the present course) more students (and teachers!) would be turned on to it.

    I’ve added your link to the main history site, in the blogroll on the sidebar. Since I have a big paper to write I find myself indulging in my procrastination technique of choice – making websites! So it is looking different from the last time you looked at it I would imagine :)


  • Sharen says:

    Bravo Tracy! We applaud your honesty and your practical assistance to all those students, teachers and parents who are heading into the final stretch of preparation. Only after my daughter failed the June exam, and we sat down together to help her get through the August supplemental did I realize how difficult the exam was as an exercise in decoding: e.g. “Which of the following are NOT French forts?” Flummery! Are we testing reading or a knowledge of history? Okay, enough Hyde Park corner!
    In the hope that in the future the study of history can be returned to its vibrancy as a journey of discovery, there is a wonderful site available in both English and French, based on true Canadian mysteries, which leads students through the process of analyzing documents, letters, diaries, journals, photographs and maps – the historian as detective approach. http://www.mysteryquests.ca/
    Well done…from your loyal fans!

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