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Gone but not forgotten: the decline of history as an educational foundation

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This paper contends that history of education should be a required part of teacher preparation. The discipline's languishing status in schools of education is widespread, and should be seen in relation to the general decline of humanities and social science subjects as foundations of teacher training. This paper examines the reasons for the disappearance of mandatory history of education courses in teacher preparation, and argues that a misrepresentation of the relationship between theory and practice permits a view of history as not immediately applicable to classroom concerns, and thus expendable in a curriculum driven largely by utilitarian concerns of accountability. Ii recommends strategies for reintroducing history of education courses into teacher education programmes in such a way as to develop habits of mind that promote critical and reflective inquiry.

Keywords: Ontario education; educational foundations; educational history; knowledge base for teaching; reflective teaching; teacher education

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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