My research interests reside in two areas. The first is interdisciplinary and sits at the intersection of history of education and history of book and print culture. My research focuses on the politics and economics of educational publishing, situating it in the context of global capital and Canadian nationalism, industry, and culture. See Conversations on Curriculum & Pedagogy (#4), edited by Dr. William Pinar, on this website, for more about this work.
I am also interested in the teaching and learning of historical understandings. I am Director of The History Education Network, a pan-Canadian organization devoted to promoting—and improving—history teaching and learning. This work is funded by a SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Clusters Grant which is intended to support knowledge mobilization.
I will highlight just two of our projects. Through our Visiting Doctoral Student program, we fund two students each year to visit a faculty of education or history department for two weeks, in order to engage with a new scholarly community. Marie-Hélène Brunet from the Université de Montréal worked with me for two weeks in July. She was involved in both aspects of my research, participating in the Benchmarks of Historical Thinking Summer Institute for one week and then, during the second week of her visit, helping me code primary source documents related to my research project on the implementation of free textbooks in Ontario at the turn of the 20th Century. See www.thenhier.ca/en/content/thenhier-funding-programs to read doctoral students’ reports on their visits.
Our Approaching the Past series of events (sponsored in partnership with Active History) takes place in Toronto at various historic sites. Participants include historians, history education scholars, teachers, and graduate and undergraduate history students. My favourite took place at Montgomery’s Inn Community Museum, a key location during the Rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada. The evening began with a tour of the inn’s restored rooms, including the 19th century kitchen and tavern. Then in a presentation called “Tavern Tales and Tavern Spaces: Teaching History from Inside the Colonial Taverns of Upper Canada,” historian Julia Roberts discussed the wide range of tavern spaces in pre-Confederation Upper Canada and their significant function as public spaces that attracted a surprisingly diverse clientele. The evening culminated with a repast of historically authentic foods including rice pudding, apple cider, spice cake, and artisanal cheeses from a local dairy.
To read more about The History Education Network see our website: www.thenhier.ca.
Dr. Penney Clark
Director, The History Education Network/ Histoire et éducation en réseau (THEN/HiER)
Dept. of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education