On the eve of celebrations commemorating the 400 anniversary of Quebec City, it should be recalled that this year of upcoming celebrations is a powerful lever to make young people aware of the importance of knowing the origins and evolution of the European presence on North American soil. Beyond a very symbolic date and the memorial role of commemoration, these festivities can allow these events to be placed in a long-term perspective and thus highlight this long process of adaptation and mixing that marks the evolution of Quebec society for 400 years. Without wanting to reduce history to a strictly utilitarian function, such a perspective can only fuel reflection and allow us to better decipher current society, whose process of interbreeding is still going on.
Learning history indeed contributes to the training of individuals capable of better understanding the debates and issues of their society in the light of the past. As the History and Citizenship Education document points out, the new history program for upper secondary students allows “students to establish the historical markers of their citizenship.
It thus gives them the possibility of understanding the issues of the present which take on their meaning when they are considered from a historical perspective ” 1. The debates on the linguistic question, for example, benefit from being put into perspective, since it is by retracing the origins and the evolution of the French presence in America that the pupil will be able to better understand the meaning and the scope of the question. current linguistics.
This type of learning will be all the more efficient if the student has been led to historicize events, that is to say, to place them in a long-term perspective and to compare interpretations, thus promoting the development of ” a rational posture and a critical mind 2. Such an approach forges the foundations of citizen training leading to the exercise of “enlightened civic participation” while allowing “to consider history for what it is and not for what we would like it to be.
Either ”, underlines Robert Martineau in an article devoted to the political issues of the Lacoursière Report on the teaching of history 3. The teaching of history offers individuals the possibility “of accessing the intellectual tools of the historical discipline and its mode of thought to help them put social reality, including memories, collective identities, into temporal perspective. and social identity is major constituents, but also to criticize the representations of the past that are offered to them, especially when the springs of dramatization are strongly deployed ” 4.
This is why the learning of history must be done through an inclusive approach open to the diversity of points of view and experiences: a history which does not confine the natives to the period of contact only and which reports on the heterogeneity of the migratory waves that have shaped Quebec; a story that seeks both to highlight the elements that distinguish our society and those that allow its development to be part of broader dynamics, as we underlined in the opinion that the Institut Histoire de l French America spoke on the project to reform the teaching of history in the second cycle of secondary 5 . An inclusive approach to reconcile the role memorial of history to which the 400th E suits us and the teaching of an objective approach.