Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Canadian Association for Foundations in Education - 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Recognition Award

Cynthia Wallace-Casey successfully defended her PhD dissertation, “Deepening Historical Consciousness Through Museum Fieldwork: Implications For Community-Based History Education,” with the guidance of Dr. Alan Sears. Her work makes a substantial contribution by extending the examination of the development of historical thinking from classrooms to the informal learning context of community museums. One of the most interesting contributions is the examination of how collaborative work in historical inquiry fosters new ways of thinking about history and history education not only for students, but also for staff and community volunteers who work in museums.

Alan states that her work does not fit neatly into any one of the three areas of foundations of education as described on the CAFE website, but it does make a substantial contribution to all three. 

We agree and are pleased to recognize the work of Dr. Wallace-Casey. She presented two papers and chaired a session yesterday, which I know other CAFE members attended.

Shirley Van Nuland, PhD.
1st Vice President
CAFE Chair, Awards Committee
UOIT Faculty of Education

May 31, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Book Review: Family Ties by Andrea Terry (or More on the Challenges of Teaching with Museums)

By Cynthia Wallace-Casey, PhD 
University of New Brunswick 

There’s something about the experience of a Victorian Christmas that makes many of us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Our sense of nostalgia seems heightened by the festive season. Because of this, perhaps we’re more prone to let down our critical lens on the past, and simply enjoy the visual candy. Surrounded by the sights, sounds, and smells of the season, we encounter compelling evidence to suggest that we can truly experience the past for real… as it once was. 

Andrea Terry, however, in her publication Family Ties: Living History in Canadian House Museums (2015), dispels such nostalgia, as she closely examines the annual Victorian Christmas programs at three Canadian house museums: Dundurn Castle in Hamilton Ontario, Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site in Montreal Quebec, and William Lyon Mackenzie House in Toronto Ontario. With a keen eye for cultural hegemony, Family Ties delves down beneath the sugary surface, to reveal how interpretive Christmas programs in each of these living history museums are actually a product of present-day values, place-based politics, and nationalistic agendas.