Geography in class notes EDEE 280001
The role and relevance of social studies
Competencies and caring for improving the future and common good
Developing competent and caring individuals for greater good
Anthrolopolgy, economics, psychology, geography (space), history (change), citizenship
(living together) ▯all encompass social studies
QEP’s subject specific competencies ▯analyze and interpret the competencies based on
• History involves a quest to…
– Imagine the past:
• The whole past.
• An aggregate of past events.
• The continuum of events leading from the past to the present and
into the future
– Understand the past:
• The study of past events.
• A discipline that records and interprets.
• A narrative description of past events.
– Remember the past:
• A record of past events or trends.
• Remembered and preserved knowledge. ▯some people now think
that cavemen’s writings were done to act as recordings for people
who get to their grounds next.
– Human concern for making sense of TIME and for developing a rapport
with it. ▯people want to make sense of society
• To give meaning to oneself, to loved ones, as well as to one’s
community, society, and the world.
• To see where all these fit in the larger scheme of things.
Why teach History?
– Parker (2012):
• Judgment ▯helps us develop informed judgments and leads to
• Empathy and selfknowledge ▯ history helps to discover diversity –
leads to openness
• Imagination ▯helps kids imagine how the past once was; helps also
imagine new tomorrows • Agency ▯we contribute to history, were not standing outside of it ▯
we are agents of history
• The long view ▯humans were hunters and gatherers for a long time
(this is just a small view in all of history)
The long view is a way of seeing the world on a greater scale
– Wright & Hutchinson (2010):
• Intrinsic value ▯it just “is” ▯no greater value than what we see
• Building pride in heritage
• Developing a sense of identity.
• Avoiding past mistakes.
• Teaching inquiry skills and critical thinking.
• Making better decisions.
Geography: the study of the earth ▯“the literature of the earth”
Some Key Dimensions
• Farris (2012 :
– Geography is the study of the earth, including its features and the
distribution of its human inhabitants and other life (p.16).
– Five geographical themes:
• Location ▯how you describe where you are
• Place ▯how you define where you are (ie: on a volcano)
• Relationships within places.
• Movement ▯travel, navigation and discovery
• Regions ▯helps you divide the world up and make sense of it
(according to vegetation, climate, bodies of water, ect)
– Human concern for making sense of SPACE and for developing a rapport
• To navigate, control, and or adapt to one’s environment for
ultimately purposes of survival.
• Parker (2012) talks about Existential and Practical reasons.
Why teach Geography?
– Parker (2012):
• MR. HELP: (MRHLP)
• Movement: Humans interacting on earth
• Regions: How they form and change
• Humans Environment interaction: acting on the world –
acting on space
• Location: Position on Earth’s surface
• Place: Physical and human characteristics
– Wright & Hutchinson (2010):
• Intrinsic value ▯appreciating location and space • Life skills: navigation, direction, appreciation
• Job skills: traveling careers, navigation, networking, business
• Community building: global, national and world identity
Some Key Dimensions
• Citizenship Education aims to:
– Preserve and vitalize democracy.
• To foster commitment to democratic values.
– Develop productive, wise citizens of both one’s country and the world.
• Conscientious and responsible adults that care for the common
• Democracy requires developing such predispositions as:
– Critical and autonomous thinking.
– Peaceful and nonviolent resolution of disputes.
– Cooperation with others.
– Toleration of differing opinions and worldviews.
• Versus “Respect for.”
– Freedom of expression ▯individual freedoms
– Civic virtue.
– What is good for the common good, but still respects what we want
– Human concern for LIVING TOGETHER, while BEING FREE to think
Six dimensions of Citizenship Education (Parker, 2012):
– Deliberation: Discussion and Decision Making (binding: bringing
everyone together through decision making on what’s right for us as a
– Voting and Elections
– Service Learning and Community Action
– Citizenship Knowledge
– Citizenship Values
– Citizenship Dispositions and Virtues
Making Connections with the QEP’s
Subject Specific Competency 1
1. To understand the organization of a society in its territory.
– To situate the society and its territory in space and time.
– To make connections between characteristics of the society and the
organization of its territory ▯related to the first settlers and how they
behaved because of the territory – To make connections between assets and limitations of the territory and
the organization of society.
– To define the influence of people or events on social and territorial
– To make connections of continuity with the present.
2. To interpret change in a society and its territory.
– To situate a society and its territory in space and at two points in time.
– To recognize the main changes in the organization of a society and its
– To establish causes and effects of changes.
– To define the influence of people or events on these changes.
– To justify his/ her interpretation of the changes.
– To perceive traces of these changes on our society and territory.
3. To be open to the diversity of societies and their territories.
– To situate societies and their territories in space.
– To perceive the main similarities and differences between societies and
– To define some causes and effects of the differences.
– To take position on the observed strengths and weaknesses of societies and
– To justify his/ her view of the diversity of societies and their territories.
Key connecting concepts:
• Time (History).
• Space (Geography).
• Living together (Citizenship Education).
• We discovered the key dimensions of the core knowledge areas that underlie
• We explored the relevance of each (i.e. History, Geography, Citizenship
Education) for life in general as well as for our future students.
• We looked at the 3 subject specific competencies of the QEP and made
connections with the core knowledge areas discussed earlier.
What historians do and how they think historically Grasp main aspects of what historians do and to understand their processes behind the
Learning outcomes: understand how historuans think, the historian methods, how they
think (6 dimensions)
Some Key Dimensions
History involves a quest to ...
– Remember the past
• Recording past events or trends.
• Preserving knowledge, cultural norms and traditions.
– Understand the past
• The study of past events.
• Adiscipline that records and interprets.
• Anarrative description of past events.
– Imagine the past
• Visualizing history as a con7nuum of events leading from the past to the present
and into the future.
• Recognizing that we are a product of history, that we contribute to it, and that we
can help bring about change if we so choose to.
Human concern for making sense of TIME and for developing a rapport with it
• To give meaning to oneself, to loved ones, as well as to one’s community, society,
and the world.
• To see where all these fit in the larger scheme of things.
The central components of doing history
1) History evidence
2 kinds of historical sources – primary and secondary Types of records of the past
2) Historians narrative kills
3) Historian’s subjectivity
The 5 Steps of the Historical Method
• What and where
• External criticism: authenticity of information
• Internal criticism: accuracy of information
4. Extraction and Organization.
• Centering it all in
• Setting information up properly
• Creating a plausible narrative, while taking the limits of available
evidence and one’s subjectivity into account.
Some Limits of the Historical Method
• • Evidence is hard to come by.
• • Available evidence can be poor.
• • Few hard facts.
• • Complexity behind understanding past reality.
• • Complexity behind understanding historical actors.
• Some Preliminary Considerations for Historical Thinking Some context before appreciating Historical Thinking and its usefulness:
– The past versus history
– The historian’s hurdles.
o Distance ▯time changes, a history has an opinion on how they’re going
to account for the distance between today and the past
o Interpretive lenses
– Substantive versus Procedural historical knowledge ▯ content (political)
and putting the content together (procedural)
Defining Historical Thinking and Weighing its Relevance
– Historical thinking is the act of interpreting and assessing both the
evidence from the past that has been left behind and the narratives that
historians and other have constructed from this evidence
– History as an educational versus an informational subject (teachers see
history as informational, not educational ▯ a lot of memorizing)
– History as an inquiry (the 5 steps)
THE SIX DIMENSIONS OF HISTORICAL THINKING
1. Historical Significance
– How do we decide what is important to learn about the past?
We need to select more important elements of the past – cant tell it all
Select based on things\events\people that resulted in change – it would be
If an event is revealing and sheds light on contemporary issues, it is
If historical events resulted in change, or deep consequences, it is
– How do we know what we know about the past?
use of primary sources, records ect.
3. Continuity and Change
– How can we make sense of the complex flows of history?
4. Cause and Consequences
– Why do events happen, and what are their impacts? 5. Historical Perspective
– How can we better understand the people of the past?
6. Ethical Dimension
– How can history help us to live in the present?
o We discovered what historians do and what the historical method actually consists
o We looked 3 main components that underlie the historian’s craft.
o We looked at the 5 important steps that historians follow for conducting an
historical study from the beginning until the end.
o We looked at some limits of the historical method.
o We defined what historical thinking means and looked at its relevance for the
teaching of history (and social studies).
o We looked at the 6 main dimensions of historical thinking that can be useful for us
in our future interactions with and teachings of history (and social studies).
Geography, Traditions, Lifestyles
• To grasp and appreciate First Nations’ various cultures, traditions, and
experiences before European contact in the 16 century.
• To discover more about the mistreatment ofAboriginals in Canada.
– The Residential Schools.
• To get a better understanding of howAboriginal realities are still easily
– Documentary: Shielded Minds.
• Link between before & after and the consequences of the impact (pre-contact and
• Linguists, archeologists, ethno historians, oral traditions ▯ ways for us to figure
out facts about pre-contact time
• Burial grounds: act as store houses of wealth (date bones, notice jewelry, clothes,
• What symptoms of change do most historians look at: climate change, survival
skills, technological advances
• Change in society: (consequence and change) triggered by sedentary ways of life,
allowed them to create social statuses and hierarchy • Trade then begins
• Different perspectives: many first nations have different versions of the creation
myths, and a lot of the myths wouldn’t coordinate with other people (where they
originate, the issue of numbers and population)
Searching to Understand
• Two theories of migration:
– Via Beringia:
• Over a land bridge.
• Story: bridge during the ice age betweenAsia andAlaska (the sea
level rose and it went away)
– Via the sea:
• “Leap-frogging” down the Pacific coast.
• Story: theories about where these people stopped and how they got
to theAmericas (what is it that happened that made people rethink
the land bridge ▯ they found cave paintings and saw excavation)
• Population numbers:
– Estimates vary.
• Scholars believe the pre- European contact numbers to vary
between 500 000 to 2 million.
• Do numbers matter? Reflective in class question
• Progress and decline: diseases came and numbers decreased
Two distinct categorizations:
– Linguistic ▯
– Iroquoians VS Iroquois,Algonquians VSAlgonquin ▯ geographically they
were where we are
– The different languages ▯ languages and dialects go according to regions
– Cultural ▯ arctic, subarctic, etc. ▯ groupings listed below
Two main groupings in Quebec:
– TheAlgonquians (Canadian shield)
• Seminomadic ▯ they don’t sit in one place because of the climate,
move for food
• Patriarchal way of life
• They migrated
• In the winter: they separated into smaller groups
• Summer: regroup around lakes (fishing, horticulture)
• Devices\technologies: snowshoes, moccasins, toboggans, canoes,
robes made our of pelt and fur
• It is colder, they cannot really grow crops (live in smaller groups to
hunt and gather)
– The Iroquoians
• Sedentary • Practice horticulture
• Gardening gradually supplemented hunting
• Long houses: different groups live together
• Confederacies: IMPORTANT FOR EXAM
– The Huron Confederacy: the civil leaders and the chiefs
(they met regularly)
– Division of labor: women had a great role
– Cultivating sunflower
– The 5 Nations Iroquois Confederacy
First Nations’ Realities in Canada
• IndianAct of 1876:
– Start of a colonial policy that persists till this day.
– Initial intent of converting First Nations to Christianity.
– Status versus Non-Status Indians.
– Status: signed treaties with the government
– If you weren’t an Indian, you don’t have the same benefits
– What came out of this? The mindset
• Residential Schools:
– The attempted assimilation of First Nations
– Best way to do this was through “educating” children
– Obliged to go to boarding schools: young children weren’t allowed to
speak their language (taken far from their parents)
– Goal was to assimilate them ▯ wanted to give them the tools to find their
place in Canada
– Missionaries were able to transmit the gospel and teach first nations the
ways of Canadian life
– Lack of funding ▯ quality and quantity of food was bad, bad teachers,
obliged to learn curriculum that was foreign to them, excessive
punishment, some sexual abuse, cultural denigration, their language was
– Signs of resistance: sabotage operations, some kids would stand up for
themselves, some ran away.
– Parents complained; they realized the schools didn’t do what they were
– Impact: psychological damage, distance from their culture, substance
– Government is now trying to compensate
– Last school closed in 1996 (Saskatchewan)
– June 11, 2008: Stephen Harper apologized
Documentary Shielded Minds:
– Towards better understanding someAboriginal issues of concern and
overcoming stereotypes www.shieldedminds.ca
Recap: We discussed some central attributes of First Nations’ historical experiences
before European contact in Canada.
• In the QEP’s spirit of connecting current realities to their historical antecedents,
we looked at one main avenue by which successive Canadian governments in the
past tried to assimilate First Nations, namely through Residential Schools.
• We learned more about some important current-day misapprehensions vis-à-vis
First Nations in Canada.
Wangtong belt: living constitution of the rules ▯ Iroquois confederacy had their belt
Connections to citizenship: identity
Native kids don’t have a strong sense of who they are ▯ they don’t get an opportunity to
“Strut their stuff”
Lack of confidence before they know their culture
Shielded from the real history and the understanding of what Canada could be
Eddie: inspirational speaker in the video ▯ no one can take the power to say yes or no
away from you
Young person: wanted to make change; use this to take actions (also part of citizenship
Residential schools: they made a theatre club (use the negative energy as a way to
promote something positive about their own experiences)
The Age of Exploration:
Europe and its “Discovery” of the New World
In the paining of Vasco: they try to get gold (aspect of trade)
Representation of gold: valued by Europeans: help them trade more & invest
• To apply some of historical thinking’s six dimensions for making sense of theAge
• To grasp some of the period’s key characteristics.
– Causes, motives, explorers, and global impact.
• To start the process of autonomously and critically deciding for us where theAge
of Exploration fits in the larger scheme of things.
Applying historical thinking:
These dimensions are interrelated. Many of them can fit in together
This section of the notes is very analytical ▯ the way you incorporate the historical
dimensions of thinking is
– Change and Continuity
• Cross-cultural interactions. – Cause and Consequence: Why do events happen and what are there
• Columbus’ “discovery” ofAmerica
– Historical Significance.
• Explorers’ exploits and the path to globalization.
– Historical Perspective
• Christianity’s missionary zeal.
– The Ethical Dimension.
• Inhumane consequences.
Grounds for exploring the sea:
• Factors jumpstarting the explorations:
– The fall of Constantinople
– The quest for gold
– Scientific discoveries (technology) ▯ compass, square sails
– Imperial ambitions (both east and west empires developing, making
money, trading, outstanding their rivals, etc.)
• Main Motives:
– Resources and the accumulation of wealth (Portugal was small & poor)
– New trade routes
– Expanding Christianity
• Vasco de Gama (1469-1524).
– Sails to India via the Cape of Good Hope
• Christopher Columbus (1451-1506).
– October 12 1492, landfall at San Salvador.
• Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521).
– His expedition circumnavigates the globe via the southern tip of the
Global impact of theAge of Exploration
• Increased cross-cultural interactions:
– Global networks of transportation, communication, and exchange.
• Worldwide diffusion of plants, animals, diseases, and human communities.
We initiated a reading of theAge of Exploration with some of the six dimensions of
• We looked at some key characteristics of the period, including its causes, motives,
main explorers, and global impact.
• We started a personal negotiation of what we believe to be the relevance of the
Age of Exploration for knowing and acting in our current globalized world. Contact with First Nations:
Early Colonial Life in North America
• To apply such historical thinking dimensions as Cause and consequences and
historical perspective for making sense of early colonial life in NorthAmerica.
• To grasp some of the period’s key features.
– Facilitating factors, differences, defining characteristics, and devastating
consequences of colonization.
Applying historical thinking:
– Cause and Consequence.
• The role of Dona Marina
• Considered as a trader against her people
• Known as the mother of Mexico
• If it wasn’t for her, Cortez wouldn’t have defeated theAztec
• What do you think motivated her?
– Historical Perspective.
• European viewpoints regarding hunting.
• Seen as leisure sport
• Sign of laziness
• Leads to evil
Main Colonizing Peoples:
– Spanish, French, English, Dutch.
– Cortez: go into theAmerican mainland and try to take things they could
– Lead the government in Spain to want more control
– 1570s the monarch of Spain was interested in what the cortaz were doing
and wanted to take over
– sugar & tobacco brought the Spanish a lot of money
– ditch, French and English started with merchants and private investors
(more economic motive)
– Spanish try to gather staples and bring them back to trade
– Northern Europeans get there and result to fishing to make money, and
then they realize that fur is the way to make the most money
– Fur was popular in Europe: even the artists used fur to express their art
– Government by the 17 century want to bring in cash crops to make
– Depending on the weather, the more cash crops could be developed
– They drive out the indigenous nations to se their fertile land to grow things
– By the later 18 century, cotton became a cash crop (4)
– French settled eastern parts of Canada ▯ used scouts (explorers) to go in
and set up forts along the way
– THIS SECURED ROOTS THAT PEOPLE USED – Helped them have ownership over the resources they wanted to use
– French, English and ditch also started to settle in the north
– Plantations were set inAfrica or Jamaica for money as well
– For the colonists, they found difficulty with living there, surviving
diseases, etc. and the natives helped them
– Initially, they would go get certain staples like fur and lumber
– Wait for transport boats to come, and trade began
– When people realized the land was fertile, they wanted to come and sell
their services for a few years in the hopes that they would be able to get
land, practice trades of artisans, etc.
– The English eventually developed the 13 colonies
– The French settled eastern Canada (started in nova scotia) and controlled
huge spots of land
– That eventually led to the quest for land, resources and competition that
rose back in Europe also played an important role in NorthAmerica.
– Both peoples competed and would eventually fight (divide and conquer)
– The indigenous populations had their own ambitions (had their own
trading, rivalries, etc.)
Factors Facilitating Colonization:
– Technology; boats, navigation, knowledge of the winds ▯ impact of how
the Europeans use technology to gain what they wanted to
– They had superior forms of weaponry (muskets, ships, etc.)
– Diseases; huge numbers died
– Populations perished because of the disease
– Disease climbed up through Mexico, and hit indigenous people on the east
– Declined in numbers even before meeting the Europeans for the first time
– Cortez took over the empire because of this
– Internal divisions among indigenous peoples
– Dona marina spoke both her native tongue and the Mayan language,
– She used this to her benefit and to Cortez benefit
Differences in Colonization:
– Governance ▯ different approaches to governing
– History is complex: different ambitions, resources, monarchs wanting to
different things out of what was available to them
– The Spanish saw their colonies as ways to exploit resources
– They had 2 units ▯ viceroy (governor) and metis
– Armies, please monarchs, etc.
– Relations with indigenous populations.
– If the king had certain orders, it would take time for it to cross and took
long time – Differences in patterns of settlement ▯ Spanish = cities that resembled
– ▯ Rural areas were more indigenous
– More Spanish and Portuguese came over & brought inAfrican slaves
– Tobacco: made to believe it was good for you
– Communities were sedentary and densely populated and agricultural
– They claimed ownership of the land
– Disease played a toll on them, the Spanish were out to conquer these
– North: French, English and Dutch
– Colonization was by investors for profit
– These investors had more control over colonial affairs
– People begin to mix cultures: people of European maintained control
– Begins issues of human rights (charter of rights and freedoms, citizen
– The settlers who wanted to develop farms were more of a challenge to
indigenous groups become they ended up moving them from their land
Some defining characteristics:
– Emergence of Mestizo societies (natives, Spanish, Dutch, etc.)
– Settler societies
– Cultivation of cash crops (sugar, tobacco) ▯ people wanted cheap labor to
work the lands and harvest as much as they could (needed cheap labor –
African slaves brought over – disrespect of basic human rights – points to
– Religion/ missionaries
– Catholics were serious about converting people ▯ missionaries were tried
to convert natives
Two devastating consequences:
– The annihilation of the Taino (indigenous populations from
Columbia\Venezuela ▯ they are remembered for being open and accepting
– They were forced or convinced into forced labor to work the fields in
exchange for food, welfare, Christianity, etc.
– Their families were eventually dispersed and had social destruction
– Become extinct & were mistreated ▯ citizenship education
– Slavery ▯ brought fromAfrica, mistreated
– Cheaper to have them misplaced instead of taking care of them
– Used mostly in the south
Hernan Cortes (1485-1547).
– AConquistador who toppled theAztec Empire and brought large swathes
of Mexico under Spanish control.
– Part of Spanish colonizers (one of the first) – He eventually moved to hispanola (Haiti, domincan, etc.) and controlled
that area (including cuba)
John Cabot (1450-1499).
– Italian explorer who landed at Newfoundland when seeking a Northwest
passage toAsia for England
– He was from Genoa
– Initially went to spain and ended up in England
– Led trips around the world (he too thought the world was round)
Jacques Cartier (1491-1557).
– French explorer who charted the gulf and shores of the St. Lawrence river
and who claimed “Canada” for France.
– Lead the first official expedition
– Discovers newfoundland
– Discovers PEI
– Sail to new Brunswick (does some exchange)
– Eventually comes into contact with the irqous
– Sets the huge cross from the Europeans
– Discovers Montreal (famous cross on mount royal)
The Early Years
• To apply the historical thinking dimension of Change & Continuity and
Historical Significance for making sense of one aspect of the beginnings of New
• To grasp some of the period’s key attributes.
– Main economic activities, life features, and some important figures.
Applying historical thinking:
– Change and Continuity.
• Algonquin involvement in the Fur trade.
• Loss of self-sufficiency for them, reliance of European goods
• They become “trappers” instead of mainting their subsistence
• Inter-group rivalry (competition) between the natives
• Change: lost their ways of living, jumped onto the bandwagon
• Continuity: rivalries stayed
– Historical Significance.
• The negative impact of French contact with theAlgonquin and
• Turning point: diseases had a toll on their communities
• Inter-group rivalry
• Allies fall victim to the Iroquois • Because of the drastic decline in population, the French didn’t have
• This marks the beginning of the territorial expansion for the French
• This forced the French to bring in more people
The Fishing Trade