Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills.
A sample course outline may include the following topics.
Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.
1. Indigenous North America to 1491
2. Indigenous Peoples, Contact, and European Exploration
3. Indigenous Peoples, Missionization, and Settler Society in New France
4. Les Canadiens et Les Acadiens
5. The Anglo-French Struggle for the Continent
6. The Aftermath: Revolutions and Resistance
7. Loyalists and Colonists
8. Immigrants and Settlers in British North America
9. The Rebellions of 1837, Responsible Government, and Union of the Canadas
10. Social and Cultural Life in British North America
11. The Land Based Fur Trade, Métis Peoples and the Northwest
12. The Maritime Based Fur Trade and the Settling of British Columbia
13. Politics and Economics in mid-nineteenth-century British North America
14. Federation to Confederation
At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills appropriate to the level of the course by:
1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).
2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).
3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).
4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history).
Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation.
The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.
An example of one evaluation scheme:
Participation, In-Class Work 15%
Seminar Presentation 15%
Primary Document Analyses 20%
Reading Notes / Reading Journals 15%
Research Essay or Research Project 15%
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Exam 20%
Textbooks and Course Readers will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically.
An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned, and links to specific resources may be provided in the course outline.
Bumsted, J. M. The Peoples of Canada: A Pre-Confederation History. 4th ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2014.
Ducharme, Michel, Damien-Claude Belanger, and J. M. Bumsted, eds. Interpreting Canada’s Past: A Pre-Confederation Reader. 5th ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Conrad, Margaret, Alvin Finkel, and David Fyson. History of the Canadian Peoples. Vol. 1, Beginnings to 1867. 6th ed. Toronto: Pearson Longman, 2015.
Thorner, Thomas, ed. “A Few Acres of Snow”: Documents in Pre-Confederation Canadian History. 3rd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.
Wardhaugh, Robert, et. al. Origins: Canadian History to Confederation. 8th ed. Toronto: Nelson Education, 2018.