Prospects for Canadian History
“History is to society as memory is to the individual.” That’s how Mr. Jamieson chose to describe the importance of Canadian History as a course. In Newfoundland, Canadian History is compulsory, a necessity for graduating high school. Yet here, in New Brunswick, there is no such rule in place. The 2016/2017 school year is the second year in a row that Canadian History 120 as a course has been cancelled at BMHS due to the lack of students’ interested in taking it.
The course itself contains information concerning the Pre-confederation day of Canada up until present day but is filled with Canada’s rich (and often ignored) past which includes it’s beginning as a French/English colony, the development of our democratic system, Canada’s development of human rights and Сanada’s precipitation’s in both of the world wars. According to Mr. Bower, there used to be a time where Humanities courses such as Law and Canadian History were full of kids eager to learn. But in the past decade, our school has seen a drop in not only Canadian History, but in the Humanities courses altogether. What had been causing such a drop in once popular courses?
There seem to be two contributing factors. Students have felt the emphasis of Math and Science from their parents, their guidance counselors, and the media. They feel that the only way that they can get into university and into a decent paying job is by taking numerous courses that include chemistry, physics, calculus, etc. Although that is true, there are other ways to achieve success. Another factor, says Mr. Jamieson, is that they associate courses like Canadian History with essay after essay and they are frightened of the work that they may have to put into it. These are the courses that will prepare you for university more than anything, as they require preparation and research. The course Canadian History itself is actually a university prep course. It is also the case that many do not seem to find the need to take the course, as they think that it will not benefit them. If a person is studying to be a doctor, they should know that in order to qualify for the MCAT (even the medical ones) you have to answer a series of history questions that may determine if a person may pass or not. It is for these reasons that people may find history courses insignificant but these same humanities courses are carried in the course of a person’s life. Just like Math and Science.