The History Collective

Dead Souls in the Airport

As I write this, I am sitting in a reclining chair in a small lounge in the Munich airport as I await my flight to Cairo. Munich’s airport is much like most other airports I have traveled through. Lots of shopping, overpriced chain restaurants and a number of amenities designed specifically to attempt to mitigate some of the unpleasantness that is the modern security state’s iron hand in dealing with travellers, sans velvet or otherwise.

cof_softSitting here looking at a small garden of non-descript plants that can be found in any office in the world. I am not even sure if they are real or plastic, I hope they are real in order to provide even just a modicum of nature in an otherwise stile environment. This little oasis reminds me how much as changed in the airports over the past few years.

Continue reading “Dead Souls in the Airport”


A Little Self Indulgent Prologue about My Trip to Cairo.

In the next few days, I will be heading off to Cairo to spend a few weeks teaching at the Dover American International School. As both a historian and educator, I cannot tell you how excited I am about the next month. This will be my first time to both Egypt and the African continent. Continue reading “A Little Self Indulgent Prologue about My Trip to Cairo.”

My Thoughts on the Fire of Notre Dame

This post is about the fire at Notre Dame. I know, oceans of ink terabytes of pixels have been used to talk about the extent of this tragic event and what it means to people on a personal and global level. Obviously, this post is just one more in the nearly numberless pieces already published. And I also know, this is now a few days late, but I wanted to have some time to process what the burning of the cathedral meant for me before writing down my thoughts. To have written on Tuesday would have been inadequate – my feelings were too raw. When I saw the initial reports, I was literally sick to my stomach. And that was after the first ten minutes when I didn’t believe what I was seeing and reading. Continue reading “My Thoughts on the Fire of Notre Dame”

The Seven Years War in the Classroom

We all know the refrain: “History is boring, especially Canadian history.” As someone who has studied and written about history for almost my entire adult life, few phrases have irked me more. “History is not boring!” I would retort and yet the truth is the way it is taught so often justifies the accusation. Continue reading “The Seven Years War in the Classroom”

“Two Stout Young Fellows”: Black History Month and the Book of Negroes.

One of the many benefits of shifting my teaching career to the elementary and secondary sector is that I get to engage with all kinds of different histories that are new to me. I dare say that I have not been this excited about “doing” history in a long time (not to say that I did not enjoy teaching university students at the end, but there is something refreshing about this journey). Continue reading ““Two Stout Young Fellows”: Black History Month and the Book of Negroes.”

Maps of Space and History

I have been preparing a mini lecture about the complexity of meaning contained in a map. Apart from having a chance to speak about something I really enjoy, the lecture discusses how the themes surrounding reading maps can be used in a intermediate or high school class. This week I had the opportunity to actual give the lesson a try. Continue reading “Maps of Space and History”

Not a Farewell to Global Education, Just a Brief Until Later.

For me this is a bit of a bittersweet post. For the past five weeks, I have been taking a Global Education course which is now coming to an end. On the other hand, I have enjoyed the opportunity to explore issues surrounding global education in greater depth and as I have written, the excitement at the idea of bringing these ideas and resources into a classroom has grown greatly. Continue reading “Not a Farewell to Global Education, Just a Brief Until Later.”

Teaching the UN Sustainability Goals

As I have become more aware of the need to incorporate global themes in the classroom, I recognize that many of the issues and themes I want to bring into the classroom are found under the 12 headings of the United Nations Sustainability Goals. I will spare you, gentle reader, an overview of all 12 goals, but I do want to concentrate on one of them that is of special interest to me: Sustainable Cities and Communities. I have always loved urban spaces. I love the amenities that cities offer. I love access to culture, food, diverse and cosmopolitan populations, and the sense of community that can be built in a city. Continue reading “Teaching the UN Sustainability Goals”

“… some are more equal than others.”

I will admit to being very excited to write this post because I get to talk about one of my favourite subjects – political allegory. One of my favourite books is Animal Farm. I first encountered this book in Grade 11 and the story has never left me. In fact I bought Pink Floyd’s Animals shortly after finishing the book It was one those books that made me aware of a wider world and how words can be used to bring awareness to issues of social injustice. At the time, this idea was revolutionary and as time has moved on, I have maintained an interest in seeing how allegory can be used to educate and advocate for change. Continue reading ““… some are more equal than others.””

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