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Ursulines in Canada

The Ursulines are a Roman Catholic female religious order devoted to girls’ education. The order has been in Canada since Ursuline nun Marie de l’Incarnation arrived in New France in 1639. Although initially focused on education and missionary work with Indigenous girls, the Ursulines gradually shifted their vocation toward educating French Canadian girls. With geographic and membership expansion from the 18th to the 20th century, the Ursulines established themselves as a major force in girls’ education, especially in Quebec. The Ursulines opened the first monastery in New France and the first school for girls in North America (see Ursuline Monastery).


Robert Creech

Robert Edward Creech, French hornist, teacher, administrator (born 26 September 1928 in Victoria, BC; died 20 December 2019 in Quilty, Ireland). Robert Creech was a successful musician, educator and arts administrator. He performed with symphony orchestras across Canada, taught at the University of Western Ontario and served as an administrator in Canada, England and Ireland.


Kenneth Gilbert

Kenneth Gilbert, OC, RSC,  harpsichordist, organist, musicologist, teacher (born 16 December 1931 in Montreal, QC; died 15 April 2020 in Quebec City, QC). Hon D MUS (McGill) 1981. 


Royal Commission of Inquiry on Education in the Province of Quebec (Parent Commission)

The Royal Commission of Inquiry on Education in the Province of Quebec (1961-1964) had a major impact on the structure of the Quebecois school system. It recommended the adoption of new pedagogical methods as well as the creation of new structures, namely the Ministry of Education, comprehensive schools, CEGEPs (Collèges d’enseignement général et professionnel; General and professional teaching colleges) and the Université du Québec network.


Historical Thinking Concepts

The six “Historical Thinking Concepts” were developed by The Historical Thinking Project, which was led by Dr. Peter Seixas of the University of British Columbia and educational expert Jill Colyer. The project identified six key concepts: historical significance, primary source evidence, continuity and change, cause and consequence, historical perspectives and ethical dimensions. Together, these concepts form the basis of historical inquiry. The project was funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage and The History Education Network (THEN/HiER). Seixas and Tom Morton published a book, The Big Six: Historical Thinking Concepts, that expanded on these concepts.


Historical Sources

Historians use written, oral and visual sources to develop and support their interpretations of historical events. The historical discipline divides source materials into two categories: primary sources and secondary sources. Both categories are flexible and depend on the subject and era a historian is investigating. 


George Brough

George Brough, pianist, organist, harpsichordist, opera coach (born 25 February 1918 in Boston, Lincolnshire, England; died 15 September 2015 in Toronto, ON). George Brough was widely recognized as one of Canada's most skilful, reliable and versatile accompanists. Able to sight-read with tremendous proficiency, he provided secure support for hundreds of performers, from students in competitions to professional artists such as Heinz Holliger, Gervase de Peyer, Henri Temianka, Bernard Turgeon and Jon Vickers. He was an assistant conductor and accompanist with the Canadian Opera Company, an organist with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and taught at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the University of Toronto.


Anti-Racism Education in Canada

Anti-racism education is an action-oriented educational strategy that emerged in Canada in the 1960s thanks to Black community members’ activism. The goal was to address racism and other related systems of social oppression in institutions like schools. Anti-racism educators in Canada address White supremacy and colonialism as factors behind today’s systemic racism. Over the years, anti-racism has evolved in Canadian schools to address educational racism and to discuss issues of equity, power, access, White privilege and systemic inequalities. Anti-racism initiatives continue to evolve in Canadian schools. They support students’ understanding of how to address racism while helping to create equity and societal change.

timeline event

Pinsler Case and Education Act, 1903

After a Protestant school board refused to honour a scholarship won by Jacob Pinsler, the son of Jewish immigrants, the Pinslers sued. However, the Quebec Superior Court upheld the board’s position because only Protestants and Roman Catholics had constitutional education guarantees. Fallout from the Pinsler case led to the adoption of the Education Act in 1903. It stipulated that Jews would be considered Protestants for educational purposes, and the Protestant board would receive funding based on enrolment. Nevertheless, problems persisted and dissatisfaction on all sides increased. (See also Jewish School Question.)


Louise André

Louise André (born Jeanne Baril), soprano, teacher (born 26 February 1913 in St-Tite, near Trois-Rivières, QC; died 10 April 2001 in Montreal, QC). Louise André devoted her life to the teaching of the vocal arts. She taught at the École Vincent-d’Indy (1935–82) and at the Université de Montréal (1965–83), where she was made a professor emeritus in 1980. She also taught at the Conservatoire de Chicoutimi (1967–72) and at the University of Ottawa (1972–77). André was president of the AMQ from 1984 to 1987. She received the Canadian Music Council Medal in 1985 and the Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée in 1991.

timeline event

The David Bill is Enacted in Quebec

In April 1930, the Liberal government of Premier Louis-Alexandre Taschereau passed a law to create  a Jewish school board in Quebec. Under the statute, government-appointed Jewish commissioners were legally required to continue negotiations with the Protestant and Catholic school boards. However, the commissioners obtained few concessions other than an end to segregation. Discriminatory practices in hiring and religious education continued, as did taxation without representation. Opposition to the David Bill — named after Provincial Secretary Athanase David — erupted. Support within the Jewish community was split. The Roman Catholic Church denounced the Bill and French-Canadian nationalists protested. The Bill was repealed in 1931. (See also Jewish School Question.)



This page brings together resources on Canadian citizenship and civics. It is meant to provide readers with knowledge of how the Canadian political system came to be and how it works today. This collection is also designed to help those studying for Canada's citizenship test, or for those taking part in Historica Canada’s Citizenship Challenge program.