Who We Are And What We Do

The Historical Thinking Project is directed by Professor Peter Seixas, at the University of British Columbia, and coordinated by Jill Colyer, an educator with 20 years experience with the Waterloo Region District School Board in Ontario and OISE (University of Toronto). The Historical Thinking Project is a non-profit educational initiative funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canadian Studies Program) and THEN/HiER.

The historical thinking framework promoted by The Historical Thinking Project revolves around six historical thinking concepts: historical significance, cause and consequence, historical perspective-taking, continuity and change, the use of primary source evidence, and the ethical dimension of history. These concepts have been integrated into the curriculum guidelines in a number of provinces and territories across Canada.

We also:

  • Collaborate with department heads, consultants, and superintendents in the planning of professional development sessions on historical thinking.
  • Give workshops and presentations on historical thinking to teachers, administrators, and other educators.
  • Work in partnership with ministry of education staff, educators, and administrators to revise curriculum guidelines, course profiles, and/or unit plans to incorporate historical thinking.
  • Develop student and teacher resources that integrate historical thinking in collaboration with educational publishers and other organizations.

Click here to see a list of past workshops given by The Historical Thinking Project.

Contact  Jill Colyer, National Coordinator, HT Project 647-346-7824, jillcolyer@rogers.com, for more information or to book a workshop.


Workshop Presenters



Executive Committee Members

  • Dr. Peter Seixas, University of British Columbia

    Dr. Peter Seixas, University of British Columbia
    Director, The Historical Thinking Project

    Peter Seixas is Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia, where he is also the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness. He taught high school social studies in Vancouver for 15 years and earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Los Angeles.

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  • Penney Clark

    Dr. Penney Clark, University of British Columbia
    Director, THEN/HiER

    Dr. Clark's research interests centre on the areas of social studies education; history teaching and learning; the historical development of curriculum in Canada; the political and economic contexts of curriculum development and textbook production; and deconstruction of text.

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  • Carla Peck

    Dr. Carla Peck, University of Alberta
    Associate Professor of Social Studies Education

    Carla Peck is Associate Professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta. Before moving west, Carla taught grades 1 – 8 in rural New Brunswick. She is currently directing the Alberta portion of the pan-Canadian history education reform project, “The Historical Thinking Project”. Her research interests include students’ understandings of democratic concepts, diversity, identity, citizenship and the relationship between students’ ethnic identities and their understandings of history.

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  • Bio Photo

    Jill Colyer
    National Coordinator, The Historical Thinking Project

    Jill has been a teacher and a writer of curriculum materials since 1991. As an educator, she has taught both secondary school students and adults. Her secondary school experience has been gained at a number of schools within the Waterloo Region Board of Education in Ontario, and at Taylor’s College in Malaysia.

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  • Allan Hux

    Allan Hux, Curriculum Coordinator, Toronto District School Board (retired)

    Allan Hux taught at two universities and five secondary schools over a 20-year period in Toronto, Ontario. He was the Program Coordinator for Social and World Studies and the Humanities, grades 1-12, at the Toronto District School Board for 15 years prior to his retirement on June 30, 2010. He co-authored eight history, law and politics textbooks, including two grade 10 Canadian History texts.

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  • Lindsay Gibson

    Lindsay S. Gibson, University of British Columbia, Ph.D. Candidate

    Lindsay is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia where he is currently working on his dissertation research.

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What is a Benchmark?

<p>John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising &amp; Marketing History,<br />Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections</p>

A surveyor cut a "benchmark" into a stone or a wall when measuring the altitude and/or level of a tract of land. A bracket called a "bench" was secured in the cut to mount the surveying equipment, and all subsequent measurements were made in reference to the position and height of that mark.

The term "benchmark" was first used around 1842 to refer to a standard of quality by which achievement may be measured.

The foundation documents available through the Benchmarks site attempt to help teachers establish standards for assessing student learning of the modes of thought that constitute historical thinking.

John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History,
Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections