Peter Seixas

Dr. Peter Seixas, University of British Columbia

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.  He is interested in the understandings, representations and uses of the past in the contrasting settings of schools, academia and popular culture.  He has written numerous articles on historical thinking, history curriculum and history teaching, and spoken on these topics across Canada and the United States, as well as in the UK, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.  He is the editor of Theorizing Historical Consciousness (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), and co-editor, with Peter Stearns and Sam Wineburg, of Knowing, Teaching and Learning History: National and International Perspectives (New York: NYU Press, 2000). Most recently, he is the author, with Tom Morton, of The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts (Toronto: Nelson, 2012), designed to help teachers incorporate historical thinking into their classes.  His contributions to research, teaching and service, have been recognized with the Exemplary Research Award of the National Council of Social Studies (US), the Constance Rourke Award of the American Studies Association, the William Gilbert Award of the American Historical Association, the Innovation Award of the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association, the National Leadership Award of the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers’ Association, membership in the Royal Society of Canada, the Killam Faculty Teaching Prize at the University of British Columbia and (last but not least) the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Service to Canada.


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