How does one learn to be a good citizen? A good Canadian? Creating Citizens : History and Identity in Alberta's Schools, 1905 to1980 looks at the role schools have played in creating and sustaining a sense of Canadian identity for generations of Alberta students. History and social studies classes, more than others, are designed to prepare young students for meaningful citizenship and address issues of identity by interpreting the country's and the region's past. By examining history and social studies curricula and textbooks used in Alberta schools from 1905 to 1980, von Heyking shows how these materials helped shape the ways in which Albertans have identified themselves and their place in the world around them. The complex process of curriculum development is also explored; by clarifying how the framework of decision-making regarding school content was created, von Heyking provides valuable insights into current debates about the purpose and content of public education.
By tracing the evolution of this curriculum over the course of seventy-five years, Creating Citizens gives the reader a unique opportunity to analyze the images of the nation and the region as they were taught to generations of Alberta schoolchildren.