The student will:
- Use the inquiry process to identify elements of cultural and religious continuity and change since the Oblates arrived in Canada's capital Region
- Put into context the milestones relating to the mission of the Oblates in the capital Region
- Clarify the cultural and religious aspects that have changed, and those that have remained stable, after the Oblates settled in the Ottawa area
- Assess the positive and negative aspects of cultural and religious changes following the arrival of the Oblates in the region
- Clearly communicate ideas through teamwork and group discussions.
In the summer of 2016, a page in Ottawa's history turned with the departure of the last Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate from Deschâtelets House, which they had occupied since 1885. “This house was at one time the soul of the French cause in Ontario”, recalled Father Pierre Hurtubise, who himself spent 40 years there. It was, in fact, at the request of the Bishop of Montreal, Bishop Ignace Bourget, that the Oblates settled in Bytown in 1844, with the aim of structuring the religious life of the growing Catholic population. They did not know it at the time, but the Oblates would become inextricably linked with the destiny of the Francophone community in the Ottawa region, and with the debates that stirred up strong emotions, particularly promulgation of the famous Regulation 17.
Based on an analysis of the theme “Guardians of Faith and Language: the Oblates of Mary Immaculate”, what are the elements of continuity and change in the cultural and religious life of Francophones in Ottawa after the Oblates arrived in Canada's capital region? Answer this historical analysis question in the form of a virtual inquiry that considers the aspects that have changed and those that have remained stable since the establishment of the Oblates in the Ottawa area.
The teacher reviews with students the process of inquiry necessary to complete the activity to analyze the elements of cultural and religious continuity and change after the Oblates arrived in Canada's capital region. This process seeks to guide students in responding to the analytical question presented in the activity, using their critical sense. The process includes the following steps:
- Formulate analytical questions (What is my initial question? What should I address?)
- Collect sources and organize information (What sources and data are available?)
- Analyze and interpret the information collected (What do the sources reveal? What is the evidence?)
- Evaluate and draw conclusions (What conclusions can be drawn from this analysis?)
- Communicate the inquiry results (What is my response to the question?)
The teacher tells students about the work to be completed during this activity, which is to identify elements of cultural and religious continuity and change following the arrival of the Oblates in Canada’s capital region, as described in the virtual exhibition, with the goal of critically assessing the positive and negative aspects of cultural and religious changes since their arrival.
The teacher explains that the concepts of continuity and change are essential to understanding the past, present and future. Thinking in those terms makes it possible to explore how living conditions have changed or remained stable over the centuries. In all aspects of human life, we face processes of continuity and change. History is likewise not a series of events isolated from each other.
When students understand that history is a complex combination of elements of continuity and change, they have a different idea of the past and the present. Within that complexity, some aspects change more rapidly than others, and history helps to put their relationships into perspective. Modern technology, for example, has radically changed the way we communicate with people everywhere. But the need to communicate has remained the same; human beings have always had a need to be in touch with each other.
To fully understand the concepts of continuity and change in history, the teacher presents the following criteria:
- Changes occur at different rates. Changes can occur over a long period of time and almost imperceptibly, such as sea levels rising over the centuries. But they can also happen quickly, or unexpectedly and dramatically, such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We call these changes “turning points” in history because they cause a break with historical continuity. It is helpful to consider the following questions:
- What changes can be perceived during the study period? (e.g. what changed in people's lives?)
- What elements remained constant during the study period? (e.g. what has remained stable in terms of living conditions?).
- Our judgments regarding continuity and change are based on comparisons between specific moments. We evaluate continuity and change in aspects of life or society using three types of comparison:
- Between two specific points in time during the same period (e.g. what aspects of Francophone life changed / remained stable between urban and rural environments in the 1850s?)
- Between two specific points in time during two different periods (e.g. what aspects of Francophone life changed / remained stable between the 19th and 20th centuries?)
- Between the present and a historic point in time (e.g. what aspects of Francophone life have changed / remained stable between today and the 1850s?).
- Changes can be positive and negative. Contrary to popular belief, change does not automatically lead to progress for humanity, and neither does continuity represent stagnation. While modern life has improved since the last century, especially in terms of technology, the changes have not resulted uniquely in progress. Other related outcomes include pollution and climate change. The following questions apply to our study topic:
- What has been the positive impact of religious and cultural changes on Francophones?
- What has been the negative impact of religious and cultural changes on Francophones?
The teacher also explains to students that changes are perceived in different ways by different groups. What may seem like a positive change to some people (e.g. the arrival of smartphones) can be considered a significant setback by others (e.g. loss of privacy). It is therefore important to specify the criteria used for evaluation.
- Explains the work involved in analyzing elements of cultural and religious continuity and change following the arrival of the Oblates in Canada's capital region.
- Distributes to each team Worksheet 1: Analyzing continuity and change, which will be used to organize and analyze the information collected by students.
- Explains to students that their work to identify elements of continuity and change following the arrival of the Oblates in Ottawa must result in:
- cultural and religious changes since the arrival of the Oblates in Ottawa
- elements of cultural and religious continuity since the arrival of the Oblates in Ottawa
- Invites students to visit the virtual exhibition section, “Guardians of Faith and Language: The Oblates of Mary Immaculate”.
- Observes and guides student work in analyzing information and data from the virtual exhibition.
- Encourages students to read and make sense of the historical sources included in the virtual exhibition to find relevant information and evidence to support their analysis.
- Ensures that each team completes the worksheet and provides a detailed answer to the inquiry question.
The teacher :
- Selects a few students (4 or 5) to present their research results.
- Invites the selected students to present their results individually, based on their responses to Worksheet 1.
- Asks other members of the class to join the student who presents results similar to their own (the teacher can assign students to groups as needed).
- Encourages students to compare the similarities and differences among responses obtained by the members within each group.
- Facilitates a discussion with the class about the answers provided, with a view to exploring the reasons that can explain different findings among student responses.
- Invites students to modify their responses in light of the discussion.
- Collects worksheets to provide written feedback.
Suggestions to encourage learning
- Asks students to judge (positively or negatively) the cultural and religious changes following the arrival of the Oblates in Ottawa based on the criteria for analysis.
- Asks each student to answer the following open question: In your opinion, did the presence of the Oblates in Ottawa lead to positive or negative changes for the Francophone population?
- Invites students to visit the virtual exhibition section, “Guardians of Faith and Language: The Oblates of Mary Immaculate.”
- Asks students to complete Worksheet 2 and use the criteria for analyzing positive and negative changes.
- Using presentation software, prepares a short, five-minute audio-visual presentation for a group of parents regarding the Oblate legacy in Ottawa, highlighting the positive or negative impact of Oblates on the Francophone population.