Teaching National History to Young People Today

How to teach the nation without churning out little nationalists? How to bring young people to adopt a critical stance about the(ir) nation while passing national reference points along? How to represent the nation in its dissonances and ambiguities while making sense of what she was and is? Létourneau argues that presenting the nation as an open rather than a closed place, as a reality that can be questioned rather than proof that must be preserved, and as a composite rather than unambiguous historical shape may be a promising path for teaching the transforming nation to a young audience. He maintains that by initiating them to the true and the good and giving them a foothold on the world they, in turn, can build it in their own way.