Educator Book Reviews

Educator Review: Peace: The Exhibition

Peace: The Exhibition
Written by Amber Lloydlangston and Kathryn Lyons
Published by The Canadian War Museum
Category: Social Justice/Canadian Studies/General Interest

Reviewed by Rachel Lengyell,
English and History Teacher, York Region District School Board

Peace: The Exhibition by Amber Lloydlangston and Kathryn Lyons, as intended for use in a school setting, is a great resource for learning about Canadian contributions to peace worldwide. This text has many valuable components of instilling a social justice perspective for our students across Canada.

In Plato’s The Republic, he argues that an ideal state would demonstrate the following virtues: wisdom, justice, courage and moderation. 1 Through the photos and clearly relayed captions, this text demonstrates that Plato’s vision is woven into the Canadian fabric. The artifacts exhibited in this text demonstrate a broad range of individual Canadian people who have supported goals of peace and the ways in which Canada has supported peace.

James Whitham, Director General for the Canadian War Museum of Civilization Corporation, seeks to demonstrate that “Canadians have acted with equal conviction and passion, motivated to take action for peace.” 2 This goal is accomplished by representing the complex moments in Canadian history in the achievement of peace in the chapters entitled Six Nations Confederacy and Treaty 7; similarly, in the representation of the diversity amongst those Canadians who supported peace initiatives like Setsuko Thurlow. Finally, Lloydlangston and Lyons mindfully express the diverse perspectives on achieving and maintaining peace in the chapter Nuclear Weapons. In this chapter it is stated that:

“Canada was a member of the nuclear-armed Western alliance and for a time, maintained nuclear weapons on its soil. Canada also worked internationally to manage nuclear arsenals. Other Canadians supported more immediate action against nuclear weapons. These ranged from restrictions on testing to complete and unilateral disarmament.” 3

Here, opposing perspectives on cultivating peace are respectfully articulated allowing for critical thinking and the inquiry process to occur in the classroom, an Ontario Curriculum mandate. 4 The inquiry process as seen in the curriculum document for grade 10 Canadian History requires students to be able to: formulate questions; gather and organize information, evidence, and/or data; interpret and analyze information, evidence, and/or data; evaluate information, evidence, and/or data and drawing conclusions; communicate findings and/or plans of action. As seen in the example above, this text would be a great resource for students to practice these skills.

Therefore, this text would be an excellent resource in the public Ontario education classroom as it meets social justice in education needs and Ontario curriculum expectations.

Notes:
1 Plato. The Republic of Plato. Translated by F. M. Cornford. New York: Oxford University Press, 1945
2 Lloydlangston and Lyons. Peace: The Exhibition. Ottawa: Canadian War Museum, 2013
3 Lloydlangston and Lyons. Peace: The Exhibition. Ottawa: Canadian War Museum, 2013
4 Ontario Curriculum Grades 9 and 10. Revised 2013. Retrieved via World Wide Web on February 10th, 2014: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/canworld910curr2013.pdf

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