This paper presents an overview of British Columbia's (B.C.) educational history, interwoven with descriptions of textbooks. Focusing on social studies textbooks, this article explores change and continuity in the history of public schooling, paying attention to whether citizens were conceptualized as active, passive, or patriotic citizens. It identifies four key periods: the establishment of public schools in B.C., the rise of the Progressivist movement in the 1930s and reaction to it, advocacy of Bruner's structure of disciplines in the 1960s, and pendulum swings in philosophic orientations in the latter part of the twentieth century. The article illustrates connections between contemporary philosophies and textbooks, and identifies continuity and change in the content and aims of the textbooks.