Six history teachers from Alberta were among the 25 finalists selected for the Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History. Teachers were chosen for their ability to inspire students to take an interest in Canada’s history. Following are highlights of the four Alberta winners’ approaches to teaching history.
Jean-François Bélanger, École Primaire King George, Calgary
Bélanger encouraged his students to transform knowledge into something new and relevant. From recreating a voyage to New France to designing Utopia, students are engaged in a process that allows them to use and understand their newly acquired knowledge. Through questions of the week and the school’s involvement with a Japanese arctic expedition, students debate issues that are framed by history and current events.
Linda-Rae Carson, Harry Ainlay High School, Edmonton
Linda-Rae Carson developed a Canadian history program for her senior high students called The Canadian Historical Identity: Historical Consciousness. The project encourages students to explore connections between their families’ histories and Canadian history, and their Canadian identity and the identity of Canada as a nation.
Lorretta Stabler (left) and Patti Thorne (right), Millarville Community School, Millarville
Teachers Loretta Stabler and Patti Thorne, their students and community members collaboratively engaged in an archaeology project. Mysterious shards found on the school property sparked students’ curiosity. Students conducted online research and compared artifacts found in various Canadian archaeological digs. Students built their own website and wrote and presented a centennial operetta. The rich aspects of this year-long inquiry project enabled history to come alive for students.Also In the News