Above: Marcia, second from left (front), with Washington State educators.
Dr. Marcia Ostashewski, Canada-US Fulbright Research Chair in Canadian Studies, presented “Resources for teaching and learning about Canada: Histories, communities, music and culture” at the Washington State Council for the Social Studies annual Leadership Retreat at Lake Chelan this March. Co-authored by her partner in research, educator Dr. Doug Reid, this professional development workshop provided teaching and learning resources and strategies to explore Canada’s history and cultural diversity. These materials help teachers integrate a culturally inclusive approach to the teaching and learning of Canadian history and culture in social studies classrooms.
Resource guides were presented for teaching elementary and secondary programming including social studies, music, Gaelic, French and Mi’kmaq language and culture. Teaching and learning resources presented in the session included oral histories, audio recordings, biographies, digital images, lyrics and lead sheets, as well as music and dance activities – all developed by leading Canadian scholars and educators. A focus on the diverse cultural and musical heritage of Cape Breton Island – one of Ostashewski’s primary research sites – included Scottish, Mi’kmaq, Acadian, Gaelic, Eastern European and coalmining song and dance traditions. These song and dance traditions illustrate the central role music has played, and continues to play, on Canada’s east coast.
This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, U.S. Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service. The Fulbright Chair is sponsored by Global Affairs, Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate Fund for Excellence and Innovation, and the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.Teachers who attended Ostashewski’s session enjoyed participating in music-making and dance as part of the session [photos] and were excited about using the resources in their teaching. They were especially eager about the resources aimed at helping them integrate song and dance as part of learning and teaching about – and experiencing – some of Canada’s history, communities, and culture.