Originally posted: January 2015
Tina Storer, Education and Curriculum Specialist at Western Washington University’s Center for Canadian-American Studies, represented the Pacific Northwest National Resource Center (NRC) on Canada by joining with Northeast NRC on Canada representatives Betsy Arntzen (U Maine) and Amy Sotherden (SUNY Plattsburgh) as hosts of a display booth in “International Alley” of the exhibit hall. The booth served as a focal point for the NRCs to renew connections and make new contacts nationally in order to encourage inclusion of Canada in American curricula across the United States. Approximately 500 educators stopped by to discuss ways to Canada could be incorporated in US history classrooms and 300 left with resource folders filled with K-12 STUDY CANADA resources, handouts about the annual STUDY CANADA Summer Institute as well as other Canadian Studies outreach programs and materials. More than a hundred others also signed-up to receive regular e-newsletters from Tina with resource recommendations and curriculum ideas for teaching about Canada.
An elected member of the Council of State Social Studies Supervisors (CS4), Tina Storer also attended their meetings (held in conjunction with the conference) to retain a Canadian Studies advocacy profile among social studies leaders across the country. In addition, as past co-chair of the 2012 Annual NCSS Conference in Seattle, she was invited to be part of the 2015 NCSS Conference Planning Committee and attended special meetings that will help pave the way, yet again, for strong Canadian content at next year’s conference in New Orleans, LA.
The NRCs on Canada also performed significant outreach at the conference by serving as board members of the NCSS Canada Community which was afforded several special conference opportunities, including: (1) promotion of NRC summer institutes to the 50 people, representing 13 states, who attended the Western State Councils for the Social Studies Breakfast; (2) a “Canada Community Showcase Table” that provided additional display time featuring Paul Bennett’s books about teaching history in Canada and the NRC and NCSS-endorsed ‘1812: Who Won the War?’ iBook; (3) a “Canada Community Scholar Session” (presented this year by Dr. Paul Bennett, Adjunct Professor of Education at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS – “Teaching High School History: The Revival of an Endangered Subject); and (4) a “Canada Community Featured Session” (presented this year by Ruth Writer, Western Michigan University – “100 Years of North Atlantic Neighbor Helping Neighbor”).
Four other sessions related to Canada were also offered. Tina Storer served as chair and presenter for an NCSS session about the Library of Congress grant awarded to her last year from the Teaching with Primary Sources Western Division that funded the model 2-1/2 day “Archives on the Arctic” workshop that featured presentations by Nadine Fabbi, Associate Director of the UW Canadian Studies Center. Amy Sotherden offered a presentation titled ““Canada and the American Curriculum: A Comparative State by State Analysis of K-12 Canadian Content Requirements” to the International Assembly, an NCSS associated group of university faculty members with interest in international education. “Sing a Song of Canada” was offered by a Canadian-born local teacher, Kim Soleski-Ward, who modeled how music in her elementary classroom brings geography to life (and whose materials have been included in the K-12 STUDY CANADA Resource Valise loan-kits for several years). The final session, offered by Mike Clare, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, featured an iBook currently in development with support from both NRCs called “1776: Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
Although two pre-conference clinics were planned for the conference (one to be held at the offices of the Québec. Delegation in Boston and the other at the Consulate General of Canada in Boston), both were canceled due to circumstances out of the NRCs’ control. All who had signed up to participate were contacted and provided with materials including “A Resource Tour of Canada” (downloadable from www.k12studycanada.org) which had been developed for the clinics by Tina Storer.
It is clear, nonetheless, that there are not only many outreach impacts that result from NRC on Canada participation at the NCSS conference but also that efforts have extended far beyond the meetings to build a strong nationwide network of educators interested in teaching Canada. The NRCs on Canada look forward to next year’s conference and many more to come!
Read the Final 2014 NCSS Report
The Canadian Studies Center forms the Pacific Northwest National Resource Center (NRC) on Canada with the Center for Canadian-American Studies, Western Washington University (WWU). Tina Storer, at WWU, serves as Education and Curriculum Specialist for the NRC.