Originally posted: October 2014
For more than 35 years, the STUDY CANADA Summer Institute for K-12 Educators has been offered annually by the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University in collaboration with the Canadian Studies Center at the U.W. as part of our Title VI Pacific Northwest National Resource Center for the Study of Canada (NRC) flagship training. As a result hundreds of American teachers have been provided an excellent foundation for teaching about the vital political, economic, environmental and cultural relationships between the United States and Canada. Teachers from every state have learned about core social studies topics related to Canada and participated in activities that effectively complement faculty instruction. Important outcomes always include gaining global perspectives of civic issues, receiving numerous resources for classroom use, and developing shareable lesson plans that meet Common Core, C3 and state standards.
Since 2006, the NRC has held the program at a variety of locations in Canada. This summer, it was offered in Ottawa, Ontario and Montréal, Québec with A Capital View of Canada: Nations within a Nation as its theme to reflect a special focus on indigenous and francophone communities in Canada. Participant evaluations unanimously showed that STUDY CANADA met or exceeded expectations and merited recommendation to colleagues. Year after year, the program earns top marks from teacher-participants and, based on 2014 evaluations, a 97% grade was awarded. Susan Jeffries, a teacher from Arkansas, added: “Wow! How much I learned! I’ve traveled the world…but never really knew my own continent until this workshop.”
Julia Warren, a teacher from North Carolina, commented pointedly “the program has been phenomenal!” She and Ms. Jeffries were among a total of 17 participants from 16 U.S. states who unanimously indicated that they will include Canada in their curriculum from now on. This commitment to Canadian Studies is a vital program outcome. So that teachers across the nation can also benefit from the program, faculty PowerPoint presentations and teacher-created curricula are posted online athttp://www.k12studycanada.org/resources_lesson_plans.html.
To further expand program outcomes and NRC outreach, 11 teachers volunteered to join the NRC’s network of more than 50 educators who serve as teacher associates who, in turn, provide resource assistance to colleagues and offer presentations on Canada at conferences in their home states. Additional details about participant evaluations and program impacts are provided in a “2014 Report Card” posted online at http://www.k12studycanada.org/scsi.html.
LaDawndra Robbs, a Missouri teacher whose lesson plan will focus on Underground Railroad connections to Canada, recently wrote expressing “This summer changed my life!” It is undoubtedly true that STUDY CANADA has played an important role in training American teachers about Canada so that their students are not only more knowledgeable about Canada but also appreciate the importance of our shared past and contemporary cooperative international relations, especially regarding global issues. Next year, STUDY CANADA will continue to build on its past success as program venues change to Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia with Across the Salish Sea: Canada-US Connections in the Pacific Northwest as the stimulating new program theme.
Link to photo album: http://www.k12studycanada.org/galleries/scsi2014.html