Connecting Teachers Across Canada
Canadian Teacher May 2010
Canadians Bring Help to Asia Managing Student/Teacher Online Relationships PM# 40010049
Two-Eyed Seeing Summer Reading Loss Scientist of the Day www.CanadianTeacherMagazine.com
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May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
We just want to say…
Unilever Canada is pleased to announce the 10 recipients of the
EcoVoyageurs Jr. Environmental Awards Martha Hunter, Kindergarten, Edmison Heights Public School (Peterborough, Ontario) Jacqui Cadarette, Grade 4, Amherstburg Public School (Amherstburg, Ontario) Marie-France Lessard, Grade 5, École du Tournesol (Thetford Mines, Quebec) Rita Long, Grades 3 & 4, Ranch Park Elementary (Coquitlam, British Columbia) Kevin Lyseng, Grade 5, W.D. Ferris Elementary (Richmond, British Columbia) Thank you Brenda Scrimes, Grade 3, Hartman Public School (Aurora, Ontario) for helping Angela Petsnick, Grade 4, J.W. Walker School (Fort Frances, Ontario) Tammy McLaughlin, Grade 1, Linden Park (Hamilton, Ontario) Tanis Folstad, Grade 3, Greystone Heights (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) Liz Hayes, Earl Haig Public School (Toronto, Ontario)
Your actions make a difference
Each of these schools made the world just a little bit greener – and earned $2 000 to support their green projects. To apply for the 2010/2011 Ecovoyageurs Jr. Environmental Awards visit www.EcoVoyageurs.ca or call 1 800 668 1023
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
C ana d i an T e a c h e r editorial
what’s inside 5
From the Editor
Are Young People Plagiarizing or Remixing?
~ by Jim Parsons and Kelly Harding
focus on schools
8 Crawford Bay School ~ by Larraine Roulston features 10 Canadians Bring Help to Asia ~ by Adrianne Dartnall and Rick Lennert 13 Managing Student/Teacher Online Relationships ~ by Phoebe Uy 14 Two-Eyed Seeing ~ by Annamarie Hatcher and Cheryl Bartlett 18 book reviews
from the classroom
20 Summer Reading Loss
~ by Brenda Boreham
22 Scientist of the Day ~ by Linda Pierce Picciotto
oday, here in Canada, we seem to be inundated with news of environmental and social disasters around the globe, partly due to increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous forms of communication, and partly to the growing number of issues that are arising as a result of our planet’s burgeoning population. What is one to do, to maintain optimism and feel as if one is making a positive rather than a harmful contribution to life on Earth? One couple’s answer to that question is profiled in this issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine. After the tragic loss of Adrianne and Rick’s beautiful young daughter, they sought meaning in their lives by embarking on a project to help other children and families. Their personal journey took them to Asia with funds in hand to search out ways to lend a helping hand to underprivileged people. This journey has grown and expanded to include friends and family who contribute to the fund, and has continued for ten years. As you will read in the messages sent home to supporters this year that we have reprinted in this issue, Rick and Adrianne ensure that every penny they take with them goes to improve the lives of children and families who have so much less than most Canadians can even imagine. We hope this story of first-hand humanitarian aid will inspire you and shape your plans to encourage your students to share their wealth in some way. This is the last issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine for this school year, and everyone here wishes you smooth sailing through the last few weeks of classes, and a wonderful summer full of sunshine and free time in which to renew your energy and commitment to your most valuable and appreciated vocation.
24 National Bioscience Educators’ Conference
~ by Norman Lee
26 Port Townsend
Tips For Teachers
~ by Carol-Ann Giroday
28 Retirements That Work
~ by Enise Olding and Carol Baird-Krul
Send us a Tip for Teachers that you would like to share with your colleagues—something that saves time or works really well to solve a common classroom problem. If we print your tip, you win a year’s subscription to Canadian Teacher Magazine!
Email to dmumford@CanadianTeacherMagazine.com with
Tips for Teachers in the subject line.
30 the bulletin board Canadian teacher magazine May 2010 Issue, Volume 6, Number 5, Copyright 2010 Postal Agreement #40010049 • Postage paid Vancouver, BC Editor Publisher Contributing Editor Copy Editing Advertising
Diana Mumford Ron Mumford Brenda Boreham Jenni Gehlbach Cheryl Diels
Cover: iStock Photo Writing not otherwise credited is by CTM staff. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers. Canadian Teacher Magazine is an independent publication, published by Pacific Edge Publishing Ltd. One free copy is sent to schools and universities in Canada. Printed in Canada on recycled paper using vegetable based inks. Yearly issues: Sept / Nov / Jan / Mar / May Canadian Teacher magazine 1773 El Verano Drive, Gabriola, BC Canada V0R 1X6 Ph: 1-250-247-9093 • Fax: 1-250-247-9083 Toll Free Ph: 1-800-668-8806 • Toll Free Fax: 1-800-956-8299 Email: info@CanadianTeacherMagazine.com Website: www.CanadianTeacherMagazine.com
Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
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Are Young People Plagiarizing or remixing? A Social Look at Technological Change
by Jim Parsons and Kelly Harding
ecent research suggests that students are cheating, i.e., plagiarizing, in epidemic proportions. If we were inclined, we could blame the blurring of right and wrong on a highly competitive culture or point to the many athletes, politicians and business leaders who regularly cut corners in their daily work to “get things done.” But let’s drop blame for a moment. Is there another way to consider how young people view information and approach the act of cutting and pasting from the Internet? This article reviews the work of Lawrence Lessig in his book Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (2008) and suggests that what is called cheating might be contextually understood as a younger generation’s interaction with media—especially Internet media. Here we use Lessig to forward a different theory: perhaps plagiarism and copyright laws are remnants of another time and, rather than protect, these copyright laws stifle democratic creativity and protect the economic privilege corporations have over citizens. In this article, we suggest that plagiarism is more complicated than it might seem on the surface and we encourage an extended dialogue about what copyright might mean to a younger generation. Young people have a different relationship with media than we older digital immigrants. They are especially “aggressive” with Internet media, and their understanding and manipulation of the Internet suggests they view information as a raw ingredient of creativity. According to Lessig, young people are creative in different ways and understand copyright differently than older generations. Lessig, a professor of law at Stanford Law School and the founder of the Center for Internet and Society, believes copyright was designed for a radically different technological age and, in today’s digital world, copyright inhibits the creation of art, culture and individual expression. As a parent, he saw “copyright wars” affect his children and came to believe that “criminalizing an entire generation” seemed a high a price to pay for a copyright system created a generation ago (2008, xviii). To illustrate the difference, Lessig notes the two ways digital technology can be used: R/O (Read Only) and R/W (Read/Write). When Lessig describes how digital culture generates new activities and the economics of these activities, he is especially concerned with social activities such as playing, hobbies and conversations; and he asks how digital technology has changed them. R/O culture is professionally produced, hierarchical, and characterized by control. R/O allows amateurs to consume “tokens of culture” (music, movies) but not adapt them. R/W allows people to create, participate in, and “re-mix” products that become improvisations of other people’s work. R/W includes, for example, someone videoing herself singing a familiar melody with new lyrics and posting that video on YouTube. Today’s youth are both technologically clever and anxious to share personal “re-mixes” with others. They are, according to R/O owners, plagiarizing thieves. But Lessig notes that, rather than stealing, an ever-creative youth population is simply shaping media for its own social purposes. Perhaps this seems to be splitting hairs, but
for Lessig the matter is one of efficacy and creativity. Older generations have accepted R/O culture for what producers say it should be—information to be consumed but not reshaped; in other words, without possibility of “dialogue.” We might aspire to create culture and own intellectual property, but basically such cultural forms (like movies or music) belong to those in the culture business, and we tend to see those “other” people as extremely talented—far more talented than we are. Young people don’t share this deferential attitude. They shape R/W culture and think nothing of using another’s idea to fit their needs for immediately sharing— hence the growth of blogs and text-messaging. In Remix, Lessig hopes 21st Century digital technologies will allow for playful remixing and appreciation for R/W culture. For him, remixing is a move towards a healthier grassroots democracy that grants voice to more people because it allows amateurs technological literacy once only available to professionals. Lessig further believes the Internet can democratize culture by allowing young people to interact with and connect to their world in inspired ways. But for now, Lessig asks why are we criminalizing a generation of youth for being innovative with new technologies? To him, a redefinition of copyright is only common sense and benefits both corporation and consumer. Legal applications of copyright are less important than knowing how a younger generation understands its own creative processes. Today’s “legal” should not be defined by owners of patents and machines created from past philosophies. Why might Lessig’s perspective be important when we think about how our students write papers? Schools employ an earlier generation’s definition of plagiarism. But Lessig’s Remix suggests that this definition is archaic, one-sided and creatively limiting, and that two realities bump into each other to shape what intellectual property might mean to young people. First, new tools allow the improvisation of another’s work. Second, young people have grown up in a remix society and believe in and practise a remix philosophy. They do not cower to authority, have high expectations, and feel entitled to more than their parents and grandparents. Finally, they understand differences between original art and a copy—or remix—differently. R/W culture offers us more than R/O culture, Lessig suggests, because it asks more of us. R/W culture invites dialogue between citizens and allows an empowering knowledge that both informs and entertains. Although Lessig’s work is more about entertainment, we cannot overlook that young people create knowledge by remixing. This knowledge creation is as true with school essays as with Internet music. When students write school essays, they might forage the Internet—cutting information from here and there, and reshaping/remixing that information into new ideas and thoughts. For Lessig, this process is more about improvisation, democracy, and innovation than cheating, and he notes that we become more active participants in the creation of our culture as we remix it. Lessig implies that the Digital Age has transformed us all, but by “us” he means it has mostly transformed young people. At the very least, >> continued on page 8
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
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focus on schools
CRAWFORD BAY school Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design by Larraine Roulston
outh and adults alike of the East Shore rural communities that border Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, are enjoying the ambience of their newly re-designed eco-school located in the village of Crawford Bay. The new school was constructed after the original building was found to have mold problems and failed current health standards. With government funding of $12.7 million to build a “green” structure for students K – 12, a sustainable architectural design was put forward. Local residents then raised an astounding $850,000 to include a preschool, family fitness centre, and other community facilities. The Crawford Bay Elementary Secondary School opened in 2008 and is the first school in B.C. designed to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification. Since the small rural community of Crawford Bay has no public water or sewage systems, the new school had to be almost completely self-sufficient. Using wood from native trees, the building was engineered to allow local labour and expertise for both the architectural design and construction. Shaded by deciduous trees that filter sunlight in summer and allow solar penetration in the winter, the school features large expanses of glass to allow natural lighting for all occupied spaces as well as spectacular views of the surrounding country. Natural vegetation was preserved and landscaping strategies included the planting of native and drought resistant plant species. Occupant comfort and a healthful learning environment were of paramount importance in the design of the school. As such, the primary considerations were identified to include the following: • Preserve natural site features and vegetation • Integrate school and community • Create a healthy environment for learning, working, and recreation by maximizing access to daylight and views • Design the school to maximize opportunities for local employment • Incorporate energy and water efficiency • Construct for longevity and economy of maintenance. Furthermore, to allow ultimate flexibility for alternate future use, all interior partitions are non-load
bearing walls and can easily be modified and relocated. Bolted connections of timber superstructure allow the entire building skeleton to be disassembled and relocated or the components reused. The water system was created to achieve at least a 20% reduction in use. This was achieved by including low-flush toilets and urinals and infrared water taps. Rainwater collected from the roof is directed onto landscaped catchments on the ground by a series of ornamental scuppers. During rainy periods these devices add delightful sounds as well as visual effects while directing water for landscape irrigation. Excess rainwater is collected by a sub-surface system and stored in a cistern to provide irrigation for the playing fields. General storm water is absorbed by a series of bioswales then filtered back into the ground to re-charge the aquifer that feeds the wells, thus completing the cycle. Likewise, energy is derived from a geo-exchange system that includes a heat pump and forced air heating. During hot weather, the school’s design allows passive cooling by means of cross-ventilation achieved by opening window vents throughout the school wings. As well, large roof overhangs shade exterior walls and reduce hot solar gain. In developing programming for the future, staff and community members are exploring options for environmental-based projects, including a greenhouse and root cellar. Over the years, teachers and students have composted all of the school’s organic food scraps with a series of composting bins and a worm farm. The “Farm to School” hot lunch program serves madefrom-scratch vegetarian meals four days per week and includes as much local and organic produce as possible. Principal Dan Rude says, “With this incredible new site and building, we have the opportunity to focus many of the initiatives that we have been working on for years around environmental awareness and sustainability. Our community and staff have had significant input into the building design, and are now in great conversations about how to utilize our green school and site to its full capacity.” For details, Google Crawford Bay School Sustainable Architecture. Larraine Roulston writes children’s adventure books that combine compost facts with literature. Visit www.castlecompost.com
Lessig’s work makes us reconsider how the tools we use shape us, how we might build a stronger culture using these tools, and how our abilities to use these tools enable us to gain cultural power and control. Lessig implies that we might all become creators and suggests that those who sit in judgment of the activities of youth could, if they tried, come to better understand and embrace the logic of youth who imitate and remix as a high form of social flattery. Lessig’s fusion of R/O and R/W into a hybrid culture asks us to rethink old rules—including rules of copyright. For him, what our young do with R/W culture levels the playing field. Could it be that plagiarism laws are hyper-sensitive responses meant to protect artists in financial but not ethical ways? Is plagiarism defined in a way that allows a small group of people to hold onto old ways of peddling and charging for its creations? Lessig argues that copyright has become a tool used to financially protect corporations who believe young people steal, re-mix, or “mash” products they should buy. In fact, Lessig argues that the way young people break copyright laws actually helps enact the values society should prize—values that help our young become creative and collaborative people. Lessig the lawyer reminds us that no law prohibits a writer from quoting another work to make a new point and believes the same law should also work in the digital world. At the heart of Lessig’s Remix is a hybrid blending of a traditional commercial enterprise with an Internet-friendly ethos of a sharing community. Copyright is at once both protective regulation and monopoly, meant to protect the “expression of ideas”— for example, the words and phrases in a student’s paper—but not ideas themselves. People cannot own ideas, but they do own their own creative expressions. R/O culture makes us all consumers of someone else’s culture; R/W culture allows participation. Current copyright law favors R/O culture, controls the right to make copies, and requires permission for every use. Thus, control trumps cultural creativity, smothering R/W culture progress. Might the same be true of plagiarism for school papers? When students go to the Internet and cut and paste bits of other people’s papers, is there a chance they see themselves as remixing in the same way they might remix music or photos? Or are all these activities stealing? What role do educators play in helping students recognize the difference between constructing their own understandings and the theft of someone else’s? For Lessig the issue is complex, and he suggests that we should at least consider the complexity. continued from page 6 >>
Lessig, L. (2008) Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. New York: Penguin.
~ Jim Parsons is a Professor in the Department of Secondary Education at the University of Alberta. Kelly Harding is Department Head/Curriculum Coordinator of English at Centre High Campus in Edmonton, Alberta.
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
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Bring Help To Asia by Adrianne Dartnall and Rick Lennert Adrianne and Rick (back) deliver new computer equipment to Srey Po school in Tak Mau.
For the last ten years, Adrianne Dartnall and Rick Lennert have traveled to Asia each year to help impoverished children and families by funding projects and purchasing equipment and materials to support ongoing programs. Their work began out of the tragedy of losing their twenty-one year old daughter and only child, Danielle, when she was killed by a drunk driver. They set up a registered charity called K.I.D.S. to receive donations from people in Canada, which they personally take to Asia to ensure that the money raised goes directly to the people who need it most. Adrianne and Rick oversee the spending of all funds and 100% of all donations goes directly to bringing better futures to children and families living in poverty. Following are messages that they sent home via email to tell their supporters at home how their donations are being used. December 19, 2009 We have left Bangkok and are now in Cambodia after a good rest to recover from the trip from Canada. We traveled to Phnom Penh to purchase a few items that we needed before heading up to Stung Treng to visit the Srey Poh village free school and Mekong Blue, the Women’s Weaving Centre. Among our purchases in Phom Penh, we bought over 400 pieces of used clothes (only $100) to put into a clothing bank to replace worn out clothing for both the Srey Poh village school and the Weaving Centre kindergarten (that was a bit of work sorting through piles and piles of garments!). We also purchased about 80 school uniforms for the children—here in Cambodia all children who go to school wear uniforms and the children at both schools really wanted to feel like all the other children who go to government schools, so we bought them uniforms to instill inspiration and pride in themselves and their school. We purchased a new laptop for the Weaving Centre as theirs gave up, and it is much needed to help with the management of this great program that assists vulnerable women get out of poverty, have sustainable incomes and provide for their children. We also purchased two deep cycle batteries to help power their solar system at the centre. We went to the village to visit the kids at the school. We had not seen the new windows and walls since they were added after we left last year. The new walls help keep the kids in, the dogs and cows out, and also give more wall space for the children to decorate their school. All the children came running up to greet us and say helloooooo. The school looked great—there were beautiful, bright coloured origami
paper birds and colourful paper chains hanging from the rafters. The teachers greeted us warmly and were happy to tell us how well the children are doing. There has been a marked improvement in the children’s learning, behaviour, hygiene and nutrition levels. The only good meal these kids get each day is at the school. We had to increase the funding a bit, as in addition to the hot breakfast meal we provide the children, they get a healthy snack in the afternoon. We started out the meal program at thirty cents per day per child and now it sits at fifty cents to feed each child a really good, nutritious meal and snack per day. Ridiculously cheap for our part of the world but since most of these rural families struggle to make barely $1 a day if they are lucky, you can imagine how hard it is to feed their families.
We arrived at the school just in time to see them tuck into their meal, and it was heart warming to see their happy little faces as they ate their breakfast, which is usually a bowl of hot vegetables, rice and meat soup. The meals are prepared fresh and cooked over a wood brazier on the doorstep of the classroom. The teachers asked if we could put a small roof over the cooking area as in the rainy season they get soaked while they make the meal, so we are going to have this done. We also visited the kindergarten at the Weaving Centre where another thirty small children stay, learn and play as their mothers weave and work. K.I.D.S. will continue to provide two teachers for this program. We will be putting on a roof for the outside play area so the children can have a bigger area to play during the rainy season and be shaded from the hot sun. In our many trips to Cambodia we cannot help but be struck by the poverty and the desperate situations the poor people here face. However, we are now seeing pockets of hope like in the main park in Phnom Penh, which used to be filled with poor people begging or just sitting and staring. Now there are families walking and children playing and there are food stands where people can eat and visit together. At the village in Srey Po, before we would see the children walking around listlessly with nothing to do looking so sad and ragged, and now they are smiling and going to school and learning to use their minds which will hopefully help them escape a lifetime of poverty eventually.
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
December 31, 2009 After leaving our friends in Stung Treng and heading back to Phnom Penh, we reconnected with the children that K.I.D.S. assists in Tak Mau, a few kilometres south of Phnom Penh. We have been supporting a group of exceptional kids who are keen to learn but come from very poor families that do not have the resources to send them to school. These kids range in ages from 9 to 18—four boys and six girls plus Sen who is 26 and will be graduating from university in three months. She has taken on the role of leader and mentor for the group. The children use the house of Sinat, a great man who we have known for six years. Sinat lived in a refugee camp in Thailand for many years and after the war he was one of the first people to bring children back to their homeland from the refugee camps. He and a French man started one of the first orphanages in Cambodia and that is where Sen lived for many years. Sinat is now retired and his house is a sort of an unofficial learning centre for the group. Each year, one or two of the older kids are able to find work, thanks to the education or vocational training they have received and we are happy to see them attain their independence. It is great to see the kids move along in their studies and grow with each passing year. They put their hearts and minds into learning and under the watchful eye of Sinat and with the mentoring of Sen, they are progressing well. Last year we promised them that if they continued to study well we would supply them with a computer to put in the study room at Sinat’s house. They delivered and so did we. The children have all had some computer training at various levels, however access to computers is limited by the number of children in public schools. Although eleven people to one computer might sound high, they will now have much more individual time to practise their skills. Their smiles were priceless as we uncrated and set up the computer. Within twelve hours we received an email from Sen telling us that the practise schedule was all worked out, printed and posted for them to start their computer work. What a great opportunity for a new year. Moving on to Siem Reap, we are always very happy to see our longest and dearest Cambodian connections. You Vath runs Somnang House, which is totally supported by K.I.D.S. There are eight girls plus You Vath, her daughter, a cook and several dogs that live in a small house together. The girls come from the terribly sad backgrounds that are common here, many have deceased or missing parents and had no hope of an education until they came to Somnang House. You Vath runs a tight ship, teaching self-discipline, self respect and respect for others. She shares her love and warmth with the girls. The girls are all happy to attend school on a regular basis and to live in a consistent family style setting. Their lives are so different from before and every one of them is so very happy to have the chance they have been given. We have started to sit down with the girls and help them with their English. Although they are shy at first, they have a pretty good vocabulary considering their limited time studying English. We have purchased new bicycles for the kids, as theirs were worn out from the
several kilometre ride to and from school four times a day for morning and afternoon classes. These kids are on the road at 7:30 am and not finished school until 7:00 pm. They do come home for two hours at lunch but spend many hours on the road and in the classroom. They also go to school Saturday mornings. We have also assisted another group of children from a less well funded shelter with bicycles to get to school, as well as a three month supply of rice, as they are having a hard time making ends meet. We took about 45 children in total for our yearly picnic. As always, the kids have an incredible time, eating, drinking pop and swimming. It is great to see them just having fun like they don’t have a care in the world for a change. We have really only just started to get into the projects here in Siem Reap and already there is so much need and so much to do. January 4, 2010 Being in Siem Reap, Cambodia is an amazing experience; the majesty of the temples of Angkor Wat cannot do anything but stir one’s mind and soul. The Khmer (people of Cambodia) with their bright smiles and cheerful demeanour have built a great infrastructure of restaurants and hotels in all price ranges to accommodate one’s every need while visiting the temples. It’s easy to think that this beauty and appearance of prosperity is shared by all, but this abundance is in fact still a veneer. Though there are many who benefit by this prosperity, there are still vast numbers of children and families at risk and there is much work to be done. The reality is you are in one of the poorest countries in the world and if you really look, this veneer has cracks and chasms that are incredibly deep and filled with unbelievable poverty. One of these chasms is on the edge of Siem Reap in the village of Mondul 3. In most places in Cambodia there is a large presence of NGO (Non Government Organization) vehicles going to and fro full of both locals and foreigners working hard to restore health care, clean water, education and the cleaning up of land mines left over from many years of conflict. In Mondul 3 it does not take long to notice the total lack of any signs of NGOs of any kind, domestic or foreign. It is difficult to even begin to describe the conditions in Mondul 3. There are some 1800 families living here, many in squalid shacks spread throughout the area, few if any own the land that they live on. The chance of children making it to five years of age is one in seven; life expectancy is around fifty-five years of age. Illiteracy is more common than not, and the main sources of income in the village comes from collecting rubbish and scrap to sell at the recyclers, working hard labour at construction sites, and selling anything they can to get by. Sadly, lining both sides of the main road on the way into Mondul 3 are corrugated tin and concrete brothels. Some of the women and girls who work these brothels are forced into this life due to dire poverty, illiteracy and desperation; others unfortunately have been sold into these situations by a parent. The thought of doing this in our part of the world is unthinkable—how can we even
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Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
imagine the torment in a parent’s decision to sacrifice one child’s life or have all of your children face starvation? This is how bad things can get here in Mondul 3. Futures and lives can be bought for under $100, a visit to a brothel, mere pennies. The parents of one family with several children, both working together all day peeling and selling sugar cane, clear an unbelievable wage of less than forty cents a day to try to support their family. That is what makes the lack of any aid here in Mondul 3 so unbelievable. Up until two years ago these families had no help and no hope, then New Hope Community Centre was formed by Kemsour, a local young man who had to do something. Kemsour was well on his way to making a fairly good life for himself owning three tuk tuks (motorcycle taxies). He sold them all, rented a small house in Mondul 3 and opened the doors of New Hope to try to help. A few weeks later he was joined by Kerry, a woman with a continental sized heart and spirit to match, from Australia. Kerry first came to New Hope for a short volunteer stint, went home, packed up her life, and returned to work with Kemsour to help those who no one else would. Since Kerry and Kemsour came together to assist this area, they really have created a place of hope. New Hope Centre has a free medical clinic with a Khmer doctor that serves some seventy people a day. The centre teaches haircutting, cooking, computers and sewing. New Hope has two small bamboo classrooms that teach both English and Khmer to over 400 kids a day on a rotating basis, quite a sight and sound as they loudly sing out their lessons. They do a monthly rice drop to help feed the poorest families by distributing more than 4,000 kilos of rice and a fish sauce that helps many of these people stay alive. They provide grants to start small businesses for income generation, and a myriad of other needs as problems arise. Many people now come and volunteer here which helps increase the awareness and funding of the programs, however, they still operate on a shoestring budget and considering the daunting task that they face, it is truly a heroic effort. From the moment we met Kemsour and Kerry last year, we knew that this was a worthwhile place to put funds. Thanks to the generosity of others, K.I.D.S. was able to sponsor the entire monthly rice drop and do a major restocking of the supply of medicine at the clinic (the doctor was hugely grateful). We have made arrangements to repair several of the worst houses, ordered a new sewing machine and bought a new gas cooker for their training programs and will provide them with a new camera to help them document and assist them with their family sponsorship program. We are making arrangements to help a family earning forty cents a day to purchase their own cart so they do not have to rent one and their daily profit will increase. We will also be buying bicycles to assist families and kids to go to school and to work. We bought the usual much-needed mosquito nets, mats and blankets for distribution. Earlier this year, New Hope received news that they received funding to purchase a piece of land in the heart of Mondul 3 that will house the new and larger clinic and save them the monthly cost of rent, and they are now fundraising to purchase the adjoining piece of land to build a larger vocational center and school for the children. We hope that we can help build this school next year. We leave on Tuesday for an expedition out onto the Tonle Sap Lake, another incredibly forgotten place. We will be gone a few days to distribute school supplies and help the lake clinic with its amazing work. January 14, 2010 Tonle Sap is a large lake in the middle of Cambodia. The primary source of income and protein on the lake is from the myriad of fish that inhabit the Tonle Sap. The sight, sound and smells of these fishing and processing endeavours permeate the senses. We returned from the lake a couple of days ago after spending three nights and four days traveling around five floating villages aboard The Lake Clinic (TLC) boat. When we say floating village, it is in the truest sense of the word—virtually everything from homes, schools, stores, mechanic shops and the raising of pigs, chickens and ducks is carried out on boats or float houses for which buoyancy is provided by bamboo. The crew of the TLC consisted of a doctor, nurse, midwife and the captain/cook/pilot and Sothat who would be our assistant and interpreter, all Khmer people. K.I.D.S. provided the funding for this trip, and before leaving we loaded up the boat with medicine, food and water. While the crew would be looking after the medical needs of the villagers, we were going along to have a look at the schools and assist them with school supplies. Before we left we went shopping at the local markets and shops
and bought a scribbler, pencils, crayons, eraser, ruler, maps and children’s story books as well as a tooth brush, toothpaste, a bar of soap and a comb for each of the nearly 700 kids in the five schools we would visit, so the little ship was pretty full. Before leaving, we met with Jon Morgan the founder and director of TLC, with whom we have worked for many years. Jon has always been a big thinker with a heart to match his visions, and when he told us three years ago of his vision to bring health care to people on the lake we were in total support of this daunting and worthy cause. We had heard about the remoteness of these villages. Two years ago when we returned to Cambodia, Jon had taken his idea and turned it into reality as the TLC small ship was mostly built, and K.I.D.S. provided most of the funds for the engine. This year when we met with Jon and discussed ideas about how we could further assist TLC, he told us about their Village Health Volunteer (VHV) program that needed funding. The concept of the VHV program is to train young, interested and eager volunteers to assist both the medical staff and the community of villagers to bridge their traditional world and the world of modern medicine. The VHVs are essential as they live in the villages and have the trust of the local people. Before the TLC came along, most of these people had never been off the lake, let alone seen a doctor. The VHVs are trained in providing information on nutrition, immunization, and family planning, prenatal and anti natal care as well as health promotion and disease prevention. Each VHV is assigned about thirty families that they monitor to ensure the families learn about health care. They also communicate the families’ conditions to the medical team, nipping many major problems in the bud. With the large extended families on the lake, the work of the VHV team of eleven reaches many people. We had four days to observe the VHVs in action, they are an integral part of this project and we were happy to sponsor some of their training, transport, stipends, food allowances, meetings and training materials for this year. As we were heading out to the villages the first day, Sothat described the villages out on the lake as the “end of the world” due to their isolation and remoteness. If you were a sick child or adult on the lake you would need about thirty litres of fuel to make the trip one way to the port, which is still forty minutes from the nearest hospital. The cost of thirty litres of fuel is over $25, add on the road transportation, hospital fees, medicine and accommodation and just a one way trip could cost $50 to $70—more money than most people could make in three to six months and more money than these villagers could ever have in hand at any one time in their lives. This is why the TLC and her crew has become a critical lifeline to better health and wellness for these villages. This is an amazing project. The results and value were easy to see as each time we pulled into a village, boats of every size filled with young and old and came from all directions for help, and hundreds were served in a few days. Jon Morgan, the man with the big heart and big vision, has brought the villagers at this seemingly “end of the world” much closer to ours and is now working with the Impact Foundation of Norway to build a much larger TLC #2 to further fill the need of more villages living on the lake. Have a look at www.lakeclinic.org—there are some great blogs and photos of TLC and the work they do. Adrianne Dartnall has a long history of working for non profits and volunteering in her community and is currently the executive director of Nanaimo Family Life Association. Rick Lennert is a self employed home renovator and builder. Kids International Development Society (K.I.D.S.) has charitable status (#86067 3235 RR001). Contact Rick and Adrianne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-754-0180.
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
Managing Student/Teacher Online Relationships by Phoebe Uy
f you’re a teacher on Facebook, chances are you’ve received at least a friend request or two from your students, prompting you to make a difficult decision between “Confirm” and “Ignore.” Some schools have cut out the guesswork for teachers by introducing a “no friending” policy that applies to everything web. For many teachers, emails, Wikis and blogs are to remain strictly professional, and personal social sites like Twitter and Facebook are off limits to students. Some schools advise against online relationships with students altogether as a way of minimizing the risk of teacher misconduct after school hours. Many teachers, however, are arguing that such a restriction is retrogressive, limiting teachers to the confines of the classroom walls. “Outside the classroom, in terms of connecting with students, there are some exciting possibilities,” said Melissa Pierson, an associate professor who teaches instructional technology at the University of Houston. “Such sites can help humanize teachers, and facilitate online learning.” Ollie Bray, a national adviser for emerging technologies at Learning and Teaching Scotland is another big supporter of social media for enhancing education. He argues that, “social media such as blogs, Wikis and podcasts give students a sense of audience and encourage collaboration—which produces better output and increased student pride.” Some social media buffs go as far as dubbing it “the greatest educational tool ever invented.” While school administrators continue to debate the issue, students may soon find themselves frozen out of future learning and technological developments. Sure, technology bans provide a quick fix for liability woes, but the most constructive solution is placing the onus on the user, not the medium. Here are the top five guidelines for using social media sites to connect with students, courtesy of Kiwi Commons.
1. Accept friendship requests from students, but never initiate them. If it’s for a non-educational purpose, searching out your students online and requesting friendship or starting conversations through texts or emails are big no-no’s, and may border on invasive. To keep in touch with graduating students or to connect with current Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
ones for school-related topics, I would suggest extending an invitation to your class as a whole to add you as a friend. Teachers should also be careful when accepting friend invites from students. Some prefer to hold off an acceptance until after the student graduates, while others are comfortable accepting requests so as long they connect using a professional account. If you’re not comfortable communicating with your students on social platforms, politely decline the invite and offer an alternative class-based online network where they can contact you, or your school email address.
2. Use professional accounts and educational platforms to connect with your students. Some teachers will never connect with students via Facebook, Twitter or a personal email account, worrying that the sites lend themselves to casual correspondence of a social nature. One solution for this is to set up a class or teacher account on these platforms, with your username the same as what your students address you in the classroom. This enables teachers to manage their personal and professional personas separately, keep their private lives private, and maintain their professional persona in online interactions. A dedicated group page to a school program or class allows students to connect with each other and is more conducive to collaborative group discussions where students can act as a mediator or leader. Many teachers set up Facebook groups or a class web page on the school website for instance, where students share field trip pictures and are able to ask homework or lesson-related questions. Online educational resources like HotChalk (a free service) and Edmodo provide a great way for students and teachers to connect. Both platforms provide online learning environments that enable teachers to create online classrooms, post messages to students and manage assignments, grades and quizzes. 3. Use your privacy settings to protect your personal information and private life. Whether your students are in your online network or not, it is important to adjust the security and privacy settings of all your accounts. However, it’s important to note that any pictures or posts shared by you or someone in your network can still be circulated outside of the group(s) you authorize in your settings. For that
reason, a routine clean-up should also be done of all your posts and photos within your networks and online profiles. Teachers’ gauging question should be: Is this something I’d want my students, my students’ parents and the principal of my school to see? Though it’s ill-advised, for teachers who would like to use their personal accounts to communicate with students, privacy settings should be set to “only friends” as a minimum protective measure. On Facebook, teachers should first create a friends list reserved exclusively for students. From there, they can allow or disallow students from seeing personal information including status updates, basic information, photos and videos of you and your wall.
4. Notify parents first before engaging in an online relationship with a student. Before you accept a student’s friend request on the Internet or get students participating on your class group page, it’s important to get parent permission first. Some teachers prefer to send a standard notice home to parents that details what social media platform they will be using to connect with their students, as well as the purpose of their online communications. And to get them involved and updated, teachers can also make group pages for the class open to parents. 5. Monitor what your students post. Teachers are often wary of the added responsibility of adding students to their online networks. Most often, teachers are unsure of their place in calling students out on obscene or inappropriate behaviour they witness online. As educators however, teachers are expected to be role-models and guardians both online and offline, in-school and off campus. In the instance that teachers come across self-jeopardizing, privacy-compromising or abusive pictures or comments online, they should either openly or privately message the student, and/or discuss in person the ramifications of this online activity. On Facebook, teachers can also report any inappropriate content or online harassment by clicking on their “Panic” button. Phoebe Uy is a staff writer for KiwiCommons.com, a free Internet safety resource for educators and parents. Kiwi Commons is proud to be the content partner of Crime Stoppers Canada, the York Catholic District School Board, KiwiSeminars.com and the Empowered Student Partnership program..
Two-Eyed Seeing Building Cultural Bridges for Aboriginal Students
by Annamarie Hatcher and Cheryl Bartlett
Integrative Science student, Alaina Jeddore, with a poster that she produced highlighting traditional knowledge about shellfish.
Acknowledgements The research for this article was supported by a contract to Dr. Hatcher from the Atlantic Provinces Community College Consortium, with the assistance and funding support of Health Canada through the Aboriginal Health and Human Resources Initiative. We wish to thank Mi’kmaq Elders Murdena and Albert Marshall for their continuous advice, direction and support. We sincerely thank the many individuals who have been or continue to be participants within or supporters of the co-learning journey of Integrative Science. This includes numerous Elders, community members, university science students, public school students, educators, scientists, and others from Mi’kmaq First Nations in Atlantic Canada, plus key individuals from other Aboriginal communities and organizations elsewhere in Canada. We further wish to acknowledge funding from the Canada Research Chairs program and SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) of Canada (to Dr. Bartlett).
he educational gap between Aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians is the most significant social policy challenge facing Canada (Richards, 2008). Aboriginal people face multiple barriers which impact their ability to succeed in educational institutions. The greatest barrier relates to the forced removal of whole generations of Aboriginal children from their communities to residential schools in the period between the late 1920s and the late 1960s. This removal eroded language and culture and severed the links between individuals and their cultural and spiritual roots. The 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples concluded that many of the current challenges facing Aboriginal communities, including loss of identity, spirituality and language, can be tied to the residential school experience (Cappon, 2008). As well as this burden of the past, Aboriginal learners face many current barriers ranging from the logistic challenges of single parents attending classes to the jurisdictional jungle surrounding the control of Aboriginal educational facilities and supports. Without an intense effort, “Canadian governments (Aboriginal
as well as non-aboriginal) will serve the next generation of Aboriginal students as inadequately as they have the current one.” (Richards, 2008). The Eurocentric consciousness of the Canadian education system needs to be sensitized to the colonial and neo-colonial practices that marginalize and racialize Aboriginal students (Battiste, 2002). These practices, often not recognized by teachers who were themselves raised in the Eurocentric system, include issues such as curriculum relevance, teacher proficiency at cultural border crossing, effective strategies to engage parents, students and supporting community members, and innovative ways to develop student assessments, facilities and teaching materials (Archibald, 1995).
Racism One of the most profound challenges for Aboriginal learners in the education system is racism. Cultural identities and worldviews are shaped by a continuous play of history, culture and power (St. Denis, 2007). Modern Aboriginal worldviews are coloured by a history of racism and colonization. Racism from educated people may be one of the biggest barriers to inclusion of Aboriginal traditional cultures into the education system (Michell et al., 2008). Colonial education strategies and attempted assimilation into the Western culture have had a devastating impact on Aboriginal peoples who now have very high rates of incarceration, substance abuse and school drop-out rates. Many people are unaware of the extent of colonization and attempted assimilation in the past because settler history is sanitized in textbooks and Aboriginal history and culture have been superficially treated. This has done little to foster respect for the history of the Indigenous peoples or to empower First Nations children with a sense of pride in their past. For many people, particularly those in the majority, social identities are invisible (Dlugos, 2006). Generally, non-minority people feel uncomfortable talking about racism. To develop a learning environment within which Aboriginal learners feel respected, teachers need to be able to discuss issues of racism in racially-mixed
groups (Battiste, 2002). Racism can become a “normal way of seeing” and it is possible to be critical of racism at the level of ideology but have “common sense racism” (Bannerji, 1987). The reality of common-sense racism hit me during my time living on a small island in the West Indies where I was one of the handful of year-round white residents. My eldest son had just started at the local high school and was keen to try out for the track and field team. The coach, interested in winning the trophy that year, told him not to try running. He told him that it was common knowledge that white boys could not run well. (A. Hatcher, personal experience)
All teachers and students have a racial identity, and in Canada (as well as many other countries) it is almost always the white European identity that dominates. It can be a significant struggle to give “equal time” in the classroom to the Eurocentric and the Aboriginal worldviews. The Eurocentric outlook can become dominant by difference (Fellows and Razack, 1998 as cited in St. Denis and Schick, 2003). Dominant identities such as “able-bodied” or “white” are recognized as normal by constructing outsider identities such as “disabled” or “aboriginal” (St. Denis and Schick, 2003). Dei (2005) describes racism as “about unequal power relations.” It is also about how people relate to each other on the basis of defined social identities. This is evident in many education systems, where practices dominated by the privileges of “whiteness” are still prevalent despite all the educational rhetoric concerning multicultural pedagogy (Kincheloe & Steinberg, 1998).
A Colour-blind View A common practice is to deny that racism exists by using approaches such as adopting a colour-blind view which appears virtuous and perpetuates the notion that colour does not matter because we are all really the same. This highlights ways in which minority groups are similar to the norm (usually the dominant white group), indicating that the value of these other groups is May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
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irrelevant. Blindness to the influences of race in people’s lives has a powerful effect on schools in Eurocentric societies by keeping white people from learning about the role that their privilege plays in personal and institutional racism. If white teachers want to challenge the authority of the Eurocentric worldview, and build an anti-racist, socially just and global curriculum, they need to acknowledge their power and privilege (Hickling-Hudson & Ahlquist, 2003).
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Denying racial identity (i.e., saying that we are all the same under the skin) trivializes the effects of power, and waters down the daily effects of white privilege. The dominant racial identity (white) can thus be considered the norm against which others are judged (i.e., non-white) (Bhabha, 1994). The fundamental promise of capitalism is that everyone has equal opportunity and hard work pays off. Thus, lack of success may be ascribed to laziness or low intelligence, a way of blaming the victim. This attitude changes when teachers become effective in cultural border crossing. A respectful recognition of the student’s Aboriginal heritage will help de-fuse the destructive influence of racism. Education for Indigenous students should help them connect with tribal consciousness and the traditions that animate their spiritual selves (Battiste, 2002).
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When the Mi’kmaq spirit is alive, racism does not affect you because you are comfortable in your own skin. You respond with tolerance and compassion, not aggression. (Albert Marshall Mi’kmaq Elder and Advisor, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, Jan. 16, 2009)
Educational Multiculturism Educational multiculturism is a nonhierarchical approach that gives “equal time” to many cultural perspectives. A respectful recognition and celebration of Indigenous culture in school is of benefit to all students, regardless of ethnicity, as a preparation for their entry into inclusive workplaces or post-secondary education. The great challenge is to find a respectful way of comparing Eurocentric and Indigenous ways of knowing and including both in contemporary education (Battiste, 2002). The effects of Eurocentric educational systems on Aboriginal students are largely due to differential treatment according to race. Although many more Aboriginal teachers are being trained in Canada now than in the past, more are needed and Aboriginal culture needs to be reflected more in the curriculum (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2009). Students often fail to establish a group cultural identity because the school environment does not highlight their cultural distinctness. The group cultural identity is a strength for many Aboriginal learners and a means to ensure engagement within the school community. Under the current Canadian curriculum-based education, Aboriginal students are assimilated into the mainstream culture and can lose part of their Aboriginal identity. If ethnicity Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
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and equality are to survive in the classroom it is crucial to celebrate cultural distinctness (Ogbu, 1982; Philips, 1983). Two Indigenous scholars, Battiste and Henderson (2000), summarize the structure of Indigenous ways of knowing: (1) knowledge of unseen powers in the ecosystem, (2) knowledge of the interconnectedness of all things, (3) knowledge of the perception of reality based on linguistic structure or ways of communicating, (4) knowledge that personal relationships bond people, communities and ecosystems, (5) knowledge that traditions teach specialized knowledge related to “morals” and “ethics” and (6) knowledge that extended kinship passes on social traditions and practices from one generation to the next. When the two cultures meet in the classroom, often the Aboriginal worldview is assimilated or “colonized.” The challenge for the teacher is to empower the Aboriginal learner to see and interpret the world through his/her eyes, not the eyes of the “other” (after Sefa Dei, 1996). Inclusive education does not mean replacing one hegemony (Eurocentric) with another (Aboriginal). This is the underpinning of a concept called Two-Eyed Seeing, brought forward by Mi’kmaq Elder Albert Marshall (Bartlett et al, 2007; Hatcher et al, 2009). The educator is in the position to provide the tools to empower the Aboriginal learner through TwoEyed Seeing, despite the dominant Eurocentric paradigm. Aboriginal students become more than seekers of knowledge; they become active participants in it, a fundamental principle of the Aboriginal Worldview.
What is Two-Eyed Seeing? Two-Eyed Seeing is to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western ways of knowing, and to use both of these eyes together. By concentrating on common ground and respecting differences, we have begun to build a transcultural bridge between these two ways of knowing. The Two-Eyed Seeing approach mindfully avoids knowledge domination and assimilation. Crucial elements include a co-learning philosophy, connection with culture and community, a psychologically-safe classroom, and Aboriginal pedagogy. Two-Eyed Seeing is a way to incorporate minority cultures into all classrooms. Both worldviews are significant to the students and deserve equal treatment. Innovative curricula, classroom practices, delivery methods and assessment procedures will offer students more opportunities to succeed in the dominant culture without losing their own. These innovative teaching materials and techniques cross cultural bridges and weave back and forth between worldviews. The relative importance of the traditional versus the dominant culture is actively debated among the Innu in Labrador –as one elder told his grandson, the traditional culture is necessary for the spirit but the dominant culture is where one makes money. (Densmore, Lisa. Personal Communication, 7 April, 2006. As quoted in Jong, 2007)
Many different ways of knowing co-exist on our planet and a post-colonial agenda requires that bridges be built among them (Kawagley, 1995). Cultural modes
of perception and understanding are deeply embedded and self-perpetuating. The Indigenous worldview contains deep and subtle wisdom, which Mother Earth needs, but which is difficult for those with a Western culture to practise authentically because they generally do not have the underlying beliefs, values and cultural connections to nature and each other. Many cultural concepts simply are not transferable to other cultures (Hatcher et al, 2009). We are not aware that we act within conventional sets of rules ourselves. We assume instead that the way we behave, express ourselves, and interpret others is the way all people do it. All cultures operate within this myopia; it seems to me, not even suspecting that others may have developed very different rules. (Ross, 1992, page 5)
Inclusive Education: The Teacher’s Role We need teachers who can weave back and forth between the knowledges. (from interview with Albert Marshall, Mi’kmaq Elder and Advisor, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, Jan. 16, 2009)
Teachers are a product of their own culture and consequently bring cultural baggage to the classroom. The challenge for non-Aboriginal teachers is the relinquishing of their own control as they respectfully listen to another viewpoint (Ogbu, 1982). This is a complex challenge; deconstructing and displacing the Eurocentric hegemony of “whiteness” and collaborating in the exploration of knowledge rooted in unfamiliar epistemologies (Hickling-Hudson & Ahlquist, 2003).
Traditional drumming is welcome in the classroom.
Culturally competent teachers can contribute significantly to the success rate of Aboriginal students. They can foster greater understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures in our society with all students. They can improve the communication and critical thinking skills necessary to facilitate intercultural dialogue. They are good intercultural communicators who can maintain varied forms of communication including the mode important to them and the mode important to the student. This cultural competence may come from
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
being raised in the culture (i.e., Aboriginal instructors). It also may come from experience crossing the cultural border. Along with cultural competence comes cultural humility, which is the development of a respectful partnership with diverse individuals, groups and communities. Two-Eyed Seeing is a form of cultural humility. Flexibility is the key to successful cultural border crossing (Aikenhead and Jegede, 1999). To successfully cross cultural borders is to shift from being one person in one context to being another person in a different context without losing self-identity. The cultural borders could be from the world of white middle class to that of an Aboriginal student who lives on a reserve or the world of an Afro-Canadian woman in a white maledominated workplace. We can feel at ease in one world and not the other. Ease is due to several factors: being a fluent speaker, agreeing with the norms of that culture, being humanly bonded with people in that culture, or having a sense of shared history (Aikenhead and Jegede, 1999). The presence of only one factor can cause one to feel at ease.
Inclusive Curriculum Education affects who you are as a person. It empowers you when your own culture is validated, when you see it used. Teachers need to present who they are (the students) as a valid part of the knowledge. (from interview with Albert Marshall (Mi’kmaq Elder and Advisor, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, Jan. 27, 2009).
One of the significant barriers to the success of Aboriginal students in school could be the Eurocentric curriculum. Canada’s education systems have largely ignored Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy. Eurocentric philosophy is based on a noun-based language. Battiste and Henderson (2000) state that this “creates a detachment from that which is known, so that knowledge does not inform or create meaning” (p. 123). It is now clear that the exclusive use of Eurocentric knowledge has failed the First Nations children (Battiste, 2002). In much of that curriculum, Aboriginal people are often viewed as subjects to study rather than active creators of knowledge. Students need to see Aboriginal knowledge reflected in the curriculum. The Eurocentric (or Western) approach is largely based on hierarchical, linear thinking. In the Indigenous worldview, knowledge and the learners are intimately connected, in contrast to their separation in Western thinking. Courses have been developed for many school systems, including Nova Scotia, that include Black history and culture. The development of similar courses for Aboriginal history and culture has not progressed as far. However, this type of inclusion may not be enough because it often takes the form of a few sessions dealing with minority themes and tokens such as “multicultural dinners,” leaving the minority learner grafted onto the existing order and continuing to underachieve. The celebration of Black History and Mi’kmaq History Months within schools sends mixed signals for students. It is good to recognize and highlight these cultures but choosing a particular month to do so presents them as “add-ons” implying that the dominant culture is the norm. A superficial treatment of culture can reinforce stereotypes (Archibald, 2008). A pedagogy sensitive
Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
to cultural differences moves way beyond the superficial treatment of culture as food festivals, dances and concerts. Celebration of all cultures should occur in a respectful, meaningful way over the whole school year. How can Aboriginal knowledge be incorporated into programs and curriculum for the benefit of all learners, and particularly Aboriginal learners? Aboriginal learners are not a homogenous group. They can be First Nations, Metis or Inuit from all geographic areas and from First Nation’s Reserves or an urban area. They may be “traditional” and strongly interested in preserving their cultural traditions or they may not be “traditional,” and primarily interested in succeeding in modern consumer-based society. Because of this diversity, programs, supports and structures must be flexible. Educators must tap the cultural capital that students bring from their communities. This forms the foundation for a co-learning Two-Eyed Seeing approach in the classroom. Context is powerful in the “pedagogy of the home.” School curricula need to incorporate local traditional knowledge, in consultation with the Elders. Reflexive learning takes place at these intersections between teachers and community Elders as new understandings are constructed (Barnes, 1976).
Summary Aboriginal students face many challenges that affect their performance in school. Challenges related to the educational institutions include issues such as racism, curriculum relevance, lack of teacher proficiency at cultural border crossing, lack of effective strategies to engage parents, students and supporting community members, and lack of innovative ways to develop student assessments, facilities and teaching materials. Educational multiculturism using a Two-Eyed Seeing approach is a nonhierarchical approach which gives “equal time” to many cultural perspectives. A culturally competent teacher can contribute significantly to the success rate of Aboriginal students by fostering greater understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures in our society with all students, and improving the communication and critical thinking skills necessary to facilitate intercultural dialogue. Culturally-relevant teaching will be transformative, equipping students with the educational capital to deal with contradictions between the norms privileged in the school and the reality of the students’ out-of-school experiences. Editor's Note: A list of the references cited in this article is available upon request. ~ Dr. Annamarie Hatcher is a Senior Research Associate in Integrative Science and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Science and Technology at Cape Breton University. She comes from a diverse science background which includes a postdoctoral fellowship in Oceanography at Dalhousie University, a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Western Australia and a teaching position at Windsor Elementary school in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Professor of Biology Cheryl Bartlett is the Director of the Institute of Integrative Science and Health and the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Integrative Science at Cape Breton University. With Mi’kmaq Elders Murdena and Albert Marshall, she designed the degree program in Integrative Science (Toqwa’tu’kl Kijitaqnn in Mi’kmaq) at Cape Breton University which uses Two-Eyed Seeing as its guiding principle. (http://www.integrativescience.ca).
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• fiction • Hannah’s Touch
In The Woods
by Laura Langston Orca Book Publishers, 2009 ISBN 978-1-55469-149-4 (pbk) $9.95, 132 pp, ages 13 – 15 www.orcabook.com
by Robin Stevenson Orca Book Publishers, 2009 ISBN 978-1-55469-200-2 $9.95, 124 pp, ages 12 – 14 www.orcabook.com
Sixteen-year-old Hannah is stung by a bee and experiences a severe allergic reaction. During the bee sting episode, Hannah loses her St. Christopher’s medallion, a gift from her boyfriend, Logan, who died a year before in a car crash. She has a neardeath experience during which she hears Logan’s voice and feels his presence. He tells her to “go back” because her “work is not finished.” She is having a very difficult time coming to terms with Logan’s death. Hannah feels guilty that she didn’t do more to prevent what happened to him. She also blames Tom, Logan’s best friend, who insisted that they race their cars after they had been drinking. Hannah cannot forgive herself, and she definitely cannot forgive Tom. It is after the near-death experience that Hannah discovers that she can heal people, even animals, simply by touching them. The first one to benefit from Hannah’s gift is old Mrs. O’Connell’s ancient dog, Kitty, who starts to act like a puppy once she has touched Hannah. Mrs. O’ Connell recognizes Hannah’s amazing ability but has a hard time convincing Hannah that she now has a special gift. Hannah tells Mrs. O’Connell, “This isn’t a gift. It’s a curse.” All her life Hannah has been different and now she feels like a freak. Marie, her closest friend, thinks Hannah should visit a pastor, and her parents think she should see a psychiatrist. Hannah keeps trying to find the St. Christopher’s medallion, and to understand what it is Logan wants her to do. No wonder Hannah is having nightmares! Unexpected events and Logan’s voice gradually reveal to Hannah what she must do. By using her healing powers for others will she also begin to heal herself ?
Inside his tightly zipped jacket, the baby is held close to his chest by a sling made from his sweater. “Don’t you dare die…If you die I’ll be emotionally scarred for life,” Cameron tells the tiny bundle while he pedals his bike as fast as he can through the woods to the highway. With the help of a passing motorist they reach the hospital and the baby girl is saved but Cameron is freaked out by the whole experience. Who would leave a baby in the woods? That is what the social worker and the police want to know. They also wonder if Cameron is the father. Does he know the mother? It’s no to both questions and Cameron is determined to find the mother. He believes his twin sister, Katie, knows. It was she who had called and pleaded with him to go to the woods. Perhaps it is one of the girls in their class at high school? Once Cameron discovers the mother’s identity he faces a real dilemma. Does he protect a teenager’s secret like he promised or does he go to the police? Cameron confides in Audrey, a friend from school who helps him to understand the issue of teen pregnancy from the side of an adopted child. Life has suddenly handed Cameron many things that require him to make some very important decisions. Fate intervenes and leaves him no choice about what he must do. The plot moves along fairly quickly, and the characters are well-developed, especially Cameron. I could hear his voice and was with him every step of the way. The ending of the novel is particularly moving and not, perhaps, what one might expect. The issue of teen pregnancy is dealt with frankly, but without judgement, and with compassion.
Black and White
by Eric Walters Puffin Canada, 2009 ISBN 978-0-14-331249-9 $12.99, 220 pp, ages 12 – 14 www.penquin.ca
by Norah McClintock Orca Book Publishers, 2009 ISBN 978-1-55469-152-4 $12.95, pp 165, ages 12+ www.orcabook.com
The last thing Tom wants to do after school is watch the grade eight girls’ team play basketball. Tom is on the boys’ grade eight team and doesn’t think the girls’ team is very good. Tom’s best friend, Steve, convinces him to go. The team does not play very well except for Denyse, a grade seven girl, who is so impressive on the court Tom cannot help but notice her. He thinks Denyse is really pretty and the fact that she is black and he is white is not an issue. Denyse and Tom begin to spend time together as friends. When Tom’s father drives Tom and Denyse to a ski club, Tom teaches Denyse to snowboard, and gets his first kiss. But on the ski hill, a racist comment is made by a white man to Denyse which upsets her very much. Tom cannot believe that some people still use such racist language. He believes that no one should be treated differently because of their skin colour. Once Denyse and Tom start to officially date it becomes clear that not everyone is happy about this situation. Denyse’s brother gives Tom a hard time, but not for the reasons Tom expects. During a game at school Denyse is knocked about by four black girls on the opposing team. As Tom watches the game he notices that the girls look as “though they are more interested in hurting Denyse than they are in winning the game.” Though not against the relationship, both sets of parents tell Tom and Denyse it will not be easy and there will be many challenges. Now it is up to Denyse and Tom to decide whether or not the feelings they have for each other are strong enough to withstand the prejudices of others.
Abduction of our children by an unknown person is the number one concern of modern parents. It is the reason streets are empty of kids playing outside and why the Kiss and Ride drop-off at school is backed up with parent drivers every beautiful, sunny morning. Norah McClintock uses this fear as the theme and storyline of her new book Taken. Stephanie is still mourning the loss of her dad in a car crash when her mom meets and falls for Gregg, who is the complete opposite of her cultured, hard-working father. Needless to say, conflict arises between the new boyfriend and Stephanie whenever they meet, even over such trivialities as how to drink out of the orange juice container. That story is layered over the disappearance and subsequent killings of two girls, roughly the same ages and shape as Stephanie, living in their quiet, rural area. One of the more interesting themes is how Stephanie’s relationship with her mother shifts throughout the book. Her mother’s choice of companion is a complete mystery to Stephanie as her mother plans to give her dad’s insurance money to the boyfriend to start a mysterious, unnamed business. She is unsure about her mother’s affection and wonders instead if her mother has transferred her affection and loyalty to Gregg. This shift is only touched upon by the author and the reader is left unsatisfied by the absence of some resolution. For reluctant readers, this book is simple, easy to follow and the outcome is clear early on in the story; it ensures success immediately. For avid readers who have strayed away from formulaic writing to something more original, this is a quick page turner and not really worth the effort.
Reviewers Victoria Miller is a teacher librarian in a middle school in Ontario. She has taught for 27 years from Kindergarten to Grade 10. Diana Mumford worked as a teacher and teacher-librarian for twenty years before switching to her present career as an editor.
Julie Rank teaches grade nine in Corner Brook, NL. She is always on the lookout for books that will appeal to her 14-year-old students. Interested in reviewing? Contact: dmumford@CanadianTeacherMagazine.com
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
• nonfiction • Broken Memory
A Novel of Rwanda
by Elisabeth Combres, translated by Shelley Tanaka Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-88899-892-7 ( bound ) ISBN 978-0-88899-893-4 (pbk) $18.95, 136 pp, Author’s Note, ages 13 – 15 www.groundwoodbooks.com Although this is a work of fiction, the historical content is real. The author spoke with many adolescent survivors of the genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. From these conversations, and those with aid workers and psychologists, Elisabeth Combres created this story of Emma, a young Tutsi survivor. Hiding behind a chair, Emma did not see her mother murdered, but she heard it. At the age of five Emma was an orphan who “slept in the bush, went for long days without eating,” and “walked between the dead bodies that blackened the fields and the roads.” Eventually Emma was taken in by an old Hutu woman, and there she lived for nine years. This act of courage by the old woman was not without its dangers, as the Hutu killers would have slaughtered them both if Emma were discovered. As the years passed, Emma remembered her mother’s face less and less, and continued to suffer from nightmares. She befriended another genocide survivor, Ndoli, who was physically and emotionally scarred from the torture he endured. When Emma recognized the voice of a prisoner on a truck as that of the man who murdered her mother, she collapsed and fainted near a wall. It was Ndoli who stayed by her side throughout the night. Ndoli and Emma were helped by the nameless “old man” who ran a clinic which helped young survivors cope with their trauma. Through his kindness and patience Emma began to recover and soon found the courage to visit her former village. It is there that she made a discovery that enabled her to begin to deal with the past and look to the future. The two children in this novel represent the many thousands of children who suffered during this horrific time. It is also a story of hope, and of the immense courage of the Tutsi survivors, and of those Hutus who were against the slaughter. It is a story of a country trying to heal itself.
• picture book • The Secret of Your Name by David Bouchard illustrated by Denis J. Weber Red Deer Press, 2010 ISBN 9780889954397 $24.95, 35 pp, CD, ages 6+ www.reddeerpress.com With the cover showing the familiar Hudson’s Bay Company blanket coat, this book invites the reader to meet the Canadian Metis community. This is a dual language book, in English and Michif. Michif, according to the end notes, is a combination of the French and Cree languages used by Metis who lived in Western Canada. Eventually, the author (Order of Canada winner, David Bouchard) writes, he will “claim [the language] as his own,” a common refrain regarding learning his culture throughout the book. Metis history is significant to the Grade 8 study of Canadian history, specifically Opening the West. This picture book would be a good introduction to how the Europeans interacted with one of the aboriginal communities, and how that community fought to keep their language and culture alive. Much of the shame and denial of their heritage, which cuts across this book, lives on, described today by the author. Grade 6 students, who study First Nations, will be inspired by artist Dennis J. Weber’s evocative painting and illustrations. The recurring motif of the Hudson’s Bay coat reminds students of the close relationship between the great trading house of HBC and the First Nations, including the Metis. As an added bonus to this book, there is a CD read by David Bouchard in English highlighted with fiddle, pipe and drum music. The music is led by John Arcand. After the musical interlude, the book is reread, in Michif this time, by Bill Starling, which makes it possible to hear Michif spoken, if not understood. This book would be a valuable resource when studying First Nations.
ID Stuff that Happens to Define Us
by Kate Scowen illustrated by Peter Mitchell Annick Press, 2010 ISBN 978-1-55451-224-9 $12.95, pp 160, ages 14+ www.annickpress.com This is a largely serious book wrapped in fanciful illustrations and interesting print. No Times New Roman here! Sombre tales of pivotal life experiences are told from a young person’s point of view, as they deal with sexuality, sizism, abuse, suicide, loss and fitting into a larger community. Each story is short, between 10 – 15 pages, and liberally sprinkled with stylized illustrations. It is written in the first person, as if the situation could apply to you or someone sitting next to you. The stories are related with tact and sensitivity, while not shying away from the awfulness that is the experience itself. After each personal tale, there is a Question and Answer page which gives greater detail about the incident in an effort to have the reader understand and demonstrate empathy, and insight into what the writer was thinking when the act occurred. At the conclusion of the book there is an Afterward about what readers can do when seeking help for their own experiences. There is a resource list for Canada and the US, phone numbers to get help, and websites if readers have more questions. This book is divided into quick reads as the authors delve into the questions raised by young adults. To use it in the classroom, the stories could be available for teachable moments, or within the parameters of character education. It would be appropriate in the self-help section of the library, or as stories read aloud for discussion—what would you do if it were you?
Piece by Piece Stories about Fitting into Canada
edited by Teresa Toten Penguin Group, 2010 ISBN 978-0-670068-494 $20, 123 pp, ages 12+ www.penguin.ca In this country of immigrants, we celebrate and denigrate our heritage, all the while trying to belong to mainstream groups. Piece by Piece is about trying to belong while keeping part of what makes us unique. There are fifteen stories in this selection, in which all authors answered the hateful question, “Where are you from?” This is an excellent resource for Grade 8 students who are studying human migration in Geography. The short stories are good snapshots of experiences that look at the barriers and bridges of migration to Canada. Will I make myself understood in a new language? What will the new food be like? Will I find something familiar? The first entry by Svetland Chmakova should be very motivating to students, as it is in a mini-graphic novel format. It follows the ups and downs of two sisters who have migrated with their parents to Canada. I like the graphic novel format, which most students find very engaging. It should be especially appealing for ESL students who may be living the issues described there while using the vocabulary and pictures to enhance their own literary and conceptual development. My favourite story is “Shadow Play” by Rui Umezawa. It includes the perseverance and creativity all the immigrants’ stories showed, besides an entry into understanding the charms of the opposite sex, which were far out of reach for him at that time. He is trying to fit in on so many levels, and continues to try, despite numerous failures. Soon, in the Greater Toronto Area, the visible minority will be Caucasian. How will I belong in a city that doesn’t share my cultural heritage? Soon it will be my turn to ask those questions. This book opened up those questions for me and assured me there is a place for all of us who love this country.
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Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
from the classroom continued from page 19 >>
the planning department
Unforgettable Canada 100 Destinations (Updated Second Edition)
The Boston Mills Press 2007 ISBN 978-1-55046-461-0 $29.95, 288 pp, adult www.fireflybooks.com
This book would be a great resource for your personal ambitions to see more of our remarkably beautiful country, or to inspire your students with a field trip to a memorable or historical location. All provinces and territories are included, and even though no doubt there are many more than 100 worthwhile destinations, this collection will give you a taste of how wonderful it would be to visit each area of Canada. Spectacular photography and frequent factual sidebars will make you appreciate the diversity of this land we call home. Happy summer holidays!
The Climate Challenge 101 Solutions to Global Warming
by Guy Dauncey New Society Publishers 2009 ISBN 978-0-86571-589-9 $24.95, 320 pp, ages 15+ www.newsociety.com
If you have heard Guy Dauncey speak (on YouTube if not in person), you will know that he is an enormously upbeat, optimistic advocate for change who believes we can do what it takes to turn around the human-made climate change disaster. In The Climate Challenge, Dauncey provides an overview of the relevant issues of importance, and then outlines 101 ways to make change happen, organized according to who needs to get active: individuals, champions (of change), communities, businesses, farmers, transportation industries, energy companies, governments, developing nations and citizens of the world. He ends with an impassioned plea for each and every one of us to take responsibility, to join others to do something to ensure that life as we know it can continue to thrive on Earth. The solutions he puts forward are visionary, do-able and often based on initiatives already underway and proven, although sometimes small scale and scattered around the world. With a wealth of information provided in short, easily digested chunks, and lots of references for further investigation, this book is a valuable tool for any individual, school or community group wanting to get started on effective ways to contribute to a growing wave of climate change action. Pick up a copy and take the summer to browse its pages and come up with your own action plan.
SUMMER READING LOSS by Brenda Boreham
ummer reading loss is a well documented phenomena that affects many students. It is of particular concern for those learners who are already considered to be “at risk.” Summer reading loss is also identified as being more significant in students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Many of these children have limited access to books at home, or have parent/caregivers who are unsure of how to help them. How significant is summer reading loss?
Summer reading loss has been the subject of research for many years. A recent article in Issues and Trends in Literacy by Maryann Mraz and Timothy Rasinski states: “A review of 13 empirical studies representing approximately 40,000 students found that, on average, the reading proficiency levels of students from lower income families declined over the summer months, while the reading proficiency levels of students from middle income families improved modestly. In a single academic year, this decline resulted in an estimated three month achievement gap between more advantaged and less advantaged students. Between grades 1 and 6, the potential cumulative impact of this achievement gap could compound to 1.5 year’s worth of reading development lost in the summer months alone. (Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsay and Greathouse, 1996).” How can schools support reading development over the summer months?
Reading Instruction • Providing students with successful reading experiences (matching children to books appropriate to their level, using high interest reading material, etc.) could give them the confidence to read voluntarily over the summer. Providing Access To Reading Material • Most public libraries have a fun summer reading program. Inviting a librarian to visit the school and talk with parents would create awareness of these programs. This would also be a great opportunity to sign children up and arrange for library cards. • Provide a free or low cost summer reading program at the school. • Provide part time summer access to the school library.
Brenda is the Literacy Resource Teacher at her school. This part-time position allows her to plan fun literacy events when she isn’t busy in her own classroom.
Providing Suggestions For Promoting Family Literacy The following is a list of specific suggestions that might prove useful to parents. Share this information with parents/caregivers in a variety of ways: a workshop format during the last weeks of school, parent newsletters, a printed handout to go home with report cards, for example. • Provide a quiet place in your home with reading and writing supplies (paper, felt pens, crayons, scissors, glue, etc.). • Buy used books at second hand stores and garage sales. • Reading material comes in many different forms: books, magazines, letters, Internet sites, newspapers, etc. Try them all! • Visit the public library every week. • Be a reading model. Children learn by example. Let them see you reading in your spare time. • Read aloud to your children—20 minutes a day adds up over the course of the summer. • Read in the car. Road signs, billboards and licence plates are all sources of reading material while you are in transit. Why not teach your children to read a road map? • Daily household routines allow for many reading opportunities—recipes, phone books, the TV guide are all excellent sources of informational text. • Try a family board game night. Encourage your children to read the instructions and follow the directions. • When you are watching TV reduce the volume and turn on the closed captioning feature. Encourage your children to read the words on the screen. • Listen to your child read to you. Ask questions (e.g., What do you think will happen next? What is the problem in the story?). • Sing with your children. Singing helps them to develop an early awareness of rhyme, rhythm and words. • Ask for your children’s help with household chores: printing grocery lists, marking events on the calendar, writing postcards and letters to family members and friends, etc. • Challenge your children with word games such as word searches, crossword puzzles, Scrabble, Upwords, etc. • On family trips to museums, science centres, parks and galleries make sure that you read the information on the displays. • Have fun! .
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
A School of Readers A School of Readers, Books One, Two and Three are educational resources for a student centred reading program. The program encourages reading by providing teachers with a large selection of book tests which can be used to check on completion and comprehension of selected novels. Its goal is to encourage students to increase the number and variety of books they read without creating an unmanageable marking load for teachers. A School 0f Readers - Book One A Student Centred Reading Program for Grades 4–9
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A School 0f Readers - Book Two A Student Centred Reading Program for Grades 7–12
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Grades 7 – 9
A School 0f Readers - Book Three A Student Centred Reading Program for Canadian Titles
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rformers e P g n u o Y r o f s n o ti Eight Stage Adapta
Plays by Irene N. Watts
The literature lists selected for these resources incorporate cultural diversity and assorted interests to appeal to all students. The readability ranges from elementary to university level to meet teachers’ increasing challenge of stimulating students’ different intellectual needs.
www.pacificedgepublishing.com 1-800-668-8806 Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
ns u M t r e b o R y sb Original Storie |
annick press | www.annickpress.com | available from www.fireflybooks.com 21
Scientist Of The Day A New Approach to Science Experiments in the Elementary School Classroom
by Linda Pierce Picciotto
The Presentation “What do you predict will happen when I lift the fingers of the glove so the baking soda will fall into the vinegar?” Lisa asks her classmates. She knows just what to do and say because she practised at home. James: “I think the vinegar will fizz.” Lisa: “That’s one idea. Who has another?” Chen: “I think the glove will get big.” Lisa: “Maybe…who has another idea?” Rose: “Maybe the glove will shoot into the air, like the cork did in Jack’s experiment.” Lisa is careful not to say “That’s right” or “That’s wrong” so that everyone will continue to think and will feel free to express their ideas. After one or two more students have spoken, Lisa holds the latex glove firmly around the mouth of the jar and raises the fingers. The baking soda falls into the jar and the glove inflates rather dramatically, much to the delight of the students. Now it is time for Lisa to ask another question, “Who has an idea about why the glove inflated?” At the end of the discussion, Lisa or her teacher speak briefly about the science involved. Many of the scientific concepts are very sophisticated, so often students will not totally understand the explanations, but they will remember that there was a reason for the reaction: it’s not just magic! A Science Notebook With a Difference Now it is time for students to take out their science notebooks. Each page has space for the name of the scientist and the name of the experiment, and the rest is divided into three parts, ready for the student’s three drawings of the experiment they just witnessed. What happened at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the demonstration? They label their often-creative visual summaries. Most students enjoy this activity and, with experience, these summaries improve. Students become better able to select the important parts of the demonstrations, and their drawings become clearer and easier to read. By not asking students to write out the traditional “What equipment and materials
were used—what I observed—what I learned,” students remain enthusiastic about the science program, and the drawings they produce require a good deal of focus and thought. It’s a highly intellectual activity. The Program In my class, a student has a chance to be the Scientist of the Day one afternoon a week. A week or two before the scheduled presentation, that student takes home a photocopy of a description of one of the experiments I have collected—experiments that are simple, use materials usually found in the home, aren’t dangerous, don’t require freezing, boiling or waiting, and can be performed by young children. Attached to the description is a letter explaining the program and giving the date and time of the student’s presentation at school. The parents help their child assemble the needed materials and practise the experiment at home so he or she will be ready to present it to the class on the assigned day. Following the instructions on the page I send home, the parents or caregivers help them learn when to pause to ask questions so the students in the class will be engaged in observing, predicting, describing and hypothesizing. All will be “thinking like scientists!” There is an important social component to this study, since students support and encourage each other and converse about what they observe. The Scientists of the Day have successful public speaking experiences when they demonstrate science experiments that capture the attention and interest of their classmates. Teacher First Teachers will likely choose to present an experiment or two themselves before beginning the program. Future Scientists of the Day will have a model to emulate when the teacher sets up the equipment, follows the steps necessary to complete the experiment, asks for predictions and explanations about it along the way, and responds
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
audience. If the young scientist needs a little assistance, the teacher can help out and then step back to let the student continue.
to the answers appropriately. It is especially important for the teacher to stress the importance of listening to all answers respectfully. When the presenter and all students respect each others’ contributions, all will feel free to participate in the discussions. After each of the first few presentations, the teacher should conduct a class discussion about the drawings that students will be doing in their science notebooks. (“What happened first? What would you say was the middle part, and what might you draw in that box? How did the experiment end? How will you show that?”) After one or two of these discussions, many students will be eager to begin their drawings without this preparation, but some may continue to want to participate in discussions a few more times. Students can decide for themselves if they wish to join the discussion group.
Experiments There are many books of experiments available at libraries and in bookstores, and many on websites, some with video clips. Be sure that the ones selected can be completed in 5 or 10 minutes by a young child in front of the class. The Future Everyone enjoys presenting and watching these demonstrations. Some students may be inspired to continue their studies to become “not just for a day” scientists! Linda taught at South Park, an alternative, parent-involved public school in Victoria, BC for 25 years. Scholastic published three of her books while she was still teaching. Now retired, she continues to write books that are helpful to teachers. Scientist of the Day, Linda's collection of scripted experiments, can be seen and ordered on www.scientistoftheday.ca. Her email: email@example.com.
The Day of the Presentation If it is possible to reorganize the room for this program so that all can see the experiment well, perhaps by placing chairs in a double semi-circular row in front of a low table, it will help make the weekly event more special, as well as making it easier for students to see. The Scientist of the Day dons a lab coat (a man’s old white dress shirt will do) and sets up the equipCanadian Teacher Mag_May2010
ment on the table. Parents are welcome to attend their child’s presentation, but it is the student who is in charge. Parents, cameras in hand, are a part of the Page 1
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National Bioscience Educators’ Conference by Norman Lee Participants visited eight sites including the Youth Biomedical Program located at a school in inner city Winnipeg.
“Bio-everywhere”—that was the theme of the fourth National Bioscience Educators’ Conference, held in Winnipeg, Feb. 16 – 18, 2010 in conjunction with the Biotech Alive! Student Biotechnology Conference at the Princess Street Campus of Red River College. The conference, which attracted over fifty educators and as many high school students, emphasized the need for both groups to become more aware of the large impact bioscience and biotechnology are having on our lives. More importantly, scientists and other observers are predicting in publications like the Financial Post that bioscience and biotechnology will be to this century what the automobile and the computer were to the previous century. Economists have indicated that biotechnology now touches 1/3 of the world’s economic sectors. “Fields related to bioscience are changing so quickly,” indicated Dr. Alison Symington, conference co-chair and executive director of Bioscience Education Canada. “At the same time, curricula lag way behind what is happening in any number of fields—genomics, biofuels, biomaterials, bioremediation and at least fifteen other fields that collectively comprise what is now being called the ‘bio-economy.’” The conference was originally conceived of as a way to draw educators’ attention to the importance of these fields to Canada, which must compete with other countries especially in Asia where biologically-related sciences are getting more emphasis. To expedite the introduction of more life science into the classroom, presenters at the conference were asked to share materials, ideas and strategies that could be used in participants’ classrooms “Monday morning.” Both the students and the teachers started off the conference with the hands on experiential learning of the “BioOlympics.” These nine activities included DNA separation, creating composites, laser surgery, endoscopy, manufacturing pharmaceuticals, solving DNA problems and a quiz on infectious medicine. The opening keynote set the stage for showing why advances in bioscience and biotechnology are vital to the future of the globe and all that live on it. Speaker Al 24
Sturko, a consultant in the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program in Winnipeg, outlined some of the twenty critical areas that threaten our existence if they are not solved in the next twenty years. Among those explored were poverty and hunger, climate change, depletion of energy sources, loss of biodiversity and pollution. The solutions for these issues may originate within bioscience and biotechnology. “Agricultural biotechnology was front and centre through most of the conference, starting with Sturko’s keynote,” indicated Symington. “It came through in the tours to places like the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals where educators and students learned more about “food as medicine.” Other speakers such as Dr. Mary Alton Mackey, an international food and dietary consultant with extensive Third World experience, described how improvements in agricultural production and quality are the only way to solve the world’s hunger and nutritional problems.”
Participants had an opportunity to try ten hands-on activities such as this educator using an endoscope.
In total, eight tours, four keynotes and sixteen breakout sessions, all provided practical things that teachers
can do in their classrooms. Dr. Reynold Redekopp’s keynote on the Wednesday, for instance, explored the use of video games such as Genomics Digital Laboratory to teach complex aspects of life science. This reflected another theme of the conference—the use of computer technology in science teaching. This keynote was complemented with sessions in a computer lab where teachers could experiment with several games that fit general biology curricular topics. Another technology-related session looked at the use of mobile digital technologies such as cell phones, smart phones, portable game platforms and personal digital entertainment devices such as Apple’s iTouch or Microsoft’s Zune. “In Manitoba, we are encouraging science and technology teachers to work together more,” said Bob Brown, scientific advisor to the Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge and one of conference organizers. “Today, most cutting edge research involves cutting edge technology so students heading for careers in science need be comfortable with technology.” Recent surveys showed that most Canadians are positive about biotechnology and what it can do. At the same time, most Canadians admitted they knew little about biotech itself or the importance of bioscience and biotechnology to the national economy. This situation is not good within our general population. It is more worrisome if this pervades our educators who are shaping tomorrow’s leaders who must face so many critical survival issues straight on. The educators who attended this information-rich conference are now the vanguard for making more young people aware of the possibilities, and pitfalls, related to biotechnology and bioscience. Mini-Glossary Bioscience – an extension of biology to include physics, chemistry and biotechnology Biotechnology – the use of living organisms to create a product or service Endoscopy – looking inside the body for medical reasons Genomics – the science of studying the genomes of living things though looking at DNA and other aspects ~ Norman Lee is the coordinator of MindSet, the Manitoba Network for Science and Technology, one of the three hosting organizations for the national event.
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
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Port Townsend A Voice From the Past
by Carol-Ann Giroday
magine yourself on a ferryboat car deck with an espresso in one hand, your overnight bag stowed in your trunk, and a dazzling skyline filling the horizon behind you. While the boat churns across the quiet ocean, the land disappears from view and a shoreline materializes in the distance. You’re bound for a getaway to Port Townsend on the US Olympic Peninsula, a nationally recognized historic district with famous red brick and stone buildings—a large dose of the best medicine after the hustle and stress of teaching for ten months. With the Olympic Mountains as backdrop and the doorway to Puget Sound opened wide, Port Townsend is beautifully situated on the northeastern corner of the Olympic Peninsula, midway between Seattle and the San Juan Islands. Just a four hour trip from Vancouver, BC, this historical destination, where the streets are lined with buildings and homes lovingly restored to their 1800s origins, offers a dizzying assortment of attractions and activities, fulfilling nearly all sensory, culinary and recreation needs for your getaway. Port Townsend is an architectural marvel that remained in a time freeze of sorts for nearly 100 years before being rediscovered and renovated. In the 1800s, a thriving city bent on becoming the largest port in the world erected a large group of ornate buildings and Victorian homes. By 1857, the waterfront was one of the busiest and wildest on the West Coast. Besides countless chandleries that catered to the needs of seafaring captains, the port boasted twenty-one saloons and many less than reputable brothels. The dream bubble burst when a planned railway line experienced a financial reversal and never reached Port Townsend’s shores, and the developing Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia became competing port cities. The Great Depression added insult to injury, and the grand buildings were only saved from a wrecking ball by lack of funds to hire one. In the 1970s people slowly began to discover this diamond in the rough that was quietly waiting on the peninsula at deflated real estate prices. In 1976, the downtown waterfront and the residential area on the hill, referred to by locals as “uptown,” were designated a National Historic District. In the 1990s, the homes and Victorian buildings were restored to their former grandeur, setting the stage for Port Townsend to become a popular tourist destination. The town now boasts one of the largest collections of well-preserved Victorians in
the United States, along with an equally impressive group of ornate office buildings in a Romanesque style. It is one of three seaports along the coastline of the US named to the National Register of Historic Places and stands today as evidence of another era. My favourite building in Port Townsend is the Jefferson County Courthouse. Called by many “the jewel of Port Townsend's Victorian architecture,” this neoRomanesque building was designed in 1892 by Seattle architect Willis A. Ritchie, who ordered bricks from St. Louis, rather than use the soft ones found locally. The building’s 30 metre clock tower, its clockwork dating to 1892, has long been a landmark for sailors. The bell and the clock mechanism were built of solid brass in 1891. On the north and east faces of the 2.75 metre clock, the original cedar hands still mark time. The south and west hands unfortunately had to be replaced after 62 years of use. When electricity to the building was made possible in 1912, the chore of winding the huge clock, which previously required two men half a day to wind by hand was much reduced. The task demanded a climb up 154 steps from the basement to the tower. With the use of an elevator installed in the 1970s and an electric winch, the process of winding now takes about fifteen minutes. The clock operates much like a cuckooclock and during my visit I woke up each morning to the peaceful chime of the bell echoing over the water with five rings to mark 5:00 a.m. Don’t worry, I’m a light sleeper, my husband didn’t hear a thing. Many of the mansions of former times have been converted into bed and breakfast inns that have become “must-stay” locations for visitors seeking the true Port Townsend experience. We stayed in an all-suite waterfront hotel, The Clam Cannery, located in an old brick cannery built in 1885 that sits out over the ocean, with views of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, Whidbey Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca from every suite. It is at the heart of the downtown area on Quincy Street, within walking distance of everything—dozens of art galleries, coffee shops, clothing boutiques, restaurants, theatres and pubs. After four decades of abandonment, several million dollars and seven years of loving restorative work by the Kevin Harris family, this new hotel opened in August 2009. When we first drove up and saw the old brick building, we were wary, but the inside of the hotel is a unique work of art, carefully restored with every attempt to reuse original building materials as well as the craftsmanship of contemporary local artisans.
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
travel Each room is exquisitely appointed with subtle touches of handcrafted works. The mirrors are hand-etched, all the metal, from the shelving brackets to the handrails to the electrical cover plate at the end of the bar counter, are custom crafted by a local blacksmith. Clamshells from under the building have been incorporated into the concrete counter tops of the gourmet kitchens, old worm scarred reclaimed wood from the walls now adorn the cabinet door faces, and timbers from the cannery floor have been forged together to form large entry doors hung by iron hinges. The character of the hotel has been accented with extensive use of hammered copper, concrete floors and hand-blown glass fixtures. No longer wary, we were now charmed! The hub of activity is on Water Street and the downtown shopping district. Although Port Townsend isn’t large, you'll need a car, taxi or bike to reach many areas. The town is home to a large delegation of artists, writers and crafts people and has over 100 shops, galleries and restaurants. Port Townsend’s personality starts with the historic City Hall, which is on Water Street. City Hall is in a brick building that once housed the town’s fire station; part of the structure continues as the centre of local government, but the fire station has been converted to the three-story headquarters and museum of the Jefferson County Historic Society. It’s definitely worth exploring. Further south on the main drag are a wide variety of shops and restaurants. It’s possible to start your day with breakfast uptown at Sweet Laurette’s Café and Patisserie, where your food is prepared from scratch and the pastries and espresso are delicious. Perhaps you might enjoy a midday repast of Mexican food at El Sarape or lunch with a view at the Belmont built in 1885 and the only remaining waterfront restaurant and saloon from the 1880s. In those days, many a man tipped one too many pints of brew down their throat, didn’t keep their wits about them and found themselves new sailors when they woke up the next morning on a ship sailing out to sea. Later, sample the ice
Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
cream at the Nifty 50 Soda Fountain or Elevated Ice Cream where local dairy farms supply the cream, and truffles are made from scratch on site. One of the best fresh seafood restaurants is Fins Coastal Cuisine, a waterfront eatery with many windows and an outdoor deck overlooking the water on the Pier at Union Wharf. Shops on Water Street include W. James Books, a perfect spot to pick up the latest bestselling novel or find a book that has long been out of print, and a Native American art gallery stocked with an excellent collection of handcrafted artworks. Siren, with an outdoor deck perched three stories above the water, is a popular pub to quench your thirst with a pint of Guinness, live entertainment and some good food, or go to the Waterstreet Brewery for on-site brews and more live music. Maybe after a great meal and a walk along the streets of the town, finish the evening with a show at the Rose Theatre. The culture of Port Townsend brings people from all over the world to enjoy the Blues and Jazz Festivals as well as the Wooden Boat Show in September. Port Townsend is proud of its waterfront connection and it shows in the number of seaside parks, docks and walkways next to the water. Spend some time discovering the island’s beauty in pristine woods, state parks and waterfront. It’s a two-mile hike, a five-minute car ride or a short bus trip from the downtown area to Worden State Park. What started out as an army post is now a well preserved, 433 acre park and multiple use facility that draws 1.6 million visitors a year. Scenes from the film An Officer and a Gentleman were filmed on these park grounds. This facility offers conference facilities, performing arts venues, interpretive programs and vacation housing. Once at the fort there are the expansive grounds to explore plus the miles of beach that lead to the Port Townsend Science Centre and a Natural History Museum Exhibit. At the end of the beach is a now automated lighthouse that was originally built in 1879. Before you visit, you’ll want to check out Port Townsend’s web site (www.ptguide. com) to find the lists of festivals, art and cultural events and other local happenings. When you arrive, start by going into the visitor centre, located in Haines Place Park-and-Ride, 40 12th Street (1-360-385-2722). There are guided walking tours of the historic buildings, or if you prefer a self-guided tour you can also pick up a brochure with a map of the town and its historic buildings. The Port Townsend Menu Guide will point you to the right places to eat depending on your fancy and your pocket book. Seeing everything this unique place has to offer requires walking the streets and exploring with no time commitments. It will take several days to experience the atmosphere of local sidewalk cafes, art galleries, restaurants, pubs and shops where art and history come together. It would take too many pages of this magazine to tell you all the hidden charm and entertainment found in this small town. I loved it and will go back again to see more of what I know I missed.
Retirements That Work by Enise Olding and Carol Baird-Krul
n the four previous articles we featured educators who have found different ways to meet the challenges that retirement brings. These ventures were as varied as the people themselves and each one made a successful transition from a full time career in education to new endeavours that interested and challenged them. In these articles they shared many aspects of their choices including their individual fears and hopes and their thoughts on how the skills gained as educators helped or hindered them. Of the questions asked in our follow-up questionnaire, two in particular have relevance to you as you plan for your retirement. In this, the final article in the series “Retirements That Work,” some of our respondents share their perspective on what personal changes they foresee in their lives as they progress with their venture and beyond, as well as what they think they would have missed out on if they had not decided to take on a new endeavour. The following perspectives on what lies ahead will, we hope, help provide more important information as you plan for your own retirement.
What personal changes in your life do you see happening as you progress in your venture? • My gardening service venture depends on my being fit, and being positive about making the effort to do something that I really don’t need to do. It is easy to spend the time on my business because I have no other pressing demands. It is great to be in the situation that if I lose a day’s work to poor weather, I can enjoy the time off and change of pace because over the time I’ve been doing this, my clients have learned that I will make up the time as soon as I can. Changes to this carefree state and new career will happen if I have to care for a family member who is in need of assistance or if I can’t handle the physical demands of the job. • My sailing instructional charters will possibly carry on for another few years, but I will be required to upgrade my qualifications every three years in order to continue with teaching sailing. • As time has passed I find I have become much more laissez faire in my approach to my business, far less fretting about things such as meeting my own expectations and trying to be all things to all customers. I think this change in attitude will continue into the future, however, there will be a big personal change when my spouse retires in three years. At the moment I am not sure I will want to carry on or if the venture can, or will evolve, into something we both can enjoy. I’m also not sure at this point about being in business with my husband; it doesn’t really appeal to me and so this could mean a total change in what I’m going to be doing in the future. I’m beginning to specialize in dwarf trees and shrubs and this change will help me, if I choose to continue to be involved with my business, because I will still be able to lift the pots. I also think the specialization of the business is going to make things less chaotic and easier for me to train help and maintain standards. Thinking about further into the future, I have done some volunteer work at the library and I hope to stay useful in the community even if I no longer have a business. • I don’t see my involvement in the Mental Health area changing too much in the future as I intend to continue working with the organization and know I can continue to volunteer until I’m not physically capable. • I think as I progress with my venture the biggest personal change will mean learning to manage my time more effectively so I can balance work with my clients and travelling.
Enise Olding Carol Baird-Krul firstname.lastname@example.org Carol and Enise are the creators of a series of pre-retirement and post-retirement planning workshops: Transition to Retirement: The Uncharted Course©, Recently Retired: Charting a New Course© and Ideas ... Enhanced and Advanced©, and authors of Transition to Retirement: The Uncharted Course. Previous articles on retirement may be viewed in back issues at www.CanadianTeacherMagazine.com.
• In part because I appreciate being able to travel three times a year, working 40% of the time seems to work well for me, so I’ll probably continue to work in the design business for at least five more years. With an eye to the future I am considering doing some course work to supplement my skills, such as graphic design. • As a supervisor of education practicum students as well as working at an electronics store and doing woodworking, I can basically set my own hours, therefore I will continue to work each one as long as it remains fun, so I don’t think there should be any personal changes for me for some time.
If you had not embarked on this venture what would you have missed out on? • Hmm, good question. I suppose I would not have known the sense of excitement and pride that goes along with starting a new gardening business; neither would I have met so many wonderful people both in the industry as well as the customers. I have also had the opportunity to learn a new “language”– the scientific nomenclature of plants, pests, birds and soils, not to mention the language of business: GST/PST, HST, ROE, T4s, losses, etc! I would have missed out on self-directed expression and extending myself beyond my comfort zone. • If I hadn’t decided to work as a sailing instructor after my retirement I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be paid to spend many days (months, actually) and hundreds of hours of time sailing and cruising on some of the most beautiful waters in the world. Neither would I have met dozens of wonderful people who are as keen to be out on the water as I am. Finally, the additional income has been a positive way to support my less than full teaching pension. • So many things! If I had not set up the nursery I would have missed out on an incredible adventure! I hadn’t realized how narrow my world was when I was teaching, so this whole enterprise has widened my horizons. I don’t think I ever really appreciated the value and expertise of people who have to drum up and satisfy the customers and make a living at it. I have enjoyed the challenge of being someone who doesn’t come to the job with a special title or university credentials, but someone who has to prove myself with each new client. I have made friends with people who are in a totally different world and have even had to learn to listen to their views on teachers and education!! Each and every client has taught me something new and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned what it is like to be old and lonely, to not be able to make good judgment calls due to poor health and advancing age; but I have also seen people who, with the help of friends and family, have handled advancing age very well. I have shared in clients’ grief and enjoyed the camaraderie of people who have the same passion for gardening as I do. I have also enjoyed the vast spectrum of clients I’ve had, from a minister in the provincial cabinet to two truckers who collect antiques and have restored a house to its Victorian glory, and all the many wonderful people in between. I’ve also got to know my community better and come to enjoy the pleasure of stopping to chat. The last point would be that I have gained many new skills, and have the confidence to perform them for people. I guess really last and not least is the fact that I have worked with my husband on this venture. We are with each other 24 hours a day and basically I realize our different personalities complement each other. I appreciate how kind he is with the clients as he is always willing to do a little extra something for them. And I have to admit he has saved me in the past from a melt
May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
news down quite a few times with humour and common sense. We have proven to be quite a team! • AND…..PS! I guess I should mention that the money I have earned with this venture has definitely allowed us to budget for some extras that we would not have been able to have if we had just been relying on our pensions. • If I hadn’t become involved with the Canadian Mental Health Association I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to help vulnerable people, travel across the country and meet some wonderful people. • Without taking up this new venture after retirement I would not have experienced the personal growth that comes with the interaction I have with clients on a regular basis. I also have had to keep mentally active and up to date with new ideas to present to my clients. • I know now that I would have felt a great loss of empowerment and self-esteem if I had not continued to contribute in some creative fashion after having a career in teaching, so my design business has served me well. • If I hadn’t taken on working with education students I wouldn’t have been able to keep in touch with former colleagues and the profession where I spent my working life. Working at an electronics store has let me keep up with the latest in that area and my wood turning has let me explore another aspect of myself. In this, the last article in our series on Retirements that Work, we have had some final thoughts on where our respondents think they will be in the future and what they have gained from the various paths they have chosen to take after retirement. The varied skills you have garnered through your own education and subsequent career in the field, along with the ideas and thoughts our respondents have shared with you in these five articles, will help you make your retirement work and be exactly what you want it to be. If you have any questions please contact us through our website – www.drassociates.ca.
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Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
Understanding Media Literacy: Inside Plato’s Cave This new online 3-credit media education course was written and field tested by Canadian media educators. The course is especially designed for grades 7 – 12 teachers who want to help their students develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature, impact and techniques of the mass media. The course and the interactive discussion forums that accompany the units will help teachers to understand media theory and then transform theory into practice as they develop lessons for their own students and teaching situations. This course recognizes that, although mass media has come to dominate many aspects of our society, children have few opportunities to develop media literacy skills in formal settings. A basic assumption of the course is that media literacy helps children to an informed understanding of the nature of the mass media, its techniques and effects. More specifically, media literacy increases their understanding and enjoyment of how the media works: how it is organized, how it produces meaning, and how it constructs reality. The course aims to provide the means by which teachers and others can foster media literacy in children so that they can critically analyze and evaluate the form and content of media, create media, communicate using media, and understand its use and purpose. The course is provided by Athabasca University, a recognized Canadian public university with 30,000 online students. Teachers can take this 13 unit course as a six week summer session or study at their own pace during the year. The course is offered as EDUC 115 and CMNS 315 and is endorsed by the British Columbia Teacher Qualification service. Course fees are average for online courses. The summer session runs July 5 – August 15. Registration June 1 – 10. Registration for studying at your own pace opens August 10. For more information: salsa.athabascau.ca/cmns/ mediaLiteracy.php Or use search terms: Athabasca University Plato’s Cave New Exhibition at the Museum of Civilization: Horses and Humans A major exhibition that provides an in-depth look at the majestic horse and its close bond with humans opens at the Canadian Museum of Civilization on May 28, 2010 and will remain open until January 2, 2011. “The Horse explores the extraordinary influence of equines on human history,” says Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “In the 6,000 years since we domesticated them, horses have changed the way we travel, hunt, fight and farm. Collectively, horses have had a more profound impact on more societies worldwide than any other animal, from ancient to modern times. You could say that we are chomping at the bit to open this show.” The exhibition will look at the evolution of horses and the many ways in which humans have literally harnessed their power. Today, there are some 200 breeds varying in strength, speed and temperament. Some are suited to recreational riding or racing, others to hauling heavy loads or driving cattle. Horses have also figured
prominently in the spiritual beliefs and rituals of diverse cultures. The Horse will feature fossils, skeletons, models, prehistoric and modern art, dioramas showing life-like prehistoric horses and an archaeological dig, as well as many cultural objects that illustrate the complex interaction between our two species. Among the most striking artifacts are a full suit of horse armour from 15thcentury Germany, a painting of the Canadian cavalry in action during the First World War, and an ornate Samurai saddle from Japan. This will be the Museum of Civilization’s first exhibition devoted to this subject. Because the emphasis will be on cultural and historical aspects as well as scientific ones, The Horse is expected to appeal to a wide range of visitors. Adults and teenagers will especially enjoy the spectacular visual elements, videos, interactive stations and hands-on activities. The Museum is planning a series of special events and other programming that will further enhance the visitor experience. www.civilization.ca New “Rapid Reads” for Adults from Orca Book Publishers Orca Book Publishers has launched the first four titles in their new Rapid Reads series of short novels for adult readers. The Rapid Reads series features titles from some of Canada’s well-known authors with the aim of providing great writing and storytelling that can be read in one sitting. With titles from Gail Bowen, Zoe Whittall, William Kowalski and Medora Sale, there is something for everyone in the first releases of the series.
Imaginative Education Training Course June 27-29, 2010 Vancouver, Canada Taught by: Kieran Egan Gillian Judson Kym Stewart
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Learning in Depth Workshop June 30, 2010 Vancouver, Canada Taught by: Kieran Egan Gillian Judson Melanie Young
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the bulletin board These short novels are also perfect for adult literacy programs and those striving to improve their reading. Discussion guides will be available soon. For more information, visit www.orcabook.com Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize The Gryphon Project by Carrie Mac and published by Penguin Group (Canada) won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala in April. The Gryphon Project had already been named an Honour Book for the 2010 CLA Young Adult Book Award. The Gryphon Project is a science fiction thriller that takes place in a world segregated into the haves and havenots, where the government has the power to resurrect, or “recon,” whomever it deems fit. Those lucky enough to have three recons live in beautiful homes with security at their gates, while those with one or no recons live in ramshackle neighbourhoods and struggle to survive. Carrie Mac’s first novel, The Beckoners, won the Arthur Ellis YA Award and the Stellar Award, and is a CLA Honour book. The Droughtlanders, the first book in the Triskelia series, was shortlisted for the Sunburst and the White Pine awards, and was a nominee for the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Best Book. It was also shortlisted, along with Retribution, for the CLA Young Adult Book Award. National Survey on Music in Schools The Coalition for Music Education in Canada is conducting an online survey to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing music education in schools across the country. Schools are invited to take this opportunity to voice concerns and interests around music education (one survey per school). The survey will be online until May 31st and results will be released later this year. Respondents will be entered in a draw for an ipod docking station with speakers, courtesy of Erikson Consumer, a division of Jam Industries Ltd. The survey is at: http://www.musicinschools.ca Free Access to NFB Films Classrooms in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and the Yukon now have free, online access to National Film Board of Canada (NFB) award-winning Canadian films. Through agreements between governments and NFB, educators can now access the Screening Room, an online resource featuring 1,500 productions including full-length films, trailers and clips for all ages, in both French and English. These can be viewed online by students and teachers to learn more about Canada’s culture and history. www.nfb.ca Winners of Teaching with Technology Contest CDW Canada, a provider of technology solutions for Canadian organizations, has announced the winners of its second annual Teaching With Technology™ Story and Sweepstakes Contest. Six winners were chosen by a panel of judges to receive the grand prize packages in the Story Contest, along with five Sweepstakes winners, picked by a random draw. Two winners were selected from the Tweet UR Tech Tale Contest, which challenged educators to tweet about their submissions in no more than 140 characters. The six grand prize winners described how technology has improved the learning experience in their class-
rooms or schools. Each prize bundle contains technology products that are useful in today’s classrooms, such as printers, projectors, personal computers, monitors, whiteboards, digital cameras, networking equipment and software. To read the winning Story Contest entries and to view the full list of prizes and winners, visit http://teachingwithtechnology.ca/winners.php.
events May 27 – 28, Our Time to Shine: The Association of Early Childhood Educators of Quebec and the Canadian Child Care Federation annual conference. Montreal, QC. www.aeceq.ca May 27 – 29, Opening the Door to Adventure in Early Childhood Education: The Manitoba Child Care Association annual conference. Winnipeg, MB. www.mccahouse.org June 2 – 23, "Innovators in Action" Speaker Series. Waterloo, ON. www.sig.uwaterloo.ca/ June 16 - 17, Equity from the Start: 10 Years of EDI & Beyond International Conference. Hamilton, ON. Presented by the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, Council for Early Child Development and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. http://www.councilecd.ca/files/EFTS-Flyer1.pdf
• events •
15th AnnuAl SEARCh ASSoCiAtES toronto international Recruitment Fair Jan. 28-31, 2011 Delta Chelsea hotel, toronto See: www.searchassociates.com for dates
information sessions in September, october and november, listing will be posted on website in late August. 50–60 international recruiters attending, representing over 80 schools worldwide.
July 5 - 8, Developing Successful Schools 2010 Institute: Fostering Assessment Literacy in Our Schools, Guidelines for School Administrators. Sackville. NB. www.nlta.nl.ca/pd_opportunities
Contact email@example.com or go to www.searchassociates.com
July 5 -10, Benchmarks of Historical Thinking Summer Institute. Ottawa, ON. http://eplt.educ.ubc.ca/programs/ institutes/bht.php
Click on nEWS for the 2111 FAiR SChEDulE, then click on toronto Fair for additional information.
July 16 - 20, Brain Development & Learning: Making Sense of the Science. Vancouver, BC. www.interprofessional.ubc.ca/bdl.html July 18 - 22, ICED 2010: 21st International Congress on the Education of the Deaf. Vancouver, BC. www.ICED2010.com July 19 - 23, Symposium on Assessment for Learning: How to Lead and Support System-Wide Change. Courtenay, BC. www.connect2learning.com July 21 - 23, Teaching and Learning with Monarch Butterflies. Winnipeg, MB. www.monarchteachernetwork-westerncanada.com August 4 - 6, Assessment, Evaluation and Grading: Essential Understandings. Saskatoon, SK. This workshop will provide an opportunity to examine, explore, refresh and refine understanding and practices in assessment and evaluation. www.stf.sk.ca August 10 – 13, The Learning Summit: Conference on New Teaching and Classroom Techniques (CONTACT). Corner Brook, NL. www.nlta.nl.ca/pd_opportunities September 25, Dyslexia: Signs, Symtoms and Solutions: Council of Special Services Fall Workshop. St. John's, NL. www.nlta.nl.ca September 30 – October 2, The Fab5: A conference for teachers in their first five years. Winnipeg, MB. www.mbteach.org October 5 - World Teacher's Day. World Teachers’ Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1994 to raise awareness and understanding of the challenges facing teachers. The Education International web site features resource materials and suggestions for activities. www.ei-ie.org/worldteachersday October 12 - 15, EDGE Conference 2010 - e-Learning: the horizon and beyond. St. John's, NL. www.mun.ca/edge2010/
• opportunities • JOB UNCERTAINTY? Inadequate pension? Proven income diversification program, home-based business with significant tax benefits. Inquiries welcome. A fellow educator: 778-245-2901
Business for sale We have been in the educational publishing business for over thirty years and are ready to literally sail off into the sunset. We have the boat and are now looking for more time to go cruising and grow vegetables. This unique business opportunity would suit educators who are ready to retire from teaching and are looking for a new challenge. Good communication and computer skills are needed and experience in the education system would be an asset. The business can be operated anywhere in Canada and tailored to provide a part-time or full-time income depending on your needs and energy level. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org May 2010 Canadian Teacher magazine
PRINCIPALS - TEACHERS JOIN A TEAM OF DYNAMIC EDUCATORS IN CHINA!
With 2 Ontario certified secondary school campuses in China – The Canadian Trillium College is searching for Ontario qualified principals and teachers for the 2010-2011 academic school year beginning September 1st, 2010. The courses to be taught are: English: Gr. 10, 11 & 12 Mathematics: Gr. 11 & 12 Social Sciences: Gr. 12 Physics & Chemistry: Gr. 12 ESL: Level 2 - 5 Computer Studies: Gr. 12 Accounting: Gr. 11
Teachers’ Tutoring Service is looking for Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Math teachers for one-to-one, in-home tutoring in all areas of Metro Vancouver. Teachers must be BCCT certified. To apply, please forward your current resumé, a copy of your BC College of Teachers’ Teaching Certificate and two letters of reference.
Teachers’ TuToring service 203-1929 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6J 1Z3 Tel: 604-730-3410 Fax: 604-730-3416
www.tutor.bc.ca • email@example.com
• resources •
Terms: Competitive compensation (CND$) and free: return air, private furnished accommodation, local travel and more. For additional information contact the Supervising Principal a the address listed below. APPLy Now – Forward cover letter and resume to: Supervising Principal The Canadian Trillium College (CTC) 323 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M6P2K6 Fax: 416-763-5225 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.schooltattoos.ca Tel. or Fax: (613) 567-2636 Email: email@example.com
Ottawa, Canada Printing tattoos since 1992
Art Courses, Workshops, Trips Artist Valerie Kent firstname.lastname@example.org • 905-508-5531
Teacher Timesavers 100s of Teaching Units, Lesson Plans, Novel Studies, Games, etc. Created by Canadian classroom teachers. K-12 curriculum related. Download as eBooks or print versions. All subjects. www.teachertimesavers.com
• travel •
www.valeriekent.com Unplug, Recharge! This summer 8 women will explore the exceptional sweetness of life in Provence when they join me (Canadian teacher/certified aromatherapist) and an 18-year-veteran guide. email@example.com Vacation rental Beautiful home, Sunshine Coast, B.C. July 5-19 and Aug. 4-18. Recreation galore; 4 bedrooms, 2 bath, gardens, deck. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. To View: www.homeexchange.com/show.php?id=111905
If you are a woman who is committed to: Status of Women - Human Rights Education & Peace
Maui, Hawaii Great South Kihei location, Large 1 bedroom Condo with Ocean View, across the street from great beach. 2010 Specials. For more information 209-599-5248 or www.maui342.com
help build a better world
CULTURAL TRIPS ABROAD Unique art history trips led by professional art historians Italy, France, New York, Spain. Experiential learning, discovery walks, museums, local life, spring, summer. Contact: email@example.com or call 800 611-4789 www.walkthearts.com
Ph. 613-234-8252 Fx. 613-234-8221 305-251 Bank St., Ottawa ON K2P 1X3
SOUTH OF FRANCE
Place an ad on The bulletin board for as little as $30 per issue firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Teacher magazine May 2010
Experience the charm of French village life in this medieval wine grower’s house down a narrow quiet street in Languedoc. www.sjevent.ca
Your recycling efforts -
- give water bottles a second life.
123 recycled Nestlé® Pure Life® bottles produce one sweater*
*Based on 500 mL Nestlé® Pure Life® bottle weighing 12.2 grams and conversion of NAPCOR reference
©2010 Nestlé Waters Canada