1001 Avenida de las Americas
Houston, Texas 77010

Canada will have a distinct presence at the National Council for the Social Studies 88th annual Conference. Held in Houston Texas, Canada will be discussed in the following sessions:

Thursday, November 13
8:00-3:00 pm, Room TBA
Lens on the World: A Film Workshop [$40/$45] JSIS Presentations include Inuit films.

1:00-4:00 pm, 340A
Teaching a Unit of Study on Canadian-American Relations [Free]

Friday, November 14
8:45 am-Noon Hilton GB-A
The Inuit Regions of Canada-Nunavut and Beyond International Assembly Roundtable

9:00-10:00 am, 332F
NCSS “Canada Community” Annual Meeting

11:30-12:30pm, 362A
Sharing the Waters of North America

3:45-4:45 pm, 342A
Bigger Than Texas: The Canada-US Trade Partnership

5:00-6:00 pm, 361D
Canadian Culture, Eh? Teaching N. American History w/Children’s Literature

Saturday, November 15
8:00-9:00 am, 362A
Québec: Embracing the Future on Its 400th Birthday

8:00-9:00 am, PosterArea
Folklore Around the World

9:15-10:15, Poster Area
iEARN Canada - Learning with the World

9:15-10:15 am, 362A
Comparing North American Governments: US, Canada & Mexico

11:45-12:45pm, 362A
Cyberbullying: An Emerging Threat to the "Always On" Generation

11:45-12:45pm, Poster Area
NCSS “Canada Community” Poster Session

1:30-2:30 pm, 352C
The Future of Teaching: Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History

4:00-5:00 pm, 351B
Children Connecting Children

4:00-5:00 pm, Poster Area
Alberta: The Texas of Canada

5:15-6:15 pm, 362C
Our School is Wired…. Now What?!

Sunday, November 16
8:00-10:00am, 361A
International Visitors Panel: 2-Topic Focus on Canada Open to floor topics, including
Aboriginal studies /multicultural education /social studies curriculum development in Canada.

Be sure to sign up for the Canada Listserv when visiting Amy Sotherden at Booth #118 in International Alley!

The sixteen leaders in Canadian education identified below will participate in sessions, events and activities at the 2008 Annual NCSS Conference as part of the NCSS International Visitors Program. They represent provinces and territories across Canada and are interested in building connections with K-12 classroom teachers in the US.


William Belsey (Springbank Middle School, AB) is one of North America's foremost experts in applying innovative technology in classrooms and he spent twenty years teaching in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Belsey has been recognized with the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Technology and was named one of Canada’s “Global Heroes” in an exhibit at the Museum of Civilization. From 1999 until 2003, he was a Senior Educational Advisor for Canada's SchoolNet and was Coordinator for Canada's National Network of Innovative Schools (NIS). For nearly a decade, Mr. Belsey was the volunteer Executive Director for iEARN-Canada and is the founder and President of Bullying.org Canada Incorporated, a nationally registered non-profit organization that is dedicated to the prevention of bullying through education and awareness.

Wally Diefenthaler is the Alberta Regional Director of the Critical Thinking Consortium and an experienced educator and facilitator. He led the development and writing of the new Social Studies high school curriculum in Alberta. Diefenthaler has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History, the Alberta Premier’s Award of Excellence, the Alberta Teachers Association Social Studies Council Award of Excellence, and is a founding member of Canadian Council for Geographic Education. Wally has extensive speaking experience on Social Studies related topics to a wide range of audiences. He has organized and led hundreds of consultations on Social Studies and critical thinking strategies.

Dr. Craig Harding (Vincent Massey Junior High, AB) is a long time junior high teacher and former social studies consultant in Calgary. He is a senior author of the province's directive on student resources for Grades 5, 6 and 11 and a contributing author for student resources in Grades 8 and 12. This work has provided him with the opportunity to present regularly at local and provincial conferences on numerous curriculum topics such as history education, citizenship education and critical thinking. In addition, he has worked on developing a wide range of learning resources for groups such as the John Humphrey Foundation (Universal Declaration of Human Rights), Elections Alberta and Canada's Institute on Parliamentary Democracy. Craig also teaches a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses including Canadian Studies, Global Education and Historical Thinking at universities across Canada. For his work around the province, and for his role as editor of the provincial newsletter, the Alberta Teachers Association has presented him with both an Award of Excellence and an Award for Outstanding Service.

British Columbia

Marilynne V. Black After 3 years as a primary teacher and 25 as an elementary teacher- librarian, Marilynne took an early retirement to complete a M.A. in Children's Literature, specializing in Canadian historically themed picture books. As a Children's Literature Consultant, she has provided professional development to BC educators as well as at national and international conferences. She writes book reviews and has co-authored articles with

Dr. Ron Jobe promoting Canadian children's literature. For the past twenty years, she has been an enthusiastic member of the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable and is currently involved with several early literacy committees

Merna Forster (Department of History, University of Victoria, BC) is Executive Director of the internationally acclaimed and award-winning Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History project. During her career with the federal government, Merna worked with national parks and national historic sites across Canada in the areas of public education programs, as well as with the Canadian Studies Program. A recipient of the ‘Canada 125 Commemorative Medal’, she has an M.A. in History from Laval University and is author of the book 100 Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces.


Alan Player-Mason (Royal School, Winnipeg) has taught Grades 4 to 12 for nearly forty years in both Canada and the United Kingdom. He sat on the Steering Committee for the development of the new K-12 Social Studies Curriculum for the Province of Manitoba for nine years, with particular interest in the middle-years component. He is Past President of his local teacher's' association and the Manitoba Social Sciences Teachers Association and currently acts as secretary of the latter. He has had extensive experience with in-service professional development of teachers at both local and provincial levels and has participated in cross-Canada activities regarding the position of social studies within school curricula. He has also written numerous articles for various educational magazines, specializing in various aspects of teaching social studies and, as advisor to Epoch Multimedia Inc., has participated in development of the company's Canadian History Series.

Northwest Territories

Blake Wile is currently working as a curriculum coordinator of Social Studies and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the Government of the Northwest Territories. He has 23 years of private and public teaching experience in rural and urban Alberta, in a NWT First Nations community school as well as in an NWT inner city school. He has been an administrator, program support teacher, and specialist in Gifted Education and ICT. Currently, he is in-serving the new K-3 Social Studies curriculum and is working to develop a Grade 5 history course premised on Historical Benchmarks. He sits on the board of the NWT Heritage Fairs Society, a chapter of the national organization, Historica. Blake's current interest is in the promotion of opportunities for local, territorial, and global citizenship across the territory.

Nova Scotia

Katherine Kerr is a middle school teacher specializing in Geography Education and Canadian History. She presently teaches in the Halifax Metro Region in Nova Scotia, but spent her first five years in Goose Bay/ Labrador, where she taught Canadian History and Religion, in addition to Core French. She has also coordinated and delivered international teaching programs to local teachers in The Gambia, West Africa (Environmental Education) and in St. Vincent, The Caribbean (Media Literacy), and has attended the NCSS Annual Conference for the past three years.

James Rooney (Citadel High School, Halifax) teaches both Canadian History and Global Geography and has considerable experience in conducting both provincial and international teacher professional development programs. He has been involved in research and curriculum development for the Nova Scotia Ministry of Education and past audiences for presentations have included the Halifax Regional School Board, Nova Scotia Teachers Union, Nova Scotia Department of Education, Historica ESRI Nova Scotia Geographic Information Systems, National Council of Geographic Education and National Council of Social Studies. Mr. Rooney was notably the first teacher in Canada to utilize EHL in his classroom [Exploring Humanitarian Law] and has become the lead master trainer for the Canadian Red Cross.

Mike Clare, former head of history in three different high schools, has been teaching Canadian history and economics for over 35 years with the York Region District School Board. He is currently working part-time in the Faculty of Education at The University of Ontario Institute of Technology and is serving on the executive of the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers Association. His particular area of interest is the integration of digital technology in the teaching of Canadian History and, in this capacity, worked as a consultant to launch Historica’s “YouthLinks” program.

Jim Carleton has been a classroom teacher for 24 years and is currently the Informations Communications and Technology consultant at the Simcoe County District School Board in Barrie, Ontario. Jim is passionate about using technology to connect students together globally to make a difference in the world and has won numerous local and national awards including: the Network of Innovative Schools Technology Award, the Learning Partnership’s National Award for Innovation in Technology and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario award for Excellence in Multimedia, and is the Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award from the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario. Jim is the country coordinator for the Canadian division of the International Educational and Resource Network (iEARN) and a member of several organizations that focus on global collaboration and responsible use of ICT.

Mali Bickley has 26 years experience as a classroom teacher. Over the past 5 years, she has used ICT and successfully integrated literacy and content area curriculum to have her students connect, communicate and collaborate with several classes from around the world. As a literacy coach, Mali is using Global Education Projects to integrate reading and writing strategies into meaningful projects that connect students globally. Her students won the National Multimedia Award from the Calgary Board of Education for their “My Hero” movie while she herself is the co recipient of the Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award from the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario. Mali is the assistant country coordinator of iEARN Canada and designs and facilitates many international projects.

Brian McClean (retired History Chair, Gloucester High School) based a stellar teaching career on his love for teaching Canadian history. On retirement, his focus transferred to creating documentary resources that facilitate learning about Canada’s past. He is now President of Epoch Multimedia Inc. and Executive Producer of The Canadian History Series: 1939-2000, an award-winning video series that is used across Canada in high school classrooms.


Mario Bissonnette has taught history at l’École secondaire de la Cité-des-Jeunes in Vaudreuil, a western suburb of Montréal since 1991. He has been active in a number of professional activities, including: the Validation Committee on the Social Science curriculum for the Québec Ministry of Education; the Teacher Advisory Committee for the Education Outreach of the Library of Parliament; the jury for the Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History; and serving as Vice-President of the Société des professeurs d’histoire du Québec (Québec History Teachers’ Association).

Stephen Marcotte (Beaconsfield High School) has been social studies department chair for the past ten years at his school and, for over fifteen years, has prepared senior students for the Québec Ministry of Education compulsory exam for college entrance. He has designed and developed the curriculum for the school's "World Cultures and Events" course so that senior students develop greater awareness of global issues and establish multicultural perspectives as citizens of the world. In 2005, he was one of thirty-three teachers selected from across Canada to tour the battlefields in Normandy, France to help keep alive the history of Canadian sacrifice in K-12 classrooms. Marcotte’s first novel, The Pain, was published that same year and he is currently working on a second novel.


David Herron (Aberdeen Composite School) is a Past-President of the Saskatchewan Social Sciences Council and has taught a variety of social studies subjects at Grade 7-12 levels. He has also worked provincially with the Ministry of Learning and contributed to several reference committees including the Western Canadian Protocol Common Curriculum Framework for Social Studies. He is currently helping to develop an ‘online’ simulation of international development (1945-Present) involving his students and another school group.

Official Website: http://www.socialstudies.org/conference

Added by craigandrewwallace on October 14, 2008