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ATA Social Studies Council 

Condensed Conference October 18 - 19, 2019

Facing the Future


Friday Night Keynote

Jasmine Wong

Supercharging Student Engagement in the Social Science Classroom

Social media firestorms, Fake news, trauma and hate in the headlines.  Every day, students encounter a barrage of gripping demands, divisive rhetoric and emotionally taxing events - and then they walk into our classrooms.
How do we create classrooms where students can process what’s going on internally and in the world around?  How can we prepare and equip students to actively engage with the world outside—and inside—the schoolhouse walls?  What tools and resources do we have as educators to engage them in truly understanding the past in order to face the future?   
For over 40 years, Facing History and Ourselves has partnered with teachers from across the globe and in diverse teaching contexts to foster spaces of belonging, mutual respect and deeper historical learning.  Since the publication of Facing History’s first resource book, the Holocaust and Human Behaviour, the education not-for-profit has created numerous additional print and multimedia resources, and provided evidence-based professional learning on how educators to bring complex and difficult moments into the classroom and inspire students to be more actively engaged citizens.  Most recently, Facing History published Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Residential Schools, a resource being used by educators across Canada which Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called “A rich backgrounder...well-researched and provocative new tool that offers just such a gift.”  
Join Facing History and Ourselves’ Jasmine Wong for an engaging and participatory evening of learning, classroom- focused teaching strategies and dialogue around the profound questions raised when we face history and ourselves.
Jasmine Wong is a senior program associate with Facing History and Ourselves, where she facilitates and supports teacher professional learning and development in classrooms, workshops, conferences and online. Prior to her work with Facing History and Ourselves, Jasmine worked as a classroom teacher, and facilitated adult education learning across Canada, in the United States, Uganda and India.  She earned her M.A. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies at Stanford University, and her B.Ed. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She enjoys listening to podcasts, watching Netflix comedy specials, skiing, biking, and time with friends and family. 

Saturday Afternoon Keynote
Gwynne Dyer
  Author, Historian, and Independent Journalist

We are honoured to welcome Gwynne Dyer to be part of our 2019 Condensed Conference!

Please join us for this interesting mash-up of Gwynne Dyer's two popular lectures. The first aspect of this special combined keynote lecture will look at the impact of automation in the broadest sense on jobs and therefore on social structure and on politics. As Mr. Dyer explains, this is one of the biggest factors driving the rise of populism. The second aspect of this special combined keynote lecture will look at climate in a way that goes beyond warnings and exhortations. If it's really too late to avoid a lot of damage, the question is no longer how we stop climate change, but rather how we manage to limit it to a bearable extreme, and according to Mr. Dyer, this will require both political and engineering solutions.

Gwynne Dyer  has worked as a freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster and lecturer on international affairs for more than 20 years, but he was originally trained as an historian. He received degrees from Canadian, American and British universities, finishing with a Ph.D. in Military and Middle Eastern History from the University of London. He served in three navies and held academic appointments at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Oxford University before launching his twice-weekly column on international affairs, which is published by over 175 papers in some 40 countries.

His first television series, the 7-part documentary 'War', was aired in 45 countries. One episode, 'The Profession of Arms', was nominated for an Academy Award. His more recent television series include 'The Defence of Canada' and 'The Human Race'.

Dyer's books include ‘War’ (1983), ‘Ignorant Armies: Sliding into War in Iraq’ (2003), ‘Future: Tense’ (2005) and ‘The Mess They Made: The Middle East After Iraq’ (2007). More recent works include ‘Climate Wars’ (2010) and ‘Don’t Panic: Islamic State, Terrorism and the Middle East’ (2015). His latest book, 'Growing Pains: The Future of Democracy (and Work)', was published in the spring of 2018.

Dr Dyer lives in London. In 2010, he was made an officer of the Order of Canada.


Breakout Sessions
Blanket Exercise

The Blanket Exercise is a participatory workshop in which educators will experience over 500 years of history by taking on the roles of indigenous peoples in Canada. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they will walk through time and explore the impacts of colonization, treaty-making and modern legislation. The Blanket Exercise is concluded by a facilitated debriefing in which participants have the opportunity to discuss the experience as a group. By engaging participants on an emotional and intellectual level, this workshop is a powerful tool for increasing empathy and understanding. Available for Treaty 6, 7 or 8.

Reva Faber
Growing Alberta History:  Introduction to a Free for Use Grade Two Unit
Be inspired and ignite your enthusiasm for teaching Alberta history with this overview of a newly designed Grade 2.2 Social Studies Unit: A Community in the Past.  This unit contains detailed lesson plans with specific connections to learning outcomes as prescribed in the AB Program of Studies.  Participants will explore the colouful details of life in this one time and place (Montefiore Colony) while also learning about wider immigrant experiences.  Teachers will be introduced to various interactions of rural life and the spirit of cooperation between this community and its neighbours that contributed to building our province.  
All support materials are included in the unit as well as a suggested follow-up field trip to the Montefiore Institute at Heritage Park.  Unit is available for borrowing at no charge for up to 3 months.
Reva Faber has spent her entire career in the field of education, first as a teacher in both elementary and junior high and lastly as an administrator in both public and private schools.  She assisted in writing the Social Studies Curriculum for the Grade One Program before embarking on her Masters Degree in Education at the University of Calgary. After completing her MEd, Reva was seconded by the Calgary Board of Education to the U of C to teach in the Faculty of Education while also supervising student teachers.  Following her time working in the Practicum Program, Reva became an Association Instructor with Alberta Teachers’ Association. Subsequent to her retirement from CBE, Reva was contracted to various school boards as an interim administrator/teacher. 
Presently, Reva works for the Alberta Independent Schools and Colleges Association as an evaluator of teachers who are applying for their Permanent Professional Certificates.  She is also contracted by St. Mary’s University to act as a Field Advisor for first year education students while continuing to volunteer as an interpreter at Heritage Park.
Recently, Reva was commissioned by the Jewish Historical Society of Southern Alberta to write a unit of studies that focuses on a prairie community living in Alberta at the turn of the 20th century.  This unit will be the topic of the presentation at the Social Studies Mini Conference in Airdrie.

Rachel Collishaw
Elections Canada - Digital Skills for Democracy

Did you know that Elections Canada has a suite of new resources designed specifically for use after the federal election?  In this session, you will try out our newest addition: Digital Skills for Democracy.  This free, bilingual resource will help your students sift through information pollution in the digital environment more effectively.  You will participate in the activity yourself to see how to help students develop the tools they need to judge the trustworthiness of digital information using real examples. This resource has been piloted in schools across Canada, and was developed in collaboration with Media Smarts and educators across the country. You will also get an introduction to all of our resources, which are designed to fit the needs of teachers for high-quality, well-researched, non-partisan, inquiry-based materials that are available at any point in the electoral cycle. They work well in Social Studies 9 and Social Studies 12 classes.
Rachel Collishaw is an experienced and award-winning secondary social studies teacher. She is currently seconded to Elections Canada, where she is a Senior Education Specialist, developing civic education resources and delivering professional learning. She is a recipient of the 2013 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the author of several textbooks and learning resources that embed and support historical thinking and inquiry learning. She is also president of the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers’ Association (OHASSTA) and a mother of two young adults.
Navigating Our Way to Meaningful Student Learning - Using Giant Floor Maps with Your Students
Our session will introduce teachers to the turn key use of the Canadian Geographic's Giant Floor Maps with students in their school. We will have two GFM's available for our session - Indigenous Peoples GFM and the Parks Canada GFM. Join us and have a chance to participate in a collection of hands on learning opportunities that will benefit your students.
Alison Katzko is a grade five teacher with the Calgary Board of Education, member of the ATA Global, Environmental and Outdoor Education Council Executive, and a National Geographic Society Certified Educator. 
Don McLaughlin is a grade five teacher with the Calgary Separate School District and member of the ATA Global, Environmental and Outdoor Education Council Executive.
Jim Poirier
Extreme Dialogue – Stop the Hate, Start the Dialogue Today
An Interactive Session for Engaging in Conversations to Uncover the Causes and Impact of Extremism
Young people need to be more prepared than ever to counter divisive rhetoric. The Extreme Dialogue Program uses contemporary real-life stories, domestic and international, that allow students to discover the push and pull factors that lead to individuals becoming involved in extremism.
At the conclusion of the session teachers will have resources and lessons that they can implement immediately into their classrooms. This resource was created in cohort with Public Safety Canada, and the Institute for Strategic Questioning based out of the United Kingdom. According to the Extreme Dialogue website – “Extreme Dialogue is built on more than 20 years of research and experience in preventing global and community conflict,” and it “aims to build long-term sustainable relationships with schools to ensure the highest levels of impact for both students and teachers”
Brian Crouch is the Associate Principal for Foundations for the Future Charter Academy Southeast Elementary School in Calgary, AB. He has worked with FFCA for the past eight years, and completed his Master’s Degree in Coaching through the University of Victoria. He presented this program and its merits for education at a variety of conferences including The Alberta Social Studies Conference, Alberta Charter School Conference, and at the Meeting of Policy Planners’ Network on Countering Radicalization & Polarizations in London, England.
Jim Poirier is a teacher and former inclusion liaison for Foundations for the Future Charter Academy High School in Calgary, AB. He has worked with FFCA for the past 14 years, and completed his M. Ed in Curriculum Studies through the University of Toronto. He presented this program and its merits for education at a variety of conferences including The Alberta Social Studies Conference, Alberta Charter School Conference, and at the Meeting of Policy Planners’ Network on Countering Radicalization & Polarizations in London, England.
Contact us at: ATASSCconference@gmail.com
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