Primary Source, a K-12 professional development center for Massachusetts teachers invited Canadian Studies specialist Betsy Arntzen to present the one day workshop “Canada and its Diversity”, October 20, 2011. Primary Source promotes history and humanities education by connecting educators with people and cultures throughout the world.
Betsy’s program was especially for educators in grades K-7, and it introduced Canada’s diversity of peoples and geography by comparing and contrasting Canadian First Nations with U.S. Native Americans and Quebecois with French Creole peoples in the United States. Throughout the day participants were introduced to children’s literature about Canada by Canadian authors and discussed how to evaluate and use various types of literature about Canada to reveal the tremendous diversity of its peoples, cultures, and land.
Twenty-five teachers from several towns attended. “The teachers obviously reacted well to your program and went away with a wealth of materials and information to use in their classrooms.”
Betsy is based at the Canadian-American Center, on the campus of UMaine in Orono – at the crossroads of Atlantic Canada and New England. Betsy’s national outreach and professional development programs for K-12 teachers address topics related to American and Canadian relations and understanding. Through workshops, presentations, publications, teaching materials, and in-Canada professional development programs, Betsy provides programming that seeks to bridge the gap between uninformed beliefs and a true understanding of Canadian people. Betsy directs the Office of Canadian Studies Outreach and co-leads the Quebec Dimensions Summer Teachers Institute. She is adjunct faculty at UMaine and Plymouth (NH) State University.