Canadian-American Center’s Canadian Studies outreach coordinator Betsy Arntzen, collaborated with two other outreach coordinators to provide an impressive amount of Canadian content workshop and poster sessions at the 91st annual teachers conference of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), held in Washington, DC December 1-4, 2011.
This year’s Canadian presence at the NCSS built on the success of a three-year emphasis to showcase Canadian studies at the NCSS annual conference beginning with Canada is Coming to NCSS! initiative (2008) and the follow-up success of providing Canadian content at the 2009 and 2010 conferences. In 2011 three outreach educators Betsy Arntzen, Amy Sotherden and Tina Storer, collaborated with two exemplary Canadian educators (Mike Clare (ON), Steven Marcotte (QC), with Canadian Studies Master Teacher SUNY Geneseo adjunct faculty Dean June, and with Michigan State University’s Canadian Studies Outreach Coordinator Ruth Writer. This resulted in our presenting 9 hours of Canadian content presentations over three days. We offered more hour-long Canadian-content workshops than were offered about any other specific country: CANADA: 6; Africa:4; Japan:4; Asia:3; Brazil:2; China:2; Latin America:2; Afghanistan:1; Argentina:1; France:1; Middle East:1
The Canadian content presentations were peer reviewed and selected from over 900 proposals submitted.
For two of the four days, the outreach coordinators maintained a Canadian Studies information table in the International Alley of the exhibit area, and provided an information table about the Canada Community for a total of 21.5 hours providing Canadian Studies teaching resources and one-on-one consultation to interested teachers at information tables in the exhibit hall and lobby. Of the 4000 potential visitors to the table, we handed out over 300 packets of reference and teaching materials, and received contact information from 129 educators from 28 states plus DC and from 2 countries (Ecuador, and Canada) who indicated their interest in more information and resources.
Maintaining a Canadian content presence at this national teachers conference is a collaboration between project coordinators Betsy Arntzen (University of Maine) and Amy Sotherden (Plattsburgh State University of New York) with Tina Storer (Western Washington University as three of four Canadian Studies outreach staff of the only two National Resource Centers (NRCs) on Canada in the United States. NRCs are designated by and funded by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).
The Northeast National Resource Center on Canada is located at UMaine.
Canadian Studies outreach educators provide K-12 outreach programs and professional development training to establish, encourage and support inclusion of Canadian Studies in American K-12 curriculum. They provide professional development and teacher training; they develop resources for teaching about Canada; and they conduct summer teachers’ institutes in Canada.