Social Studies Teachers Association

Social Studies, Now More Than Ever!

Friday, October 22, 2021


October Conferences will be 100% virtual this year.

Every year, Professional Associations begin planning for their October Conference very early in the New Year. The decision to hold virtual conferences was made in the spring of 2021 based on COVID protocol information available at that time.


Conference Schedule:

8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Virtual Arrival
9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Welcome and Keynote Address
Dr. Marie Battiste - "Decolonizing Education"
9:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Q & A with Dr. Battiste (optional)
10:15 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. Workshops in Session A
11:10 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. Break with Virtual Exhibit Hall visits
11:40 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Lunch Break
12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Plenary Session - Trauma-Informed Pedagogy:  Not the next buzzword
Laura Leslie
12:45 p.m. - 1:40 p.m. Workshops in Session B
1:40 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. Break
1:50 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Workshops in Session C
2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Feedback and Farewell (Receipts will be sent via email)
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Annual General Meeting - Social Studies Teachers Association of Nova Scotia

Registration Information:

SSTA Conference fee:  $75.00 
Substitute / Retirees / Pre-Service Teachers:   $40.00

All registration questions should be directed to:  sstaconference@nstu.ca

As per NSTU Operational Procedure 13 E. IV.: receipts of payment and attendance will not be distributed until the conference has concluded.

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Marie Battiste

Marie Battiste is a Mi'kmaw educator from the Potlotek (pronounced Bot-Loh-Deck) First Nation in Unama'ki and Professor Emerita at the University of Saskatchewan.  She is a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow, advancing scholarship in theme of Power and Knowledge. She is an honorary Officer of the Order of Canada, an elected Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada in 2014, and holds the Distinguished Academic Award in 2013 from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), and an Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Award (now Indspire) in 2008.  Holding a master's of education from Harvard University and a doctorate in education from Stanford University, she has been honoured with four additional honorary doctorate degrees (St. Mary's University, University of Maine at Farmington, Thompson Rivers University and University of Ottawa).

Her book publications include Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit (Purich Press, 2013) andProtecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge (Purich Press/UBC Press, 2000), which won a Saskatchewan Book Award.  She has edited several collections,Visioning Mi'kmaw Humanities: Indigenizing the Academy (2016), Living Treaties: Narrating Mi'kmaw Treaty Relations(2016), Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision (2000), and First Nations Education in Canada: The Circle Unfolds(1995), and several journals, including Canadian Journal of Native Education, Canadian Race RelationsDirections, and the most recent 2021 The Engaged Scholar for Community Engaged Research, Teaching and Learning

Workshops

Session A (10:15 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.)

A1          Both/And: Helping Students Live Complex Identities Through Poetry
Dr. Luke Hathaway (he/him), Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Department of English Language and Literature, Saint Mary's University
Poetic language has the ability to hold space for complexity in human life. When I teach poetry to students I often say, 'If you're wondering whether a certain line means A or B, the answer is often "both/and".' Most of us are both/and people, inhabiting identities that are sometimes felt to be at odds with one another. Faced with pressure to choose between or amongst multiple, conflicting identities, we can find liberation in a poetic world that allows us to assert our both-andnesses — to inhabit our complexities, rather than reducing ourselves to either-or.
This talk/workshop is designed for teachers of students at any level who are willing to consider multiplicities of identity and the possibilities of/for trans-migration between/amongst them. It may be of particular interest to teachers interested in supporting students of trans experience.

A2        Assessment in History (10-12) - a Sharing Session
Hosted by Laura Cole, Teacher, Middleton Regional High School, AVRCE
This session is a moderated discussion about History assessment for Grades 10-12. It is a unique opportunity to meet with educators from across RCEs and discuss assessment for courses such as History 10, Canadian History 11, Global History 12, African Canadian Studies 11, Mi'kmaq Studies 11, etc. Participants will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion with assessment practices that have worked for them and obstacles that they continue to face. The hope is that all participants will walk away with new ideas and a clearer picture of how their courses are assessed in other regions. Please note- participants will be asked to fill out a Google Form before the session in order to determine the most relevant issues and courses for the group.
Questions to consider:

  1. What are the most significant assessment challenges unique to History courses?
  2. What general assessment tools do you use in your classroom?
  3. What works best for you and your students (specific examples welcome)?
  4. How do you track formative assessment?
  5. Do you use an alternative exam format for your course?
  6. How has your assessment for this course changed over the years and why?
  7. What is the relationship between your assessment structure and outcomes?
  8. What assessment practices would you like to try in the future?

Suitable for teachers of Senior High History and Social Studies courses. 

A3          An Overview of Historica Canada’s Newest Social Studies Resources
Mira Goldberg-Poch, Manager of Programs and Education
This workshop introduces participants to Historica Canada’s free and bilingual resources suitable for social studies students and educators. It will cover resources in a variety of formats – videos, podcasts, learning tools, interactive online resources – on a range of topics in Canadian history, critical digital literacy, civics, and citizenship, as well as testable content on the citizenship test. The resources highlighted include Historica Canada’s new podcast and video series ‘A Place to Belong,’ on the history of multiculturalism in Canada. The workshop will also introduce Historica Canada’s new nine-part ‘Voices from Here’ video series, an oral history project which shares the stories and experiences of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and accompanying Education Guide which presents how to use oral histories and memories as educational resources.
Most suitable for Junior and senior secondary. Subjects: social studies, global history & geography, citizenship, sociology. All are welcome.
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

A4          Landscape of Grand Pré World Heritage Site
Claude DeGrâce, Executive Director, Landscape of Grand Pré Inc.
The Landscape of Grand Pré is an exceptional living agricultural landscape, claimed from the sea in the 17th century and still in use today applying the same technology and the same community-based management. Grand Pré is also the iconic place of remembrance of the Acadians who lived in harmony with the native Mi’Kmaq people before the Expulsion which began in 1755. Its memorial constructions form the centre of the symbolic re-appropriation of the land of their origins by the Acadians, in the 20th century, in a spirit of peace and cultural sharing with the local area community.
This  presentation will provide an overview of the history of the Landscape and a description of its Outstanding Universal Value. I will also discuss the challenges of presenting the multiple aspects of the landscape which is primarily associated with the Deportation of the Acadians. I will present the different values the Mi'kmaq, Acadian and local communities associate with the Landscape.
Suitable for teachers of all grades- Heritage Day 2022 will honour Landscape of Grand Pré World Heritage Site
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

A5          EVERFI: Your answer to “Why do I have to learn this?”
Melissa Ketch, EVERFI Canada
Middle school and high school teachers across Canada are using EVERFI’s free online programs to directly link what students are learning in class to the real world. By placing students in various role-playing scenarios students learn as they engage and answer for themselves the very question that they constantly ask: “Why do I have to learn this?” This session will provide an overview of English and French resources you can use to teach the following topics: Sustainability and Biodiversity, Digital Citizenship, Financial Literacy and Community Engagement. Teachers will leave with FREE access to each standards-aligned and self-assessing program, their supplemental resources, and access to the EVERFI Network.
Most applicable for teachers of Grades 7,8,9, subject fit would be Social Studies and Citizenship 9. All are welcome.
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

A6          Waste Management Education
Kathryn Bremner (DivertNS)  & Kelly Gaulton (Halifax Solid Waste)
Divert NS & Halifax Solid Waste will present on the available educational resources related to waste management. Will include an overview of new resources (including Divert NS' new education portal) and a demo or two.
Most applicable for teachers of P-6, but some for the higher grades too. Social Studies, Science, some ELA. All are welcome
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

A7          A New Approach to Remembrance Day: Telling Diverse Stories
Jessica Shaw, Britt Braaten and Laura Brown, Canadian War Museum
Whether you’re leading a school ceremony, a virtual lesson, or something in between, the Remembrance Day online learning module brings together all the resources you need to deliver an engaging and inclusive experience. The resources include a variety of time periods and perspectives. These resources allow you to go beyond traditional stories to teach lessons that make Remembrance Day relevant to students today. The workshop will feature a walk-through of the online module, which includes short videos, curated objects from the Museum collection, historical overviews on different conflicts and perspectives, and classroom activities. The workshop will unpack the research behind the online module, focusing on the inclusion of diverse stories. It will feature a demonstration of the resources, and a discussion. You will leave this workshop with a toolkit of straightforward resources that you can use leading up to Remembrance Day and beyond.
Suitable for teachers of Gr 3 and up. All are welcome
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

Special Plenary Session  (12:15 – 12:45)
(for all participants, no registration necessessary) 

Trauma-Informed Pedagogy: Not the next buzzword
Laura Leslie, Teacher HRCE and  PhD candidate, St. FX University 
The term "Trauma-Informed" is becoming more commonly used language in educational settings, but what does it mean to be "trauma-informed" for today's educators? This session will include a brief overview of a contemporary conceptualization of trauma, and how it relates to today's classrooms and schools. Rather than it being another concept that will come and go, this general introduction to trauma-informed pedagogy will emphasize the importance of a permanent lens necessary for more equitable schooling for all. 
Laura Leslie has been a teacher in the HRCE for 16 years and is a PhD candidate at St. FX University. Her research interests include social justice education, trauma-informed pedagogy and teacher wellness.

Session B (12:45 p.m. - 1:40 p.m.)

B1          International Vaccine Injustice: Lessons for Global Politics, History, and Geography
Dr. Gavin Fridell, Canada Research Chair in International Development Studies, Saint Mary’s University
This workshop will explore major themes in international vaccine injustice for their relevance to politics, history and geography. Both the response and outcomes of the global COVID-19 pandemic have been widely criticized as exposing a new era of vaccine apartheid. We will unpack issues covered only generally in the media, digging deeper, and examining how the pandemic response can be linked to themes of colonialism, global supply chain inequities, racialized injustice, vaccine nationalism, and calls for a “New International Health Order.” We will also explore what the global pandemic response might say about possible global responses to the climate crisis. 
Suitable for teachers who address global issues, social justice, or Canadian politics in their classes. Especially applicable for those teaching Global Geography 12 and Global History 12. All are welcome

B2          Holocaust Education Resources for Educators
Edna Levine, Community Outreach Coordinator, Atlantic Jewish Council and guests:  Marc-Olivier Cloutier, Manager of Education Initiatives, The Azrieli Foundation, Montréal, QC. And Jeffrey Morry, Senior Program Manager, The Asper Foundation, Winnipeg, MB.
The Azrieli Foundation Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program
The Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program was established by the Azrieli Foundation in 2005 to collect, preserve and share the memoirs and diaries written by survivors of the Holocaust who came to Canada. The memoirs encourage readers to engage thoughtfully and critically with the complexities of the Holocaust and to create meaningful connections with the lives of survivors. The diversity of Canadian stories allows readers to grasp the enormity of what happened to six million Jews — one story at a time. 
Asper Foundation Human Rights and Holocaust Studies
Since 1997, a major program initiative of The Asper Foundation has been its award-winning Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program which includes a trip to Winnipeg and visiting the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The objectives of this specially designed education program are to educate grades seven to nine Canadian students about the Holocaust and:

  • inspire them to take personal responsibility to combat antisemitism in particular and racism in general;
  • show them the consequences of complacency and indifference;
  • sensitize them to the consequences of racism; and
  • promote respect for others

Over 14,000 students and chaperones including over 1,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit students in 205 cities spanning twelve provinces and territories across Canada have participated in this initiative. 
Suitable for teachers of grades  8-12
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

B3       Black Loyalist Heritage Centre- Virtual Tours for your classes
Braden Chetwynd, Programming & Outreach Coordinator, Black Loyalist Heritage Centre
Part of the family of NS Museums, the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre is an amazing resource for student learning. A great place to visit, they also have a fantastic virtual tour package. See a portion of the program and learn why you’ll want to book for your classes this year. Braden will provide lots of time for questions and answers as well.
Suitable for teachers of all grades

B4          Free geography tools for your classroom
Justine Bohn, Canadian Geographic Education
Exploration and discovery begins at a very young age and continues well past high school. This session will focus on some of Can Geo Education's most popular resources fit for elementary classes and will highlight teaching tips and tricks to access and use these resources in your classroom.
Suitable for teachers of P-12.
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

B5          Can Education in a Colonial Society Be Decolonized?
Rylan Higgins, Saint Mary’s University
Canadians live in a society build and sustained by colonialism. And of course, teachers in Nova Scotia teach in this same environment. Formal education and the individuals associated with it, furthermore, have far too infrequently directly challenged the status quo in this regard. Educators interested in correcting this might be looking for meaningful, lasting change. This interactive seminar will address such possibilities with attention to both the personal and political. It will also provide a framework for thinking about what decolonization means and whether it can be undertaken in classrooms and schools in Nova Scotia. The facilitator of this seminar is a settler anthropologist who has recently begun his own journey toward decolonization under the guidance of multiple indigenous educators.
Suitable for teachers of all grades

B6          How to use primary sources successfully in the classroom, Canadian Museum of History
Meaghan Dalby and Katie McDade, Canadian Museum of History
This workshop, hosted by the Canadian Museum of History, will show you how to get the most out of two new free educational products – the Teachers’ Zone and History Box – both of which use primary sources to teach about Canadian history. The Teachers’ Zone is an online educational resource that can be accessed at any time. It features Canadian-history themed “packages” that house high-quality primary sources, three levels of historical context for a variety of learning levels, activity suggestions and more! It can be used as lesson plan prep, or explored by you and your students. History Box is a travelling educational kit that can be mailed to your classroom. The kit features 25 objects that span Canadian history from time immemorial to the present. Use these objects as jumping off points to talk about diverse moments in Canadian history, or use Historical Thinking skills to dive deeper. The kit includes object backgrounders, lesson plans, and a timeline graphic organizer. Both products have been developed with the guidance of a National Teacher Advisory group, and use Historical Thinking Concepts and inquiry-based learning at their cores.
Most suitable for teachers of grades 3-12. All are welcome
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

B7       The new Grade 7 & 8 Social Studies Curriculum – Teacher to Teacher Discussion!
Presented by some of the teachers who piloted the new program
Teaching the new curriculum this year? Want to hear how others made it work with inquiry and integration? Join some of your colleagues who will share their experiences of piloting the program, what worked, and what they learned. This is a great opportunity to network with other teachers in the province and share with one another! Hearing directly from the teachers is so meaningful. We hope to see you there!
Suitable for teachers of grade 7 & 8 (Grade 6 and 9 teachers may be interested from a continuity point of view as well)

Session C (1:50 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.)

C1          Decolonizing Chai Tea Lattes 
Dr. Rohini Bannerjee, Saint Mary’s University 
This workshop explores how students can decolonize their own everyday experiences from ordering a chai and not a chai tea latte (!) at a local café to learning that butter chicken "curry" is not South Asian cuisine. How does the misnaming of cuisine reinforce colonial mindsets? Participiants will have the opportunity to engage with case studies and consider approaches to integrate intercultural learning in their teaching practice. 
Suitable for teachers of grades 8-12, particularly courses with a social justice/intersectionality component.

C2          NovaMuseEd - Bringing Museum Collections into the Classroom
Krystal Tanner, Association of Nova Scotia Museums
In 2020 Nova Scotia’s community museums stepped up to engage with students and teachers in a new and creative way. Mid-pandemic and when all of the contributing museums were closed to the public, the Association of Nova Scotia Museums (ANSM) launched NovaMuseEd, an online collections and curriculum-based teacher resource. In the words of one teacher, “NovaMuseEd is a game-changer”. Including curriculum-linked learning activities, multimedia content, colouring pages and word puzzles, NovaMuseEd comes at a critical juncture when museums and educators must rethink traditional modes of program delivery and collaborations. Join us for an introduction to this new, free resource, learn what it has to offer and see how you can bring Nova Scotian museum collections and the cultures and stories they represent into your classroom any time, anywhere. Bring your ideas because we are taking requests!
Suitable for teachers of P-12, all subjects
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

C3          Canadian Geographic Education's Indigenous Resources
Sara Black, CanGeo Education
The importance of education as a tool for reconciliation cannot be emphasized enough. Indigenous history, languages and cultures are an integral part of our social and geographic landscape. In that vein, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Canadian Geographic, and Canadian Geographic Education have worked closely with Indigenous partners and storytellers to produce content and educational resources that reflect the experiences and knowledge of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. In this presentation, educator Sara Black, will highlight select classroom ready resources for educators to use.
Suitable for teachers of grades P-12
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

C4         Activating Service Learning and Citizenship Education through the Youth & Philanthropy Initiative
Noor El-Husseini, YPI
How do we create authentic service learning opportunities that support students to become engaged citizens who are empowered by their experiences to make a meaningful difference in our communities? The Nova Scotia Citizenship 9 curriculum provides a supportive framework for this kind of deep learning in our communities; and YPI, the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative is a vehicle for these experiences to have a deep and lasting impact, while showing students that their voices, their actions, their decisions, matter. YPI is a public charitable foundation that offers a multi-award-winning free school program that grows compassionate communities by connecting youth to social issues, local charities, and philanthropy at a pivotal stage in their adolescence. YPI provides opportunities for students across the country and internationally to engage in experiential service learning about their communities, and grants hundreds of thousands of dollars to community-based charities each year, 100% decided by thousands of teenagers. Using the guiding questions in the Nova Scotia Citizenship 9 curriculum as a jumping off point, we will demonstrate alignment between the course requirements and YPI in this workshop, and share how your school can join YPI to give your students the opportunity to direct a $5,000 grant to one charity of their choice, and create awareness for social issues and charities across the community.
Most applicable for teachers of Grade 9 Citizenship. All are welcome
Les ressources présentées dans cet atelier sont également disponibles en français.

C5      Pursuing Passion Projects
Ashlea Melanson, Teacher, Fairview Junior High School, HRCE
Dive into deep learning and unlock students talents and skills. Passion Projects are full of Inquiry Based Learning (IBL). In this presentation you can learn how to design, structure, and facilitate the ongoing learning of students. These projects will help teach the curriculum concepts while increasing engagement and focus.
Suitable for teachers of all grades. While the presenter is a teacher of 7 & 8, the concepts can be adapted for many grades and subjects.

C6          Picture This: Learning from Images in the Archives
Dr Renée Hulan, Atlantic Canadian Studies, Department of Language and Literature, Saint Mary’s University
In this workshop, we will discuss how student research projects on archival materials, particularly digital collections of photographs, can build interpretative confidence and lead to empowerment.
Suitable for teachers of grade 7-12

C7       Trauma-Informed Practice: School and Classroom
Laura Leslie, Teacher HRCE and  PhD candidate, St. FX University 
This session will provide some foundational information on what a trauma-informed classroom looks like. This will include some discussion around teacher roles, student behaviour, and classroom strategies. While this session is just a taste of this approach - it aims to spark interest in this educational movement as a starting place for those looking to learn more. 
Suitable for teachers of all grades

Click here to register


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