|Being There World War II
Multimedia Kit Is A Powerful Resource
Canadas Coming of Age
Canada & National Film Board
Reviewed by Allan Hux
Affairs Canada and the National Film Board have combined their efforts and created a
multimedia package for teachers and their students about the Second World War.
Canadas Coming of Age 19391945 is a retrospective look from
individuals points of view at Canadas involvement during World War II.
A teachers guide, videos and CD ROM give students an appreciation of what Canada
was like during a war that saw over one million men and women enlist in the armed forces.
In 1939, Canadas population was just over 11 million.
Through interviews and archival footage, a story unfolds about the people whose lives
were touched during the war. And the perspective from those who went into battle provides
a sense of how horrifying war can be. Said one veteran, "I shouldnt say you
enjoy killing, but I think at that age you dont realize what youre
What makes this resource so compelling is the CD ROM. It is the best educational CD on
Canadian history that I have seen to date. It combines authentic visual sources with
creative fictional accounts for an in depth look at Canadas role in the Second World
There are three structured modes in the design guided tours, free exploration
The six guided tours on the economy, home front, air force, army, navy and the merchant
marine provide teachers with solid topical organizers that will facilitate group
investigation activities. The retelling of the war from the point of view of members of
the fictional Bailey family the Boileaus in the French version of the CD
personalizes the era and provides human faces, voices and feelings for these topics.
Certainly one composite, fictional family can not accurately mirror the experiences of
thousands of Canadian families. The regional, ethnic, racial and linguistic differences
among Canadians are not captured by this device, but the single family as a narrative
vehicle does ask students to consider these six years from the viewpoints of teenagers and
adults, men and women.
The free exploration mode will appeal to students and lateral thinkers of all ages,
moving from the war zones to the home front and back with ease. Members of the Bailey
family appear in the living room, kitchen and local recruiting office. Their voices may be
followed into the services, economy or government offices for each of the six war years.
The calendar and timeline features of the CD allow for rapid movement in many directions
over the duration of the war.
Quiz and game features also let students check their learning at the beginner,
intermediate or advanced levels with multiple choice questions and puzzles. These are not
assessment tools for teachers as much as they are motivational tools for individual
students or groups.
The personal project feature of the CD allows students to clip a limited number of
pictures and text for use in their reports. However, satisfactory reports
especially at the secondary school level must move beyond the editing function to
the more analytical and creative performances suggested in the activity booklet that
accompanies this multimedia package. The booklet provides an excellent outline of the
structure and design of the CD, but is no substitute for actually spending a number of
pleasant hours working with this resource.
The package is not a complete history of Canada in the Second World War. A search for
names like Duplessis, Hepburn, Meighen and Noseworthy quickly reveals that this is not a
political primer on the war years. Users will find the names of some government ministers
of the day, such as Mackenzie King, and a number of members of the service of various
ranks, but this resource is not about famous people.
If there is one serious weakness, it is the light treatment of the internment of
Japanese Canadians. The same screen is used for the entries Internment Camps (1942) and
Japanese Attack Vancouver Island, when the material is only appropriate for the second
entry. The last sentence on this screen states, "Italian and German Canadians had
also been interned at the outbreak of war in 1939." This may seriously mislead
readers into thinking that the scale and motives for the publics and
governments treatment of Japanese, Italian and German Canadians were the same.
Much of the authenticity that makes this resource valuable comes from the powerful
visuals of the CD and testimony in the videos. The footage from the war years, still
photographs and propaganda posters are very stimulating and far surpass what is available
to students in texts and resource books.
Several omissions prompt me to recommend this multimedia package only for the
intermediate years of Grades 710, and not for students in senior grades. The absence
of primary resources, like actual news articles and newsreels, the absence of the
political issues surrounding Japanese internment, and the intense French-English conflict
over the conscription plebiscite and repeal of the governments promise of no
conscription for overseas services is a decided weakness.
Nevertheless, Canadas Coming of Age 19391945 is one of the best tools for
teachers and students to study the interplay among the home fronts and the fighting
To order Canadas Coming of Age, contact LM Media Marketing Services Ltd., 115
Torbay Road, Unit 9, Markham L3R 2M9; phone 1-800-268-2380; fax 1-800-689-1067.
Educational Kit, $49.95; CD ROM $ 18.95 available in English and French for Windows 95,
3.1 & Mac.
Allan Hux is the president of the Ontario History Consultants Association and
co-ordinator of social studies for the Toronto District School Board.
arbres... cest magique and La jungle... cest magique
Collection Luciole, St.
by Hélène Beauchesne
immersion teachers know, it can be difficult to find French-language learning materials
that are informative and educational and, at the same time, use a language level adapted
to their students own levels. Most of the time, teachers have to adapt, create and
translate materials for their class, which calls for a great deal of work quite apart from
the evaluation of the students performance.
Collection Luciole offers teachers an assortment of ready-made activities. Prepared by
Albert Cantin, an experienced teacher, it is designed for students in the Junior and
Intermediate Divisions. It consists of 20 teaching kits, each on a different theme.
The first kit I looked at explores trees; the second, the jungle. The proposed
materials can be used in both French as a first language and French immersion classes.
Each kit contains a host of activities that can be done individually, in small groups
or as a class. It covers four activity areas Language; the Arts; Mathematics,
Science and Technology; and Self and Society, in addition to evaluation. The kits were
developed according to Ministry of Education and Training standards. The activities are
intended to encourage students to use their learning skills and broaden their knowledge.
The author prepared his activities with the idea of creating materials students can
work with at their own pace. In addition to summarizing concepts that have just been
learned, the author proposes a number of extension activities that enhance students
newly acquired knowledge. Each activity can be repeated if needed. In short, this is a
very useful tool for teachers.
Most of the proposed activities are original, interesting and challenging for the
students. The great diversity of the content and the information presented are readily
apparent. The vocabulary used is occasionally too elevated for students in Junior Division
In my opinion, this collection is intended primarily for students in French as a first
language program and Intermediate Division immersion. The materials would have to be
adapted for use with Junior Division immersion students. There is no doubt that by the
time they complete a theme, students will have enhanced their knowledge and vocabulary.
Collection Luciole provides teachers in search of new ideas and quality materials with
an excellent way of rounding off the curriculum. Both students and teachers will find Les
arbres... cest magique and La jungle ... cest magique worthwhile.
Hélène Beauchesne teaches Grade 2 French immersion at Frenchmans Bay School in
Childs World of Science and Technology
A Book for Teachers
Ronald C. Weeks
Toronto, Prentice Hall, 1997
Reviewed by Ross Haley
The colourful butterfly clinging to a bright, yellow flower on a computer chip background
on the cover of this book on science education catches your attention immediately.
The book is certainly timely, coming as it does so soon after the release of the Common
Framework of Science Learning Outcomes and the Ontario Science and Technology Curriculum
for Grades 18.
Educators from elementary pre-service teachers to experienced teachers upgrading
their skills will appreciate the clear but detailed coverage of science inquiry in
the educating of our youth. Author Ron Weeks recognizes the critical importance of the
teacher in the classroom.
Using simple, personal examples and reflections, Weeks outlines how children
demonstrate science and technological learning. He reviews the differing, yet integrated
perspectives in teaching children to think and learn science in the classroom. He deals
with all aspects of enhancing yet balancing program planning, adapting student learning
environments, amassing reasonable resources and assessing student learning performances in
a thoughtful, realistic and stimulating manner.
After reading about some of the specific learning opportunities for the general strands
of science, new and experienced teachers will be able to do something purposeful in their
classrooms that will lead to improved student learning of skills and concepts in science
One emphasis in the new Ontario curriculum is the application of science to the real
world. This book makes specific connections between science and technology and the
importance of environmental and societal issues.
Whether you are a leader in curricula, a change agent, a participant in implementing
the new curriculum, a pre-service teacher, or a citizen interested in improving science
literacy, this book will be a useful tool not a dust collector!
The Childs World of Science and Technology will help you provide what both new
documents stress scientific literacy for the 21st century.
Ross Haley has taught for almost 30 years in primary, junior and intermediate
classrooms in the Halton and Bluewater boards. Hes been involved in developing
science curriculum through boards, the Science Teachers Association of Ontario, science
fairs and science workshops for both students and teachers.
une théorie de la pédagogie
Clermont Gauthier, Jean-François Desbiens, Annie Malo, Stéphane
Martineau, and Denis Simard
Québec, Les Presses de lUniversité de Laval, 1997
Reviewed by Michelle Boucher
a time when the field of education is teeming with questions and constantly in search of
new perspectives, this book proposes some fascinating avenues of reflection and research.
The authors have attempted to answer an apparently simple question, "What do
teachers need to know in order to teach?" The answer is the product of extensive
reflection presented in some 300 pages.
The books sustained logic, rich and painstaking vocabulary and well-documented
and well-written research furnish the reader with a store of information and ideas on
current trends in teaching and on the body of knowledge that characterizes the profession.
This knowledge base is a fund from which teachers regularly draw as they practise their
profession. Until now, it has been tucked away in the classroom. Pour une théorie de la
pédagogie is part of a movement in teaching research toward articulating this knowledge
base in order to arrive at a precise definition of the profession.
By knowledge base the authors mean "the knowledge, skills and attitudes that a
teacher needs to do his or her job effectively in a given situation." The authors
have tried to identify the components of this knowledge base, specifically the body of
knowledge that makes up pedagogical practice. This body of knowledge is based on two
components subject management and class management and reflects everything a
teacher does in the performance of his or her duties.
Articulating the body of knowledge that makes up pedagogical practice means
"trying to ensure that excellent teachers leave their mark not only on teaching per
se, but also on their students; it also means trying to define what constitutes effective
Teaching is not only a quantifiable science, but an art that calls for intuition,
spontaneity and judgement, because human relations are the cornerstone of this occupation.
The class dynamic that is the stuff of a teachers daily routine makes the teacher a
discriminating practitioner whose many actions are more reminiscent of a judge than a
There are very few formulas when it comes to deciding whether to go with what has been
planned, teach the content of a lesson, meet the needs of a given student, set the pace
for activities or take action concerning a disruptive child. According to Gauthier,
teachers are like judges in that both must use elements of rhetoric to make the decisions
that arise at every step of the way. "Teachers are discriminating in the sense that
discrimination is not merely a theoretical knowledge of the right action, but perhaps
predominately the ability to act appropriately."
Pour une théorie de la pédagogie is a subtle book in which, with every chapter, a
blending of ideas leads to what may emerge as a pedagogical theory.
Michelle Boucher is a pedagogical consultant for the French Language Consultative
Services, Central Ontario Region, CEEC-RUISSO.
High School English
Urbana, Illinois, National Council of Teachers of
Reviewed by Rick Chambers
Pirie, an English teacher at Lorne Park Secondary School in Mississauga, says, "For
most of us, our teaching has been formed by a few influential teachers from our own
schooling, a handful of respected colleagues, readings from books or journals, and the
push and pull of classroom realities. From all this, we assemble a practice that keeps us
going, but which has not always been scrutinized for its assumptions or challenged for
Working on the assumption that everything teachers do begins and ends with student
learning, Pirie looks at the challenges facing high school English teachers. The book is
not a rant against change. It is also not a paean to innovation. Pirie invites his
readers, whom he assumes have been teaching English as thoughtfully as he has, to look
critically at their practice and assess the impact of recent changes on student learning.
He says early in the book that his intention was not to write a "how-to" or
"hints-for Monday-morning" type of book. "Some will say, You can
never get too many good lesson plans, but I think you can, when that stockpiling
interferes with synthesizing and clarifying a larger vision." And it is the larger
vision of the role of the English teacher and students in English classes that becomes the
focus of Piries work.
He encourages teachers to explore the links between knowledge and students prior
learning. This is a risk-taking move that gives students voices centre stage in
classrooms. "For as long as I have been either a student or teacher of English, I
have heard teachers claim that they encourage independent, original thought. And for
exactly as long, students and graduates have complained that, despite those claims,
English teachers dont really respect divergent readings and only want to hear echoes
of their own thoughts."
Pirie goes on to say, "Relinquishing the job of meaning-maker and answer-provider
doesnt have to turn teachers into weaklings; it just redefines the focus of their
In the same vein, he devotes a chapter to that English-teacher stand-by, the
five-paragraph essay. And although he acknowledges its limited usefulness, it would be
safe to say that Pirie is not a fan of this hoary essay-writing strategy. "Im
prepared to concede that people can express original and creative ideas in the
hierarchical [five paragraph] essay, but my point is that they do so despite the form:
there is nothing within the form that invites divergent thinking."
In fact, he says, "the five-paragraph essay doesnt teach
structure any more than a paint-by-numbers kit teaches design," and then
suggests alternatives to the academic essay that promote active thinking, writing and
learning for students.
Bruce Pirie frames his book about teaching high school English in cultural terms, both
for teachers and students. Students learning must be connected to their lives and to
the world around them. "Part of the focus has to be on students working through the
complexity of their individual position(s) in the web of society and culture."
Not only do students have to be engaged in their learning, they also have to embrace
the learning experience on their own terms. That is what makes teaching so challenging and
SIFT THROUGH FADS
Pirie wants English teachers to sift through the fads, adopt the meaningful changes,
and engage their students in all aspects of language and learning. As he says, "I am
sometimes embarrassed by the parochialism of a discipline that grandly claims to be about
how humans use language to make sense of their world, but then, in practice, hurriedly
shrinks its focus to something much less grand."
For experienced English teachers, as well as for new ones, Bruce Piries book
encapsulates much of the best practice in English teaching. He reminds us that "the
ideal for which we are striving is the creation of an English classroom in which students
are not parasites on the body of literature, but active participants in an unfinished
culture, agents with the power and responsibility to make sense of that culture and to
contribute to its ongoing construction."
Rick Chambers, who taught English for 27 years, is a program officer in the
Colleges Professional Affairs Department.
A Practical Guide for Classroom Teachers
Marilyn Friend, William Bursuck,
Prentice-Hall Canada, 1998
Reviewed by Rochelle Rabinowicz
with special needs would benefit from this book being required reading in all faculty of
education pre-service programs.
The book is well organized. Case histories and sidebars of questions, clarifications
and suggestions for action focus the readers attention on the critical concepts
under discussion. There are notes on how to use various forms of technology with
Including Exceptional Students provides a brief historical overview of the integration
movement in Canada, followed by an outline of the entitlements and alternatives that are
currently available for students with special needs. The reader must be careful in
accepting everything the authors say without question.
For example, they do not distinguish between inclusion and integration, when there is a
definite difference in Ontario, and they list some disabilities that are not within
Ontarios current categories of exceptionalities.
Teachers who work with exceptional students must accept the valuable contribution that
can be made by other partners in education, such as school board and medical specialists,
paraprofessionals, parents and community agency personnel. The authors respect the
important role these people can play in a school team. They give useful pointers on how a
classroom teacher can respond to the emotional turmoil of a family with an exceptional
child and collaborate with them effectively.
The book presents organizational and programming ideas to help teachers who are working
with exceptional students in an integrated (or inclusive) classroom. These are general
suggestions and should be augmented or adapted to meet the needs of individual students.
It is a valuable aid in identifying students with lower incidence conditions such as AIDS
and fetal alcohol syndrome or effects.
The authors also address the need for teachers to modify programs for students who are
not exceptional in the usual sense, but who are trying to cope with exceptional
They give teachers many practical suggestions and encourage them to try creative
instructional alternatives. The authors comprehensive sections on evaluating
curriculum and instructional methods, encouraging self-advocacy and supporting students
with behaviour disorders would be useful to every teacher, whether or not they are
focusing on special needs students. In Ontario, the sections on reporting to parents and
adapting assessment tools are particularly relevant.
In its 450 pages, this text provides a close look at the wide range of students who are
often found in Ontario classrooms today. Teachers who use it to reflect on and improve
their work with exceptional students will enhance the education of all students.
Rochelle Rabinowicz has worked in special education in schools and in the Ministry
of Education and Training.