Brent Pavey

Recipient of the 2009 Governor General's Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History

November 1, 2009
Canada's History speaks to Brent Pavey about his teaching project, which focuses on the Canadian political system and culminates in a detailed parliamentary simulation.

Waterloo Collegiate Institute, Waterloo (Ontario)

Brent Pavey is a senior high school teacher, engaging his students through a classroom project, entitled “Making History: Understanding Canadian Government, Parliament and the Historical Development of Canadian Culture”. Brent's students' compiled descriptions, lesson plans and letters of recommendation, becoming only one of three nominations in the sixteen years of this program to be solely student submitted.

Student comments testify to the “flexible, electric learning environment”, “his fierce and unwavering teaching philosophy” and his ability to make “every student in the classroom feel uniquely important.”

The project begins with the study of the philosophies of politics, examining aspects of Canadian political culture, a study of democracies, scrutinizing the Canadian Parliamentary system, and culminating in the parliamentary simulation. The parliamentary simulation is comprehensive, with students assuming the roles of elected members of a legislature and conducing themselves in a manner consistent with realistic parliamentary practice.

In the words of his nominators: “In all of his lessons, Mr. Pavey shows off his greatest talent: the ability to bring out his students intellect, passion, talents and skills simultaneously, all in the ardent pursuit to understand and evaluate the country they live in.”