Adrian Charles French

Recipient of the 2010 Governor General's Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History

August 8, 2010
Canada's History speaks to Adrian French about his varied approaches to teaching Canadian history.

Mount Douglas Secondary, Victoria (British Columbia)

Covering 99 years of Canadian history is a feat no teacher can accomplish in the span of a school year. In the case of Mr. French’s grade 11 class, students were given a dose of some of the more remarkable and relevant examples of that rich period and, as a result, had a wellrounded and thought-provoking year. Focusing on those turning points that have made Canada what it is today, Mr. French has created a wide range of approaches to the subject at hand, which pull in elements of research and essay writing, class discussion and debate, visual art and poetry. Through five major projects, covering either cultures or events, Mr. French’s students are guided gracefully by well-organized lessons that engage rather than confuse; by activities that challenge rather than bore; and, most importantly, by being asked to demonstrate their understanding using practical applications of the lessons learned during Canada’s growth as a nation.