Milena Ivkovic

Recipient of the 2012 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching

December 10, 2012
Canada's History speaks to Milena Ivkovic about her efforts to help students view history from multiple perspectives.

Newtonbrook Secondary School, North York (Ontario)

Milena Ivkovic believes her students should be given opportunities to make real meaning out of history, not just learn about it. By analyzing primary source documents from multiple perspectives, she encourages students to grapple with history, to dig deeper into it, and to develop a greater understanding of what these sources tell us about our history and ourselves.

Her project was created for the locally developed Grade 11 Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity course. The focus of the lesson is on Canadian “upstanders,” in particular an organization that lobbied the Canadian government to allow a group of Armenian orphans to immigrate to Canada in the early 1920s. These children were brought to Georgetown Ontario, and became known as the Georgetown Boys.

Students examine historical documents such as photos, letters, and interviews to develop a better understanding of this period and of the experiences of the Georgetown Boys while in Canada. From the experiences of this group of Armenian orphans to current grassroots movements for human rights and social justice, students are inspired to make a difference in the world.