Scott Masters

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

December 10, 2012
Canada's History speaks to Scott Masters about the Crestwood Oral History Project, as part of which his students recorded the experiences of their families and communities.

Crestwood Preparatory College, Toronto (Ontario)

Early in his teaching career Scott Masters noticed that his students often had few opportunities to connect with past generations. He made it his mission to bridge that gap. Starting with inviting individual speakers into his classroom, his project slowly grew into the Crestwood Oral History Project.

His students were invited to take on the role of historian, interviewing and chronicling the experiences of their families and communities. Their work grew into an online historical archive that contains several years’ worth of research and interviews by his students. In particular, the archive documents the stories of Holocaust survivors and veterans of the Second World War.

To make sure their memories are kept alive as intact historical documents, Masters and his students have digitized their photos and mementoes. These items and the individual interviews that accompany them help to illuminate the past and expose the students to points of view and specific memories that they would not necessarily find in their textbooks.