Paul Paterson

Recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching

November 8, 2018

Westmount Secondary School, Hamilton (Ontario)

Inspired by the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017, Paul Paterson’s students formed a classroom think tank to create a vision for Canada in the year 2070.

Over the semester, they identified and investigated significant challenges facing the country and then researched the history of these topics. Students chose topics that had personal relevance to their lives — from climate change to healthcare to immigration.

Based on their understanding of the historical context and evolution of these topics, students developed detailed policy proposals to outline their solutions.

Students were motivated to share their work with the public and created a website to showcase their papers online. In lieu of a final exam, the students decided to hold a press conference to demonstrate the depth of their learning.

Through this project, students became active citizens, applying their historical research and knowledge to envision a better Canada for the next fifty years.