Governor General recognizes UWindsor alumna for innovative history course

A University of Windsor grad has won national recognition for her work to bring the course the History of Africa and Peoples of African Descent to life in her classroom at Walkerville Collegiate Institiute.

Shantelle Browning-MorganShantelle Browning-Morgan (BA 2000, B.Ed 2001, M.Ed 2008) worked with the Essex County Black Historical Research Society and the Essex County District School Board developing materials to highlight the history of a unique group of people who settled in the local region to escape slavery in the United States.

She is one of seven educators at Rideau Hall today to receive the History Award for Excellence in Teaching from Governor General David Johnston. The awards recognize teachers from elementary and secondary schools who inspire and challenge their students to explore Canadian history in an interactive atmosphere, said Deborah Morrison, president of Canada's History Society.

“Teaching in today's society is a challenge at the best of times; teaching history can sometimes seem more illusory to kids than the virtual worlds they visit and create online,” she said. “These teachers rise to that challenge developing new programs and activities that bring their students right into the heart of the story.”

The society cited Browning-Morgan’s efforts to engage her students in creative and participatory projects that included mounting school campaigns to raise awareness and stop the perpetuation of stereotypes and racial slurs, staging a black cultural showcase, and preparing poetry, dance, music, drama, and slide presentations.

Some of this year’s performances included an Underground Railroad rap, music by Oscar Peterson, and a fiddle rendition of spiritual songs that had guided fugitive slaves to Canada via the Underground Railroad.

Along with their awards, each honouree will receive a gold medal and $2,500. Read more about Browning-Morgan and the other awardees on the Web site of Canada's History Society.

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