Flora Fung, Oshawa Central Collegiate, Oshawa, Ontario
Oshawa Central Collegiate,
Winner of the 2011 Governor General's History Awards for Excellence in Teaching
Ms. Fung believes that the best way to get students interested in history is to make the learning experience as real as possible. She does this by making connections between students, the school, the community, and the country.
One example in the classroom is her use of a paper World War I battle simulation where students design their own trenches and work together to implement defensive and offensive battle strategies. Ms. Fung also works with the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association (HKVCA) to raise awareness for local veterans who had never before received formal recognition in the community for their bravery during the battle of Hong Kong in World War II. In a special commemorative ceremony, attended by dignitaries and the community, the school adopted nine Oshawa Hong Kong veterans. Today her work with HKVCA continues in the Portraits of Valour writing contest where students from across the country research, then honour five Hong Kong veterans annually.
In the Highlights of History Conference, Ms. Fung arranged for local museums to host a variety of workshops at the board office. The Highlights of History Conference is attended by students from across Durham Region and helps foster meaningful community and history connections for the youth.
Finally, Ms. Fung is always looking to provide contemporary connections to the history they are learning, as illustrated in Operation Thank You, a project she has now shared with teachers across the country. The project encourages students to write to soldiers serving abroad, so they can draw connections between soldiers of the past, the conditions of military service today, and the personal costs of international conflict.