OCT OEEO

PS_December_2016

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41 December 2016 | Professionally Speaking For additional reviews of French-language resources, visit pourparlerprofession.oeeo.ca. With the exception of some classroom sets, items reviewed are available on loan from the Margaret Wilson Library at the College. Contact Olivia Hamilton at 416-961-8800 (toll-free in Ontario 1-888-534-2222), ext 679 or email library@oct.ca. reviews Your guide to recently released books and other teaching resources. PHOTOS: STEPHEN FERRIE When Kacey Left, Red Deer Press, Markham, Ont., 2015, softcover, ISBN 978-0-88995-523-3, 227 pages, $12.95, reddeerpress.com When Kacey Left BY DAWN GREEN Navigating the complexities of teenage existence is difficult enough, but in the year following her best friend's death, Sara finds that her path and her purpose are more ambiguous than ever. By reluctantly writing in a journal, as she is assigned to do by her school counsellor, Sara authen- tically reveals her intense pain, confusion and, with time, her growing resilience. Eventually through the development of some unlikely relationships, Sara discovers how to reclaim her identity apart from being the "dead girl's best friend." This debut novel from B.C. author Dawn Green explores the theme of teenage mental health with a perfect mix of delicacy and honesty that young adult readers will appreciate. Its unassuming approach makes it accessible to students who will likely recog- nize characters and situations that are familiar. By focusing on the living victims of suicide, When Kacey Left asks readers to not only question the how and why but more importantly, the what now? By doing so, the novel may generate fresh and insightful conversations about friendship, suicide, grief and forgiveness. Ultimately it offers cause for reflection on the far-reaching impact of our daily interactions with others, with an emphasis on the power of kindness and the possibility of friend- ship beyond our usual social boundaries. This book could be assigned for independent, small group or full-class study with clear curriculum connections to both English and health education. A resource package compiled by the executive director of Toronto's Stella's Place (a comprehen- sive mental health assessment and treatment service for young adults) accompanies the book to further facilitate discussion in classrooms or counselling centres. Natalie Munro, OCT, is a learning support teacher at St. Margaret's School in Victoria, B.C. Becoming a History Teacher EDITED BY RUTH SANDWELL AND AMY VON HEYKING This book had its beginnings at a symposium in Calgary in 2011, where history education researchers, teacher educators, histor- ians, secondary school teachers, graduate students and student teachers from across Canada gathered to talk about how best to prepare teachers of history. In their essays, they identify students' disengagement from learning history and they struggle with the consequences of stu- dents not understanding what really matters about the lessons of history. They discuss the reasons and brainstorm ways to pre- pare students' development of critical historical thinking. They examine the reliance on rote learning and memorization that offer little room for actually "doing history." They urge history teachers to show students how to evaluate significance, assess cause and consequence, explore the varied perspectives of people in the past and probe the ethical dimensions of history. All aspects of teaching history throughout the range of schooling, from elementary school through to teacher training and beyond, are picked apart. This collection of intelli- gent, passionate and readable arguments moves forward our thinking on teaching history. It promotes the development of more sophisticated historical understand- ing and is consistent with The Historical Thinking Project's (historicalthinking.ca) vision for students as critical thinkers who can "interrogate historical sources. They know that a historical film can look 'realistic' without being accurate. They understand the value of a footnote." The role of history teachers is transformed from transmitters of information to practitioners of history. History class moves from a boring exercise in recalling a set of facts and dates to a hotbed of controversy. Nadira Baksh, OCT, recently completed a combined Honours Specialist in English and history. She is a volunteer at Dunrankin Drive Public School, Peel District School Board. Becoming a History Teacher: Sustaining Practices in Historical Thinking and Knowing, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2014, softcover, ISBN 978-1-4426-2651-5, 345 pages, $25.17, utpublishing.com

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