Our students are bombarded with dubious information about the modern world from their intense exposure to conspiracy theories on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and elsewhere. They often mistake compelling and sensational kernels of truth and false claims for verified news and balance of evidence. One of the results is that rather than practicing awareness and skepticism, our students are often mislead and cynical. This workshop will guide teachers through some well-known modern conspiracies and develop strategies for using historical thinking and students's own curiousity to challenge conspiratorial claims and generate rich discussion. While there are many important areas of focus for the Social Studies classroom; this one is needed now more than ever.
After a stint long ago as an ecosystem geographer in the woods of northern BC and Alberta, Glen taught Social Studies, Geography, and English Language Arts in Prince George secondary schools for 22 years, has been the PGDTA Professional Development Chair for many years, and more recently has worked in the UNBC School of Education as a sessional instructor, practicum mentor, and lecturer. He has received a variety of History and Geography awards and grants for his work with secondary students including a Governor-General's Award for Teachers in 2017 for innovative heritage inquiry. In 2019, Glen began a PhD at UNBC with a focus on Geography education, storywork, and place-responsive pedagogy. Glen is a director in the Pacific Slope Educational Consortium, an executive member of the BC Social Studies Teachers' Association, and has developed many useful local and provincial curriculum resources.