Curriculum Project

The Labour History Curriculum initiative is a partnership between the Labour Heritage Centre and the BC Teachers’ Federation, with additional support from the BC Federation of Labour. The initiative is intended to increase the access of BC K-12 students to labour history and other labour studies issues.


As of Spring 2014 our focus is as follows:

  1. Finishing updates to the Grade 10 and Grade 11 Social Studies units in Youth, Unions and You, a compendium of lesson plans developed jointly by the Ministry of Education, the BCTF, and the BC Federation of Labour in 2000. With many sections of this book  now complete, we are coordinating additional revisions for sections on Health and Safety/Employment Standards.
  2. Developing lesson plans to accompany the stories on the interpretive panels at Vancouver’s Trade and Convention Centre West and the recently updated Working Class and Labour History walking tour. The launch party for the Walking Tour is happening May 22, 2014.
  3. Finalizing 30+ lesson plans to accompany the three-minute vignettes developed as part of our collaboration with Knowledge Network. The first set of ten lesson plans will be released in late Spring/early Summer 2014. All 30 films will be available on our website in Summer 2014.
  4. Finalizing and formatting an entire unit on labour studies for Social Justice 12, a course offered in British Columbia. These lessons  are nearly complete and scheduled for release in Summer 2014.
  5. Work on lesson plans to accompany the history of health and safety videos developed in partnership with WorkSafeBC, to begin in Summer 2014. This film collaboration continues to grow and a number of new films are slated for production.
  6. A poster project for use in the classroom, to begin in late Summer 2014.

Teachers involved in this project have led workshops at various locations, and will be presenting at this year’s Pacific Northwest Labour History Association conference in Cumberland, BC.

  1. Labour History Curriculum working group

Wayne Axford, Burnaby teacher

Sarah Purdy, Burnaby teacher

Tony Arruda, Nanaimo teacher

Janet Nichol, Vancouver teacher

Marcy Toms, Vancouver teacher

Gavin Hainsworth, Surrey teacher

Scott Parker, retired Burnaby teacher

Robin Folvik, Labour Heritage Centre researcher

Dan Blake, retired teacher

Al Cornes, retired teacher, Board Member of the Labour Heritage Centre

Ken Novakowski, retired teacher, Chair of the Labour Heritage Centre


  1. Provincial Labour History Curriculum Steering Committee

All members of the Labour History working group

Joey Hartman, Vancouver and District Labour Council, Pacific Northwest Labour History Association, Board Member of the Labour Heritage Centre

Mark Leier, SFU History Department

Gary Teeple, SFU Labour Studies Department

Peter Hall and Ken Bauder, Working Waterfront Project

Mervyn Van Steinburg, Board Member of the Labour Heritage Centre

Kassandra Cordero, BC Federation of Labour

Tom Morton, BC Heritage Fairs

If you are interested in becoming part of the BC Teaching Labour History Network or want to subscribe to our updates, please send us an email at