Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy

The Teachers Institute is a unique professional development opportunity that is open to teachers of social studies and related subjects, including political science, history, law, civics, or native studies, currently teaching from Kindergarten to Grade 12 (Primary cycle 1 to Secondary cycle 2 and CEGEP in Quebec). Each November, the program brings approximately 70 teachers from across the country together for an intensive, informative, unforgettable week on Parliament Hill.

Churchill Society Bursaries

We are a proud partner of the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. The Churchill Society sponsors two annual bursaries worth $500 for Canadian educators to attend the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy.

Application Instructions

If you have been accepted into the Teachers Institute, you can apply for a Churchill Society Bursary by mailing or e-mailing the following information.
Title (if applicable)
School or educational institution
School address & phone number
Home address
Work or home e-mail
A short explanation as to why you are in financial need and the steps you have / are taking to secure financial assistance.
Send the above information in confidence by mail to:
Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy
Library of Parliament
Parliament of Canada
100 Sparks, Suite 300
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A9
or by e-mail to education@parl.gc.ca
IMPORTANT! We are only accepting applications from educators who have been accepted to the Teachers Institute.

Teachers seeking information on the program or an application form are asked to visit the Teachers Institute section of the Parliamentary Internet site www.parl.gc.ca/teachers
The site contains a description of the program, photos and comments from previous participants, as well as an online brochure and application form. The Parliament of Canada has developed new educational resources for teachers of elementary and secondary school students.
You can also obtain these documents in print by calling the Library of Parliament’s Information Service at (613) 992-4793 in the national capital region or toll free at 1-866-599-4999.

“On behalf of the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy, I would like to thank the Churchill Society for the bursary donation this year. As you may be aware, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for teachers to find the funds for professional development, and every bit of assistance is appreciated. We are pleased to attach a photograph of the recipients… We look forward to our continued association with the Churchill Society.”
Diane Brayman
Former Manager, Education Outreach
Parliamentary Public Programs
Library of Parliament

Teacher invited to ‘insider’s view’ of Canada’s Parliament
Corinne Fitzherbert | The Victoria Star
The intricacies of Canadian government will be revealed to teacher Susan Harrison this week as she becomes a student of the parliamentary system. Harrison, an elementary teacher at Donald Fraser Memorial School in Plaster Rock, is in Ottawa from Feb. 8-14 for a Teachers’ Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. (Read full article)

Teachers Institute: A Teacher’s Perspective
By Leo Sheehy | Caledonia Regional High School, New Brunswick
2002 Churchill Society Bursary Recipient
Just imagine. You are in Ottawa for a dream week getting an insiders look at our system, structures and personalities of democracy. You have just finished a long but stimulating day in the company of some of the country’s top educators. You have met in the Hall of Honours with some famous people who, a week ago, were only names in the news, but now have personalities that bring up pleasant memories and interesting ideas. You step out into the shadow of the Peace Tower on a crisp cold November evening. Already you feel a part of this special place and cannot help but feel the history. You wonder about the people who have preceded you in these very steps that you are now taking. Something has changed – you now feel a part of it all. Just imagine.
Until I had the great privilege of attending the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy, a scenario like the above would simply have been imagination. As it was, however, I lived out the very scene at the mid-way point of this year’s Institute. Sure, I had walked that same path before but this time was different. Now, because of the people I had met and talked to and because of being given “insiders treatment” there was a magic that could not be denied. It is these intangible moments (and there were many in a week of highlights) that have proven to be the most valuable to me when teaching students about Canada’s Parliamentary Democracy.
The volumes of information gained through the week were, of course, of great value too. However, much of this information could have been weaned from reading books and watching videos. In good teaching it is often valuable to break away from formal information transfer and be able to draw on personal experiences. The week in Ottawa has given me a wealth of opportunities to do this. I sat and talked with senators, was treated to lunch by my MP, met with famous and accomplished people, shared a meal with the House Speaker, spoke in the House of Commons, shared a significant vote in the House with people who understood its importance and toured Rideau Hall, the Supreme Court and all parts of the “Hill”. The value of bringing these personal touches into the classroom cannot be overstated!
Perhaps the most informative session for me came inside the House of Commons. The Speaker of the House gave a very informative talk, regaled us with stories from debates and generally entertained and educated us for over an hour. It was during this time that I was able to cement together my previous pockets of knowledge about the process of passing legislation and the workings of the House. The opportunity to ask questions allowed participants to clear up any gray areas. After this session I feel much more prepared to not only tell my students about the workings of the House of Commons but the actual (often unstated) reasons why and how things are done.
There are many memories of the week in Ottawa. One of the highlights I have outlined in the scenario above. Another occurred on the last night of the conference. An awards banquet took place in the Parliamentary Restaurant. I was fortunate to be chosen to sit with the Honourable Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons. During the meal we talked about the portrait in his office. It may seem overly convenient, given the audience for this memoir, to say that seeing the Winston Churchill portrait was high on my list of priorities. Yet, I can honestly say that it was. Speaker Milliken was kind enough to take me to his office and show “Mr. Churchill” to me. It was truly a highlight and one I will remember on a personal level forever.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the members of the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy for the contribution that you made to my enjoyable and valuable week. Rest assured that your continued support is not only appreciated but that your efforts are going into a programme that is making a difference in the classrooms of Canada.
Leo Sheehy is a teacher at Caledonia Regional High School in Albert Mines, New Brunswick. He was an inaugural recipient of the Churchill Society Bursary in 2002.

Teachers Institute experience

I feel so privileged to have been a part of it. I will never forget what I saw, heard, learned and felt. It was an experience that has touched me personally and benefited me professionally.
Derek Carter, Nova Scotia

Programs of this nature offer an outstanding opportunity to witness the processes first-hand, but also to gain so much perspective and understanding of fellow Canadians. I feel so privileged to have had this opportunity, and will make great use of the gift of knowledge and understanding I have received.
Kathleen Galloway, Alberta

The week that I spent on Parliament Hill has opened my eyes to the workings of government, put a charge into my teaching, and most importantly has reversed my naïve and cynical view that I had held concerning the workings of government.
Brian Grandy, Ontario

I am returning home a different person, let alone a different teacher. This experience is empowering, enlightening, humbling and inspiring. I have unlimited respect and gratitude for the Library of Parliament.
Ian Kennedy, Alberta

This is a one of a kind experience. It is the best professional development that I have participated in as a teacher. I have learned so much this week about Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. I can’t wait to go back to my classroom and engage and hopefully inspire my students with a passion for democracy and government. This week I am truly proud to be Canadian!
Elaine Strydhorst, Alberta