Jill Colyer

Jill Colyer

Former National Coordinator, 
​The Historical Thinking Project

Jill coordinated the work of The Historical Thinking Project across the country from 2009 to 2014. In this role, Jill drove the adoption of the historical thinking framework into provincial curricula across the country and the inclusion of the historical thinking concepts into numerous student and teacher resources. In conjunction with Director Peter Seixas, Jill shaped the daily operations of the Project, and developed the Project’s short, medium, and long-range goals. Jill also built collaborative networks with educators and administrators to scale-up the work of The Historical Thinking Project. Jill gave workshops across the country to teachers from grades K-12, and delivered keynotes and presentations to a variety of audiences. She also drafted funding proposals and wrote financial reports to grant providers. Jill also organized and participated in all large-scale public events, including The Historical Thinking Project’s Annual Meetings and Conferences, and Summer Institutes for educators.

Before joining The Historical Thinking Project Jill had been a teacher and department head in the secondary panel in Waterloo Region in southwestern Ontario for 15 years, and had worked as an instructor in the Continuing Education department at the Ontario Institute for Studies ion Education at the University of Toronto. Also an experienced author, it was when conducting research for the Canadian history text Creating Canada (McGraw-Hill Ryerson) that Jill came across Peter’s work with the historical thinking concepts and became an advocate for teaching history through the lens of the concepts. She joined the Project in 2009 when the position of national coordinator was created.

Jill has co-authored numerous student resources, teaching guides, and assessment tools. She recently acted as series consultant for the development of an innovative digital and print resource entitled Canadian Investigations: Civics and Citizenship (Oxford University Press) for students and teachers of Civics courses across the country. In 2014, her 10th book, IQ: A Practical Guide to Inquiry-Based Learning was published by Oxford University Press.

Jill has also been a writer and editor for the CBC since 1996. As a writer for the CBC educational and current affairs program News in Review, she has covered stories ranging from the economic crisis in Zimbabwe to gang wars in British Columbia. She has also contributed to the CBC video series Love, Hate & Propaganda, David Suzuki’s Geologic Journey, the Newfoundland geography program Land and Sea, and the feature film John A: Birth of a Nation.

Jill is currently working in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Education. She is involved in the implementation and training of the revised Social Studies, History, and Geography curriculum, as well as the Canadian & World Studies curriculum. She is also working on initiatives aimed at reducing the education gap between First Nation, Métis and Inuit students and other students, as well as helping educators to perfect their instructional and assessment practices. She also facilitates a professional learning module on Inquiry-Based Learning at York University and acts as an advisor for Teach for Canada.