Maxwell A. Cameron Memorial Award
The Maxwell A. Cameron Award is given annually by the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation to students completing the final year of the Bachelor of Education degree in elementary and secondary school teaching, in each of the seven approved teacher education programs—the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Island University, University of Northern British Columbia, University of British Columbia Okanagan, and Thompson Rivers University. The recipients of the award are those students who are considered by the dean of the Faculty of Education, and director of the division concerned (elementary or secondary) to be the outstanding student in the graduating class who has:
- initiated, worked, or participated in a project that created positive change globally or in their local community, and or
- been actively involved in issues related to poverty, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, antiracism, peace, global, or environmental issues.
The award is named after Maxwell Cameron who headed the Department of Education at UBC in the mid-1940s. Prior to that, he was on staff as an associate professor and director of UBC’s summer school.
Dr. Cameron gained prominence when, in 1945, he undertook a major study and report on educational cost for the provincial government. Appointed as a one-man commissioner, Dr. Cameron held open hearings in major centres across the province. His report called for:
- the establishment of a uniform basis for taxation and setting up a commission to equalize assessment;
- an increase in the share of the cost of education provided by the province from 32% to 55%;
- a reduction in the number of school boards from 600 to fewer than 100; and
- an increase in teaching staffs a commensurate decrease in class sizes.
The BC Teachers’ Federation, along with many other educational groups endorsed the Cameron Report, and many of its recommendations were implemented by the government of Premier Hart.
Lists of the recipients of the Maxwell A. Cameron Memorial Award in recent years may be viewed below.