The Man and His Message
The Marshall McLuhan Center on Global Communications
The Founder: Mary McLuhan
The Global Village
Index to all Pages


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    "The Trouble with cheap, specialized education is that you
    never stop paying for it."

    Marshall McLuhan

    The Awards Program

    The inspiration for the "Marshall McLuhan Distinguished Teacher Awards" program came from broadcasting legend and advisory board member Walter Cronkite, and was developed by former U.S. Secretary of Education and Advisory Board member The Honourable Shirley M. Hufstedler and implemented by Mary McLuhan. The emphasis of the program was to honour, with recognition and cash awards, those educators who best demonstrated innovative applications of communications' methodologies in their teaching-learning environment, and who contributed to human communication in the class room.

    To Date 475 Teachers Have Received The Award


    In 1984 Mary McLuhan launched the first awards event in in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Teachers who had developed unique and creative computer applications in the classroom were honoured.

    The event proved so successful, that it was introduced in 1985 in San Diego and repeated again in in 1986 in Los Angeles.

    Civic and state leaders were quick to add their support to the McLuhan Awards:

    "Our Teachers need all the inspiration, recognition and appreciation that we can give them. The Marshall McLuhan Distinguished Teacher Awards has helped towards that end and I hope that you will continue your fine work."

    (Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley in a letter to Center Founder Mary McLuhan dated March 24 1986)


    1987 marked the Canadian debut of the Marshall McLuhan Center on Global Communications with the introduction to the Distinguished teacher Awards Program. Fifteen outstanding educators were honoured from the Province of Ontario. In 1988 the Ontario Teacher Awards were repeated and the Province of British Columbia was included, where ten distinguished teachers were chosen to receive McLuhan Awards.

    "The Ripple Effect" excerpt taken from letters written by awards recipients and Government members reflect the importance of the Distinguished Teacher Awards

    With the endorsement of The Council of Ministers of Education in Canada (comprised of the Ministers of Education for all ten provinces and two territories) it was decided to extend coverage of the program to all parts of Canada. The Canada-Wide awards was a culmination of a two tiered program. In total 56 teachers were chosen by selection committees made up of respected educators and community representatives.

    "If you play it safe in life, you've decided that you don't want to grow anymore."

    Shirley M. Hufstedler

    The Teachers 1984 - 1989
    The Teachers 1990 - 1994
    The Ripple Effect
    Inaugural Address by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
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    Last updated December 2008