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Fonds F0120 - Merron Chorny fonds.

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Merron Chorny fonds.


  • [194-] - 1995 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1.92 m of textual records. -- photographs. -- sound recordings

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Merron Chorny was born in Ranfurly, Alberta on August 31st, 1922. He graduated from the Edmonton Normal School in 1942 but interrupted his undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving as a Flying Officer from 1943-1945. He later returned and received his Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta in 1947 and his Master of Education in 1949. Chorny was the principal of Grimshaw School from 1949-1958. He was accepted as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Alberta in 1958 on a program leading to his doctorate. In 1960 Chorny accepted a position at the University of Alberta, Calgary as an assistant professor in English Education.

Chorny played a leadership role in a number of teaching and education organizations and was responsible for several pioneering initiatives in improving instruction and the delivery of English programs. Chorny served on the Alberta Department of Education Junior High School Curriculum Committee and on the sub-committee for the marking of Grade 9 exams. He was publications editor of the English Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) and was on the committee to study teaching loads. In 1964 he organized and was chair of the English Commandos, a group that worked within the structure of the English Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. The Commandos were teams of knowledgeable resource persons who offered one-day workshops in some area of teaching English, such as reading, composition, or poetry. The workshops provided an in-service approach to assisting teachers, and could take on the role of consultants for projects and other activities. As Vice-President of the English Council, Chorny was also invited to attend the International Conference on the Teaching of English held at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire in 1966. Chorny became President of the English Council in 1967.

In 1966, Chorny chaired a conference that discussed the formation of a Canadian Council of Teachers of English (CCTE). Chorny was active in the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), which had a North American agenda but was focussed primarily on education in the United States. Chorny believed that an organization focussed on Canadian English concerns and issues would be advantageous. The CCTE became a reality in 1967 with Chorny as the President of the Council.

Chorny wrote the Just English series of English textbooks; he also wrote Teacher as Learner, and Teacher as Researcher to encourage the further education of teachers of English. Chorny was also a firm believer in writing as an expression of self. He wrote many creative and fictional articles, several of which were later published, including the short story Obitiuary. He also wrote several pieces and had drafted the outlines of chapters for a larger work on the history and people of the Ranfurly area where he grew up.

Chorny retired from the University of Calgary in 1985 and was granted Professor Emeritus status.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records created or collected by Dr. Chorny over the course of his life and his career. The records reflect his education from grade school to his Doctorate and include photographs, registration papers, graded assignments, his Masters thesis and his dissertation. The records also include correspondence and teaching materials from his career as a high school teacher and principal, and also reflect his creative writing with articles and the drafts of a novel he wrote. Chorny was active both provincially and nationally with teaching associations and the records reflect his close ties with the English Council of the Alberta Teachers Association and his creation of the Canadian Council of Teachers of English. Records include correspondence, photographs, newsclippings, and newsletters.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The fonds is arranged into six series: (1) Education; (2) High School Teaching Activities; (3) Creating Writing and Scholarly Publications; (4) Professional Activities and Affiliations; (5) Personal Records and; (6) Ephemera.

Only a small portion of the records were found in file folders. The majority of the records were found loose in the boxes and were not organized into any discernible order. Order has been imposed by the arranging archivist in chronological sequence. Where file titles were not apparent, these have been created according to the content of the records. The scrapbooks have been dissembled for preservation purposes. The contents of the scrapbooks remain the order they were found in.

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Conditions governing access

E-mail addresses and personal information of third parties is restricted.

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Related units of description

See also the Alberta Teachers Association fonds at the Provincial Archives of Alberta (PR1219).

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Notes area


Records are dusty and some have been damp.

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