Q&A with University of Victoria Professor Dr. David Blades
Dr. David Blades, Professor of Science Education/Curriculum Studies
Describe what you do at work.
I teach new teachers how to be a teacher! In this role, I educate the next generation of STEM teachers. I also examine trends and issues in science education and the curriculum of these trends, including STEM. I tend to be a critic of STEM and challenge the assumptions of this acronym. I also study the role of aesthetics in helping new teachers understand the nature of science.
How does your job affect people’s lives?
I hope to inspire new teachers to be GREAT teachers – the children in our schools deserve the best! A very fulfilling experience was having my grandchildren being taught by new teachers than had been in my classes.
What motivates you in your career?
Understanding the broader picture of curriculum trends and then helping governments see the “big picture.” I also love creating new courses, lessons and curriculum with agencies. I am most motivated by the changes in my students as they realize a greater view of their role as science educators and scholars.
Describe your career path to this career.
To become a university professor is a LONG road. I was a high school teacher for 10 years, completing a Masters degree in curriculum during that time. Then I spent four years completing a doctorate (with little income except for scholarships). My first academic position was at the University of Saskatchewan, then the University of Alberta as an Associate Professor, and now at the University of Victoria as a full professor. I never, ever dreamed any of this would transpire while in high school.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I’m a semi-professional guitar player and enjoy boating and woodwork. I also volunteer for the Jewish Federation of Victoria – this year serving as President. I bike regularly.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
Follow your passion and don’t worry about the income!
I was born/grew up in: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
I now live in: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada