My teaching career has been long and varied.

My teaching career has been long and varied.

A story from about 55 years ago relates what may have been my first complete formal teaching experience (“formal” meaning institutionally sanctioned and intentional and “complete” meaning that I planned the curriculum as well as delivering it). I taught biology labs at college, while completing a masters’ study of newts in streams of the western Sierra Nevada range in California, then taught high school in the suburbs east of Berkeley (I called them the "golden ghetto") for two years.

After that, I returned to the university as a participant in a one-year program for high school biology teachers at the University of Oregon, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. For the next several years, until the NSF stopped funding the program, I was the Assistant Director of that institute. That position, which I performed while doing research for my PhD in behavioural ecology, provided many opportunities to develop my skills as a teacher, both of students and of teachers, and to begin developing an ability to work with faculty on their skills - - what we now call “faculty development work" in academe.

At the end of my PhD program, I accepted a position in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia, where I stayed for 30 years before switching to sculpting full-time in 2004. In my last 13 years as a university professor, I helped to create, teach in, and help to direct a set of undergraduate science programs that are at the same time remarkably successful and revolutionary. I am especially proud to have contributed to all aspects of those programs, from their initial conception, planning and direction to developing, testing, and disseminating applications, and especially teaching in them.

Beginning in the third year of the first program we created, Science One, I began to accept increasing numbers of invitations to speak about the programs and the ideas on which they are based. Being awarded both a local UBC teaching award and the first of two national teaching awards in 1999 (UBC Killam and 3M Teaching Fellowships) accelerated that trend.  In 2002 I was named CASE/CCAE Canadian University Professor of the Year. That same year, I was Guelph University’s first Distinguished Visiting Teaching Professor and began giving keynote addresses at education conferences on a variety of topics including Stories about Stories about Teaching and Learning in February 2008, which is podcast here.  

Perhaps not surprisingly, my consulting work with institutions from Canada to Singapore accelerated about that time. Among other topics, I have consulted on interdisciplinary approaches to undergraduate education, teaching for creativity, development of strong learning communities, achieving strong interactive engagement among students in the classroom, and the transformation of institutions. In the last 15 years, I have given several dozen keynote addresses at conferences and other large-group talks, and have run many workshops.

I am still actively engaged in this work, especially when it facilitates by sculpting career.

This part of my website is a way for me to share some of the experience I have gained as an educator. You will find podcasts of talks and interviews I have given, published and unpublished papers I have written on educational topics, and stories I have written about my own educational experiences and other things. In one section, I provide a small selection of teaching materials like handouts that I used in various courses.

I will post new stories in all these categories as I write them.