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Editorial:Education worth celebrating

Oak Bay professor instills love of science with relevant, experiential learning

Great teachers are something special.

They challenge their students to think about a subject in a new way, to question assumptions and to see the world in a different light.

Even more important, they inspire those same students to share those pursuits and passions with others, changing the world one idea at a time.

Oak Bay’s Dr. David Blades, professor of science education and curriculum theory at the University of Victoria, strives to change the way science is taught in schools. His goal is to nurture a more scientifically literate generation inspired by the teachers he personally trains.

No dry lectures here, key to Blades’ approach is experiential learning, and making the subject matter relevant to their lives.

The Oak Bay father, grandfather, teacher and UVic graduate has earned numerous accolades over the years for his work at three different universities. This month, in recognition of his exceptional teaching and education leadership, Blades was named a 2016 3M National Teaching Fellowship. Just 10 were awarded across Canada.

Among the many rewards he’s received is discovering his grandson is inspired to learn about science daily in his elementary school classroom ... from a teacher Blades himself helped train.

“My love and passion is the next generation of science teachers. My whole course isn’t me talking about it, it’s about them doing it,” he says. “Every single person in society needs to understand what science is, what it can and can’t do for us and how it can help us engage in topics that are relevant to our daily lives,” he says.

Education that is relevant and interesting.

Now that’s something worth celebrating.