2014- 2017 Saint Mary’s University Community Liaison
2013- 2014 Special Events and Promotions Director- Day’s Inn, Bridgewater, NS
2010- 2012 Special Events and Promotions Coordinator- O’Regan’s Automotive South Shore
2002- 2009 Part-time Professor- Department of History, Saint Mary’s University
1996 – 2002 Part-time Professor- Junior / Senior High Social Studies Methods. Faculty of Education, Mount Saint Vincent University
1999 – 2000, co-offered the MEd course “Special Topics in Social Studies” with three other retired high school teachers and education leaders.
1998 Co-founder of the Nova Scotia International Student- Program for junior and senior high schools
1978 – 1992 and Department Head, Social Studies
1993 – 1998 Park View Education Centre- Bridgewater, N.S.
I also provided leadership in many extra-curricular activities (coaching basketball, Model United Nations, Awards Committee, etc.) and taught International Baccalaureate History and Sociology.
1992-93 Head of History, United World College of the Adriatic- Duino, Italy
Responsibilities included teaching International Baccalaureate (IB) History and Theory of Knowledge, directing the sailing program, coaching basketball, and acting as the Model United Nations staff advisor.
1972-78 Principal, Chester Municipal High School (Grades 7-12)- Chester, N.S.
1968-78 History Teacher (grades 10-12)- Chester Municipal High School
Additional Professional Activities and Achievements:
2011- 2015 Examinations Inspector for IB Organization
2007- 2020 Student advisor and founder of Atlantic Coast Conference for the International Baccalaureate (ACCIB), an annual IB student
conference posing the question: “Why IB?”
2005 – 2007 Global Classroom Initiative — “Voices of Youth.”
Lead researcher and the author for the Nova Scotia portion of the CIDA operative to update high school students’ curricula offerings. The project involved creative writing and research in partnership with Red Cross, Crossroads Canada, Coady Institute and ACIC
2002-2010 Co-Chair and Founder of the Park View IB Society
This organization has been created to help with the promotion, revitalization, and enhancement of the IB program at Park View Education Centre. It is also mandated to encourage academic enrichment for all students throughout the district.
2003- 2007 Creator of Park View IB Society’s first annual Knowledge Festival, a student-teacher parent celebration of knowledge
The Knowledge Festival continued as an annual event until April 2015 with 1,000
student participants and 5,000 attendees each year.
2003- 2006 Workshop leader for International Baccalaureate History teacher-training sessions in Danver, MA, Ottawa, and Savannah, GA
2002 Writer and Committee member of CIDA project “The Spirit of Democracy” where UNB professors, Ph.D. candidates, and Masters students prepared a course of studies on the tenets of living in a democracy for teachers and elementary students in Russia
2000-2003 Member of the MSVU team working with teachers and curriculum developers purposed to redefine Social Studies in Trinidad and Tobago
1996-1998 Director of the International Student Program of the Southwest Regional School Board The Nova Scotia Department of Education and the Southwest Regional School Board jointly sponsored this pilot programme. This appointment included participation at Educational Fairs in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur, where pertinent on-going educational relationships were established.
1995-1996 Workshop leader for an Asia Pacific Foundation’s conference in Halifax, developing a relationship between the APF and the Nova
Scotian public school program
1989-1993 Co-author and team leader of the Nova Scotia Grade 12 Global History textbook, Viewpoints, published by Prentice-Hall
1991 Selected by the Canadian Teachers Federation as the teacher from N.S. to attend a NATO tour in Europe
Appointed chair of the Global History Task Force in NS
Professional Awards and Contributions:
2012 Certificate of Outstanding Contribution awarded by the NS Department of Education for enhancing the IB and creating the
2010 Certificate of Outstanding Achievement awarded by NS Department of Education for initiating the IB Programme at Park
View Education Centre
2001 Selected as Research Fellow by UNB Education Dept. for Ph.D. work in International Education
1996 One of sixty Canadian teachers presented with a national merit award by the Speaker of the House of Commons as part of the first
Teacher’s Institute for Parliamentary Democracy.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching, for me, is always a collaborative enterprise. Every class or teaching experience involves a give and take activity. When done well, a student can add knowledge, add perspective, and gain confidence in expressing ideas orally and in writing. Each learning opportunity is an I do/ he/she does the event. In this sense, the curriculum provides the general topic to be considered, and the task of the teacher is to work with the student for a greater understanding of what has taken place. Both student and teacher have read the background of the topic under review, and the need to dig deeper is at stake. The teacher’s prior and ongoing knowledge may lead the discussion and pose the integral questions, and it is the student’s role to question. A student’s question may be knowledge-based to begin but this will progress with the hope that the student will ask the why questions and the who and all of the questions leading to analysis and more. It is a process.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session would begin by discussing where the student is pertinent to the general subject area. If this happened to be a discussion on history’s nature, I would like to know if the study is one the student enjoys or is it an obligatory task. I would also like to know what the student expects from the study we are about to commence. Will this be a study leading to a satisfactory result, a quality result, or an exemplary result? With a positive motivation, all outcomes are possible.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The key factor in achieving independence in learning comes with confidence. The teacher’s task is to promote this by encouraging the student first to comprehend the central facts of the events under study, then begin to ask questions leading to a depth and breadth of knowledge on the topic. A student might advance a “why that happened when it did and where it did.” question and then work to find an answer. Once a student has realized that he/ she has a reasoned perspective, a point of view, or some detail to offer on a given topic, a point of success will have been reached. A confident student will demonstrate awareness and advance to the point of comfort.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation comes with a student understanding the relevance of an issue. If he/ she can find why studying an event or situation is of some use or importance, then the task of developing self-motivation becomes a bit easier. The teacher’s responsibility is to find or develop methods that will engage the student in the topic under review.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
The key here is to find like situations in other fields of interest. What can we compare this skill or concept to where we might lead to enlightenment? If a student can see that a situation in y can find application with z understanding may become possible. “If that’s what they did to overcome the obstacle, then maybe a parallel move could be done here.” Perhaps the need to find a practical application could be found that would demonstrate the importance of learning the skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
This is a difficult question for a student of History or ToK. Reading is the essential skill that leads to a significant knowledge base, and it is from that point that further understanding is developed. If the concern is a motivational issue, this can be overcome, but a reading specialist is required if the condition is more complex. Attempting an IB History or ToK study without an advanced ability to read and comprehend will lead to a very frustrating end for all parties.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The key is to start at the beginning. The teacher must initiate a discussion with the student on the matter of personal goals. Why does the student want to have a tutorial session in History or ToK? Is this an intrinsic search, an aspiration to do better, an imposed condition, or other? The teacher needs to determine what student expectations exist. Is it the case that the tutorial sessions are needed to promote moderate academic achievement, an improved condition, or access to excellence? Once the groundwork has been established, then the task ahead becomes more comfortable for the student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling with?
This is the key to education! And the key is found by matching the areas of interest the student already has with the content of the History or ToK topic under consideration. If a student is bored to tears with Political History and lives a life engaged in, say, technology, then the teacher’s task is to promote the particular study in light of the technological achievements and developments of that era. And this can be done with virtually any interest. Understanding and engagement can flourish by studying women’s role in the era, using Art or Music, or Literature or War as the vehicle. Since the study all ends up in a similar place, it needs no matter the student’s emphasis on comprehending an era. If the IB exam worries the student patent, then there is no need to worry as all examinations provide questions where the study of virtually any facet of a historical period can be used to respond to an exam question.
|Theory of Knowledge (TOK)||