2013 Medal Winners | francais

The 2013 CAP Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CEGEP Physics (Ontario)

is awarded to

Dave Doucette

"I am honored to receive the CAP teaching award. Ironically, I was conscripted into physics teaching from other (chemistry) roots. Generous support from physics colleagues ignited an intense passion for learning and teaching this fundamental science. To have this passion so recognized by the Canadian Association of Physicists is humbling. Physics is a treasure I happily share." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2013 CAP Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CEGEP Physics (Ontario) is awarded to Dave Doucette, Richmond Hill High School, in recognition of for his tireless promotion of Physics Education Research, whose efforts have transformed the practices of teachers across Ontario. Dave is not just a great physics teacher - he is a great teacher of physics teachers. He has given hundreds of workshops and he has provided countless hours of individual mentoring. He has led the resurgence of the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers - doubling conference numbers and developing a summer camp for teachers. His enthusiasm is inspirational, his knowledge profound and his generosity greatly appreciated. announcement

Dave Doucette is a pioneer and visionary in Ontario physics and science education.

In 1994 Dave founded the Ontario Science Olympiad with a treble vision: raise the profile of science in Ontario, encourage hands-on, minds-on participation by students, and provide universities an avenue to promote careers in science. Dave incorporated Physics Education Research (PER) in the Olympiad even then, ensuring that the emphasis was placed on critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and inductive and deductive reasoning. By 1998 the OSO was hosting 60 elementary and high school teams in 44 events involving 900 students.

Dave recognized two decades ago that traditional methods of physics teaching were, in his words “not working”. He became the earliest adopter in Ontario of the reformed methods of physics teaching recommended by PER and has been their tireless champion. Insisting that teachers should learn in the manner in which they are expected to teach, Dave has employed PER strategies in more than 150 workshops on physics teaching. At the 2013 OAPT Conference, where the conference theme is “Physics Education Research in Action,” Dave is a keynote speaker, being the recognized Ontario expert in PER.

Dave was inspirational in his two terms as president of the OAPT in 2009-’10 and 2010-’11. He grew annual OAPT conference fivefold in number of sessions and more than doubled its number of delegates. Dave pioneered outreach at OAPT, adding sessions for elementary teachers at the conference. He established partnerships with the Professional Engineers of Ontario and the University of Toronto and more than doubled the capital assets of the corporation.

In the words of a recent CAP medal winner, “If we polled our [OAPT] members for nominations and votes – à la Oscars – he [Dave] would get best director, script writer, lead actor and supporting actor and lots more! nominator citation

- 30 -