Passionate about the outdoors and travelling, Appleby College’s director, global experiential academic programmes and geography teacher Dave Richardson brings his sense of adventure to the classroom!
Currently in his 13th year of teaching at Appleby, Dave originally studied International Relations for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees before joining Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs – Southeast Asia division, as a desk officer responsible for the Philippines and ASEAN – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
While an incredibly interesting assignment, Dave soon learned that sitting behind a desk was not for him and decided that teaching was a role better suited – where he could share his experiences of having travelled around the globe and encourage others to step beyond their comfort zone.
“I’ve spent a lot of time seeing and trying to understand as much of the world as possible,” shared Dave. “And I love to share those experiences in the classroom while exposing students to different ideas and perspectives.”
Soon after graduating from Teachers’ College, Dave joined Appleby’s Social Science department (and today currently teaches World Issues and Canadian Geography). During his first year at the school, Dave participated in an international service trip to Mongolia. While he had travelled to the region during his time with the Department of Foreign Affairs, returning to the country and focusing on the cultural component was an amazing experience. Dave returned to Appleby wanting to be involved with the global education curriculum component.
“I was incredibly fortunate as it was during this time that Appleby’s global education programme was really expanding and I was able to join the department,” shared Dave. “I’ve spent a lot of time seeing and trying to understand as much of the world as possible, and I love to share those experiences in the classroom while exposing students to different ideas and perspectives.”
As director, global experiential academic programmes, Dave organizes the co-op component of the Appleby College Diploma with Distinction in Global Leadership as well as the various experiential education trips. He also plays a role in selecting appropriate collaborations between Appleby and third-party organizations that share the same philosophy on student learning outcomes, in addition to overseeing the risk management component.
Today, as travel restrictions remain in effect due to COVID-19, Dave is focused on exploring more virtual-based experiential programming and will be working with faculty to creatively consider alternative ways to meet experiential learning goals for their respective courses and progammes.
Back in the classroom, Dave helps his students prepare for new challenges and step outside of their comfort zones. By sharing what he’s learned on his own journey – whether it be traversing Thailand or ascending a number of peaks in Denali National Park, he’s able to enrich his students’ learning experience and encourages them to look at the world through a different lens.
This approach inspired interesting and impactful discussions during the Spring Term’s remote learning World Issues class during which Dave and his students were experiencing uncharted territory together. “It served as a great launching pad to have students share their varied experiences of what their lives were like in their respective countries – from here in Canada to Germany and Hong Kong,” said Dave.