David Topper (1987)

topperAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Winnipeg, History.

Citation: Dr. Topper teaches both the History of Science and the History of Art and has been active in the professional development activities directed at the improvement of teaching. In the History of Science course, he communicates a sophisticated understanding of natural science to an audience that is largely science phobic and as a result, he joined a team organized by the Dean’s Office to analyze patterns of math and science phobia and developing curricular responses to identified problems. Along with his departmental colleagues Dr. Topper developed the History of Art program and his dedication to pedagogy is also reflected in his writing for such publications as The Physics Teacher and the Canadian Review of Art Education Research.

“His student ratings in this required course are amongst the very highest of any in the university.”
He teaches several courses that don’t clearly fall within any one discipline. “Much of what I teach I had to learn on my own. My reflections on how I learn are useful to my students.”
David on lecturing: “Often a lecture requires a kind of performance. Large classrooms are not called `theatres’ by accident.”

Teaching Related:
In the fall of 1987, the year I became a 3M Fellow, I organized an ad-hoc committee made-up of former Robson Award Winners (see below) at the university and we met on a regular basis to discuss teaching and related matters. We produced two Reports over several years, making a series of recommendations to the Administration, many of which have been put in place (such as the creation of an orientation session and Classroom Manual for new faculty). Previous Award

I was awarded the Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Winnipeg in 1981.