Anthony Clarke (2010)

Anthony-ClarkeAffiliation at the time of the award: University of British Columbia, Curriculum and Pedagogy.

Citation: “There is a crack in everything / that’s how the light gets in.” Anthony says the simplicity of Leonard Cohen’s lines revealed to him how “learning arises in moments of curiosity, intrigue, confusion, doubt, and uncertainty. These moments are precious gifts.” Anthony was similarly inspired—and taught—by overhearing a plain-spoken teaching and learning conversation between a builder and his young apprentice.

Taking these epiphanies to heart, as a student says, “Tony practices what he preaches,” believing inquiry and reflection are the defining features of professional practice. Anthony is a prominent and inspiring researcher and mentor locally, nationally, and internationally, and he can list literally scores of publications on pedagogy in higher education. An elementary school teacher has watched “the ripple effect of Tony’s work” throughout an entire school district. Awards like UBC’s Killam Teaching Prize attest to his excellence, but one of his students insists, “Excellence in teaching is someone who empowers students for successes that surpass self-perceptions of what is achievable.”

And Tony is modest. Deferring to students, colleagues, and mentors, Anthony’s file closes with these words: “This is their story as much as mine.” But, again, a student says it best: “Not only a great teacher, but a great person.”