The Canadian Vocational Association publishes occasional papers to provide a forum for a broad spectrum of vocational education issues emanating principally from Canada. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the Association. Each paper is usually intended to provide an in depth treatment of a specific topic. The occasional papers have been generated to encourage discussion on an emerging issue and to document either national or regional achievements.

Technology Education Issues in British Columbia, 2011

This paper follows from a qualitative study conducted in 2008 that sought to expose issues in Technology Education curriculum in British Columbia, Canada, as perceived and articulated by Technology Education teachers and their administrators. Although there appears to be persistent Technology Education problems, they lack consistent or province-wide agreement. This paper concludes with recommendations to the community about the purposes of the Technology Education curriculum in the greater context of education and to the Technology Education teachers about uniting toward a common front.

Biography for Professor Blane Despres from the University of British Columbia 

Dr Blane Després has taught most subjects at all levels of K-12 school, though primarily French as a Second Language (as it used to be called) including short stints in French Immersion, gifted, drafting, automotive and woodworking, and at a storefront school for a couple of years. He has been designing and building houses since 1982 and tinkering with automobiles and his Beemers. His MA (1994) was a narrative study of an alternative learning program he initiated and his PhD (2003) was on on business and education partnerships. It was during a hiatus from his data analysis to run a Master Franchise business in internet solutions that Dr Després came upon systemic thinking through Robert Flood’s (1999), Rethinking the Fifth Discipline, and became hooked. He returned to his dissertation and thus began the development of his systems thinking matrix for modelling and analysis.

Dr Després’ interests include systemic thinking, advancing it as a primary model for an analytical tool of all events (policies, organizations, happenings), educational reform, leadership, purposes of education, philosophy, architecture and alternative learning approaches (e.g. homeschooling, rites of passage).

Currently, Dr Després is Assistant Professor in Education at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus where, among other activities, he teaches up-and-coming Technology Education (vocational education) teachers.


As I remember Holland College: Views and Vignettes, 2011

It is a pleasure for me personally and professionally to provide a short introduction to this CVA Occasional Paper written by Don Glendenning. Readers will find a unique Canadian education story told by the person who lived every minute of the Holland College experiment and in the process helped shape Canada’s current colleges. In short, Holland College was an impressive and successful Canadian experiment in post secondary education that challenged by design the foundations of higher and further learning. The experiment has a seminal place in Canada’s education development.

The following recollections by Don Glendenning, the founding President, are published here, with permission, by the Canadian Vocational Association as a tribute to his visionary leadership and as an enduring record of the truly innovative work he and his team accomplished.

Don Glendenning’s Holland College will continue to be remembered and examined by educators everywhere. It is our hope that this paper will assist in these activities and encourage continuing dialogue about innovation in education.

I have included below, with Don’s permission, a professional biographical note that appeared in a paper Don wrote entitled “Up to Standard, A Framework For Setting Occupational Standards”

“Don Glendenning was born and raised in New Brunswick where he taught at the elementary, secondary and post secondary level. He is a graduate of the Miramichi Rural High School , Teacher’s College and the New Brunswick Institute of Technology (now the New Brunswick Community College) and studied at the University of London (England) on a Lord Beaverbrook Overseas Scholarship. He holds a B.Sc. and a MSc. from Bradley University and a Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Dr. Glendenning worked as a training specialist in Ottawa for a number of years with the Department of Labour, Department of Manpower and Immigration currently known as Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Prior to this he worked at elementary, secondary and post secondary levels of education.

In 1969 Dr. Glendenning moved to Prince Edward Island to become the first President of Holland College, a college of applied arts and technology. In this capacity, he played a leadership role in the founding of the College and in implementing competency based education. The College acquired an international reputation for its innovative approach.

In 1987 Dr. Glendenning retired from Holland College and still remains active in the field through consulting, speaking and writing including a regular column in the Canadian Vocation Journal. In 1986 Dr. Glendenning was awarded the Order of Canada for his innovative work in education.”

In closing, I wish Don and his family continuing good health and thank him for his guidance and friendship for over 35 years.


Title : DACUM Roots, 1995
Author : Dr Donald Glendenning
En francais Origines du DACUM, 1995

Title : The Canadian Restructured School Plan, 1993
Authors : Douglas G.Crawford and Gail C. Crawford

Title : Out of Stream And Into the River, 1992
Author : Marcia Braundy

Title : Issues in Vocational Education, 1992 
Authors : Michael Chapman, Larry Coffin, Donald Glendenning, Barb Reid, W. Savoie
En français Préocupations relatives à l’enseignement professionnel 1992

Title : The Education of Engineering Technicians and Technologists, 1991
Author : John E. Terry

Title : Training for Mastery in Secondary Vocational Education, 1990
Author : Douglas G. Crawford
En français Apprentissage par la maitrise dans l ‘enseignement professionnel au secondaire, 1990

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