University of Calgary

David Scott

  • Associate Professor

Currently Teaching


Dr. Scott grew up in Williams Lake in the interior of British Columbia. Completing his Bachelor of Arts in history and political science at the University of Victoria in 1997, David gained his teacher certification at Simon Fraser University in 2001. After teaching English for a year in Japan and high school English and social studies for three years in his hometown, David completed a Master’s of Education at the University of Alberta in 2009. David then relocated to Calgary where he taught Humanities 8 and 9 at Connect Charter School for four years. In 2012 David was awared the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship totalling $105,000. He went on to complete his doctoral dissertation within the Werklund School of Education in the Spring of 2016. He is now an Associate Professor in the Werklund School of Education in the area of curriculum and learning. 

Research & Scholarly Activity

Dr. Scott’s (PI) research has focussed on how educators interpret and pedagogically respond to new policy and curricular mandates particularly within the area of social studies and history education. This work included a $105,000 Bombardier SSHRC funded doctoral study (2012-2015) examining how non-Indigenous educators are negotiating recent curricular directives in Alberta to engage Indigenous perspectives and historical experiences (Scott, 2013; Scott & Gani, 2018; Shergill & Scott, 2020). This research program has also involved analyzing how mandates to engage students in inquiry-based learning are conceptualized in the popular media and could be more productively understood and enacted (Scott et al., 2018; Scott, 2018; Scott & Bailey, 2020). Dr. Scott is currently a co-applicant on a $2,500,000 SSHRC Partnership Grant led by Dr. Carla Peck entitled Thinking Historically for Canada's Future. As part of this work, he is involved in systematic review of the international research literature examining the links between history education and citizenship formation in teacher education programs across the world.  

Taken as a whole, this research program has highlighted the challenges of initiating systemic curricular and pedagogical change exclusively from the top down. Accordingly, his scholarship is now focused on how insights from design fields and curriculum studies offer ways to engage with stakeholders to transform educational practices from the bottom up. Along these lines, through a $50,000 grant from Alberta Education, Dr. Scott has worked with First Nation’s community members to examine how the educational experience of Indigenous students can be improved in northern, rural contexts (Scott & Louie, 2020). He is currently involved in research with Dr. Douglas Clark seeking to help educators move beyond technical rational approaches to conceptualizing and addressing challenges and issues in education related to equity, inclusion, and diversity, towards, what design fields term, more designerly stances to inquiry.



Doctor of Philosophy
University of Calgary (Werklund School of Education)

Master of Education
University of Alberta (Department of Secondary Education)

Post Degree Teacher Certification Program
Simon Fraser University

Bachelor of Arts
University of Victoria

Permanent Professional Teaching Certificate
Alberta and British Columbia

Professional & Community Affiliations

Program Chair 2017-2020 Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies Associate Editor 2012–2020 Canadian Social Studies Scholarship Reviewer 2019-2020 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada graduate scholarships Mitacs research awards Editor 2015-2018 Alberta Teachers’ Association Social Studies Council Newsletter


Selected Publications 

Scott, D. & Lock, J. (Eds.). (2021). Teacher as designer: Design thinking for educational change. Springer.

Shergill, S., & Scott, D. (2020). Teaching for reconciliation through the lens of ethical relationality: All my relations inquiry. In S. Steinberg (Eds.), SAGE Handbook of Critical Pedagogies (pp. 587-603). Sage Publications.

Scott, D., & Louie, D. (2020). Reconsidering rural education in light of Canada’s Indigenous reality. In M. Corbett & D. Gereluk (Eds.), Rural Education in Canada: Connecting Land and People (pp. 113-133). Springer.

Scott, D., Kawalilak, C., Dressler, R., & de Paiva, W. (2019). Investigating educational responses to diversity in Brazil during a time of curriculum change. Comparative Education Review, 63(3), 377-397.

Scott, D. & Gani, R. (2018). Examining social studies teachers’ resistances towards teaching Indigenous perspectives: A case study of Alberta. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. 13(1), 167-181.

Scott, D., Smith, C., Chu, M., & Friesen, S. (2018). Examining the efficacy of inquiry-based approaches to education. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 64(1), 35-54.

Gani, R., & Scott, D. (2017). Social studies teachers’ resistance to teaching Francophone perspectives in Alberta. International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research, 15(1), 34-48.

Louie, D. W., & Scott, D. (2016). Examining differing notions of a “real” education within Aboriginal communities. Critical Education, 7(3), 1-18.

Gereluk, D., & Scott, D. (2014). Citizenship education and the construction of identity in Canada. In J. E. Petrovic & A. M. Kuntz (Eds.), Citizenship education around the world: Local contexts and global possibilities (pp. 128–149). Routledge University Press.

Scott, D. (2013). A place for a more critical form of historical inquiry in social studies classrooms. Antistasis, 3(1), 15–18.

Scott, D. (2013). Teaching Aboriginal perspectives: An investigation into teacher practice amidst curriculum change. Canadian Social Studies, 46(1), 31–43.

Scott, D., & Abbott, L. (2012). Trying to make the mission statements of social studies curriculum inhabit my social studies pedagogy and vice versa. One World in Dialogue Journal, 2(1), 8–18.

Media Work

CBC Radio (2020, October 22). Proposed curriculum changes in Alberta. Alberta at noon with Judy Aldous.

Scott, D. (2018, June 18). Why your child will benefit from inquiry-based learning. The Conversation.

Lequitte, H. (2018, June 14). Ou l’introduction d’une nouvelle donne les curriculums? Le Franco.

PUC Noticias. (2016). Fruto de parceria, simpósio debate educação e diversidade.

Universidade Federal do Goiás. (2016). Simpósio discute inclusão e diversidade na educação.

Partner Research Schools (WSE). (2016). Towards a new approach for teaching 'other' perspectives: Examining the teaching of Francophone perspectives in Alberta.

Research @Werklund. (2017). Teaching “Other” perspectives.

University of Calgary (2015, July 8). PhD student finds connections across classrooms in Canada and Brazil. UToday

The History Education Network/Histoire et Éducation en Réseau. (2013, May 5). Visiting doctoral program report.


Werklund Teaching Excellence Award 2018

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship–Doctoral Award 2012-2015

Government of Alberta Award for the Study of Canadian Human Rights & Multiculturalism 2008

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