An educator who's focused on research

Lisa King,

Added 19 November 2012

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Dr Dan Clifford Carter has a long history as an educator, and is a prime example of someone with a hunger for continual learning. The retired teacher and education officer was recently honoured by the Ministry of Education for his contribution to the development of education in the island. In reliving some of the memories of his 41 years in education, Carter said: “I started in 1965 at St Giles Primary for a year and spent most of my career at Christ Church Boys’ School, where I met [Ronald] Jones. “In 1984 I became principal of St Mark’s Primary for two years before becoming the principal of St Matthias Primary.” From there, Carter moved on to the Ministry of Education in 1996 as an education officer in planning before being promoted to senior education officer three years later, a post he held until he retired in 2008. Carter’s love of education was focused more on theory than practice. His true calling was research and as such, he has become a published author. “My expertise is in the history of education. I have written scores of articles in the Barbados Union of Teachers’ [magazine Outlook] and I wrote a book on Lawrence T. Gay as well as another on the history of Society Primary School, the oldest primary school in Barbados,” he said. Carter said his research started in 1971 while at Erdiston Teachers’ Training College during a break from teaching at Christ Church Boys’. He said he was asked to write a history of education in Barbados, but it was not easy. “It was difficult to source material, so I decided to visit the library and that interest has continued until today. “It was an opportunity to develop an area which had not been done in Barbados before,” he said, adding he was still hoping to publish a book detailing the complete history of education in Barbados by next year as well as another titled Empowering The Disabled: A Brief History Of Special Education In Barbados. Despite his love for research, Carter could not deny there was a special place in his heart for his students. He said it was heart-warming to meet grown men and women who remembered him and stopped in the street to thank him for working with them. “It has been rewarding. One of the greatest pleasures is to meet former students who remember you, even when you don’t remember them. It gives a feeling of achievement and satisfaction,” he said. Carter, a husband and father of three grown children, has another love besides education – for the past ten years he has chaired the Oistins Fish Festival Committee, a role he only gave up this year. He also has some words of advice for today’s youth: It takes focus and dedication to succeed. “I would advise them to become a bit more disciplined in terms of their work and always try to work towards a goal. Your life would be more organized if you set certain goals. “Today there are so many distractions, you really have to focus on what you want to achieve,” he said.

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