This week sees the start of the school year for most teachers and students across Australia. To keep us company as we go into that journey is Dr. Narelle Lemon who’ll be hosting the EdutweetOz account. Dr. Lemon has a wealth of experience as an arts teacher, a primary teacher, a researcher and a teacher educator.
Here are her answers to our guest questionnaire.
Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?
I’m a trained K-12 arts teacher, originally with a music background but now focused on visual arts. I have had the opportunity to work in schools with learners as young as 3 years of age through to VCE in the arts, as well a a stint as a generalist primary school teacher. For the last 8 years I have been working in teacher education in arts education and professional studies focusing on interdisciplinary skills such as reflective practice, cooperative teaching and learning, and the formation of communities of learners. I currently work in the School of Education at La Trobe University and hold the leadership position of Program Leader Teacher Education Primary which sees me working with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and pre-service teachers training to be primary school teachers. I’m also researching in arts education, social media for professional development, and building teacher capacity with cultural organisations such as museums and galleries.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I’m so lucky to have colleagues from a variety of sectors within education who keep me inspired. I’m particularly taken by creative thinkers and people who like to look at challenges with motivation, passion and a sense of “can do”. I do have to say my #PLN on Twitter is one of my most motivating professional communities.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The biggest reward of working in education is that we have the opportunity to learn so much everyday from everyone around us. The challenge if for us to acknowledge this and to use the knowledge to continually move forward.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I’d like us to a change in how the arts (dance, drama, media, music, and visual arts) are viewed within the education sector of Australia. I would like to see a move forward in understanding just how much the arts as a whole supports all areas of learning and that it should not be one of the first areas to be cut within schools. I wonder how long it will take for us to realise there are so many skills that are transferable to the often more curriculum privileged areas of literacy, numeracy and science?
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
EduTweetOz is such a wonderful opportunity for a community to celebrate best practice, ideas, and strategies nationally, and indeed internationally. I love that it is such a positive example of how social media can break down physical boundaries to support sharing of content while nurturing relationships, participation, connections, collaborative knowledge making, and conversations in a mutually respectful way with an education focus. I’m hoping to contribute to this practice.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
So excited about this week and can’t wait to see who connects and what ideas are generated.