Please welcome this week’s EduTweetOz host Greg Miller.
Ever since I can remember, probably about half way through secondary school, I wanted to be a teacher. I suppose I felt a calling to make a difference in the lives of people and what better way to do that that work with the young and support parents shape the future of tomorrow.
From January 2015 to date, I work as the Secondary Schools Consultant by providing effective modelling, coaching and professional support for secondary principals, school leadership teams and school communities to strengthen their leadership of Catholic School Improvement in the local context. With a focus on leveraging their leadership capabilities. This includes building a culture of continuous learning gain, develop a culture of inquiry, generating indicators of success which identify evidence of improvement and innovation, and all the time, encouraging supportive communities. Previous to this I served as Principal, Mater Dei Catholic College, Wagga Wagga from January 2008 to December 2014. As the principal, I led learning and teaching by providing direction and guidance to teachers in matters of pedagogy, technology and curriculum, and oversaw research-led, data informed decision making processes. Most particularly, I oversaw the development of key personnel to become teacher leaders who ‘brought people with them’ on the continual challenge to unlearn old ways and relearn new ways of learning within the context of new opportunities offered by emerging technologies. The context of ‘all things digital’ ignited my interested so much so that I commenced Doctorate Study (EdD) at Australian Catholic University (ACU) in 2010. I achieved Confirmation of Candidature in February 2012 and Ethics Approval in October 2012; however, a change in supervisor negated my ability to complete my study which centred around the question, “As Principal, how do I lead school transformation through the use of digital technology?” As one door closed, another door opened and by November 2015 I completed a Master of Education – Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation, Charles Sturt University. This provided rich and deep learning in an engaging way.
What keeps me motivated is the continual search for ways in which students can become ‘self-directed learners’ through the provision of learning opportunities which provide them with greater autonomy and choice of subject matter and pace of study. This would see students involved in more decision‐making processes, collaboratively working with teachers to co-construct their learning, and connecting with experts across the world; the end result being memorable experiences where students ‘learn by doing’ with relevance to the real world.
Currently, I see a few big challenges within Australian education. Most notably, the way in which we leverage technology to support quality learning with a focus on the pedagogies which will best serve the learning of students in a world which is increasingly connected in this flat world. A consequent challenge is to find time for teachers to meet, plan, prepare and deliver learning together. Teachers working in isolation will no longer serve their needs as learners, nor will it be the best way for teachers to nurture and develop the growth of our students. As such, if I had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, it would be to provide more time for teachers to meet in teams to plan, prepare, deliver and evaluate student learning which values learner (both student and teacher) agency. Connected and collaborative online PLNs such as EduTweetOz provide a forum to discuss such possibilities. For further insights into ‘what makes me tick’, you can go to my blog, Learn and Lead.