[Admin] Please welcome this week’s EduTweetOz host is Kim Flintoff.
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 started my tertiary studies in Chemistry, and my working life in analysis and assay for the mining exploration industry - a little later I started dabbling in the dark arts of Theatre and Drama and moved into management, performance and production roles in theatre. I was co-founder of Class Act Theatre for schools, and progressed into K-12 education as a Drama teacher. I became recognised as a curriculum leader in WA and a global innovator and researcher in the area of Drama and Technology; for a decade I convened a global special interest group for the International Drama Education Association. I was an invited speaker at the inaugural global summit for the World Alliance for Arts Education. My interest in arts, education and technology brought me to working in universities as a lecturer, unit co-ordinator, curriculum developer, and researcher. I currently work with Curtin Learning and Teaching developing strategic innovative approaches for learning engagement. Sustainability and futures thinking are now key drivers in my daily work and as father of two preschool aged daughters these areas are a very high priority.
Currently working as an education futurist, drawing on my experience as a seasoned educator who has worked at all levels and sectors of education K-12, higher education, state, CEO and independent, locally, nationally and internationally. My current roles in higher education draw upon my diverse experience in performing arts, applied science, technical and creative management, educational leadership, arts and education research to position me amongst thought leaders shaping the future direction of education and learning engagement within Curtin University and across our partners and collaborators in libraries, museums, galleries, sustainable development agencies, global education, etc.
Current work focusses include games and gamification in learning contexts, new platforms for collaborative global learning, challenge-based engagement, sustainability education, learning by making, transmedia approaches to learning engagement, microcredentialling and badging, computational learning, learning analytics and other big data strategies in the higher education sector.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
In many ways simply being Dad to two daughters just starting school is enough motivation to work towards dynamic, responsive and relevant approaches to learning. But add into the mix the fascination for the novel and artistic and an insatiable curiosity for anything leaning towards geek, nerd and neck-beard…. Then there’s my interest in social justice and equity that wants to see a critical and inclusive system of education that shakes off the historical shackles of generating industrial drones through education.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The biggest rewards and biggest challenges both stem from the same place – to work with learners to shape an equitable, sustainable and creative future.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
Focus on capabilities, trust students, get teachers to ask more than they tell, to get schools to focus on learning, have teachers actively model learning, focus on real world challenges, and brea down the structures that support arbitrary divisions between different ways of knowing do we really need “subjects”?
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I think I’m just looking to stimulate discussion and challenge some common perceptions around what education is about… to ignite some interest in Critical Pedagogies… and consider the possible futures that we will bring into being by the choices we make.