Introducing Dr Naomi Barnes (@drnomyn), this week’s host

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Why did you decide to become involved in education?

I “fell” into teaching. My more detailed journey was published recently in the AARE blog: http://www.aare.edu.au/blog/?p=1588

What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

I worked in schools for 13 years until 2011, when I had my daughter. I am a Modern History and Geography teacher. Now I teach HASS curriculum at Griffith University and research education transitions and social media.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

There are a lot of problems in education at the moment. The industry is at a major cross road. I want to work out how to ensure the social justice work of education is not ignored for the macro economic benefits. It is important to find a balance.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

I think educators are finding new ways to collaborate which can only make the profession richer. However, in that wider collaboration I have noticed in-fighting. Teachers and educators turning on each other rather than finding the root cause of problems education faces.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

I’d put more teachers in schools. Reduce class sizes. I would fund education research better so people can get in with the job of solving deep problems rather than just putting out fires.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

I want to start discussions about education by allowing the two unifying factors between all sectors a platform to ask questions: parents and students. What do parents (who may be high school teachers) want to know about how primary school works? What do preservice teachers want to know about the big picture of teacher education? What is transition like at home, not just school? I hope the expertise out there can address some misunderstandings and settle some fears.

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