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Podcast: Educational Leadership

Written by Ben Newsome on December 10th, 2017.      0 comments

Podcast on Educational Leadership

The Science Teachers Association of NSW exists to help teachers from all years and from all school types to learn from each other and to share best practice. This week we’re joined by Margaret Shepherd, president of STANSW and lecturer in science education, who shares her thoughts on educational leadership and the huge variety of experiments that can be used to grab the hearts and minds of students.

“Building a relationship with people is the most important and having that trusting and open relationship where I can say, ‘yeah, I don’t know’, and feeling that anyone is saying, ‘well, you should know’. Well, no I don’t know everything, so lets work it out together!”.

We were also joined by Lucy Hawkings from Clancy Catholic College who describes her experience as an early career science teacher in a highly collegiate faculty.

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Top learnings

  1. Wherever possible, teach students to be open to taking managed risks. This will put them in an awesome frame of mind when it comes to thriving outside of the school environment.

  2. It can be the little things that matter! Science doesn’t have to be about the big experiments, use microscopes and close observation of small objects as well.

  3. Its ok to share failures and to ask questions from your colleagues. It’s the power of the collective that transforms education.

About Margaret Shepherd

Margaret Shepherd from STANSW

Margaret Shepherd has been a science teacher in NSW Catholic schools for more than 20 years. She is the current president of the Science Teachers Association of NSW after many years of service since 2000. She sees the role of the science educator as fundamental in engaging all students in the world of science and a future involving STEM careers.

Margaret is passionate about supporting teachers in their core work of improving the creative and critical thinking of students in all regions and educational sectors of NSW. She has been recognised for her contributions to science teaching receiving the Executive Director’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004; Award to attend Science at the Shine Dome 2006, a citation for leadership in professional development and curriculum innovation in 2001, STANSW Distinguished Service Award in 2004 and PTC Outstanding Professional Service Award in 2005, nomination for Prime Ministers science teaching award, STANSW Life membership in 2014 and PTC Exceptional Service Award in 2017.

Margaret has recently completed her Masters in Educational Leadership and is currently working as a regional leader of learning for 16 schools in south-western Sydney and lecturer at ACU for pre-service secondary science teachers.

About the FizzicsEd Podcast

With interviews with leading science educators and STEM thought leaders, this science education podcast is about highlighting different ways of teaching kids within and beyond the classroom. It's not just about educational practice & pedagogy, it's about inspiring new ideas & challenging conventions of how students can learn about their world!

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Happy teaching,


Ben Newsome
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