Home' Teacher : August 2011 Contents 46 teacher august 2011
stepping stone to a stronger career
Studying the Master of Education at Deakin
University allows Gavin Wake to build on
teaching strategies for reaching for dis-
engaged students and to expand his own
career options, all while studying at a pace
that suits him.
Gavin initially took time out of the work-
force to study full-time, which he says gave
him breathing space to explore his career
‘I always knew I wanted to work with
disengaged students. I wanted to under -
stand more about education as a whole,
why we practice the way that we do, and
different strategies to engage students who
are struggling with school,’ Gavin explains.
Gavin had build up good rapport with
lecture rs while completing his Graduate
Diploma at Deakin University, so he returned
there to undertake his Master of Education.
He says that the experience helped him to
take the next step in his career.
‘Beginning the masters opened my eyes
again to a whole new set of options available
to me as a teacher. My supervisors have been
great mentors to me. I ’ve had the opportu-
nity to give some tutorials and lectures to
students in the Graduate Diploma cou rse.
I also built up good networks with differ-
ent schools. My goal was to find the right
full-time teaching position for me , a nd I’ve
achieved that successfully now,’ Gavin says.
‘Because I was so engaged with my own
learning and practice, I was able to have
really involved discussions with my employ-
ers about where I want to go in future. And,
later on, if I want to move into a manage-
ment role in education or to pursue a career
in the university sector, I will have the quali-
fications to keep my options open,’ he says.
Gavin says that the mix of online and
face-to-face delivery of his course has been
‘I’ve been studying from home, but I have
regular with contact with my supervisors.
There a re options to do most units on- ca m-
pus, but I needed to have the freedom to do it
in my own time, to pace my own learning to
fit arou nd my classroom practice,’ he explains.
‘And in my teaching, I’m up to date
on the literature and right on the pulse of
what’s happeni ng in education, so that’s
kept me very relevant and real,’ he says.
Deakin University offers graduate cer -
tificates and masters degrees in education.
For more information, visit
Queensland’s S cience Spark Initiative as a
Pri mary Science Facilitator for 2011.
Shelly says she undertook the Master
of Educational Studies (Middle Years of
Schooling) to enhance her teaching practice
and allow her to better address the learning
needs of her students.
The program helps teachers to under -
stand the ways students in Years 4 to 9
develop and learn. This is often a tricky
phase in students’ schooling, and teachers
must have effective strategies to ensure stu-
dents stay engaged.
‘My studies have allowed me to explore
and better understand curriculum, peda-
gogy and assessment ,’ Shelly explains.
‘I am very interested in engaging students
in inquiry-based learning and encou raging
them to explore and expand their knowl-
edge of concepts and skills,’ she says.
According to Shelly, it is so important
for students to enjoy coming to class and to
feel that they play a vital role in the class’s
‘ I hope that through the classroom envi-
ron ment we have created together and the
inquiry-based teaching and learni ng approach
that I use, that each student really believes in
and strives to achieve his or her best in our
science a nd maths classrooms,’ she says.
Shelly says her understanding of teach-
ing, including educational best practice
and the reasoning behind educational
reforms, has been en riched through her
postgraduate study at The University of
‘I am truly delighted that I decided to fur-
ther my own learning through postgraduate
study, a nd I sincerely value the continuing
influence of that learning on my teaching
beliefs and practices in the classroom,’ she
The University of Queensland offers
graduate certificates, g raduate diplomas ,
ma sters a nd doctorate degrees.
For more information, visit
Links Archive June-July 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page