Head of Visual Arts
Australian International School, Singapore
I have a commitment to working collaboratively with my fellow teachers and administrators to provide an inspired educational leadership to my staff and all students. Over the last 4 years, I have voluntarily facilitated inquiry driven teacher groups for professional development. These groups are intended to utilise existing expertise within the school to allow for sharing of knowledge that produces the desired outcomes for the group. Through these teacher inquiry groups (TIG), teachers are able to develop new understandings suited to their development goals. This TIG program is now internationally recognised as best practice within educational frameworks for professional development. Within Singapore, I have formed strong professional links with other international schools where none existed before. In doing so, I have broken down the barriers between the previously insular schools to benefit in the sharing of the students work and teaching arts practice. An exhibition of student’s works from the nine top international schools running at the Australian High Commission which is just one of the successes.
I endeavour to inspire and motivate every student through finding and tapping into their passion. I shape this to grow their artistic skills and appreciation for the Visual Arts. My Diploma student's work is noted by many to be highly individualised to reveal the talents and aspects of each student. Numerous artworks from the department have also been recognised as outstanding many times in the Asia-Pacific region.
I am passionate about my responsibility to prepare our students for global citizenship, as well as to teach them all of the very basic human values. I base my learning experiences with students on fulfilling every student’s needs. I challenge them to better themselves through goal setting and reflective practices. I believe a diverse range of teaching skills plays a significant role in delivering a well-rounded education for my students − one that neither begins nor ends in the classroom alone. A key factor in creating this is a theoretical as well as a practical engagement with the desired outcomes. The exposure to culturally rich experiences in the form of camps (to Indonesia and Vietnam) and excursions (Biennale’s, galleries, and artist studios) gives the students critical context for artwork and artefacts which allow for personal connections to be made. These play a key role in developing the deep learning, personal engagement and appreciation of the Visual Arts. I believe my approach creates a rich learning environment where students can grow to become active critical consumers of our world. I strive to inspire and motivate every student I teach through poignant and exciting content.
I actively seek new educational technologies to revolutionise the classroom experience for the students. I believe that the emergent postmodern philosophy of a third social space within social media has also played a huge role in the immediacy of visual forms. This, in turn, creates a growing intercultural, intra-cultural and transcultural language in art expression. The development of a framework to embrace postmodern ideals of education is vital to address the shifts in contemporary visual culture. A shift from narrow skills-based approaches to education to open processes of creativity and critical enquiry is required. Embracing popular cultural tools such as smart phones and mobile devices engages students in an authentic form of contemporary medium. I have recently been using the Aurasma platform to add augmented content to artworks during exhibitions. I use a ‘flipped classroom’ via a school virtual learning platform that facilitates richer understanding in class rather than lecture styled content driven lessons. I utilise task differentiation to allow students to access materials at their highest capabilities for success experiences. These practices have produced outcomes which were previously inaccessible without the innovative ways of thinking about these tools. I use the most contemporary tools in order to promote a highly rigorous academic environment and personal growth. I allow students to investigate the range of visual culture with guidance so they can actively discover complex meanings, multiple connections and enriched possibilities for creation and critique.
Let's work together