Since graduating from the Master of International Education, Samantha has been teaching mathematics and promoting STEM activities in an all-girls school in Victoria. She has recently been awarded the Education Alumni Award in 2020.
Q: Can you please briefly outline your life prior to studying this program?
I studied a BSc of Astrophysics and Astronomy from University of Western Australia. I then studies a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education from Curtin University.
Q: Why did you choose to study at the Faculty of Education?
I always wanted to stretch my knowledge about various educational approaches exercised around the globe, and to inject the best of each world into my current teaching under the Australian curriculum. The Master of International Education offered an amazing opportunity to enrich my arsenal.
Q: Did you enjoy studying at the Faculty of Education?
Yes! The classes were full-timer-friendly! The experience of sharing our views as teachers from different walks of life was priceless. Getting the insider knowledge of different educational systems from almost all the continents, tied with the abundance of resources available, made a difference in my teaching approach.
Q: What was the most rewarding aspect of Master of International Education?
Being in contact with real teachers living through the real ups and downs of their own educational systems.
Q: What interested you most about the area you studied?
As a strong believer that education has more to it than just academic achievement, I found the course quite amazing. I have tried to strategise my teaching in a way that sparks the natural curiosity in students, making them inquirers and thinkers.
Q: Please expand on your current role and the organisation where you work.
Santa Maria College is an all-girls school with a culture that is genuinely receiving and encouraging the new ideas. I am teaching mathematics as well as in charge of promoting STEM activities. The most recent (current) project is designing a futuristic space station in a team of 30 passionate girls from year 5 to year 12. Making a geodesic dome with girls patching up the sky map using a remote telescope located at UWA is a concurrent project as well.
Q: Describe how your degree has contributed to your career development?
The wealth of suggested articles and resources offered during my studies made me realise more than ever how crucial it is to keep up with the academic works and findings in the field of education, capturing its fundamental aspects such as psychology and neurology of learning. Teaching maths in particular which has its fair share of myths and destructive preconceptions will significantly benefit from a scientific back up to debunk the negative mindsets.
Q: What do you hope is the next step in your life/career?
I have a deeply rooted faith in the spellbinding power of storytelling and illustration as I have always been enthralled by. I hope I can start working on this living and breathing idea growing up in my head to deliver art-infused maths through stories.
Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about pursuing a career in teaching?
Students can sense the authenticity of the passion you have for what you impart and respond to it in the most rewarding way!
Q: What would you say to students who are thinking about studying your program at The University of Melbourne?
It enables you to see the teaching and learning through the lenses of a broad range of thinking schools.
And provides a fascinating opportunity to share insights and experiences with those who know the dynamics of a classroom, simply because they live it.