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National Excellence in Teaching Awards – Glen Arthur

Glen Arthur, Dean of Innovation and Partnerships at University Senior College, has won the National ASG NEiTA (National Excellence in Teaching Awards) Founders’ Award for Excellence in not only teaching but also in Educational Leadership. Glen was awarded a trophy and scholarship in recognition of his achievements at the Melbourne State Library on Thursday 21 March.

The National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) recognise the extraordinary, yet understated, contribution that teachers make to the lives of young people.  Glen initially was one of twenty-five national recipients, from a field of over two thousand nominations, of the State and Territory Awards in 2018 nominated by his students for his innovative and inspiring contribution to teaching.  This will be Glen’s second award in recent times, after also receiving one of three national NGS Scholarship Award in 2018 for his contributions to education, in particular, for his work in STEM.

With a career spanning over two decades, his contributions to education have always created great impact and left evidence of significant growth in organisations. He is held in high standing in the educational community for his contributions to curriculum, professional development, and teacher training. Glen has contributed to the SACE Board of South Australia in curriculum writing and development, moderation and assessment for the past decade and worked at the vanguard of SACE modernisation and innovative methodologies in teaching and learning.

Professor Martin Westwell, Chief Executive of the SACE Board of South Australia said

“In his classroom and his interactions with other educators Glen creates a culture of trust and inclusivity. Because of this culture and Glen’s deep understanding of education, people naturally turn to him for leadership. That is, students for whom Glen leads the learning or educators who look to him to challenge them for their own professional development. This is especially true when it comes to leading innovation. Glen has a strong reputation amongst his colleagues as a leading-edge thinker when it comes to the design of curriculum, classroom learning and assessment. I try and work with him whenever I can, especially if I have a project that I know will need to be driven by creativity.”

“Glen is a champion of learning – for his students, his peers, himself and other people with whom he interacts. He has the ability to take principles from research and best practice and put them into action in sophisticated ways, always with the needs of the learner in mind. With colleagues, he has that rare ability to be critical without being negative, and to respond positively to new ideas or alternative perspectives that others might have. Glen is also able to combine a deep intellectual understanding of teaching science with practice that draws students and colleagues into willingly doing hard thinking. I find “hard thinking” to be sign that real learning is occurring and when all students are doing it, it supports inclusion and equity of outcomes. This is a great strength of Glen’s.”

As a Chemistry teacher, Glen has led innovation through the effective implementation of digital technologies in classrooms, upskilling the digital fluency of teachers, designing innovative curricula for the implementation of year 10 students, and initiating University Senior College’s first STEM Maker Group at lunchtimes. Glen works across the sector in Science and STEM education as a member of the AIASSA taskforce. He is an active member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Chemical Education Division and is highly supportive of the South Australian Science Teachers Association in the delivery of professional development for teachers.

“Glen is an inspiration to the students with whom he comes into contact. Students thrive in his classes. He is totally committed to making the learning program as innovative and student centred as possible. He uses technology to enhance the learning, flipping lessons and recording lectures and podcasts, developing practicals which allow students to follow their preferred investigations. He tailors programs that exceed the expectations of the SACE, engage students, but most importantly inspire students to strive for improvement. He intrinsically motivates them. Glen’s interactions with students are always respectful. He listens intently and as a result understands students, and works with them as a teacher and mentor, supporting them in their learning and well-being.” Anita Zocchi, Principal, University Senior College

Glen has forged strong connections with many faculties at the University of Adelaide working in partnership with them. Glen has worked for the School of Education at the University of Adelaide over the past 6 years, contributing to the development of over 100 new graduates in Chemistry and Science teaching. Glen has supported many aspiring teachers in their trajectory through tertiary studies in science curriculum.  Professor Faye McCallum, Head of School, School of Education, University of Adelaide said:

Glen has worked for the University of Adelaide with final year pre-service teachers as they prepare for their final placements prior to graduation… Glen has engaged with colleagues in pursuit of continuous learning and development and to share his expertise with others. He is passionate about students in the classroom and this has easily transferred to pre-service teachers in initial teacher education. Not only is he concerned with their acquisition of knowledge and pedagogy to teach effective chemistry classes, he is also keenly aware of student wellbeing, engagement and loves the challenge of a new learning moment

Glen hopes to utilise the awards and scholarships to support his further study in education. Glen recognises the importance of teachers as active researchers in both informal and formal settings. He is passionate about generating critical and creative thinkers who can contribute effectively to society in a changing world. Glen has always maintained high expectations and integrity from his students to reach their potential and beyond, he also cares deeply about the wellbeing and happiness of the young people he teaches, contributing to annual conferences for Positive Education Schools Association (PESA).

Glen Arthur says of his own work:

I am truly dedicated to teaching. I throw myself whole heartedly into every aspect of education and its impact on young people. I am a colleague, a role model, a professional development provider, an author, a consultant, but most importantly a teacher. I have always had a commitment to raising the profile of our profession and establishing its status. I am changing education one student, one classroom and one educator at a time.”

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