Along with teaching mainly high school students Brad is married with four children, three girls and one boy. He has been a Science teacher for over 20 years having always had a keen interest in the natural world. This started at a young age first with dinosaurs, and then birds purchasing a copy of Neville W Cayley’s ‘What Bird is that?’
Upon entering University studies Brad then ‘saw the light’ developing an interest in the Physical Sciences, Astronomy in particular. This resulted in completing a Master’s of Astronomy degree (with distinction) after completing his Bachelor of Education in Science teaching (with honours) where he won the Jones Medal and Science Department for the highest Education and Science results in his fourth year of that degree.
Schooling has not always come easy for Brad where his parents even considered pulling him out of school early to work with his father as a Plumber. However, persistence and resilience, along with hard work, resulted in great achievements in his three tertiary degrees.
Brad also has an interest in Technology and how it can be best used to maximise the benefits to learning. Because of this, Brad recently completed a Master’s Degree in ICT in Education (with Distinction). He strongly believes that the choice of technology must be based on sound pedagogical evidence and frameworks such as ‘TPACK’ should be employed to make the use of technology transformative as opposed to being simply a replacement of a previous approach.
Brad has taken seriously the need to authentically integrate his Christian faith with his knowledge and passion for Astronomy and conducted extensive research, including interviews of Physicists and Astronomers, as part of a Master’s thesis. Due to his knowledge in this area, Brad has often been asked to speak about issues relating to Christian Worldview, Science along with its underlying philosophy of Naturalism. Brad has also spoken about these issues at public forums as part of his involvement in a group called ‘Cross Culture’ that meets three to four times per year in Western Sydney, Australia.
This website is aimed at teachers and includes many issues related to the practice of teaching students and collaborating with fellow teachers.
In order for students to succeed in their future lives creativity has never been more important. The world is facing significant environments, social, and economic issues that require creative solutions. Technology is changing the landscape of employment also where students will need to use technology creatively to successfully navigate the future world of work.
Students need to learn to communicate effectively more than ever before. Due to the fact that the education level of people has significantly increased over the last century having a higher tertiary qualification is less impactful than it used to be. Employers and clients are looking more for those who can communicate well and sell their message. There is no point having a great idea or product if you cannot communicate it to people.
As a Science teacher it goes without saying that teaching critical thinking a, well, critical! It is important that students are taught the skills to evaluate the validity of information presented to them. This is more important than ever with the huge amounts of information presented online and via social media. Students not only need to sort the fact from fiction but also need to consider different points of view and opinions as part of forming their own and being able to explain why.
Collaboration is a very important skill for students to learn through doing. Due to the need for big issues in the world to be solved and that different people have specific interests, abilities, and training that they can bring to the table collaboration has the power to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.
Technology has been around since human figured out how to make tools to make a task more efficient. It has resulted in the amazing tools we have available today but it is vital to use the right tool for the right reason. In terms of ‘High Technology’ if the new tool does not result in a transformative benefit where a task is done that could not be done otherwise then we need to question if we should be using it at all. As educations this is where pedagogical models such as TPACK and RAT/SAMR are important in selecting the right tool for the right reason at the right time.
In using technology to deliver content to students the correct pedagogical approach for a particular student and context is vital. Whether it be direct instruction or inquiry based learning or a combination of the two it must be informed through feedback and research evidfence where available. Tools and models such as TPACK are very helpful as part of the decision making process.