Smart, confident and determined to make a difference. These are the hallmarks of three high-achieving young women who will start their education degrees at Griffith University this year.
School leavers Yasmin Atwani, who received an OP1, and Emily Williamson and Jean Stansfield OP2s could have studied anything they wanted, and chose teaching because they believe in the power of education.
“I had the option of studying medicine,’’ says Yasmin, “but then I had to be honest with myself and look at what I would really like to do in the long-term and the answer was teaching.”
“The significance of being an educator was initially sparked by my teachers and parents, who embedded in me a passion for improving the world we live in through education.”
Emily agrees. “I found that if you have passionate teachers it makes a big difference. I’m passionate about English and history and hope to teach those areas as a secondary teacher.”
“I chose Griffith because of its high reputation for studying education,” she said.
For Jean, who doesn’t know whether she will teach primary or secondary, the foundation first year in Griffith’s new Bachelor of Education will help her make the right decision.
“I really love that we can explore our interests in the foundation year and understand what teaching is about before deciding on taking the path of primary or secondary,’’ she said.
“I want to be a positive influence on my students and help them achieve their best. Griffith will help me get there.”
As a profession teaching offers almost unique opportunities to be influential, according to Associate Professor David Geelan, Griffith’s Deputy Head of School of Education & Professional Studies.
“The purposes of education include passing on the best aspects of our society and developing students as thinking citizens for the future,’’ he said.
“Primary teachers often spend hours each day with the same group of students, having an intensive and long-lasting effect on students’ knowledge and ways of thinking about the world.
“Secondary teachers may teach up to 100 students each year across multiple classes, year levels and subject areas, and teach for many years.”
The Foundation Year completed by all Bachelor of Education students focuses on understanding the nature of students, society and the profession, and developing the beginning teachers’ concepts of what it means to be a teacher.
“They then choose to major in either Primary or Secondary teaching, and develop their knowledge and skills accordingly.”