Compassion is the driving force behind Griffith University first-year education student Anja van Aswegen’s desire to teach.
The former Coomera Anglican College school captain, who graduated in 2016 with an OP3, says she tossed up a few different career options and decided on teaching because she wants to instil compassion in others.
Quoting British philosopher Betrand Russell, she says knowledge without love is not enough, you need to have a life inspired by love but guided by knowledge.
Impressed by Griffith’s new education degree with its foundation first year enabling students to decide at the end of that year whether they will go into primary or secondary, Anja who is based the Gold Coast campus, says she is definitely leaning towards primary teaching.
“I’m interested in teaching early childhood as it’s easier to influence young minds and teach them about the importance of compassion,’’ she said.
The Griffith Honours College student also won a Sir Samuel Griffith Scholarship to help with her studies.
“I didn’t expect to get it, so it was an awesome surprise. It’s such an honour and will help alleviate financial pressures so I can focus on study.”
Anja said her decision to study teaching was also influenced by her mother, a psychologist, who is currently completing her PhD in education.
“I’d really like to use the early-learning program she is designing and implement it in different schools in Australia and overseas. I’d also like to continue my studies and complete a masters and PhD.”