CoRE Educator Interview - Questions with Kiara

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

We talk with one of CoRE's Educators, Kiara from North Tom Price Primary School, about her experience being a CoRE educator and how she feels it has benefitted her Learning Club.

What is your role at North Tom Price Primary School?

Science Specialist and Coordinator of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation After School Learning Club.

How do you facilitate students through their CoRE journey?

From the beginning of the year I set the expectations of the students high. I teach them skills in working cooperatively in their Business Units so they can achieve together. Each fortnight we reflect on the CoRE values we have displayed in our everyday lives. I go through the entire PBL, explaining each PC. Students are then aware of the direction they are heading in. The PBLs are always contextually designed. This makes the projects meaningful and relevant to students. We are lucky that we can see the Pilbara landscape right outside the Science Room window! Students are provided with the information they need, through various forms. This might be a map, a guest speaker, an infographic, a website, a graph, equipment, or a YouTube clip for example. The information is given to them at point of need in order to scaffold their learning and enable them to be as innovative in their ideas as possible.

What do you find are the benefits of the CoRE Learning Model?

Engaged students who are problem solvers, innovative, creative, independent thinkers Students taking responsibility for their own learning All students are involved – no matter their ability Building skills in cooperation, resilience, perseverance Developing 21st century skills; data literacy, tools, maps, ICT skills, teamwork, collaboration Developing a clear understanding if the immediate environment around them Opportunities to show their creativeness

What results and changes have you seen in your students’ learning?

Enthusiasm towards their learning and projects they are working on, independence to manage their Business Units and project timelines, awareness of their environment

What are some examples of work produced by your students?

Dioramas displaying the adaptations of a local animal 3D topographic map of Tom Price and its surrounds Infographic of the Pit to Port process of iron ore production Functioning electric train circuits powered by batteries and solar panels Investigation Report on force and speed Interpreting and graphing data Interactive journals using Book Creator

How have you transformed the CoRE Learning Model and PBL’s to suit your students’ needs?

Created a proforma for Performance management that is completed fortnightly Created posters that display the CoRE values Run the PCs one at a time Place the PBL focus on the main strand of Science I am reporting on, using the other strand to support the learning and understanding.

How do you feel when your students improve their STEM skills?

Proud to be a teacher who is providing students with inspiration to learn, allowing them to find enjoyment at school, learn new skills that they haven’t been exposed to before, and become curious about the world they live in.

What is a fond memory you share with your CoRE students?

At the completion of a PC, I love seeing the delight and sense of achievement they show on their face, knowing that they created that project themselves and achieved new skills.

Have you had to learn new skill sets as a CoRE educator?

I have had to use many problem solving skills, persistence and commitment, especially where the interactive technology is involved. There has been tears and frustration and the students have been part of that journey. We have had to overcome the set backs together. With each PBL, a lot of research goes into finding the information and resources for students to use. I enjoyed challenging myself when we made a 3D topographic map of the Tom Price area. Weekends were spent constructing my own map and making stencils for the students to use.

Has the CoRE Learning Model changed your views on what education can be like at your school? How?

I have always been a big fan of Project Based Learning and designing projects around the interest of students. My PC’s are now more tailored around the Pilbara and mining environment. For me, I feel that the CoRE learning model has consolidated my views that this is an effective and successful way to engage and teach students. Integrated learning flows better and is more wholesome. I have always been the teacher with the noisy, messy, hands on learning class. I think students are happy in my class.

Have you noticed any differences in student engagement since transitioning to the CoRE Learning Model?

Yes, students make comments about the progress of the projects and ideas they have come up with out of class. They tell me they don’t want to go to lunch, that they want to stay in and complete their projects. I can see them helping each other and problem solving. Students who are normally disengaged are wanting to participate and get in on the action.

How do you obtain ideas for new PBL's?

Collaboration with Suzy and the teachers at Tom Price Primary School. Research Outcomes from SCASA and thinking of how we could achieve that in our local environment

What has been the most rewarding moment of your CoRE journey so far?

Knowing that I have set up good routines and high standards for students to engage in Science learning.

What do you hope the CoRE Learning Model will achieve in your school/region for the future?

Encourage more students to continue learning Science in high school Have more girls choose Science subjects at high school See more Australians as leaders in the science industry Have student be more innovative and creative in their ideas Have students engage and show interest in the world around them

Has the CoRE Learning Model helped you realise some of your goals as an educator?

Yes, to stay up to date with latest technologies and to keep abreast of the developments in your local area.

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