Supercharging teacher professional development

This year, Burnett is continuing ORIGO Education’s successful professional development series with a particular focus on addressing the major changes that will influence the teaching of mathematics.


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Brett: [00:00:13] Hello and welcome to all of our viewers. My name is Brett Henebery, editor, educator. And joining me today is James Burnett, who is the executive chairperson and founder of Origo Education. Those of you who don't know. Origo education has been helping schools improve mathematics education for more than 25 years through a range of curriculum approved programs over the past 18 months. James has made a big impact on the education sector by spearheading a range of programs like Origo at Home, which was designed to provide free daily online lessons and activities for students learning at home during COVID. In recognition of the great work he's been doing. James has just been named one of Australia's most influential educators for 2022. So James, I'd like to start by asking, what does this award mean to you?

James: [00:00:57] It's a huge honor. I've been looking through past winners and it's just an incredible depth of quality educators. Origo is trying to achieve the same thing, raise the bar and improve student outcomes. I guess for me personally it's nice to be recognised as a contributor to that even though I'm from the commercial world, because, you know, most, most of our winners are obviously teachers or educators in a classroom somewhere, and it's very different for me.

Brett: [00:01:28] Thanks, James. I understand that this year you're continuing Origo Education Successful Professional Development series with a particular focus on addressing the major changes that will influence the teaching of mathematics. Can you tell us more about this?

James: [00:01:40] Yeah, well, the biggest changes we've had over the last while, the biggest impacts we've had over the last couple of years as it's been covered. But working behind the scenes was ACARA. So the Australian Curriculum Curriculum Association working to redraft the Australian curriculum and that's that's been completed. We did a lot of feedback or gave a lot of feedback on that at the time when they requested it from us. And it's about to be released. So it was to be released in April and now it's going to be, I think, at the end of this school term, ready for next school term. So we're pulling together 12 webinars which can deliver those big impacts. There's big changes for teachers across their great band. So of those 12 will be for directly for the K-2 teachers or foundation year two teachers. Then you have the three four teachers and then then the grades five and six teachers. So deliberately and focusing on the big changes or the new content that they need to deliver, but also the content that's been shifted into their grade bands from, from other grade bands. So yeah, there's a lot of professional learning just on, on those changes and that the teachers will experience in the coming months now.

Brett: [00:02:48] What will be your major goals moving forward in 2022 now?

James: [00:02:52] Not just the professional learning. Teachers need professional learning to to to educate them on on those changes. But they also need the resources to help implement those changes. So myself and my co-founder, Dr. Kelvin Irons, for for almost 12 months now, we've been writing to those changes. So we have to deliver on that resource and we're going to roll it out because they're going to need to start implementing almost immediately. So we're writing an entirely new program to meet the needs of these teachers for the Australian curriculum. So that's probably my biggest focus at the moment.

Brett: [00:03:29] James, thank you so much for putting aside the time for us today and congratulations again on such a well-deserved award.

James: [00:03:35] Thanks, Brett. Really means a lot.

Brett: [00:03:37] And also thank you to our viewers for joining us. We'll see you again next time.