Dr Iain Hay: Teacher of the week

 Iain Hay joined Macquarie University at the end of 2016  as Director of Professional Learning and Engagement in the Department of Educational Studies.Iain’s role is to scope and identify opportunities and provide support for the delivery and development of high quality learning and teaching in the Department of Educational Studies professional experience program for teacher education.

His responsibilities include:

  • leading and developing the Department’s Hub Schools project
  • identifying and developing collaborative school-based research in the area of professional experience
  • identifying and developing Professional Learning opportunities to support teachers in schools and early childhood centres
  • furthering engagement opportunities and developing relationships with key stakeholders through events such as seminars, workshops and networking functions.

 Iain’s background includes over 20 years as a school teacher across early childhood, primary and middle schools as well as extensive experience as a professional development and adult educator. His research interests cover: Student Welfare, Development and Services; Leadership, Higher and Adult Education; and Social Justice & Equity in Education.

 1. What are your main teaching commitments?
I teach across professional experience units, with a focus on assessment, evaluation and reporting. I also work on teacher identity formation and educational policy analysis. With teaching interests in teacher professional learning; and student diversity/wellbeing.
2. What’s the biggest challenge you face as a university teacher?
Supporting my students to think beyond the traditional – getting them to value the researcher practitioner binary as a means to inform their own teaching practices. Another challenge is to continue engaging digital natives who exist in a highly connected world to communicate with each other in ‘real-world’ contexts.
3. What has helped you improve your teaching most and why?
Receiving a VC’s Teaching Excellence Award (at my previous institution), the funds allowed me to spend time with colleagues at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) – University of Toronto. I was able to look at the approaches they employ to enhance teacher education students levels of engagement in professional practice with a variety partner schools in Toronto. An outcome of this has been the development of an international comparative study of initial teacher education professional practices in Canada, Australia, USA and UK.
4. What’s been your most memorable moment in teaching? 
There have been many over the years, some that stand out such as seeing those struggling students successfully course completing and getting to graduation; to teaching a Master of Education core subject on Educational Research Methodology at Harbin Normal University in far northern China in the middle of winter with daily temperatures averaging -30C and surviving! But what was most memorable was understanding that quality pedagogy is transferable across cultures, time zones, and climate.
5. Who is your favourite music band? Why?
I will show may age here, anything from the 70s and 80s – obviously the Star Man himself David Bowe, but also the Pet Shop Boys because I believe that they clearly demonstrate longevity and that their style of music remains current in a time that other artists seem to come and go with regularity.

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