Oxford Education Innovation Award 2014 Winners

Oxford Education Innovation Award 2014The Oxford Education Innovation Award is an annual competition run by Oxford University Press Australia, which celebrates creative and critical thinking in teacher education. This year, we asked Australian pre-service teachers to use their imagination and innovation to build their ideal classroom. Participants were asked to create the space (in their preferred medium) and write an accompanying reflective essay about the room and why it would be a positive learning environment for students.

The entries were judged by a panel of teacher academics from around the country made up of: Neil Harrison (Macquarie University), Jennifer Howell (Curtain University), Robyn Henderson (University of Southern Queensland), Helen Adam (Edith Cowan University).

The prizes were the entries that best demonstrated an innovation approach, application of best teaching practice and effective communication skills.

We are please to share the Oxford Education Innovation Award winners for 2014:

Secondary Category
Michael Pye – La Trobe University 

Classrooms for Collaboration
A classroom designed around providing opportunities for collaboration among students and their teachers.
The focus of this concept is three fold;

1. To develop an environment which promotes productivity, by providing a healthy and comfortable place for students to work.
2. To foster collaboration by including enough space and a specialised table for students and teachers to work together.
3. To increase the effectiveness of teaching by designing a room which allows for improved visibility to the front of the room while increasing the usable space where students work.

Primary Category
Troy Stretton – University of the Sunshine Coast 

The Sustainable Classroom
The sustainable classroom is a multi-age learning environment designed for primary education years, with a focus on cooperative learning, sustainability and community. It was created with the Sims 3 building editor.

Early Childhood Category
Claudia Lim – University of Queensland 

Designing Learning Spaces
Most Kindergartens and Early Learning Centres have a very similar classroom set up, consisting of bright colours, cartoon-like pictures, plastic manufactured toys and sharp edges. I asked myself ‘what if I created a Kindergarten that valued natural materials, diversity, simplistic beauty, inquiry, art, culture, children’s creations, community, multisensory learning experiences, wonder, imagination, development of whole child, reflection and so much more?’ I am a firm believer that the environment is the ‘third teacher’ and that children have incredible minds, so here is my answer to my ‘what if’ question.

Interested in participating next year? The Oxford Education Innovation Award will run again with different criteria, so stay tuned to our website for more details in July 2015.

Stephanie Swain
Higher Education – Product and Marketing Specialist, OUP ANZ

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