University of Tasmania Senior Lecturer Dr Abbey MacDonald has had her innovative arts teaching practices recognised with the title Teachers Mutual Bank – ATEA Australian Teacher Educator of the Year.

Dr MacDonald received the prestigious award this evening at the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) Conference Dinner in recognition of her advancements in online teaching and learning through the University of Tasmania’s Master of Teaching – Arts Specialisation program.

“These days online learning is prominent in university education, even for students learning how to teach art,” Dr MacDonald said.

In addition to leveraging the opportunities technology offers, it’s really important to provide experiential art education where learning is shared between Australia’s art industry, school students and teachers, and the teachers’ educators at university.

Dr MacDonald’s innovative approaches include developing professional learning for teachers and student teachers to come together and learn from one another. These events draw from a combination of Australian Curriculum-aligned education kits and blended materials for online and face-to-face learning.

Dr MacDonald said her innovations rely on a collaborative, multi-sector effort between University of Tasmania student teachers, the arts industry and Tasmanian schools.

It’s a privilege to work with young people, teachers of all stages, and the many professional associations that support them. This work comes down to the collective generosity and preparedness to learn from each other along the way.

Dr MacDonald is currently collaborating for the second time with the team behind the Hadley’s Art Prize to design and deliver an experiential learning event focusing on art, science and sustainability for Tasmanian student teachers and teachers.

This face-to-face event complements an online professional learning initiative STEAM Horizons, which was held for the first time last year in collaboration with the Tasmanian Government Department of Education.

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