The connection between Australian educators and publishers, who create learning resources for the classroom, was last week celebrated at the Educational Publishing Awards of Australia in Melbourne.
Twenty-three winners were announced across three broad categories of primary, secondary and tertiary education.
The big winners of the evening were PLD – a learning and literacy organisation and Oxford University Press (OUP) who were awarded Primary and Secondary Publisher of the Year respectively, as voted by Australian teachers.
Director of PLD Diana Rigg was thrilled that her organisation won the award being the first time they were nominated. “We create tools for primary educators to enhance literacy development in young children and we’re so grateful to be recognised by teachers across the country,” Ms Rigg said.
Daniel Aspinall from OUP was really proud of his workplace being named Secondary Publisher of the Year for the second year in a row. “What we do is for teachers and students and to better education in Australia overall. It’s a team effort, we work with many people to bring resources to the classroom and we’re really pleased with the award,” he said.
Keynote speaker for the event, TV presenter and primary school teacher, Shelley Ware, shared with more than 200 individuals in attendance her personal story of needing quality, engaging texts as a young person with literacy difficulties, and as a teacher, and as a parent of a child with similar reading difficulties that she faced.
In her speech, Ms Ware reinforced teachers’ love of good educational resources and the joy teachers feel when a new package arrives from publishers sharing new materials.
Ms Ware also shared her journey in becoming an educational resource author — starting with being asked to prepare ten lessons for Sunshine Classics’ Teachers Notes, which was shortly updated to 130 lessons.
Along with Shelley Ware, awards were presented by Adam Suckling from the Copyright Agency who were the major sponsors of the event, as well as President of the Australian Publishers Association and Schools Director of Oxford University Press, Lee Walker.
Award winners were selected by a panel of judges led by Associate Professor Angela Carbone from Swinburne University.
Images from the event can be sourced here.
View the full list of winners.
More than 200 educators and educational publishers will come together at The Arts Centre in Melbourne tonight to toast another year of making high-standard educational materials for Australia’s roughly four million school students, and also Tertiary and TAFE/vocational learners.
The combined efforts of educators and educational publishers will be celebrated in the 25th Educational Publishing Awards of Australia on Thursday 20 September 2018.
Keynote speaker at the awards, TV presenter and primary school teacher, Shelley Ware knows doubly well how involved and crucial educational learning resources are, having authored Teacher Notes for literacy and regularly chosen learning materials for her classroom.
“Good educational resources engage students. Teachers fully rely on them, and they are a part of the big picture to inspire students to have a lifelong passion to read and learn,” Ms Ware said.
“As a writer I learnt so much about the valuable role of and immense skill of editors and also the timelines in the publishing process, and as a teacher I look for good quality, interesting, children-friendly texts – they’re vital for the classroom,” Ms Ware continued.
In the hands of hardworking educators across the nation but often overlooked, learning resources are a critical component for an active and engaged classroom. Good educational resources make the lives of teachers easier, and are created by switched on and connected educational publishers.
Schools and Educational Publishing representative on the Australian Publishers Association’s Board, Brendan Bolton said, “Many educational publishing staff previously worked as teachers, and publishers always consult classroom educators to inform the development of a new product. Publishers work closely with curriculum bodies to produce relevant and timely resources as well.
“Learning resources can take anywhere from 18 months to 3 years to create”, Bolton said, “and when we do our job well, it’s great to know we’re helping teachers do the important work of bringing their classrooms to life.”
Twenty-three awards will be presented across primary, secondary and tertiary education.
See you all tonight from 5.30pm!
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Keynote speaker Shelley Ware is perhaps best known for her work on the SBS footy show, Marngrook, yet she’s an experienced and practising primary school teacher based in Victoria and is author of the educational resource, Teaching Notes for Sunshine Classics.
Shelley spoke with us recently about her love for teaching, her experience in writing and working with editors and publishers, and the importance of learning resources being quickly engaging for students.
You’ve noted that from a young age you wanted to be a teacher. What was the genesis of this career goal?
Yes, I have always wanted to be a teacher. My father Bob Ware valued education and the pathways it created in your life. My mother Jan Ware went back to study nursing in her late 30s so education has always been important to me because of their inspiration and thinking.
In your experience, to what extent do teachers rely on good-quality texts in the classroom?
Good quality, interesting, children-friendly texts are vital for the classroom. You want to engross students and help develop their love for reading. Teachers fully rely on good-quality texts; they are a part of the big picture to engage students to have a lifelong passion to read and learn.
What was the process like in developing Teaching Notes for publication? How did you tackle research, writing and editing it?
We treated Teaching Notes as a resource teachers could pick up and use without having to read the text beforehand and do any preparation. A teacher’s day is so busy and we wanted to make life easier for them. We developed a tool to help a time-pressured teacher get the most out of their busy planning and reading sessions.
What insights did you get about educational publishing in writing Teaching Notes for Sunshine Books?
I learnt about publishing deadlines and how quickly publishers want your work! And also about the amazing support and skills editors have. I very much appreciated them!
You were a literacy program coordinator for four years. What can you tell us about literacy and the role good books and resources play in schools today?
The books I chose as a literacy program coordinator needed to engage my students quickly and they loved the books I picked out for them. If I chose a book that didn’t engage them it was sent to the back of the pile never to be used again, only in case of emergencies. Easy to read, colourful, well laid out and well written books are essential.
What would you say is the role of educational publishing in an innovative classroom?
Educational publishing has a responsibilty role is to engage learners of all ages and levels. The publisher has an obligation to listen to the students and teachers about what their needs are.
In an article you’re mentioned to have said that you love Aussie Rules because of the opportunities it gives people, which is often said of education as well. Are they the same in any other ways?
I love the opportunities education gives people! I wouldn’t have the life I have without education playing a huge role. Football and education are both exciting, exhilarating and with you for the long haul. Always by your side giving you a focus and passion in your life that keeps your soul alive.
Learn more about Shelley Ware.