Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Southern Publisher Backs a Winner

Hours of toil and passionate endeavour came to a crescendo last week for teacher and author Steve Martin, left.
On the Wednesday the Essential Resources author launched his new book Using SOLO as a Framework for Teaching at the highly regarded Ulearn educational conference in Rotorua.
Just the next day, he was named both the Most Inspiring Individual and the People's Choice Innovator of the Year in the 2011 New Zealand Innovators Awards with his Virtual Lesson Project. The awards are generally dominated by businesses – he was the only teacher in the finalist lineup.
His Virtual Lesson Project represented three years of work developing a practical application of SOLO (structure of observed learning outcome) taxonomy for the classroom. It is a framework that values creativity, inspires thinking skills, uses ICT and allows all students to experience success, says Mr Martin. "By encompassing students at all levels from the top right through; it means less able students who struggle to see what success looks like, do achieve it.”
His work has won the admiration of Professor John Hattie of the Melbourne Education Research Institute, who comments on Mr Martin’s expertise at developing a practical framework and his ability to turn students onto learning in the foreword of Mr Martin’s new book.
Essential Resources commissioning editor Jo Issa says the success of Mr Martin’s work is most “powerfully illustrated” by students’ reflections in the book.
“We are thrilled to be his publisher. He is a passionate teacher and so deserving of the awards he has won. Steve has taken something theoretical and put it into practice, creating a framework of learning that takes students from whatever level they are at, to the next one. He’s walking the talk, every day,” says Ms Issa.
But one busy week is about to be followed by another for the Howick College, Head of Junior Science. Early in November Mr Martin is representing the school at the Microsoft Partners in Learning conference in Washington DC
Howick College is one of only two New Zealand schools selected as a Pathfinder in the project, which recognises and brings together innovative schools from around the world. (The other New Zealand School is nearby Botany Downs Secondary College).  Mr Martin won the Microsoft Distinguished Teacher Award (2009); the second teacher at Howick College to do so.
Mr Martin is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Science Teaching (2010) in recognition of the work he does inspiring students to higher levels of achievement through the innovative use of the SOLO taxonomy and ICT. He is also Honorary Professional Teaching Fellow at Auckland University and holds a BSc(Hons) and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Management.
Essential Resources is an Invercargill based educational publisher that supplies New Zealand schools and exports overseas predominately to Australia, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

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