Out-of-Field Teaching Toolkit Podcast
By Margaret Paton
Out-of-Field Teaching Toolkit PodcastApr 04, 2023
My part-time PhD: 6 months in
Here's the lowdown on how my PhD is going. I'm exploring perceptions of success of Australian out-of-field teachers of STEM-related subjects. Early days - still sharpening the saw. This is only week 26 of a six-year journey!
If you're a PhD student investigating OOFT and would love to share insights into your journey, please get in touch with me for a podcast interview. I'd love to include more voices. Email: email@example.com.
How Ireland upskills OOF maths teachers: Dr Stephen Quirke
Dr Stephen Quirke is an assistant professor in mathematics education based at the School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies at Dublin City University. He researches through the lens of teacher identity, focusing on mathematics teachers undertaking a national priority program that retrains out-of-field teachers to become in field. About 20% of his country’s maths teacher workforce are graduates. It’s huge! That program emphasises mathematical knowledge over how to teach it – mathematical pedagogical content knowledge. But, as his PhD research shows, there were some surprising results. Assistant Professor Quirke also offers insights into the teacher workforce – the numbers and percentages for demand and supply. If your country is looking to deal with the issue of insufficient qualified mathematics teachers, this interview will be thought provoking.
Dr Stephen Quirke’s university profile https://www.dcu.ie/stemeducationinnovationglobalstudies/people/stephen-quirke
Irish Government priority areas for upskilling post-primary teachers
Religious Studies: teaching the controversy as an OOFT
Dr Jennifer Bleazby, a teacher educator and researcher from Monash University, Victoria, Australia talks about best practices to help your students learn and critique religions, philosophies and world views. She explains how the subject Religious Instruction differs from General Religious Education in Australia. Dr Bleazby argues teaching GRE well is needed now more than ever to encourage tolerance of different perspectives. Chances are, OOF educators will teach GRE as part of humanities/social sciences, but there’s a shortage of teachers with ‘religious studies’ university qualifications. And the next time you use Cosmic Kids Yoga in your secular classroom, beware of the possible backlash. Dr Bleazby explains what you can do to be more ‘mindful’ of the sensitivities.
Dr Jennifer Bleazby, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Culture and Society, Monash University https://research.monash.edu/en/persons/jennifer-bleazby
The (Australian) Victorian curriculum’s worldviews materials - an example of materials to support GRE taught within other school subjects, mostly humanities
Social Education Victoria https://www.sev.asn.au/
Humanists Victoria - Check out their learning resources here https://vichumanist.org.au/resources/
Rationalists Society – Dr Bleazby has received a research grant to investigate religious education in Australian public schools.
From a brewery to a maths luminary: Professor Merrilyn Goos
Taking a zigzag path to eventually becoming a luminary in international mathematics education - that’s Merrilyn Goos’ back story in a nutshell. These days’ she’s a Professor of Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She’s also the Vice-President of the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction. She directed an innovative program to retrain out-of-field high school teachers of mathematics in Ireland from 2017 to 2020. And, she wrote the award-winning book, Teaching Secondary School Mathematics (Allen & Unwin). Professor Goos shares her experience of teaching out-of-field and the journey to becoming a maths education specialist and beyond.
Do you have any comments about this podcast or would you like to suggest an interviewee for a future episode? Get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Goos’ USC profile: https://www.usc.edu.au/staff/professor-merrilyn-goos
International Commission on Mathematics Instruction: https://www.mathunion.org/icmi
Approximately 3:1 The crucial content-to-pedagogy ratio for teachers retraining to teach maths.
Professor Kim Beswick explains why. She’s been quizzed in state parliament about out-of-field teaching and, by day, is the director of the Gonski Institute for Education at the University of NSW, Australia. Professor Kim Beswick also researches equity issues and heads mathematics education for her university. She talks about why those teaching maths need to understand the content before they look at the pedagogy – how to teach it.
Her UNSW profile: https://www.unsw.edu.au/staff/kim-beswick
The transcript of her answering questions about out-of-field teaching from the Measurement and outcome-based funding in NSW schools – State Parliament’s education committee 29 November 2019
Measure and outcome-based funding in NSW Schools. Informed by the Data: Evidence-based education in NSW
In Germany, out-of-Field Teaching is NOT a big issue yet. Dr Raphaela Porsch explains why
Dr Raphaela Porsch is a key player in the global Teaching-Across Specialisations Collective of researchers looking into the out-of-field teaching phenomenon. She writes in German and English. Here’s a link to her AD Scientific Index ranking https://www.adscientificindex.com/scientist/raphaela-porsch/1762605.
And, you can check out her research group at the university of Magdeburg: http://www.ewad.ovgu.de
Network "Fachfremdes Unterrichten" (it’s German group of the global Teaching-Across-Specialisations-Out-of-Field Teaching Collective)
This link is in German http://www.psysensus.de, so hopefully Google Chrome can translate that one for you.
Any feedback to this pod or suggestions for future interviewees? Contact email@example.com
A neophyte PhD project: 3 months in
Here's an insight into the tangly start of a PhD project researching the out-of-field teaching phenomenon. A neophyte researcher's baby steps into a very different writing world. If you're a PhD student - at any stage of your journey - looking into out-of-field teaching and would like to be interviewed on this podcast, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. The more the merrier.
Andrew Pierpoint on how principals allocate teachers to out-of-field subjects and why.
Be a fly on the wall to hear what goes into the decision-making of principals when they allocate high school teachers to teach outside of their qualification areas. The president of the Australian Secondary Principals’ Association talks about his own and his peers’ experience.
Like to offer your feedback to this episode or suggest someone for a future pod interview? Contact email@example.com
Why do so many PE teachers have to teach maths out-of-field?
Greg Oates is an associate professor of mathematics education at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He’s taught maths from middle school to pre-service teacher education. We talk about teaching physical education out-of-field – you may know that plenty of PE teachers are roped into teaching maths out-of-field. Listen on to find out why! Plenty more here about teaching maths OOFT, too. Got any feedback or suggestions for future episodes? Email the host, firstname.lastname@example.org
#out-of-field-teaching #K12education #teaching-math-out-of-field
Stomp & clap if you teach English out of field. Here's why!
Do you teach English out-of-field? Time to stomp and clap, says Dr Lucinda McKnight. Check out this pod to find out why. As well, did you know you could feel ‘out-of-field’ as an in-field English teacher if you taught a text you weren’t comfortable with or didn’t really know well? It can happen!
Dr McKnight is a senior lecturer at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia focusing on pedagogy and the curriculum. Her award-winning research into curriculum design looks at its role in teacher identity, autonomy and professionalism, esp. in English. She’s an ARC DECRA fellow and former English teacher, published poet/writer, and award-winning playwriter, too. You can find out more about her: https://blogs.deakin.edu.au/genderandeliteschools/dr-lucinda-mcknight/.
One of her best-performing research papers is called Meet the Phallic Teacher – that’s a teacher of any gender who’s ever more compliant. It explores designing curriculum and identity in a neoliberal imaginary. She talks about that paper and her exploration into out-of-field teaching as an educational researcher with a background in English and history teaching.
You can find the full transcript (lightly edited) here: https://realcommunications.com.au/teaching-english-out-of-field/
Dr William DeJean: a fresh perspective on OOFT
Dr William DeJean, founder/CEO of educational consultancy, Unleash Learning, aims to create "embedded, systematic, long-lasting change" in schools so learning sticks. He explains how OOF teachers feature in that. Dr DeJean has lectured at universities, and worked with schools in the USA (in his then home-state of California) and Australia - with each school, he has a three-year process to embed a teaching-and-learning system throughout the school. As well, formerly as a high school teacher, he was named teacher of the year among 26,000 teachers in San Diego County.
Here's a link to a lightly edited transcript: https://realcommunications.com.au/as-an-out-of-field-teacher-are-you-bringing-your-biggest-gift-to-class/.
Colleen Vale on how school leaders can better support out-of-field mathematics teachers
Listen to a professor of mathematics, Colleen Vale, from Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, share her research insights into how out-of-field maths teachers can be better supported. Her research interests include inclusion, gender equity and digital technologies as well as STEM education. Colleen is based at the university’s School of Curriculum Teaching & Inclusive Education.
Or you can listen to a lightly edited transcript.
In this season, I (Margaret Paton, your host) already have several interviews with researchers and an education consultant already in the bag. Feel free to share your feedback about the podcast, and I welcome your suggestions for future interviewees. Contact me at email@example.com.
I’m on a quest to move beyond just perpetuating a negative discourse about out-of-field teaching. I’m a specialist education journalist and a part-time PhD student at Deakin University looking into out-of-field teaching. I don’t represent Deakin University in this podcast – all views I utter are my own.
The Out-of-Field Teaching Toolkit podcast is about building a community of practice for researchers, teachers, policymakers, educational consultants, universities, education departments and unions.
#out-of-field-teaching #K12education #teaching-math-out-of-field
Season 1: That's a wrap
Hear the highlights of the 15 or so episodes on season one of this podcast.
A huge thanks goes to Rich Bowden, whose expertise I call on for he audio editing of these episodes: https://www.richbowdenwriting.com.au/
Season 2 will start on International Teachers’ Day on Tuesday, 24 January, with a fresh episode issued each second Tuesday thereafter.
Please review my pod – I’d love to hear what you think. It also helps others find this podcast.
And, any feedback, comments, suggestions for topics/interviewees, please let me know. You can reach me via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where out-of-field maths teachers are welcome to lurk
The Mathematics Association of NSW (MANSW) has been working with South Cross University’s TEACHLABto tackle the ‘wicked problem’ of how to upskill and support out-of-field maths teachers in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia. It’s had some good results using the framework of a community of practice for in-field and out-of-field teachers to rub shoulders together (metaphorically).The project, called ‘An investigation into factors impacting on the development of teacher-of-mathematics identity and retention in regional, rural and remote areas of NSW’, is headed by Professor David Lynch and MANSW provided the funding.
Find out more about the project from this interview with MANSW’s executive officer, Darius Samojlowicz. You can check out his research papers on ResearchGate.
And, this podcast welcomes your feedback as well as suggestions for people to interview and out-of-field teaching/teacher issues to cover for the second season. It will kick off 24 Jan 2023.
Quantifying out-of-field teaching: Dr Jim Van Overschelde, Texas State University
Dr Jim Van Overschelde stands out from the pack of researchers – he takes a quantitative approach to exploring this phenomenon. He’s an Associate Professor in Curriculum & Instruction and Co-Director, Evaluation and Research at Texas State University. Texas is unusual in its comprehensive collection of data that tracks people throughout their education. It even goes granular so, as Dr Van Overschedule explains, you can link student performance to whether or not they’ve been taught by out-of-field teachers for particular subjects. We’re not talking PISA, TIMMS here either.
Check out the pod for more details.
You can also check out his papers on Google Scholar, and Acadamia.
Are you an out-of-field teacher, researcher or have an interest as a consultant, school leader, policymaker, or even a student or parent? Maybe you'd like to share your views in an upcoming podcast. Then get in touch with me via email margaret.paton1@gmail. I welcome ideas/angles for future podcasts, too, if you're feeling a bit shy about taking part in a podcast interview.
Dr Susan Caldis: Teaching geography in & out of field
Can you imagine a first-year teacher fronting up to her principal and saying 'NO' to doing out-of-field teaching and offering the research to back that up? And then being able to teach only in-field - using her geography teaching qualification? Dr Susan Caldis, a lecturer in the School of Education at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia shares this anecdote as part of her deep dive into her PhD and subsequent research.
Decadal Plan/ Strategic Plan for the Discipline of Geography https://www.science.org.au/files/userfiles/support/reports-and-plans/2018/geography-decadal-plan.pdf
The GEOG Standards: https://agta.asn.au/files/Professional%20Standards/geogstandards.pdf
Susan also has a chapter in this tome about OOFT: Hobbs, L. & Porsch, R. (Eds) (2022). Out-of-field Teaching Across Teaching Disciplines and Contexts. Springer.
Do you teach maths out of field? Cassandra Portelli has plenty of tips for you.
Cassandra Portelli is an award-winning mathematics teacher, who says she wasn’t a ‘maths champion’ while studying at uni. She started her career teaching everything except science from kindergarten through to Year 12. These days, she’s the Head Teacher of Mathematics at Hunter School of Performing Arts, in Broadmeadow, NSW, Australia, and has a particular interest in building her students’ financial literacy. She shares loads of tips and tactics for educators teaching maths out of field. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
One step closer to tackling a PhD researching out-of-field teaching
Here's an update on my progress towards getting my foot into the PhD program at Deakin University, Victoria, Australia, to research out-of-field teaching.
The Doctoral Experience (book)
On the Origin of Stories (book)
Tara Brabazon - website, YouTube channel
Thesis Whisperer (blog)
On The Reg (podcast)
Grad Coach (website) - not Graduate Coach as I called it in the pod
Seven Vinton: The out-of-field teacher who WROTE the textbooks for the subject he was teaching out of field.
Seven Vinton is the Professional Learning and Curriculum Leader at Oberon High School in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. He segued into teaching and has distinguished himself as possibly the only out-of-field teacher who co-wrote not one but two text books for the subject in which he was teaching out of field. In this episode, you'll hear how he segued into the role and is building upon it.
Meet Liz Jackson: From teaching PE to upskilling teachers about entrepreneurialism
Liz Jackson is a former PE high school teacher who runs professional development for K-12 educators running entrepreneurial programs for 150 schools in Sydney, Australia. She says even educators teaching content that’s ‘in field’, (i.e. they’ve got the university qualifications) still feel 'out of field' when they teach entrepreneurial education. Her role also covers online learning, upskilling, and pathways for teachers.
And Liz is also working on a PhD to detail the ecosystem of schools involved in entrepreneurialism – either their own in-house programs or by partnering with industry/other organisations. Her work aims to recognise, classify, evaluate and measure program effectiveness. If your Australian K-12 school runs an entrepreneurship program, get in touch with Liz as she’s keen to interview teachers. Reach out to her on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/liz-jackson-19ab83119/
She’ll also be presenting at the upcoming Spark Festival – Australia’s Festival of Innovation, Tech, and Ideas, which runs from 12-27 October 2022. https://sparkfestival.co/
Serious number crunching: Dr Paul Weldon from ACER
Introducing Dr Paul Weldon, a senior research fellow from the Australian Centre for Educational Research (LinkedIn). His authoritative research into out-of-field teaching in high schools makes for interesting reading because it shows how each state and territory in Australia define OOFT differently.
Please note: more detailed show notes and transcripts will become available over time.
Justin Pronin: an Australian high school teacher who relishes out-of-field teaching
Are you an out-of-field teacher who wants to experience success? Then listen on! I quiz a teacher who enjoys hopping from subject to subject, continuously learning and challenging himself. He sees himself as a teacher first, rather than a specialist teacher. Is Justin onto something? Maybe he's the teacher of the future. Here's a link to his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Promysta
Making baby steps towards a PhD into OOFT
Does the idea of doing an education-related PhD tickle your fancy? Come along for the ride as I update you on the progress of my quest to tackle a betwixt OOFT topic for a possible PhD. In this pod, I share my research proposal.
Dr Emily Rochette: Positioning theory and out-of-field teachers
If you think a science teacher can't be out of field when they're teaching one of the science subjects in a school, think again. Dr Emily Rochette talks about what it was like for her as a chemistry graduate teaching earth sciences. These days she lectures in science education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. Her PhD delved into positioning theory and she shares some highlights of that in our chat, particularly relating to out-of-field teaching. You can connect with Emily here: https://findanexpert.unimelb.edu.au/profile/569618-emily-rochette.
What's a teachers' union have to say about OOFT?
Correna Haythorpe, president of the Australian Education Union, delves into the issues of out-of-field teaching.
A perspective on the teacher shortage crisis
In this special 5-minute episode, I talk about a little-known aspect of the teacher shortage ... teaching graduates who flounder in casual, relief & temporary teaching, often out-of-field, and their struggle to find a school to supervise them to proficiency so that can keep teaching. This is a snapshot of my journey.
Mini reflections on out-of-field teaching
Your host, Margaret Paton, talks about returning (part-time) to out-of-field teaching after a three-year break.
Teachers should be flexible: Ben Grozier, ClassCover Founder/CEO
Former educator - and yes he's done a fair whack of out-of-field teaching - Ben Grozier founded and is the CEO of ClassCover (www.classcover.com.au) in 2011. It's a software platform that matches schools with teachers across Australia and New Zealand for casual, relief, temporary as well as permanent work. A spinoff is the Relief Teachers' Association, which holds an annual online or in-person conference. Ben sees out-of-field work as part and parcel of teaching - learn more about his platform, its plans, the association and Ben's views about out-of-field teaching.
Finding flamboyance and boundary crossing as an out-of-field teacher
Here's someone who researches out-of-field teaching for a living - Associate Professor Linda Hobbs, from the School of Education at Deakin University, in Victoria, Australia. She's also that school's Associate Head of Research. You can find out more about her work here: https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/people/linda-hobbs
For a copy of the transcript of this recording, please email the podcast host email@example.com.
Trailer for the Out-of-Field Teaching Toolkit Podcast
Do you teach a school subject or stage for which you're not qualified? Then this fortnightly podcast is for you. I'll be talking with experts about out-of-field teaching practice, research, policy, success stories and innovation.
Welcome to this new podcast about and for out-of-field teachers.
That’s when K-12 educators teach a subject without the necessary qualifications, according to the Out-of-Field – Teaching Across Specialisations Collective. And it’s happening a LOT due to the increasing school teacher shortages in Australia and globally.
I’m Margaret Paton, a former out-of-field teacher based in Australia and I’m also known as Margaret Jakovac when I put my novice academic researcher hat on. By trade, I’m an education writer and my words appear in The Australian Educator and The Australian Teacher Magazine.
Despite training as a primary or elementary school teacher, I preferred high school teaching. That’s how I landed in the out-of-field teaching space. Teaching Japanese was a hoot – I don’t know this language, but thanks to the substantive teacher leaving detailed lesson plans, and having smooth learning routines for her classes, it was a hoot. Teaching metal fabrication was my personal minefield. I couldn’t connect that to anything I knew, which was gnawingly obvious to the students. There’s no way I could reign in their behaviours to get them on task.
So, this podcast is part-therapy for me as out-of-field teacher for over seven years, on and off, which was at times harrowing. I also want to share success stories about out-of-field teaching done well –where school contexts offer the support such teachers need. I want to move beyond the deficit model of out-of-field teachers. It’s a fascinating space, and I hope you’ll think so, too.
Each fortnight, I’ll share my interviews with out-of-field teachers, as well as researchers, policymakers and even entrepreneurs who explore this space, and offer insights and possible solutions. We’ll talk about:
· the history of out-of-field teaching – did you know the US banned it for a few years this Millennium?
· What’s the state of play now?
· how can out-of-field teachers harness signature pedagogies to be on the front foot as they walk into classrooms
· You’ll learn how a beginning teacher successfully lobbied her principal, so she never had to take an out-of-field class – she had some convincing research to back up her claims, and a
· As well, we’ll check out what are the hot areas of research and, how can you keep tabs on them, and much more.
This podcast is created in Central West NSW, Australia, on the lands of the Wiradjuri people. I would like to acknowledge the Wiradjuri people who are the Traditional Custodians of the Land. I would also like to pay respect to the Elders, both past and present, of the Wiradjuri Nation and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians who are listening.
So, look out for the first episode in a couple of weeks. I’ll talk to a researcher who’s an international expert in this area, with many symposia, conferences, books, research papers and projects to her name. Associate Professor Linda Hobbs from the School of Education at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, is the first cab off the rank. And a discloser – she’s my university supervisor!
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