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Click on one of the questions below to scroll directly to that answer:
1. What is your school/organization?
Intercommunity School, Zurich, Switzerland
2. What roles have you had or do you have within the IB?
I have been a teacher of IB Diploma Programme geography for 17 years. Most recently, I have also taught theory of knowledge. In addition to that, I also have been a teacher of Middle Years Programme (MYP) humanities for 10 years. In 2010–11 I was acting IB Diploma Programme Coordinator at the Intercommunity School (ICS).
At ICS Zurich I have been the creativity, action, service (CAS) Coordinator since 2000 and was part of the committee that helped to write the current CAS guidelines (I was a teacher representative, along with María Piaggio and Steve Money). Since 2002 I have been a workshop leader for CAS and have done workshops at categories one, two and three for IB Africa, Europe and Middle East (IBAEM) and IB Americas. For the last two years I have also been involved in IBAEM’s monitoring of CAS programmes.
In addition to being a workshop leader for CAS, I have also led workshops for IBAEM in Geography.
3. Tell us some more about yourself, your education, your career and other roles you have had outside of the IB.
My secondary schooling was done at Newman College in Perth, Western Australia, and I matriculated to the University of Western Australia, doing a bachelor of arts with a major in geography. My teacher training was at Edith Cowan University and I gained a bachelor’s of education from that institution. I taught at Aquinas College in Perth for 15 years, teaching lower school humanities and geography. At this time I was heavily involved in sport, especially rugby union, and organized both National Schools and University tournaments and was a member of the Australian Schools Rugby Union Committee.
I moved to Europe in 1992 and worked in the UK state school system and at a small boarding school. My first involvement with the IB came when I moved to Switzerland to work at ICS. I was inspired by the work of the then-CAS Coordinator, Matthew Cradock, to be involved in CAS. This interest was further stimulated by meeting one of the early CAS experts, Ambrose Kelly, who was teaching at Frankfurt International School. Together with Ambrose, I organized the first (and probably only) combined CAS and MYP Community Service Conference with students in Zurich in 2000.
Professionally, I have been heavily involved with the European Council of International Schools, being chair of both the Community Service and Humanities committees, organizing guest speakers and a couple of workshops. In addition, I have been a member of the board for Clemson University’s International Center for Service Learning Education, which has been taken over by Duke University.
In 2004 I completed my master’s degree at Bath University and, because of my work in my subject area, was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Chartered Geographer.
I have presented at many different workshops and conferences on service learning and have learned a great deal about this area of work.
4. What was your motivation behind being a part of this publication?
There were a couple of factors that motivated me. I was involved in writing the CAS guide, and the CAS project has been one of the topics which has been difficult for coordinators to interpret. My own exposure to several successful projects led me to think that I could contribute some ideas for other CAS Coordinators. It also gave me the chance to work again with two people that I respect and like: María and Steve. We form a good team.
5. Who do you see as the main audience for the publication?
- CAS Coordinators
- IB World Schools
6. What benefit does this book have to the user, and how would you recommend that a teacher or student use this resource?
It gives the user some guidelines and examples of how to build a successful CAS project. From the student perspective, it shows what is possible and that they could achieve.
7. Getting personal, what is your current favourite music, book and movie?
- Book: Solar by Ian McEwen
- Movie: Lawrence of Arabia
- Music: “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd (from The Wal)
8. What is the one piece of advice you’ve been given that you actually use in practice?
Make sure you know that you have researched thoroughly people’s needs and try to triangulate opinions. return to top
9. If you were going to a desert island and allowed to take only one item with you, what would you take?
A diary and fountain pen.