An experienced Wagga teacher was selected from applications across the state to explore a topic to improve catholic teaching.
Assistant principal at St Joseph’s Primary School Kelly Humphrey’s, studied in the United States last year as part of her research topic into diverse leadership in the corporate world.
Catholic Schools NSW is on the hunt for its fifth Brother John Taylor fellowship candidate with an interest in an area that will improve and benefit the teaching profession.
Mrs Humphrey’s has been a school educator for more than 12 years and said it was a privilege to be granted this opportunity.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for any educator passionate about research to explore what is happening in a global context,” she said.
“I had been encouraged by a colleague and friend who had been through a similar experience, and I won a research grant to make a real difference in education around the state.”
The research areas have varied over the four research reports, from making maths more attractive in the classroom and the importance of childhood education and the benefits of play to being able to critically and creatively adapt to technology.
As a Wiradjuri woman, Mrs Humphrey’s based her research on a particular interest and goal.
“My area was looking at increasing diversity in educational leadership, through an educative and corporate lense,” she said.
The fellowship provides up to $20,000 in travel and accommodation for an employee of a Catholic school or an associated body to study and write about a topic that addresses schooling priorities or challenges in a Catholic context.
The chosen educator produces an academic paper, working alongside a mentor to create a rigorous study to build a library of research for all Catholic educators to draw upon.
“I went to Harvard for education in Boston and I worked with over 120 educators in a five-day short course to improve my own leadership,” Mrs Humphrey said.
“The rest of my research was working with different leaders and educators.”
Mrs Humphrey said the opportunity has predominantly enhanced her personal development as a teacher, and she looks forward to applying these skills into the classroom.
“My personal skills in leadership have been enhanced and sharpened,” she said.
“My research area deviated from past participants who have shaped classroom practice as mine focused around leadership opportunities.”
The four past participants have been made up of three women, including two from regional NSW.
CSNSW senior manager Jim Hanna is calling for experienced teachers to delve into this research opportunity.
“We want people who have some experience as those with a bit more experience tend to impart more knowledge to their fellow colleagues,” Mr Hanna said.
The fellowship honours John Taylor – a Christian brother – and his dedication to quality education and equity over 30 years as a teacher, principal and executive director of Catholic Education Commission NSW.
While CSNSW represents the state’s 595 Catholic schools and their 255,000 students, only around 5-13 teachers have applied for this grant each year.