Mr Alex Symonds, Economics and HSIE teacher at Masada College has been appointed to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Educators Advisory Panel (EAP). The EAP was established by the Reserve Bank in 2017 to provide expert guidance to the Bank on matters of education. Specifically, the EPA provides feedback on educational resources and events commissioned by the Bank in support of its public education objectives as well as helping to keep the Bank abreast of curriculum developments.
“We are very proud that Alex will represent other educators as well as our school,” said Masada College Principal, Martin Tait. “This is a deserved honour for Alex. He is an innovative and dedicated teacher, always seeking to spark students’ enthusiasm for Economics.” Over a number of years, Alex has been rolling out ‘flipped learning’ methodology in teaching his Economics classes. In this model, students learn the content for ‘homework’, watching videos created by Alex to help them understand key concepts. In class, students then look to apply the content – engaging in questioning and thinking routines to help them more deeply understand the subject.
“This model has been very effective with my Year 11 and 12 students as we’re able to maximise class time to help students apply their knowledge and link the content they’ve examined at home to real-world events,” Alex said.
Alex uses his YouTube channel to host his videos on Economics content. He says that the video format is very helpful in allowing students to progress through content at their own pace, including rewinding and pausing material. “I’ve found that students value the opportunity to review the content through the videos, and come to class familiar with the material and loaded with questions,” he says.
There are 12 members on the RBA Educators Advisory panel, including the chair, Jacqui Dwyer, Head of Information Department of the Reserve Bank and representatives from Universities and Economic Teachers Associations from across the nation. Alex and Timmee Grinham from Fintona Girls’ School will help provide the perspective of teachers at secondary schools. Appointments are for a three-year term and the panel usually meets in person two to three times per year, however, due to COVID-19 the panel will have its first meeting for 2020 via Zoom in June. “I have no doubt that Alex will be an asset to the RBA Educators Advisory Panel. On behalf of all the staff and students at Masada College we congratulate him on this impressive appointment,” said Mr Tait.