Inspiring future teachers with learning science

Associate  Jason Lodge.
Associate Jason Lodge.
The University of Queensland is honouring a learning scientist who is leading by example to inspire and teach future teachers.

Associate Professor Jason Lodge from UQ’s School of Education has won an Award for Teaching Excellence during Teaching and Learning (T&L) Week.

"I am very mindful that the students I work with at university are going to be teachers themselves," Dr Lodge said.

"As I teach them, I want to make sure that they experience a range of different strategies which are based on learning science that they can then apply in their future classrooms."

Dr Lodge has a background in psychology and aims to bridge the gap between scientific research and effective and engaging teaching methods.

"Learning science looks at how humans learn and translates knowledge about the brain into what might work in a classroom," he said.

"I help my students understand how memory and attention work and what sorts of decisions they need to make to help their students.

"If at any time they need to change or adapt because new technology comes along or they're struggling, they've got a strong foundation that they can build on to find a resolution."

Each semester Dr Lodge teaches around 200 students and, using a range of strategies, remembers everyone’s name and individual characteristics.

"Education is not transaction, the most effective learning situations are built on relationships with peers and teachers, so I put a lot of effort into making sure students feel they belong and they’re seen," he said.

"If I know my students, it makes the whole process so much easier and more enjoyable for all of us and caring for their students is something I want them to take forward into their careers."

Dr Lodge wants to inspire people to enter the teaching profession.

"We desperately need teachers, and we need really good teachers out there," Dr Lodge said.

"I don't think there’s anywhere else you can be rewarded over and over again by watching somebody struggle with an idea or a way of seeing the world until they overcome that and have an ’Aha’ moment."

Dr Lodge has also been working with the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency and as an advisor to the National Artificial Intelligence Taskforce developing a framework for using AI in schools.