ORIGO Education Founder and Executive Chairperson James Burnett says he is honoured today to be named one of Australia’s Most Influential Educators for 2022.
The inaugural list of Most Influential Educators named by The Educator recognises education leaders who have made a strong impact in creating a reformative teaching and learning culture in Australia.
The Educator said ORIGO Education had been helping schools improve mathematics education for more than 25 years through a range of curriculum programs and professional learning for teachers. Over the past 18 months James had made a big impact on the education sector by spearheading a range of products and programs like ORIGO at Home, designed to provide free daily online lessons and activities for students learning at home during the pandemic.
For James, the award acknowledges his passion for mathematics education and his drive for ORIGO Education to bring best practice to the Australian classroom.
“It’s a huge honour. There are talented educators across Australia striving to raise the bar and set new teaching and learning standards for students,” he said.
“We have worked hard to support them with meaningful mathematics resources that are interesting, effective and evidence based.
“To be acknowledged for that contribution, and for helping to build an inspiring and sustainable teaching and learning culture, is an achievement that makes me incredibly proud.”
Commenting on plans for the next year, James said ORIGO Education was preparing to continue its successful professional learning series with a particular focus on addressing the major changes that will influence the teaching of mathematics.
“Teachers will see significant changes in the new Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, including entirely new content, and existing content that has been repositioned from other year levels,” James said.
“While we believe these changes are in the best interests of Australian students, they do mean teachers will need professional learning that specifically targets the grades they teach.
“Our professional learning series comprises 12 engaging webinars covering the essential content and pedagogy for core strands of the curriculum – Number, Algebra, Space & Measurement, and Statistics & Probability – across every primary grade from Years F-6.
He said writing new materials to help teachers implement the new mathematics curriculum was paramount in 2022.
“Algorithmic thinking is an entirely new topic in the curriculum, and we have done considerable work in this area over the past three years.
“ORIGO Education has earned a reputation for being pioneering and innovative, so the education community will be looking to us for a practical solution that is based on research.
“It is a challenge that I don’t take lightly, so I am focused on developing new resources that ORIGO Education will be ready to roll out in the next few months. It is what teachers expect of us as a leading provider of teaching solutions,” he said.
Across his career, James has accumulated numerous awards for his work in writing primary school mathematics material.
He has authored and co-authored more than 300 mathematics resources for teachers and students aged 5 to 12, and ORIGO Education is exporting across the globe, with offices in Australia, Thailand, the USA and Canada – which resulted in ORIGO winning the Australian Export Award for Education and Training in 2015.
Most recently he was named Queensland University of Technology’s 2021 Outstanding Alumnus in the Education Category. Other recent achievements were winning the Educational Publishing Awards Australia Primary: Student Resource – Mathematics category and Learning Magazine’s 2018 Teacher’s Choice for ORIGO Education’s core K-6 mathematics program, Stepping Stones.
“The goal is to make mathematics meaningful, enjoyable and accessible for all students and teachers. It’s more than simply helping students to fall in love with mathematics. It’s ensuring that they have a concrete understanding of the concepts, so that they can use it beyond the classroom,” said James.
“We want to prepare them for a world where they have the skills and the confidence to contribute to a society that is mentally stronger, more innovative and forward thinking.
“We want to encourage our children to become better citizens that know how to problem solve and find alternate solutions to better shape our world.”
Read James’ profile here: James Burnett – The Educator Online Profile