Chairperson: Esther Wilkes Hill
Engaging teachers in conversations about pedagogy and the power of deep thinking and connected learning has been a driving force behind Esther Wilkes Hill's school leadership. A Project Zero fellow and former winner of the Premier's Secondary Teacher of the Year, Esther strives to develop and support learning cultures where individual and group thinking is valued. As founding chairperson of ATTICS Inc Esther hopes to work with the committee to enable teachers across the state to access professional learning and connect with a learning community that is committed to developing the capacity of all teachers and learners to be innovators and thinkers who can create a better world.
As a passionate Science Teacher and firm believer in Thinking Skills, Nina has enjoyed watching the increasing global demand for these skills ‘the skills needed for tomorrow’ grow. In a rapidly changing social and technological environment, Nina focuses on equipping her students with the tools needed to successfully operate in the global community. Her hard work, passion and dedication to her practice was recognised by being the 2014 National Excellence in Teaching Award nominee for Western Australia, and the 2013 Western Australian Science Teacher Association Teacher of the Year.
Nakita has taught in a wide range of schools; moving over the course of her career from pre-primary education support, to an Agriculture College, to a metro Gifted and Talented School, and most recently to a regional Senior High School. She also works closely with schools in Cambodia, running teacher development programs, infrastructure improvement projects and providing community-based education support. Nakita’s primary focus in the classroom is always to develop independence and life-long learning attributes in her students. She achieves this by fostering critical and creative thinking in the classroom and enabling students to generate their own content, ideas, questions and connections.
Starting in the heady world of advertising, Diane quickly realised she wanted to work for more than money, so she switched to teaching and got her wish! Diane has now taught for over 20 years in the U.K. and Australia in the public sector: in hard-to-staff, mainstream and GATE schools. She uses a student-centred approach and her classroom celebrates thinking, process and mistakes – especially her own. Diane fosters trusting and highly productive relationships with her students and has a gift for getting the best out of every student.
With over fifteen years of teaching English , Laura’s biggest learning has been about the importance of building relationships with students to gain trust and engagement. This applies across all skill levels and age groups. A relevant and rigourous curriculum is the core of her classroom management. Some key skills Laura has developed through PD and conversations with colleagues are in differentiation and in designing writing and reading frameworks to make explicit the processes we are asking students to engage in and apply. Her latest path is in building an innovations and entrepreneurship program and culture with a focus on 21st century skills and student centred learning.
An educator for over 20 years in New Zealand and Australia, Nigel is currently a Program Coordinator for Learning and Community. His extensive experience in teaching English, Literature, Media and Drama have allowed him to develop innovative teaching programmes that integrate best practice in Project Based Learning and Cultures of Thinking into the regular classroom. It is his belief that students become powerful learners when they are engaged in ‘real world’ authentic contexts, are given freedom to innovate and take risks - while being mindful of how they think.
Schools of Thinking was founded by a group of dedicated teachers and school administrators. We are a not-for-profit organisation, and our board members work on a voluntary basis to run events, write blogs, create resources and advocate for innovative curricula in the hope of inspiring other teachers to put students' thinking at the forefront of their daily practice.
Our board members are: