Student enthusiasm inspires teaching award

Issue: Volume 97, Number 2

Posted: 12 February 2018
Reference #: 1H9hPx

Technology teacher Steve Andrew has been recognised by his subject association for a long career focused on helping others.

A Waikato teacher whose philosophy is to let students follow their own interests in their studies has received a leadership award.

HOF Technology at St John’s College Hamilton Steve Andrew has had a teaching career spanning 30 years. He received the Subject Leadership in Technology Education Award from his subject association Technology Education New Zealand (TENZ) at their annual conference.

The key to engaging students in technology education is to link it to real life, he says.

“We talk about this contextual way of approaching technology with students working on something of their choice from a broad base. If it’s directly related to them, a lot of the learning just comes naturally.

“If a student is enthused about what they’re working on, then they’re more likely to apply their brain and learn self-management skills alongside the practical know-how gained in their projects.

“A lot of the learning that needs to happen extends beyond the school environment and technology gives us the opportunity to solve problems and explore ideas.”

Steve says one of the best things about his job is helping students realise their ideas.

“I really enjoy interacting with our students and watching them develop as they grow older – whether that’s in their communication skills or their practical ability.

“It’s also about that moment of gratitude when a project or an idea really works – it’s great to see students feeling proud of their work and being able to genuinely say ‘I made that.’”

Steve has been actively involved in his subject association and holds regular workshops for technology teachers in the wider Waikato region.

These sessions range from sharing technical skills and discussing NCEA achievement standards to liaising with local technology businesses and testing electric farm bikes.

“I’ve just loved being involved at a regional and national level with other technology educators. It’s been enormously rewarding to have the opportunity to influence how we teach technology to young people today,” he says.

“Technology education provides a valuable preparation for life beyond school, no matter what pathway students might choose. It opens up choices that students may not have considered and exposes them to practical challenges of design thinking and execution.”

A range of video clips are available to view featuring Steve and his students sharing the way conceptual understandings, hands-on experiences and a student’s own technological practice are linked within technology teaching and learning.

They can be viewed on TKI at link)
(external link)

TENZ award

The association’s Subject Leadership in Technology Education Award acknowledges a significant contribution over a period of time in developing technology education programmes in a school or organisation.

In announcing the award, Steve was described as a teacher focused on the wellbeing of his students and his fellow teachers.

“He works with a wide range of community experts and happily shares his knowledge.

“He is passionate and committed to promoting technology education and gives up an exorbitant amount of his time to support others,” read the citation.

“Steve is the TENZ Regional Chair here in the Waikato and he has done such great work in getting our technology teachers together with industry employers so that our programmes are relevant for students,” says TENZ chair Wendy Fox.

“He arranges site visits, is active within the Waikato Engineering and Careers Association, but this award also recognises that his students perform at an excellence level.”

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:00 am, 12 February 2018

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