Delivering educational equality to students in the global classroom

Notre Dame graduate, Elise O’Neil, is currently teaching in London and is inspired
to raise educational standards for students across the world.

14 December 2015

An immersion teaching experience in Tanzania inspired Elise O’Neil’s passion for international education and has called her to develop a cross-cultural teaching model to raise educational standards for students across the globe.

The Notre Dame Bachelor of Education (Primary) graduate spent three months teaching at an Edmund Rice school in Tanzania for three months as part of her degree as part of an internationally-based leadership program. Since graduation she has spent the past three years teaching in both developing and developed countries around the world including New Zealand, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Ecuador.

From an early age, Ms O’Neil had a vision of educational equity for people across the world. However, after witnessing the mismanagement of a number of educational programs in classrooms, the Fremantle Campus graduate truly realised the important role teachers had in improving the world economically, socially, philosophically and spiritually.

“My goal is to one day be in a position where I can contribute to raising educational standards globally and locally. I strongly believe that teachers have an essential part to play in globalisation and international development, and that the role of the educator needs to be emphasised in our community to reach this potential,” Ms O’Neil said.

Although the experiences have varied dramatically over her teaching journey, Ms O’Neil said they reinforced the core essentials of education – children, teachers and empowerment.

“Children are children; they are motivated by hands-on, interactive lessons and passionate energetic teachers. The learning increases or decreases in exact proportion to these conditions being strengthened or weakened,” Ms O’Neil said.

“Teachers can inspire students without resources, without interactive whiteboards, without books and without pencils. Strong, supportive leadership in schools and communities is imperative to furthering educational goals.

“At the end of the day, education is a basic human right. Through my experiences I have learned that the power of a true educator is being able to empower others, and I am convinced that the way to empower is through education.”

Having access to international learning opportunities through The University of Notre Dame Australia’s School of Education in Fremantle encouraged Ms O’Neil to explore her teaching role beyond geographical boundaries. Ms O’Neil is currently teaching in the United Kingdom.

With 32 weeks of practical experience as part of a Notre Dame Education degree, Ms O’Neil said she felt adequately prepared for the rigours of teaching in a global classroom.

“My experience at Notre Dame was and still is a very important one. I know that my University will remain alongside me in the development of my career, and that the values of philosophy, delivered through the Core Curriculum, will stay with me forever,” Ms O’Neil said.

“I want this for all of our teachers – globally.”

MEDIA CONTACT
Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093; leigh.dawson@nd.edu.au