Emma Macnamara

Project Name

About Emma

Emma MacNamara is part of SREAMS Curriculum Advisor team. She is involved in curriculum evaluation and research projects around curriculum initiatives. Emma also provides curriculum support to schools to ensure they are using SPA to support and drive their teaching & learning.

Emma trained as a primary teacher completing a Bachelor of Education degree at The University of Melbourne in 2003. Between 2004 and 2011 Emma has taught in Victorian Government Primary Schools as a generalist teacher.

In 2007 Emma completed a Masters of Education degree in Learning and Teaching at The University of Melbourne doing a number of units which focused on teaching and support structures for students with specific learning difficulties (particularly within the areas of numeracy and literacy) and developing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for such children.

She has also completed a number of courses in qualitative research methods, program evaluation and statistical analysis through the Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Inc. (ACSPRI) programs.

Emma forms part of the SPA support team. You can contact Emma at emma@sreams.com.au should you require any curriculum support with your SPA account.

In 2005, Emma was involved in a professional learning action research project to continue the development of the “Developmental Curriculum Play & Inquiry Approach” to learning and teaching. In 2006 her school was awarded the Best National Achievement in School Improvement having worked closely with consultant Kathy Walker to adopt this developmental curriculum approach to the Prep-2 level program. Because of the high profile of this curriculum initiative, Emma, as Prep-coordinator, regularly ran professional learning activities for groups of visiting principals and teachers who wanted to learn more about this curriculum approach to develop strategies to enable them to adopt this exciting and successful curriculum approach in their own schools.

In 2010, under the leadership of Esme Capp, Emma again became involved in innovating classroom teaching & learning practises. Moving into Middle Years classrooms, Emma implemented a fully collaborative, “negotiated” curriculum based on learning by enquiry. This required a change in pedagogy, organisation, and teaching spaces. During this time, Emma team taught with up to three staff members and 75 children in open, purpose built spaces. This innovative teaching built on Emma’s understanding of children becoming autonomous learners, who learn best through inquiry. This style of teaching has cemented Emma’s belief in the importance of differentiated, targeted teaching.

During 2009-2010, Emma lead her school through a change management process, supported by funding through the DEECD Wider Workforce Field Trial. To evaluate and then innovate using a wider workforce within a school setting to support teachers to best implement student-centered inquiry learning. This culminated in a study tour of five London schools in late 2010. The project also led to the employment of a community relations coordinator for the school who managed the involvement of community organisations and volunteer workers within classrooms throughout the school.

In 2011 Emma became Numeracy Coordinator for the school. She lead the school in the process of re-writing the Numeracy Curriculum, looking at the mathematical ‘big ideas’ that form the fundamentals of all mathematical understandings. This re-development of numeracy within the school was supported through the Emma’s involvement with Northern Metropolitan Regions AIZ numeracy program.

Emma also brings a strong eLearning background to SREAMS. While studying at Melbourne University she worked as a Research Assistant in developing online interactive ArtTeach software and presented at seminars on this topic. She also studied the effects on Web 2.0 technologies in classrooms during her Master’s degree in 2007. Emma was also a committee member of the State Council of the ICTEV, the Professional Teachers’ Association for Information Communication Technology in Education from 2008-2009. As such she was involved in organising a number of state ICTEV conferences.

In 2012-2013, Emma took time out of her career to have two beautiful children, who have helped to strengthen her understanding of childhood development and childrens’ amazing capacities for learning.