Studying IB because "students deserve a wholesome education"

By Serpil Senelmis

Jordan Goulding is a Year 5 teacher in Berkshire in the United Kingdom. As an educator who’s approaching almost a decade of experience under his belt, he’s traipsed around the world teaching both primary and high school students – from Australia to Spain.

Jordan Goulding, 2018 graduate of the online Master of
International Education (International Baccalaureate) at
the University of Melbourne, and Year 5 teacher in the
United Kingdom.

“I have been able to travel the globe making valuable connections with a variety of people, while maintaining a strong attachment with family and friends at home.”

In 2018, Mr Goulding completed the online Master of International Education – International Baccalaureate (IB). The 34-year-old says he made the decision to study because he wanted to make an impact in the educational landscape.

“I've always been involved in one way or another in education. I decided to get my qualification after working with students with autism in Edinburgh and realising I could make a difference.”

When embarking on his studies, Mr Goulding hoped to gain the theoretical and practical approach to refine his training – and he got it.

“With my newfound knowledge, I hope to enter the international school circuit as prepared as possible, to support students within those particular learning environments.”

The first-class honours graduate says the course has reshaped his teaching.

“The knowledge I have gathered ensures every student in my class can experience success within their own learning capacity at that given point. I can also help students become aware of their standing as a global citizen and the excitement and responsibility that brings.”

This isn’t the first attempt at online study for the globe-trotting Canberrian. He studied the majority of his Diploma of Education online too. He says, “Without online teaching I simply would not have been able to undertake a master. I have realised this goal due to online delivery.”

The online mode of study suited me perfectly – including the night-time tutorials – as I was able to fit in work and other commitments without too much difficulty. My workplace was very accommodating and understanding with my master commitments, which made life a lot easier. Corresponding through emails and forums was also convenient, as it was more flexible.

Other than flexibility and convenience, for Mr Goulding there were numerous other highlights that he recalls from studying the IB through the University of Melbourne.

“Interacting with and learning from experts in the field who are open, flexible and supportive and have abundance of experience to share was a highlight. As was making connections with other professionals from around the world and Australia, – and getting insights into their teaching approaches – and the practical components which allowed me to 'test out' my newfound knowledge for the benefit of my students.”

Collaborating with other students was also one of Mr Goulding’s favourite experiences of online study.

“During any team activities, I found my 'colleagues' respectful, thorough and reliable. I really enjoyed reading and listening to their interesting opinions about anything education-related and I believe we learned a lot from one another.  Although I've had no immediate contact recently, I do hope to reconnect with a few fellow students in the near future.”

Describing himself as a facilitator of young, inquiring minds, Mr Goulding has a strong philosophy when it comes to teaching.

“My overarching teaching philosophy is that all students deserve a wholesome education and the right to form bonds with teachers who respect them as individuals and can utilise their uniqueness in order to achieve the best educational outcomes and help them reach their full potential as a global citizen. “

As a teacher striving for excellence, Mr Goulding was impressed with the “extremely high quality” of teaching offered by the IB program.

“All teachers combined relevant research and modern approaches as well as bringing in their own experiences to create dynamic lessons and interactive resources – week in week out. I found the discussions during our tutorials particularly stimulating as there were always a myriad of responses to the stimulus – leading to the sharing of ideas and respectful debates.”

Mr Goulding believes that creating a dynamic learning environment to cater to all learning styles and abilities are key to being a successful teacher.

He describes the academics teaching IB at the University of Melbourne as fitting this bill.

“The academics and teaching experts were incredibly supportive and flexible throughout the whole process. They were approachable if anything was awry, and expeditious with correspondence.”

Mr Goulding is keen to spread the message of obtaining a good education far and wide. He’s already planning on packing his bags and swapping the chilly climes of the UK for the balmier Thailand, later in 2018.

And he’s got sage advice for anyone interested in following in his worldly foot-steps.

“I would say to someone considering this course to ask as many questions as you find necessary to make sure it's the right fit for you. I believe it could be the right fit if you want to expand your teaching repertoire as well as gain theoretical and practical knowledge about the IBDP that you can apply straightaway to associated teaching positions.”

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