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Dr John Gough
Graduate Diploma of Children’s Literature (VicColl) and
Staff member 1976-1981 and 1986-2011
Burwood State College, Victoria College and Deakin University
Before coming to Deakin I…
Trained as a secondary teacher at Monash University in 1972, and completed two years of Secondary teaching and I then went on in 1975 to complete a Master of Science, for Mathematics and Science Teachers, again at Monash University. During the last months of this I began a casual tutor position at Melbourne State College - part of the multi-campus State College of Victoria.
I started my academic career with Deakin….
In 1976, as a contract tutor at Burwood State College (a Deakin antecedent institution), working in Primary mathematics education for one year. Moving jobs from the top-floor of the then new Building M to the ground-floor of Building N, I continued in Education Studies until the end of 1981 there. During this time, supported by the stimulation of my on-going Master of Education Studies, I was the main author of the in-house textbook used for units on Remedial Education, and Diagnostic Teaching, and Effective Teaching. This book explored effective teaching of initial and remedial literacy and numeracy, as well as the application of psycholinguistic theories of learning to all curriculum areas.
I then went overseas…
To Papua New Guinea in the late 1970’s seeking fresh work challenges elsewhere for four years at the University of Papua New Guinea, in Port Moresby, training local Secondary teachers.
Interestingly, during this time I completed a Graduate Diploma in Children's Literature, from Toorak State College (another Deakin antecedent institution). I had met the Grad Dip coordinator, Ralph Norris, in the last days of my school teaching when he was a guest speaker at my school. Although I lacked formal background qualifications in literature, he let me enroll in the course because I had been consulting with him on children's literature, and he knew my publication record in children's literature, and he wanted to use one of my draft articles as a reading in one of the units. I then used this Grad Dip to begin and complete my PhD in English Literature on the children's and adult fiction of Penelope Lively in PNG.
I have published many articles on children’s literature…
Although I was never to have a hoped-for career-change from Education into Children's Literature, I have published many articles on children's literature, and two unpublished books on the mathematical demands and opportunities in children's books, as well as publishing several children's picture-story books in PNG and books (unpublished) of mathematical short stories and poems.
I came back to work at Deakin…
In 1986, having returned to Australia, after a few months working in Remedial Mathematics at Box Hill TAFE, I had a short-term contract at Victoria College, back in Primary mathematics education. This was followed by a year at the Rusden campus, teaching a mix of Primary and Secondary mathematics, as well as in Scientific and Technical Writing. Then I was able to move back with tenure to the Toorak campus, until its Education operations were transferred to the Burwood Campus - where I have remained until now.
Along the way of course, the John Dawkins-forced amalgamations created the multi-campus Deakin University that absorbed the Rusden, Toorak and Burwood campuses of the former Victoria College.
My career highlights include…
Building on my experience in PNG I was able to lead a team of writers that won a tender to supply a set of Year 1 to 6 mathematics textbooks for PNG Community Schools, and remained in the writing team for the Year 1 textbook and Teachers' Manual.
Also continuing my prolific pre-PNG contributions to the professional journals and conferences of the Mathematical Association of Victoria (MAV), and the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT) I have appeared frequently in the MAV's, Prime Number, and the AAMT's, Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, and Australian Mathematics Teacher, other AAMT journals, and for fourteen years was the Editor of the MAV's Secondary mathematics journal Vinculum.
My long-standing interest in mathematics and other games, and many articles on this broad topic, led to me co-authoring and then authoring four books on mathematics games for schools.
I was also a member of the team that worked with one of the first cohorts of international graduate students, creating new Masters-level units in Science and Mathematics for the Indonesian MORA teachers.
There are many other highlights, but they are too numerous to mention here.
In the future…
What I might do in my retirement is problematic. It would be nice to hope that I can find publishers for as many of my completed draft books as possible, and make occasional contributions to professional journals and children's literature journals.
In an ideal world my funny short stories and poems written for my grandsons would become best-sellers, major Hollywood films, and smash-hit TV series!
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