Teacher of the month

Jo Raphael

Jo Raphael

Jo Raphael

Jo teaches in the area of Arts Education with a particular focus on Drama, which is considered as an aesthetic, embodied and social art form and a method of teaching and learning. Her teaching at Deakin encompasses undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the School of Education and providing flexible delivery modes through the Institute of Koorie Education. Outside of these University programs her teaching also involves students in schools and practising teachers, through professional development sessions and conferences, and in broader community settings. Jo believes her ongoing participation in these spheres keeps her practice relevant, contemporary and informed, and enhances her teaching at the university level.

A student-centred approach allows Jo to focus on the diverse needs of students, inspiring her to initiate a range of authentic learning experiences that provide access opportunities, bridging the world of the university and some of the professional communities the students will work within in their future careers.

One example is the 'Drama for Learning' school-based teaching project in which student teachers work as a team, to design a drama-based workshop to implement at a local school. Other recent projects have involved Deakin University drama education students developing ideas for arts-based teaching and learning in collaboration with Melbourne cultural institutions such as museums and galleries.

Jo's quest is for varied, effective and innovative teaching approaches with a determination to connect learning to the real world. An example of this is the faculty grant-funded Teaching for Diversity project, in which Jo co-ordinates five members of a theatre group who have mild intellectual disabilities in coming to Deakin to present drama-based workshops on inclusive education for all final-year students in the Bachelor of Teaching (secondary) course. This project, involving arts-based inquiry, participatory action research and reflection on her teaching practice in higher education is at the centre of Jo's current PhD research.

Jo's approach to teaching is characterised by a respect for students and a love of learning. The students she teaches are preparing to become teachers themselves. She believes that it is important to model excellent teaching practice and make transparent her reflection on practice so that her students may themselves become effective and reflective educators.


Key achievements

2011 Presented Paper - Creating Structures in Smooth Spaces: Drama Teacher as Architect, Drama Australia National Conference, April, Perth

2011 Presented Workshop - Earth Keepers and Wild Ones - Exploring environmental and curriculum sustainability in primary drama, Drama Australia National Conference, April, Perth.

2011 (from 2007) Director of Projects, Drama Australia (the peak national association for drama educators).

2010 President of Drama Victoria (the state professional association for drama educators).

2010 Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

2010 Awarded Commendation for Excellence in Teaching.

2010 Presented workshop: A Certain Edge: Exploring contemporary crime and justice issues with young people through process drama, Drama Victoria Conference, November, University of Melbourne.

2010 Writer and presenter of ‘A Cutting Edge: exploring knife crime through process drama' - A partnership for School's Bail Out with Whitelion and Old Melbourne Gaol Crime and Justice Experience.

2009 Awarded Commendation for Excellence in Teaching

2009 (to present) Member of the College of Distinguished Deakin educators (now Deakin University Teaching Leaders Forum).

2009 Co director of the Drama Australia National Conference: Footprints, University of Melbourne, 26-28 November.

2009 Co-ordinator of Footprints over Melbourne Project - eight case-studies of drama education practice within eight Melbourne cultural institutions.

2009 Presented Workshop: Stepping Out, Stepping Up: Understanding teaching for special educational needs through drama, Drama Australia National Conference, November, University of Melbourne.

2008 Received Faculty of Arts and Education Small Grant for Teaching and Learning (with Andrea Allard) for project ‘Positioning People with Disabilities as the Knowers: does this enhance pre-service teachers' competencies in teaching for diversity?

2008 Awarded Deakin University Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence

2008 Awarded Commendation for Excellence in Teaching

2008 Keynote presenter: Can-do Drama: Inclusive drama education, Drama Tasmania State Conference, Launceston, April 2008.

2008 Presenter workshop Fusion Theatre: Drama, Disability and Empowerment, International Re-imagining Special Education through the Arts (RiSE) Symposium, July, Melbourne.

2008 Co-principal Investigator of Deakin University Strategic Teaching and Learning Grant Scheme (STALGS) project Grenfell,J., Raphael,J, Phillips.F, Stevens,R.,Dreessens,J.,Joseph,D, Warren,C., & Seagrave,S - Developing a Virtual Arts Education Village Deakin. A Virtual Village: Building an e-Learning community to support collaborative, applied and life-long learning in a multidisciplinary university context,

Recent Publications:

Raphael, J and Dezuanni, M. (2011) Befriending the Giant: Media Arts and Learning in the Digital World, New chapter for second edition of Sinclair, C., Jeanneret, N. & O'Toole, J. (2011) Education in the Arts: teaching and learning in the contemporary curriculum, Oxford University Press, Melbourne. (In Press)

Raphael, J, (2010) Aesthetic Adventures: Presenting Models of Drama and Theatre Education within Cultural Institutions, MASK Vol. 33:1, Drama Victoria.

Raphael, J. (2010) Earthkeepers and Wild Ones: Learning about the Environment and Sustainable Living in Drama, MASK, Vol. 33:2, Drama Victoria.

Raphael, J. (2010) Introduction to From the Vault: Australian Drama in 2010: Predictions and Preferences by Tony Millett, N.J., Drama Australia

Deans, J., O'Toole, J., Raphael, J. & and S. Young, (2009) Art embodied and disembodied - expression, representation and reflection. Ch. 11 in Sinclair, C., Jeanneret, N. & O'Toole, J. Eds. (2009) Education in the Arts: teaching and learning in the contemporary curriculum, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Raphael, J. (2009) Blogs are Better: Encouraging reflection on performance making and drama practice through blogs. Ch. 13 In Anderson, Carroll & Haseman (2009) Drama and Digital Technologies, Continuum Books, UK

Raphael, J. (2008) Fruits of the VINE: Reflection on Performance Making through Blogs, NJ, Drama Australia, 32:2

Jo Raphael at Teaching for Diversity Workshop with Fusion Theatre

Teaching for Diversity Workshop with Fusion Theatre


Related link - 2010 ALTC award recipient - Jo Raphael

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