Staff Spotlight: Georgie Cole, Teaching & Learning Curriculum Lead

By Fiona West | September 10, 2021
Georgie Cole, Teaching and Learning Curriculum Lead, Navitas English Teaching and Learning Unit.  

I am the Teaching and Learning Curriculum Lead with Navitas English, Teaching and Learning Unit.  

Originally trained as a high school teacher of drama, ESL and languages, I have worked in adult language and literacy since 1987 as a TESOL teacher, academic English and literacy support tutor, and senior education officer in the public, private and community college sectors in Sydney and in San Francisco, where my first child was born.  

If I reflect on what originally inspired me to work with language learners, it was largely my mother’s story of arriving in Australia by ship in 1939, at age 14, having fled Nazi Germany. She arrived with no English, stateless, and stamped as a “refugee alien”, and struggled to adapt to a new school, language and culture – there were no language support systems for newcomers to Australia at that time.

I think I knew early on that I wanted a career where I could make some small contribution to improving the language and social outcomes for those facing barriers.  

My journey with Navitas began in 2011, and today I work alongside a great team – a  Quality Assurance Lead and Learning Designers to support delivery of Navitas English government programs: the AMEP, SEE, CTA and Foundation Skills for Your Future programs. Amongst its many functions, the Teaching and Learning (T&L) Unit works to continuously improve training and assessment practices, designs engaging learning content for the face-to-face and virtual space, delivers professional development workshops (internally and externally), leads digital innovation across colleges, and participates in national communities of practice.  

What embodies the T&L Unit I think is creativity, “thinking outside the box”, flexibility, and responsiveness to changing demands, whether it’s creating a new learning module on our Learner Management System to help students access current health information, or developing bespoke courses to meet the literacy, numeracy and digital skills needs of specific industries and workplaces.

Some of the things that will continue to challenge us in the future include the effect of the current pandemic on our teaching and learning, changes in government policy directions, curriculum renewal, the changing foundation skills requirements of workers and the evolving nature of the student cohort we need to support.    

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