Barbara is currently Principal at Sylvia Park Primary School – a job she describes as ‘the best job ever’! Over the last few years Sylvia Park School has developed a ‘collective approach to school-wide inquiry’. They are committed to creating students who will change the world through their genuine inquiry into things that really and truly matter. The question they pose while planning for inquiry for and with their students is, ‘so what’. If they can’t apply their learning in a way that makes a tangible outcome that benefits themselves and other then they won’t waste their time ‘doing’ it. They have challenged themselves to be culturally responsive to their students and community in a way that moves them well beyond the cultural notions that are visible and obvious.
Sylvia Park School is always on a journey. It is exciting, hard work, stressful and complete with the highs and lows that come with trying to do something amazing!
In 2015 Barbara was appointed as the inaugural chairperson for the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. The Council is charged with strengthening the capability and quality of teaching and raising the status of the profession.