Aidan Hammond - Branksome Hall Asia (Jeju, South Korea): Head of Design Technology; IB Workshop leader and examiner
1. Can you elaborate on your experiences that lead up to you becoming a teacher?
Studied art and design at undergrad. Then pivoted to an MA in Applied Linguistics. Taught academic writing at university while also moonlighting teaching craft and design history and ceramics at another uni. Became interested in switching fields. Find my current role challenging and rewarding. Really excited about working with young people to develop innovative ideas, have fun being creative, and develop skills in problem solving and thinking that they will take with them.
2. Describe your school situation RE: Design program
Head of Design at Branksome Hall Asia; my seventh year.
We run MYP Design that feeds into DP DT and DP CompSci. I’ve work with an excellent team of design teachers who inspire and support each other.
Our program is large - 400 girls in MYP design, with 32 in DP Design.
3. What has been easy for implementation regarding Design? Where have you found resources?
Finding inspiration from anywhere, and being given the curricular freedom to do experimentation, trials, and refining. Large design library that we have been building (shared online);
Lots of enthusiasm and support from our school.
We have a lot of space - space to build, experiment on a large scale - Wind turbine project, large scale IDUs, building and making on a large scale is always rewarding.
Workshop leader has been hugely informative and rewarding - working alongside other participants to learn about their program is always informative.
Support and trust from faculty, admin and students to take risks and experiment - this has been hugely motivating has head of department, and has inspired our current team.
Working closely with our EAL colleagues to develop strong writing and language support - this has allowed us to write better while writing less, and really achieve high quality work without being “bogged down” with documentation.
4. What have been some challenges? How have you addressed these challenges?
Constant upskilling - the challenge here is to find the time and resources to stay up to date and current
Finding a balance between curricular expectations (rubrics, assessments, reporting, etc.) and letting things happen at their own pace
“Being the project manager for many teenagers managing projects.” We are constantly teaching and reinforcing ATL skills to support students in managing large projects
5. What is your vision for the Design programme at your school?
Sustainability and innovation. We are very interested in smart farms, source technologies that support this.
We want to make our department net-positive from a sustainability perspective - long term goal.
I’m inspired by the Upcycle, a book by McDonough and Braungart, which is focused on shifting the focus from sustainable production to designing for abundance and beneficence. Lots of connections to innovation, sustainability, and service. I would like to grow our program in that kind of direction.
6. What are you really
about at the moment?
Smart-farming and agriculture - where design meets science meets food production. Lots of potential for interesting and meaningful inquiries.
7. We will hit a few of these in the actual episode, but all will be included in the show notes…
What is one EdTech Tool you cannot live without? :Google suite
What book would you recommend that everyone read right now?