Empowering Learners and the Power of Words

In this follow-up interview to her Featured Presentation at The Asian Conference on Education 2015 (ACE2015) Dr Yvonne Masters sits down with ACE2015 Conference Chair, Professor Sue Jackson, to discuss learner empowerment.

Dr Yvonne Masters and Professor Sue Jackson discuss Dr Masters' research on student engagement, especially in regards to distance-learners. Dr Masters explains why it is important to instill a sense of belonging in learners. She also describes how communication and language can empower, while at the same time if not treated carefully, can disempower. She gives specific examples of how seemingly innocuous words, when used out of context, can be very harmful. The conversation concludes with a discussion of Dr Masters' work and research on virtual worlds.

Dr Yvonne Masters was a Featured Speaker at The Asian Conference on Education 2015 (ACE2015) in Kobe, Japan.


Dr Yvonne Masters

Dr Yvonne Masters is currently a Senior Lecturer in Professional Classroom Practice in the School of Education, University of New England (UNE), Armidale, Australia, a position that she accepted after five years as Director of Professional Experience in the same School. Prior to taking up her position at UNE Yvonne had 30 years’ experience in secondary schools including in the roles of Curriculum Coordinator, Deputy Principal and Principal, roles that developed her skills in leadership, project management, curriculum and assessment. Her teaching experience spans three Australian states. Yvonne’s research interests centre on teacher education, professional experience and virtual worlds, with a particular focus on distance education students. She has a keen interest in developing an understanding in pre-service teachers of the need for a caring and professional approach to teaching. Her goal is the development of teachers who respect their students and empower them in classrooms rather than dis-empowering them through punitive and unreasonable responses. Yvonne gained in 2010, in collaboration with other researchers, an Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) grant entitled VirtualPREX: Innovative assessment using a 3D virtual world with pre-service teachers, and at the end of 2014 received an OLT Seed Grant to develop resources to equip pre-service teachers for the new wave of virtual schools. Yvonne has written and co-written seven book chapters, two journal articles and presented six refereed conference papers in the last three years. While Yvonne is an active researcher and a teacher educator, her deep passion is providing school students with an engaging classroom where each student is respected for their own individuality and provided with an environment that facilitates their learning.

Posted by Thaddeus Pope

Born and raised in Brighton, England, Thaddeus Pope is an experienced commercial and editorial photographer with a BA in Photography from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Thaddeus’s duties at IAFOR include overseeing the design, media and marketing output of the organisation, as well as producing photo-essays, short documentaries and other visual content for IAFOR and its publications, including THINK. In January 2015, Thaddeus was named as the Creative Director of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award. tpope@iafor.org (in English)