With parents who valued education, it was perhaps inevitable Melbourne English and history teacher Steven Kolber would enter the profession, which he credits with teaching him a great deal about the world, how to effect change, speak with confidence, how to lead and how to follow. Throughout his career he has doubled as a part-time university student whilst teaching during the day, so he can clarify and sharpen his teaching practice, with a focus on inclusive and differentiated instruction. As a result he can focus on students and learners, particularly those with the greatest need, lead and support colleagues broaden their teaching approaches and views his own ideas as open-access intellectual property as he strives to make all his work available to others.
He has sharpened his teaching by sharing best practice as he trains teachers in Australia and Cambodia, focusing on instructional video, technology mediated instruction combined with meeting the recent challenges of ensuring the social and emotional learning of his students during the pandemic and finding ways for them to maintain a sense of connection to their class, classmates and teacher. His focus on creating video content means he can share his lessons with his own students and others around the world, striving towards teaching that can truly be considered a ‘Universal Design for Learning’. This approach sees him maintain a high-profile presence as an author and blogger, as a speaker online and at conferences, through micro-blogging to a large audience on Twitter, and leading as an exemplar of practice for students and teachers via YouTube.
Steven’s teaching practice has been shared in multiple academic and professional journals, including being showcased through a range of popular educational publications. The Teaching Online Masterclass and Instructional Video design course through Adobe and ClickView respectively further showcase the promotion and interest in his teaching methods within private education companies.
As a union branch councillor and founding member of the AEU Victoria’s Education Committee, he has been heavily involved in policy development and engagement with the Department of Education. He is also active with Education International’s ‘Future World of Work in Education’ expert panel and its work to develop a clearer vision for the future of educational work and practice in line with the explosion of AI use in education and all of the possibilities that this holds. He is regularly quoted by national media on teacher excellence, speaks on expert panels and webinars as well as national and state radio programmes.
His work with Teachers Across Borders Australia has empowered and developed teachers from across Australia, Sweden, Cambodia and the United States. Steven has not only won a string of awards, from featuring on the 2020 Educator Hot List to being named on the 2021 Educator ‘Rising Stars’ list for the best Australian teachers under 35 years of age, but his multiple feature length interviews and short reflections on the Teachers Education Review (TER) podcast, combined with TeachMeets and the hundreds of hours of teaching and professional development videos on his YouTube channel ensure this success continues to be shared with all. Steven Kolber