So gaining his masters from the University of Newcastle was familiar territory, having already gained his PhD some years earlier. While earlier study involved jetting off to the Antarctic and travelling around Australia, Dunlop says he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to once again immerse himself in the world of assignments, research and practicals.
Although he admits he’s an academic at heart, Dunlop says arriving at uni with a clear goal ensured the studying process was straightforward from the get-go.
He suggests for other teachers who might be considering returning to study that a university environment offers an opportunity to reflect on teaching practice.
“One of the good things about stepping away from the classroom and going back to uni is the opportunity to step away from the day to day focus of what you’re doing, and look at the bigger picture, and say ‘look there’s all these other ways we could be approaching this, maybe I could try this, maybe I could try that’,”
“[It’s] something at uni they talk about a lot, but in practice I don’t see a lot of it in schools … but very rarely do you seem to have the opportunity to step back and step away from the classroom and think ‘How did I teach that? Was that the best way? Are there other ways?’” “There’s been an emphasis on teaching in recent years … reflecting on your teaching.” he suggests.
Dunlop, who has also operated the well-known skiing website ski. com.au for over 20 years, says that his business background has also shaped his teaching style.
“I’m on a journey myself, and I will be for a number of years yet, of trying a whole lot of different techniques, different styles and finding what I find works best for me, and trying not to get caught in that same grind. Not just finding one thing that works, but keeping a bit of variety and mixing it up...”