The Southport School
Steven Eardley’s Visual Arts classroom is a place where students can productively channel the everyday stresses that come with academic study into art.
The Southport School teacher has created a supportive and safe learning environment in which students are encouraged to move outside their comfort zone to explore their interests in and curiosity about art.
Stephen adjusts the curriculum to suit each student’s learning style and trusts his senior students to take an independent approach to their work, and his students seem to have caught his passion for art as a result.
“Stephen is passionate about Visual Arts and believes that preparing young people for this century requires more than just skills or knowledge to be productive participants in the workforce,” colleague Jo Inglis said.
“One of the greatest risks facing young men is the fear of being judged by their peers. The safe environment that is created and sustained by Stephen’s Visual Arts department allows the students to take the risk of expressing themselves, sharing their personal story in the process.”
With a philosophy that promotes respect, compassion, trust, fairness, cooperation, and tolerance, Stephen is committed to building emotional intelligence through creativity in the classroom.
Stephen is the ultimate role model for his students. He is a practising artist himself and features in several art projects and exhibitions annually on the Gold Coast, allowing him to skilfully link theory and practice in the classroom.
He takes great pride in his students’ achievements and has created a visual blog for each grade that allows parents and the wider community to celebrate the students’ works of art.
In fact, Stephen is also championing the achievements of Art students from across his broader region. He coordinates ENERGIES, which is an annual exhibition that showcases works of art by talented senior secondary students from across the Gold Coast.
A highly respected member of the teaching community, Stephen now sits as the chair of the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s Visual Arts Regional Panel, which sees him help other schools improve their own Visual Arts curriculum and develop the Arts syllabus used across the state.
Stephen has also created an educational blog for use across the region, which allows teachers from other schools to benefit from his wealth of knowledge and experience.
Congratulations Stephen on your nomination.