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Emma Craven

Co-author of the Good Science series

How long have you been in the education industry?
I’ve been in education for 15 years. I have worked in Policy for the Department of Education, in an international school and even in some small community schools, but most of the time has been spent in Government schools in Victoria. I have been writing educational resources and textbooks for 11 years now.

How have you noticed your teaching style change over the years? Why do you think this is?
My teaching style has definitely changed, I am much more focused on working smarter and not harder (teachers have less time than ever these days), making good use of formative assessment and feedback. I love things like Socratic circles and have a big focus on engagement and activities. 

What is the importance to you of good educational resources?
Well I work with disadvantaged students, many of whom have English as a second language. They may be refugees or be extremely low in literacy - some are years behind in their learning. These students need the very best education and sometimes that is just not available to them for any number of reasons. Excellent educational resources gives all students the opportunity to be excited about science and to love learning, regardless of their situation, their teacher or their school. I am unashamedly passionate about this.

What has been your favourite part of writing an education resource?
I think just being locked down the back of the house in a dark office alone for days (sometimes months) on end whilst my friends and family go out and enjoy the sunshine, frolicking (I imagine) and eating out a lot. No just kidding, it’s not that bad. I guess my favourite part recently has been working with my husband as we write together now. Between us we cover all the sciences and we are both ‘education nerds’ and love discussing teaching and learning.

What is your favourite part of being a teacher?
Oh! My students. They are incredible and very inspiring and loving. I’d spend all day every day with them if I could.

What are three things people wouldn’t know about you?
I guess most people wouldn’t know that I’m a big fan of video games, I had a giant snake on my wedding cake and I hate it when people wear sunglasses inside. 
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching (or writing)?

Play video games, read, walk my dog, tell my dog to please stop barking, and spend time with my lovely husband Aaron.

Who are three people, living or dead, you’d love to have dinner with?
Oh gosh I can’t go past Nikola Tesla, I’m sure it would be a super strange dinner but his mind is so incredible that I couldn’t pass it up, Leonardo Da Vinci for the same reasons and I’d do anything to see my grandmother again even just for one meal, she was spectacularly hilarious and my best friend. Though she would probably tell me to “not be pathetic” and choose someone else!

What is your favourite book and why?
'A Tale of Two Cities'. I told my students recently that Charles Dickens is a ‘bad-ass’ and he really is. There is not one lazy sentence in that whole book and every line is like music to me. Plus that ending! TWIST. Everyone should read it.

Do you follow a sports team? Which one?
Absolutely not. I do however pretend to support my husband’s soccer teams as they are not very good and need all the support they can get.