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Albany Junior High School - John Cluett

2015 | The Nature of Science within Pure and Applied Optics

SchoolAlbany Junior High School

HostUniversity of Auckland, Faculty of Science

Regiont: Auckland


John Cluett has returned to Albany Junior High School as a better leader.

He led a Sciences facility that taught Science from years 7 to 10, Forensic Science, Human Biology, Environmental Studies and Small Animals. Now he leads a faculty that activates learning through the Sciences, using the skills and attitudes instilled through his curriculum and leadership training.

When he is asked “What are you going to change?” his reply is “nothing, because we will celebrate the strengths in our performance and make any necessary changes together”. John has gained confidence in his leadership practice through a better understanding of being in charge, management and leadership. The deep psychometric testing during the Dunedin leadership training highlighted and confirmed his strengths as well as giving him strategies to minimise the impacts of his weaknesses.

John is grateful to be hosted on his placement by Senior Lecturer Dr Frederique Vanholsbeeck and the team at The University of Auckland Physics Department. Current research interests include fibre lasers, optical sensing for medical applications, frequency comb generation, pulse shaping, laser vibrometry and industrial applications. During his time, he observed many aspects of the department’s research and was upskilled in physical containment laboratory protocols, flow cytometry, and optrode assembly and data collection.

Working with both graduate and post graduate students, John gained an insight into the pathways and barriers of today’s tertiary students. The work of Dr Nicolette Rattenbury in co-ordinating the Science Scholar programme where students are mentored through their undergraduate years greatly impressed John.

Dr Frederique Vanholsbeeck brought John into the Interactive Playground collaboration between Auckland Live, Colab at AUT University and the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland. The playground marks the year of light 2016 and exemplifies the community science aspects of Physics.

Being hosted by a tertiary institute provided John with many opportunities to network and visit sites he will include in future learning programmes.

John feels the Science Teacher Leadership programme is the best development programme he has been part of after four decades in education – future focussed, with backwards design to ensure the children of tomorrow maintain their curiosity and engage in science is a reality.