It wasn’t until Anthony Pasinati was at university completing a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Chemical Physics, that he realised he wanted to become a teacher. Not just any teacher at any school — specifically, a teacher of STEAM subjects at a girls’ school.
“I was very taken aback by the disparity between male and female students in my course,” he says. So, Anthony spoke to his only female lecturer, and she explained that something was happening in schools that gave young women the self-perception that they’re not capable of Physics and Mathematics and, as a result, they weren’t choosing these pathways in higher education.
Anthony vividly remembers the conversation, “She said, ‘Anthony, we need to tell them, we need to promote it, we need to inspire cultural change’. After this discussion, I just knew that I needed to complete a Diploma in Teaching and look for work in a girls’ school,” says Anthony.
Luckily for Camberwell Girls Grammar School, Anthony did just that and, as a result, he joined the school in 2018 as both a Maths and Physics teacher. In 2019, he was promoted to Acting Head of Science for a year and in 2020, he became Head of Mathematics.
“At its essence, I really see my role as a teacher to be a great communicator,” he says. Therefore, Anthony thrives on finding different ways to communicate ideas and concepts in a way that works for each of his students. He also has a passion for designing the curriculum, along with changing the perception of what good Mathematics teaching and learning looks and feels like.
“The perception that all Mathematics needs to be taught by example and consolidated by textbook questions is a harmful one,” says Anthony. “Don’t get me wrong, for some topics, this is still the most effective strategy to model a skill, and help students master it, but it is not the only way.”
It will come as no surprise that one of Anthony’s goals is for the Mathematics Department at CGGS to change, adapt and constantly look for the best ways to teach students. With this in mind, Anthony and his Mathematics team have enjoyed exploring and developing new ways of both teaching and assessing Maths at CGGS.
“We want our students to be financially and data literate … to be able to interpret the world around them,” says Anthony. “Our new data-intensive world can be difficult to navigate and decisions are now more complex. In short, the students who need to be able to analyse and interpret data are no longer just those looking to become engineers or computer programmers; it is an essential life skill.”
Anthony believes that of most importance when teaching Mathematics is that students can see its relevance and are able to apply the learning to their own lives and solve problems they encounter.
“Maths is a great tool set and the true beauty is that it can be applied in every aspect of life,” he says. “I hope that by teaching it in different ways, our CGGS students really start to enjoy it, understand it and, most importantly, live it. We want them to interpret and thrive in the world around them.”
Since joining the school almost five years ago, not many days have gone by where this Maths-loving teacher hasn’t worn a bow tie to school and, on the odd occasion that he doesn’t wear one, he says the students have been known to issue him with an incorrect uniform pass.
Camberwell Girls Grammar School is committed to fostering the education of young women. At CGGS, girls enjoy not only equal […]