Affinity appoints Dr Lesley Jones to new role of Senior Adviser, Pedagogy and Practice
Dr Jones will be tasked with a range of responsibilities including but not limited to furthering the development of the Educational Leader role across the Group’s network, providing pedagogical and practice advice to the Group’s early childhood teachers (ECTs) via their in house ECT Connect platform and offering career development and training opportunities input to team members.
In addition, Dr Jones will work closely with Affinity’s team of quality advisors across Australia to support understanding and application of best practice in the pedagogy and practice space.
Commenting on her appointment Dr Jones said “The role of the Educational Leader in an early childhood setting is critical, and Affinity is providing a structured framework for professional development, peer support for educators, and recognition of best practice in early education outcomes aligned to the Early Years Learning Framework.”
“This role represents a wonderful opportunity for me to bring my years of experience to an organisation as progressive and dynamic as Affinity Education Group.”
A combination of theoretical knowledge and high level practical experience
Dr Jones, who received her Bachelor of Education, Early Childhood Education and Teaching from Queensland University of Technology in 2003, her Masters in Educational Studies from the University of Newcastle in 2008 and her PHD in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from the Australian Catholic University in 2016, also spent 6 years working as Queensland State Manager at Goodstart Early Learning.
Dr Jones joined Goodstart in 2012 and was responsible for the business and quality performance of over 200 centres as well as management and leadership oversight of the operational team across the state network.
Commenting on her appointment, Affinity Chief Executive Tim Hickey said Dr Jones’ extensive operational experience provided a valuable foundation for her new role and that “Dr Jones is one of the rare individuals in our sector who can boast significant academic achievement and many years of development in pedagogy and practice, combined with strategic and acute business acumen.”
An early educational philosophy borne out of experience and a drive to achieve
From a philosophy perspective Dr Jones’ noted that she is driven by the following four principles that guide her day by day;
- Children are infinitely capable human beings that have infinitely wonderfully diverse families standing behind them.
- What begins in the early years influences ALL that is to follow – so make it count!
- Early childhood education is where the real action is – so recognise the privilege that this really is!
- Teachers and educators learn as much from children, as children learn from teachers and educators (sometimes a lot more).
In addition, Dr Jones acknowledged that the pursuit of high quality in early education is not just a “nice to have” but is essential. The greatest organisational challenge for the ECEC sector, in her opinion, will be delivering on this promise, the pursuit of which “we must be relentless” in trying to achieve.
Echoing her sentiments, Mr Hickey said “We look forward to the work Lesley will do with our team in progressing what quality early education needs to be not just today, but for the thousands of children in our care in the years ahead.”