Best Children’s Educational Services 2017 –
Australian Small Business Champion Awards
Global Education Academy is now a proud winner of the Australian Small Business Champion Award for best Children’s Educational Services in 2017. We were awarded the prestigious award at the gala dinner and awards ceremony held on Saturday 1st April at the Westin Sydney, which had over 1,000 guests in attendance.
The Australian Small Business Champion Award is the only national recognition program for Australian small businesses and covers a number of business categories.
The program aims to recognise outstanding Australian small businesses and encourage high standards of excellence in small business practice. “The Australian Small Business Champion Awards is a way to recognise the efforts of small business people whose efforts contribute to the prosperity and vitality of communities across Australia”, said Steve Loe, Managing Director of Precedent Productions and founder of the awards.
Small businesses from across the nation delivered an impressive array of entries, with winners representing a broad range of industries from all states and territories. In the Children’s Educational Services category alone, there were over 14,000 entries.
“After I completed my PhD, I was expected to sit in an office and write and publish papers on how to teach for understanding. I refused to do that. I wanted to be the change I wished to see in the world. I started Global Education Academy.” Said Dr Majeda Awawdeh in her acceptance speech.
Here at Global Education Academy, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional tuition using Cognitive Load Theory, which not only yields great results but sets us apart from every other learning centre for the benefit of our students.
We are at the epicentre of transformational learning, which happens when research and learning converge to create a positive learning experience. Our goal is for our students to have a learning experience that will shift the way they think and learn.
We have developed our own structured learning programs that take the core concepts of the maths and English curricula and present them in a way that reduces cognitive load and facilitates learning.
Our students enjoy the interaction and the dynamics of small group environments where they receive individualised attention and our experienced and dedicated teachers work collaboratively to deliver our programs. Students’ progress is monitored on a weekly basis and an informative diagnostic assessment is held towards the end of every term followed by constructive feedback for the students and a detailed report to the parents.
Global Education Academy would like to thank its staff, the dedicated teachers and administration team, as well as all its students and their families for accompanying us on this journey so far and we could not be more excited about what the future has in store.
Dr Majeda Awawdeh’s acceptance speech:
“Thank you to all the people who made this possible especially the ones who work behind the scenes. A special thank you goes to our dedicated team of teachers represented by Caroline and David. Our admin and marketing team – Hanady. My assistant manager and daughter Itar who preferred to defer her university degree and work with us full-time when we needed her. Rand who contributed tremendously between her exams with her terrific attention to details. My son Thaer who helped with his financial analytical skills who with his very busy schedule between Deloitte and his Chartered Accountancy degree always managed to find the time to help. And finally, my husband, Mark, who with his business insight, clarity and positivity made this dream come true.
As a mathematician at heart, and an educator by profession, I have always wondered why students found mathematics challenging, and why some of them even despised it.
It took me over 7 years, and two postgraduate degrees to find the answer; it is the way schools teach the subject. Teaching the process instead of the concept. Teaching the HOW instead of the WHY and teaching to pass the upcoming exam.
In my PhD I studied Cognitive Load Theory.
Cognitive Load Theory at its core considers the structure of the brain and the working memory of the learner. Then designs instructional material that harnesses mechanics of the human brain for optimal performance and most importantly, understanding. The instructional design and the methodology remove the cognitive load associated with learning, thus making it easier and simpler to understand.
I can’t put it into words how proud I was of my sense of achievement when I had finally completed my PhD at the University of New South Wales 2008. I thought in my mind that my thesis and findings will be used to shape how we teach children all over the globe and across all subjects. How wrong I was!
I was expected to sit in an office, write papers and publish them and hope that one day someone will read them or use them in their thesis. This is how it works in the academia. I refused to do that.
Mahatma Ghandi said: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
We started Global Education Academy, a research-based learning centre. This is where we teach for understanding.
To date, we have supported and guided the educational outcomes of hundreds of students from pre-kindergarten all the way to Year 12. But our mission and objectives are nowhere near complete; our vision is to become a specialised primary school with an emphasis and focus on understanding, and not just assessment results. We have applied to become a school once. We are currently waiting for the site and a little bit of funding – not much just $20 million. I know we will make it and it’s a matter of when, not if.
From our humble beginnings in 2011 of three very small room in what used to be a convenience store that was frequented daily by the local school students, to moving to a site that was more than three times the original, and to winning the local small business awards in 2016 and a finalist for 2017 (we were informed only this week), we are realising our dream day by day.
Our proudest accomplishment however is the fact that we touched and improved the lives of hundreds of students. Some of them came to us feeling defeated, disengaged and ready to give up, but through the hard work of our staff and our passion, commitment, and vision we have been able to turn their lives around.
Let me read one of my favourite cards I received from a student (Chloe 11-year-old):
“Thank you so much for everything you have done for me… I will never forget how much fun I had at GEA. P.S. you are the first person who made me enjoy maths.”
This child has been attending school for over seven years, and it was obvious from day one that she was not receiving the education she, and all other children, need and deserve. Chloe came to us, as smart as she is, feeling disengaged and scared of maths. She left us with life-long tools she can use to tackle any subject no matter the difficulty. We did that by simply delivering structured, and proven teaching methods coupled with passion and dedication.
As most of you know, in Australia you don’t need to complete mathematics in year 11 and 12 in order to graduate high school, enter university and enter the professional workforce. What most of you might not have known however, our standards in maths, science and reading comprehension are sliding dramatically, both nationally and internationally. Some might argue that this is an education funding problem, but I am here to tell you otherwise; it’s an approach to education problem.
I am currently authoring a book, titled ‘Who cares about Maths anyway?’, that analyses the school system, asks some vital questions and sheds some light on areas that education bureaucrats have chosen to ignore. Our children, our future leaders, teachers, judges, lawyers, doctors and all professionals, deserve answers.”
-Dr Majeda Awawdeh, Founder – Global Education Academy