Karen joined Early Life Foundations and the Walker Learning Team in 2010 after 35 years with the Victorian Department of Education as a leader, consultant and teacher. She has worked in many sectors of education: metropolitan, regional and rural schools teaching all levels, special education and as a language consultant. Karen also taught overseas in Ontario, Canada.
Karen’s formal qualifications are Diploma of Education and Graduate Diploma in Special Education. She was an Assistant Principal at Altona Green Primary School (Victoria) where she worked alongside the Principal, staff and parent community to develop and implement an inclusive, exciting and vibrant child centred indoor-outdoor learning environment. This move towards effective personalised learning through active hands-on investigative approaches helped to frame the school’s pedagogy for successful and consistent teaching and learning practices. While working at Altona Green, Karen developed a close professional relationship with Kathy Walker as she assisted in facilitating and hosting many school visits, Walker Learning Study Tours and presentations. Her desire to personally and professionally continue her involvement and work in early childhood learning and programs evolved during this time as she established networks with local early childhood settings to assist in creation of seamless and informed transition practices between early childhood and school settings.
Karen’s special areas of interest are multi-age education, multi-cultural education, learning through play and investigation, learning disabilities, emotional and social development of children, transition between and within educational settings and social justice. Her passion is working closely with families and school communities to develop effective school connectedness as a means to ensure children’s best chance of meaningful and sustainable learning.