Mary Catherine Swanson (AVID founder) featured on ABC Big Ideas

Mary Catherine Swanson (AVID founder) featured on ABC Big Ideas

ABC Big Ideas, recently featured AVID founder and former CNN/TIME Best Teacher in America (2001), Mary Catherine Swanson, in an episode that asked how disadvantaged students can achieve academic success.

From its humble beginnings with 32 students in San Diego, over 37 years ago, to the 1,800,000 students that benefit from the AVID program today, Mary Catherine’s work and the program she created has made a substantial difference to the lives of many students.

Now in Australia, AVID has grown to include 40 educational sites across Australia since the initial pilot in 2011 and 2012, with local students experiencing the same benefits as their American AVID peers.

In March of 2017, Mary Catherine visited Australia for the first time to see the Australian implementation of the AVID program.

She spoke at The Victoria Institute’s (Victoria University) Controversies seminar series during her stay. In her keynote address, she explained the foundations of the AVID program’s philosophy and expressed her belief in schools’ ability to become transformative institutions in the lives of their students.

“All learning depends on honouring the dignity of the learner,” she said.

“Many students when exposed to rigour don’t have the habits of study to equip them to be able to resist distractions that push them away from academic success.

“Teachers can help build that resistance,” said Mary Catherine Swanson.

The full episode is now available on the Big Ideas website and can also be accessed via the podcast app. A video of her full keynote is also available for viewing.

If you’re interested in learning more about the AVID program in Australia, please contact: AVID.Australia@vu.edu.au.