Monday's three-hour forum had a collection of fascinating sessions, all of which covered wide ranging and topical issues linked to classroom practice and student learning, combined with emerging issues in curriculum deign, technology integration, as well as social and emotional intelligence, combined with approaches to teaching philosophy and rhetoric. Links to emerging themes such as student motivation and engagement were common as were references to the need for teachers employ ongoing reflective practice to ensure we are continually reviewing and considering new and interesting ways to approach learning.
Here is an overview of the program which highlights the diversity of the presentations. The Barker Institute would like to thank all the staff who presented and attended the forum in its tenth year.
Post-Graduate Forum Program 2017
Jo Quinlan - 'Building Capacity in Digital Leadership'
Abstract: Having recently completed a Master of Education in Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation, I firmly believe that leadership in digital learning environments is a decision, not a role. I will share the main ideas from a recent paper I wrote based on an analysis of an environmental scan of use of digital technologies in our Stage 4 teaching programs at Barker; and a wikispace that was collaboratively developed by two of my study colleagues and myself as an example of hands-on PD that could be used in schools to help build capacity in digital leadership in staff.
Dr Bradley Merrick and Dr Gregory Cunningham
'Building Shared Understandings, Capacity and Self-reflection through a whole-school Coaching Model'. (Presented at the ACER Professional Practice Conference in April).
Abstract: This case study presentation will share some of the insights and related projects that have emerged from this coaching initiative with 45 staff now trained and engaged in the process. Drawing on the initial findings, the operational considerations required for a whole-school initiative will be considered. Staff perceptions and concerns will be articulated while also highlighting the value and worth foregrounded by those engaged in this professional learning that involves both coaching and mentoring of staff.
Su Temlett - 'Professional Learning Inquiry Cycles with Optional Learning Labs'
Su is currently undertaking Masters in Educational Leadership and Management
Abstract: I created this hypothetical Professional Learning Inquiry Cycle program for my final assignment of the 'Leading Learning' module. The key objective is to create interdependency between teachers by fostering collaboration and collegial discussion within small professional learning groups. The inclusion of optional Learning Labs also allows staff non-threatening access to their professional learning group's classrooms. The outcomes of these goals are that staff overcome the long-standing individualistic nature of teaching to develop shared understandings and commitments with their colleagues.
Matthew Hill - 'Cultivating meaningful conversation using philosophical discussion rules'
Abstract: As part of the Hearts & Minds program at Barker, Year 7 students are being taught communication skills. This has consisted of collections of four week modules discussing topics such as Philosophy & Happiness, Philosophy & Identity, and Philosophy & Relationships. Over 20 teachers have been trained in philosophical discussion techniques and have rated the student's ability to follow a set of philosophical discussion rules. I will be sharing the feedback and seek suggestions for further probing questions to measure student improvement.
Malyn Mawby - 'Inspiring hope, an action-research on student wellbeing'
Abstract: My action research sought to answer 'Does systematic integration of self-regulation processes impact on student wellbeing?' This is a follow up presentation where I reflect on the project and focus on what I have learned about action-research, self-regulation, and student wellbeing, i.e. what I have learned that could be part of the new norm.
Jo Quinlan and Lainie Kalnins - 'Sharing a Story about Collaborative Teaching, Blended Learning and Formative Assessment from a Year 7 Maths Class'
Abstract: After a College of Teachers GOAT session where two teachers shared their mutual passion for co-teaching, blended learning and formative feedback, a collaborative teaching experience in term 3 2017 with a Year 7 mathematics class was born. With a focus on formative feedback, a unit of work based on Angles and Geometry was designed as a pilot course in Canvas. A Python programming course by Grok was also incorporated into the unit. We will discuss the pros and cons of co-teaching, reflect on our use of Canvas to provide timely feedback to students, and consider the effect this has had on student learning.
Dr Bradley Merrick
'Music is my life - Rock? Pop? Jazz? Why do I love it?' (Presented at the ASME National Conference in July 2017)
Abstract: This presentation will review data collected from Contemporary Musicians from Barker who have gone on to forge their careers in the music industry, across the realms of Popular, Rock and Jazz genres. Past students and musicians of the school who have gone on to work in the profession, either as teachers, composers or performers around Australia and Internationally form the shape of this project. This presentation explores their views and feelings about music and what it means to them, and how it shapes their identity. Using a series of surveys and interviews, several case studies of successful past students will be presented, unpacking the reasons for studying music, their musical journey to date, and significant events and experiences that have contributed to their musical lives so far.
Len Nixon - 'Coaching at Barker - Reflections on the Process to date.'
Abstract: This update will reflect on the first two years of the COT implementation and the development of the GROWTH model amongst the staff and across the school. Using various reflections, anecdotal and interactions from participants in the coaching process, the current place of the coaching framework will be explored and possible considerations for future development and implementation will also be tabled.