Dean's report

Dean Jim Watterston
Emeritus Professor Gillian Trigg's lecture

Last week I had the great pleasure of welcoming Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs to present a Dean’s lecture on the case for a Charter of Rights in Australia. The audience was riveted by Professor Trigg’s articulate and persuasive argument as she drew on various cases to illustrate her concerns about what she sees as the diminishment of legal and moral rights and protections in Australia. Her speech was a reminder that we all need to keep in mind our responsibilities as citizens to stand up for and protect our democracy, especially in such turbulent times. For those who were unable to make it to the lecture I encourage you to watch it on our YouTube channel.

University of Melbourne Network of Schools

The University of Melbourne Network of Schools (UMNOS) is an important collaborative partnership between MGSE and a wide range of schools in Victoria. In 2019 we will begin extending the reach of UMNOS as increasing demand from interstate, from remote areas and from overseas has shown that this is a valued initiative. The essential elements of UMNOS will remain - the partnership with the University, the trusting and challenging relationships between schools and the powerful support from critical friends. In addition, there will be expanded offerings on line; we are looking at offering mini MOOCS and micro credentialing for UMNOS school leaders and teachers, including UMNOS Community members. I am delighted that Kerry Elliott and Maxine McKew will lead this project to undertake the expansion and refining of UMNOS.

Pursuit story

This fortnight’s MGSE News highlights a recent article by Professor Michael Bernard on bullying, a topic that is of great concern to schools, students and parents, and is increasingly discussed in the context of the workplace. Michael’s research shows that there were demonstrated significant reductions in school children’s emotional responses to different types of bullying (cyber-bullying, social, physical, verbal) after they adopted a resilient mindset. He emphasises that while getting bullies to stop is the ultimate solution and aim, we also need to highlight that within each of us resides great power to cope with difficulty.

Podcasts

It’s been a week of interviews with a podcast released that I recorded with Louka Parry from Education Changemakers where we discussed leadership, teacher training and the future of learning; and today’s new Talking Teaching episode features an interview conducted by Maxine McKew with Mark Scott, Director General of the NSW Department of Education and me, as we debate the implications and worth of Gonski 2.