Dean's Report

International Network of Educational Institutes

I recently returned from the International Network of Educational Institutes (INEI) symposium on Cultivating Core Competences in a Changing Technological Society held this year at the Beijing Normal University. The network involves 10 universities from across the world who have been meeting for the last 14 years with the aim of raising the profile of education in public policy, to collaborate on issues of major concern in education, to act as a think tank and to develop statements and declarations of interest to international funding institutions and policy makers. Amongst others, the Deans from University College London and the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education attended, and it proved to be an excellent networking opportunity.

Beijing Normal University is situated about half an hour by car from the centre of Beijing and has extraordinary resources. We visited their Smart Learning Institute, which together with their engineering department, is investing millions of dollars to try to find ways to enhance school children’s learning through applied uses of technology. For example, they are using artificial intelligence to program robots to act as home tutors to help children with their homework which also includes robotic ‘emotional responses’. The robot I witnessed was instructing a child on what homework to do and then, at one stage, suggested the child looked tired and should have a break for 10 minutes. There are obviously signals from the child, perhaps temperature, yawning or eyes closing, that suggested the robot could ‘sense’ how the child was feeling. Fascinating and somewhat disquieting! I’m certainly looking forward to the next INEI meeting next September in Toronto.

University of Melbourne Research Conference

On my return to Melbourne I attended the University of Melbourne research conference hosted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Jim McCluskey, which was held in the scenic surrounds of Healesville. It was great to be able to contribute to the conversation around research quality and standards and to learn more about the University’s research strategy and its focus on global engagement and partnerships.

End of year events

It has been a busy time at MGSE with a range of end of year events farewelling our graduating cohort of MTeach students, thank-you events for our secondary school partners and Teaching Fellows and Clinical Specialists, with an early childhood and primary partners event still to come. We also recently celebrated the publication of Associate Professor Erica Frydenberg’s third edition of her book Adolescent Coping: Promoting Resilience and Well-Being in StudioFive. I was proud to launch this book and thankful I had the time waiting for my plane in China to read this important work.

Congratulations to our new Associate Professors

Congratulations to our colleagues on their promotions to Level D, (Associate Professor) effective from 1 January 2019.  These promotions reflect the individual achievements of Jane Page, Peggy Kern, Terry Bowles and Vicki McKenzie.

MGSE Christmas party

Lastly, a reminder to all staff to register for the MGSE Christmas party as we join together to celebrate the achievements of the year and to enjoy each other’s company. It is important that you register so we can adequately cater for food and beverages.

Jim