Dean's Report

Visit to Shanghai

Last week I visited China to attend the second Global Education Deans Forum held at the East China Normal University in Shanghai. The theme of the conference was Leading the Future with Impact in Policy and Practice and the presentations and discussions certainly lived up to this focus. The Forum involves about 30 Deans from high-profile research-intensive universities from across the globe and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet with such a collaborative group and to deliver an address on How Faculties of Education can better influence Education Policy and Practice. I was also fortunate to be able to meet with academics outside of the conference, to be taken on a tour of the East China Normal University and attend an FBE alumni event where I had the pleasure of meeting up with several MGSE alumni.

Visit from Brunei Ministry of Education

While I was away MGSE was visited by a delegation from the Brunei Ministry of Education which included their Minister of Education. The delegation visited the International Centre for Classroom Research, studioFive and the Education library and met with a range of MGSE professors over afternoon tea. They expressed great interest in finding out more about MGSE’s best practice initiatives and mechanisms for implementing successful teacher education with a particular interest in our Master of Teaching, Master of Evidence-Based Teaching and the Master of Instructional Leadership. My thanks to Lorraine Graham for hosting the delegation and Kailesh Gunesh for organising the day’s activities.

External Advisory Board Meeting

Our External Advisory Board held its last meeting of the year recently and strongly expressed their belief that the forum is of great value and that they look forward to continuing to work with us in 2020 in making a positive contribution to the critical educational debates occurring in society and to the work we are pursuing at MGSE. Professor Bruce Bonyhady, from the Melbourne Disability Institute, and Jayne Johnston, from the Assessment Research Centre, presented on Building Evidence and Developing Progression based Standards for Students with Additional Learning Needs. They proposed the extension and utilisation of the SWANS software (an online reporting platform initially developed by the ARC in partnership with the Victorian DET) as an instrument to build an evidence base for the impact of learning interventions, which can then be used to predict realistic and aspirational learning progress for students with additional needs. This important presentation provoked a rich and engaged response from our Advisory Board which the presenters certainly appreciated.

Divisional Indigenous Development Plan

I am delighted to be able to direct you to our new MGSE Divisional Indigenous Development Plan (DIDP) which is available on our website. The DIDP outlines MGSE’s commitments to using our resources of research, teaching and learning to strengthen and deepen mutually supportive relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians. I encourage all staff to read through our six strategies and to think about how you can contribute to this work. Congratulations to Liz McKinley for leading the work on this important plan for MGSE.

Jack Keating Memorial Lecture

Professor Joe Lo Bianco is delivering the 2019 Jack Keating Memorial lecture on Civil Conflict and Social Opportunity as part of the Dean’s Lecture Series on Monday 11 November. Register now to hear what will, no doubt, be a fascinating lecture.

An alternative to ATAR

Finally, Pursuit has just published a story by Sandra Milligan, which coincides with young people in Victoria sitting their VCE English exam today, where she suggests that we should be thinking about a better way to represent young people’s knowledge and capabilities than the current system allows. A recent report she co-authored suggests that a ‘learner profile’ could document learning in a more holistic and accurate way than the ATAR. A great read.