Stay at home restrictions
This last week has seen another upheaval for us all as metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire returned to Stage Three Stay at Home restrictions. As always, the health and welfare of our staff and students is our highest priority. I know many of you are dealing with the challenges of the return to remote learning for your school-aged children at the same time as teaching remotely yourselves. We are also re-adjusting to the restrictions placed upon our family and social lives and dealing with the anxiety that the upturn in cases naturally evokes. It is important that we look after ourselves, as well as those we care for, and I know that MGSE colleagues are providing great support to one another. The University also provides a range of support services to assist staff and I encourage you to make use of these.
The Master of Teaching (Secondary) started this week and staff will be delivering around 225 subjects across MGSE courses in second semester, with 4,000 students enrolled in at least one subject. This is a significant amount of work and I appreciate all the efforts that staff are making. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic MGSE has continued to deliver outstanding teaching, which is particularly impressive given the fast move to online teaching in semester one. Not only did staff make this successful transition but did so with a great deal of creativity and reinvention, to the immense benefit of their students. The significant challenges that were overcome are admirable, such as the complex breadth subject ‘Auslan and visual communication’ which was successfully delivered by a multi-talented team of hearing and deaf instructors. I am also appreciative of the work staff have been putting into their research, and the work going into grant applications, the writing and publishing of journal articles and reports, and the notable contribution to numerous media requests.
New webinar series
I am delighted to announce the launch of a new four-part webinar series produced by MGSE titled Propelling education through a COVID-19 world. This series will feature Professors Yong Zhao, Sandra Milligan and John Hattie discussing the future of education in a COVID-19 world. Each week one of our experts will tackle a provocative topic while the others will debate the issues raised; the audience will also be able to participate by submitting questions. The series runs every Tuesday at 4 pm from 28 July until 18 August, and you can register via the website.
New International Community for Classroom Research
The International Centre for Classroom Research (ICCR), which was established under the leadership of the late Professor David Clarke, will now transition to become a dedicated research hub at MGSE under the new name of the International Community for Classroom Research. The illustrious work and legacy of David Clarke will continue to be recognised through the establishment of the hub which will have an international focus and be overseen by Professor Jan van Driel.
Last Friday saw the last of the virtual retirement events scheduled to honour our retiring colleagues Professors Joe Lo Bianco, John Polesel and Fazal Rizvi. It was wonderful to hear of their achievements, and the many amusing stories, as their friends and colleagues paid tribute to three remarkable men. I’m also pleased to announce that Fazal has now also been honoured by the University with the awarding of the title of Professor Emeritus. While retirement events often signal the end of a relationship, in these cases I have been assured that our retiring colleagues have every intention of continuing their strong connections and involvement with MGSE, albeit in a different way. If you missed the retirement events they are available to view on our intranet.