Every year, educational leaders across the country come together at the ACEL (Australian Council for Educational Leadership) Conference to learn, network and celebrate excellence.
Held in Sydney, the conference is attended by over 1500 delegates - leaders of education from public, Catholic and independent sectors, representing all States and Territories in Australia - including 300 International delegates.
ACEL president, Jim Watterson says “Our powerful program of world-class thought leaders includes some of most influential education experts, who bring their own unique perspectives to the audience.”
SCEA’s Mathilda Joubert (Principal of SCEA Institute of teaching and Learning) and Cherylynne Gostelow (Deputy Principal Learning Design at Ellenbrook Christian College) were given the huge honour of being selected to present a parallel workshop, through a peer review process.
They addressed the topic of ‘Collaborative curriculum innovation: balancing rigour and engagement’ and answered the question: how do you lead the development of an integrated curriculum that guarantees systematic Australian Curriculum coverage, enables progression in the general capabilities, harnesses student voice, creates teacher ownership and, above all, leads to student engagement in deep learning?
“The answer to that question,” says Mathilda, “is by engaging teachers in an innovative, yet structured, collaborative curriculum planning process. The benefit of teachers collectively designing their own, personalised and localised curriculum (rather than relying on off-the-shelf solutions) is that it enhances teacher understanding of the curriculum and develops teacher capacity to deliver quality learning.”
“We shared a number of case studies from our own and other primary and secondary schools in Australia and England who have significantly improved outcomes for students and teachers through engaging in this collaborative curriculum innovation process, and then guided participants through the process, so that they could take it back to their own schools,” adds Cherylynne.
Mathilda and Cherylynne’s workshop received excellent feedback and has ignited the desire for many schools to reconsider their approach to curriculum development. This is the SCEA vision, ‘To be leaders of effective Christian Education in WA such that we influence the next generation of children globally’, in action.
Photo: an example of curriculum mapping in progress.