A great day was had by all with internationally renowned Christian Educationalist, Professor Trevor Cooling at the Alphacrucis Education Research Master Class in June. Some 16 PhD students, and 6 tutors gathered from a range of Australian colleges and universities to explore "What makes research authentically and effectively Christian?". The first event of its type in Australia, afterwards the delegates expressed themselves keen to meet on an annual basis to encourage each other forwards to completion and into research, and to provide a safe haven for new scholars to learn the ropes. If you are interested in joining the Boffins, contact Dr David Hastie [email protected]
Dr David Hastie was proud once again to help organize the acclaimed 'Literacy, What Works and Why' Conference, held at the University of NSW on June 26.
Enormously successful in 2016, the 2018 conference was another great event, with keynotes
- Ian Wilkinson, Professor, Teaching and Learning, OHIO State University
• Jann Farmer-Hailey, Consultant, Literacy Leadership
• Janet Gaffney, Professor, Educational Psychology – Literacy. Director, Marie Clay Research
For more details and full videos of the day, visit https://www.nswier.org/
To connect to Dr Hastie's sector leading work in program reviews, contact [email protected]
CFS senior consultant Dr Stephen Fyson has just returned from Batam, Indonesia, as special Graduate Address Keynote speaker at Elsadai Christian School. Not wasting a moment, Dr Fyson also delivered leadership training and teacher PD.
“It was one of those times that helps remind you what Christian schooling means to so many around the world”, he said. “Not only that, but it also reminds us of the easy fellowship between brothers and sisters in Christ across cultures and circumstances.”
As Alphacrucis Associate Dean of Education, Dr David Hastie observed, “this further expands our connections with brothers and sisters in Indonesia... We particularly thank the Christian Education Development Program from Pacific Hills Christian School for organising and sponsoring Dr Fyson’s visit.”
Dr Fyson visited just after the horrific bombings in Surabaya. Local Christians are still considering the implications of that shocking event: “We simply were not expecting that” said Pastor Johannes, founder of Sekolah Elsadai. “It gives us even more commitment to bringing up our children in the Lord.”
Dr Fyson recounts that the Graduation Ceremony was an extended affair– about four hours. Parents were invited onto the stage with their children. He found the stage and surrounds spectacular, and was touched that thanks to God were offered freely and often. Students with particular needs were simply included in the whole event.
“This was a community event of deep joy” noted Dr Fyson. “The people were literally enjoying being together – parents, extended family, students and teachers.”
Pastor Johannes and Director Asri also noted that when people come over to support and encourage their teachers and leaders, “It shows they care, and we so deeply appreciate it.”
To contact Dr Hastie about AC work in Indonesia, please email us at: [email protected]
It was a privilege to host the most recent meeting of the NSW Institute for Education Research exec committee at Alphacrucis. Dr David Hastie has recently joined the executive of the 90 year old organisation, which is dedicated to supporting education research students with grants and networks. The NSWIER also sponsors the massive bi-annual ‘Literacy, what works and why’ conference at the University of NSW, and runs the prestigious Wyndham Lecture in November. For more information on applying for grants and attending the Wyndham, visit the NSWIER website https://www.nswier.org/.
How does a school keep their students safe? Alphacrucis and Christian Schools Australia (CSA) answered this crucial question in the launch of their new Curriculum Guide Thriving in Communities. A Christian Schools Australia response to the National Safe Schools Framework. Over a hundred delegates stayed on for an extra day of the Christian Schools National Policy forum this year, to explore the resource, which was co-coordinated and edited by Dr David Hastie, Associate Dean of Education at Alphacrucis College, and Ken Greenwood, Victorian State Executive Officer of CSA. With additional writings and contributions from Christian school Well-Being Practitioners from every state, the resource covers areas such as compliance, cyber safety, identity formation and caring for refugees. There was a further launch of the resource at the CSA National Leader’s Retreat in Alice Springs last week.
To obtain the resource and further training, please contact Dr Hastie: [email protected].
In keeping with his prolific output, Alphacrucis Dean of Education Professor Mark Hutchinson has just had his latest volume of the Oxford History of Dissenting Christianity published. The fifth volume in the series, he has been involved in the series across the volumes for some four years, and working with international teams of leading scholars in the area for over two decades. Professor Hutchinson has published widely in the history of evangelical Protestantism, including fifteen books and over one hundred research papers, including Iron in our Blood: A History of the Presbyterian Church in NSW, 1788–2001 (2001); A Short History of Global Evangelicalism (2012); and A University of the People (2014).
Following the Alphacrucis Centre for the Future of Schooling review of Blue Mountains Grammar School’s religious focus, the host of the review and Acting Deputy, Andrew Beitsch, was singing the praises of CFS consultants: “Could not be happier with the manner in which the review was conducted and the utter professionalism in which Stephen Codrington and his team presented. This has been an important step forward for the school and I am very thankful for all that has been done.” CFS is conducting 6 school and school governance reviews this year, across several different school types, in the Anglican, Catholic and non-denominational Christian school sectors. To learn more about the CFS school review service, contact Dr Codrington or Dr David Hastie at CFS.
Dr Jennie Bickmore-Brand has been sending shockwaves through Australian Initial Teacher Education faculties by presenting some uncomfortable findings in her recent study of indigenous content in teacher education degrees, launched at the August Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) conference. Commissioned by the charity Australian’s Together, she found that at least 17% of universities do not even comply with the minimum AITSL standards relating to indigenous perspectives, and few are achieving what could be described as a proficient standard. Her study, that examined every single unit, of every single Australian teaching degree, has revealed systemic disengagement with indigenous perspectives in teacher training. There is a long way to go in meeting satisfactory standards relating to education about, and for, indigenous Australians.
Associate Professor Bickmore-Brand at the Uganda summit
In July Assoc. Prof. Jennie Bickmore Brand and Dr Stephen Codrington travelled to Uganda and South Africa to further ACs ‘Global Education’ program. Dr Codrington spoke at the Africa Renewal University campus in Buloba, on the Alphacrucis Educational Model and the future of Christian learning in higher institutions. The academic audience expressed their appreciation of the AC Hub model and its potential, and for the work the Centre is doing on the Critical Thinking for Humanity approach. The next day, he presented a full-day (8 hour) workshop on “The role of a board in growing a national association” to the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Uganda board. ACSI is keen to support better training for the boards of Christian schools and parachurch ministries in Uganda. Both Drs Codrington and Bickmore Brand spoke at the ACSI Leadership Summit, before many leaders from all over East Africa, and some key tertiary developers based in Ghana and Nigeria. One leader concluded by saying their discussions had been “a breakthrough for me, an answer to prayer”, and projecting a number of other activities into 2019. There were numerous expressions of appreciation for AC’s long term and clear expression of the priorities of Christian Education, the explicit statement of Christian Worldview, and the central importance of mission and vision. AC now has a significant profile among Christian Schools in East Africa and beyond.
The next week, Drs Codrington and Bickmore-Brand travelled to South Africa to speak with a number of impressive Christian schools around Polokwane and Brits, who are seeking AC assistance in teacher development. This work has been developed in connection with Samson Makhado, who has been an enthusiastic supporter of AC activity in Africa. Dr Codrington spoke on “The Alphacrucis Approach Towards Christian Education”, and Dr Bickmore Brand on "May we be the fragrance of Jesus to those who are being saved". The next day, at another school, our staff did a 'double act' presentation over 3 hours to staff, with the school cancelling classes at midday so staff could spend the afternoon with them.
Such international cooperation in teacher training is consistent with the global vision of Alphacrucis, which seeks to be a ‘Global Christian University, changing neighbourhoods and nations’.
“Working on ways to deliver quality, sustainable and locally authentic approaches to Christian education is part of the missio Dei”, noted the Dean, Professor Mark Hutchinson. “There is enormous opportunity for assisting others in Australia’s region and beyond, and it is particularly apposite that it should be Australia’s leading Christian liberal arts college which is seeking to do so. In a global age, our schools, teachers and students should all have the opportunity to engage more deeply with those of common faith elsewhere in the world.”
If you are interested in walking an extra mile or two with the AC Global Education Program, please contact:
Assoc. Professor Jennie Bickmore Brand ([email protected])
Co-Director, Centre for the Future of Schooling
Alphacrucis, as a VETiS RTO, is revolutionizing approaches to alternative pathways to ATAR, and VET in schools. St Phillip’s Christian College is set to offer ten employed positions to Year 11 Students in Certificate III in Education Support as School Based Traineeship. The Alphacrucis delivery is designed within a flexible teaching and learning model, tailored to an individual’s curriculum while allowing students to work with business one day a week, and still having the pliability if desired of gaining an ATAR grade.
This is in addition to launching the first Diploma VETiS student Year 11 with Diploma Community Service alongside her HSC, and Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation addition to their the RoSa for Year 9 students. “It’s vital that students who need an alternative pathway to ATAR can train, whilst still being able to continue to thrive in their known Christian community of belonging,” Alphacrucis Dean of Education Mark Hutchinson said, “there’s much more to learning than an academic pathway, for all of us.” As a multi-offer RTO, and with the Alphacrucis Coordinator for VET in schools, Donna McLean, vigorously pursuing new and clever ways to get VET happening, Alphacrucis is set to redefine what it means to do vocation in Christian Schools.
CFS researchers and staff contribute regularly to the FSB. The aim is to keep you in the loop as to the range of our activities, perhaps suggesting points of common interest.