Director of the Centre for the Future of Schooling and Associate Dean, Dr David Hastie today thanked the ABC for its interest in innovative Hub-based teacher education models, and for permitting him some time on ABC TV to clarify elements which have elsewhere been misreported. The footage of the live interview can be found here. The program does not, he noted, allow students to 'skip attending a university'. Rather, what the program does is transfer agency from a tertiary-centred model, to a school-centred model, in which students complete an accredited tertiary degree in the sort of cadetship mode very common in other disciplines. It was not, Hastie noted, a direct appropriation of the British model, but rather it takes 'the best of British' and dispenses with the ideologically-driven applications which elsewhere have proven ineffective. It adopts the leading practices of the University of Melbourne's Clinical Practice Model, and improves on these by focussing on the student experience and career track.
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An Alphacrucis National Roundtable on "Planting Christian Schools: Reigniting Missional Momentum" will be held on the Gold Cost on October 21. Hosted at the expanding Kings Christian College, Reedy Creek, this invitation-only gathering will see the first common meeting of the great practitioners in the independent schools space, committed to seeing the Christian mission of Independent schools sustained through the efficient and agile development of new schools and campuses.
As Dr David Hastie notes, reflecting on the new head of the National Catholic Education Commission's comments in The Australian last Friday: "Jacinta Collin’s call for more capital funding for Catholic schools anticipates one of the great challenges for governments in the coming era. The challenge is even greater for Independent schools. It is one of the trickiest elements of our social contract: public / private partnerships for essential services."
According to the School Infrastructure NSW Advisory Council: “There will be a massive 21% growth in student numbers by 2031. This means NSW schools will need to accommodate an extra 269,000 students, with 164,000 of these students in the public system.” In other words, inbuilt state under-provision of new schools is no secret: it’s public policy. NSW is expecting the Non-Government sector to enrol ten thousand new students every year for the next decade.
The Roundtable will explore solutions for this great challenge, ahead of a planned National Summit open to all in 2020.
In a radical breakthough for alternative pathways to ATARs, Alphacrucis is partnering with St Philip's Christian College to offer the Certificate III in Education Support (Teacher’s Aid), for 17 students, including a significant number of indigenous students. The Cert III translates into a 67 ATAR. According to the Hunter region Hub Regional Director, Andrew Youd, “Alphacrucis is the only RTO offering Cert III Education support in schools in the entirety of NSW. It is a brilliant way for indigenous students to fast track into teaching support roles post school, and so to get a foot on the pathway which will take them into teaching careers.” The 17 students from 4 local schools have paid positions, signed with the Apprenticeship Support Australia for two years in various local independent schools. Each has a supervising teacher within the school. A further 40 students in the St Philips group are taking Cert III in Tourism, again including a large cohort of indigenous students. “The Hunter Valley has so many tourism employment options”, said AC VET in Schools Coordinator, Donna McLean, “this is a classic example of the AC Hub adapting its offerings to local needs.” According to AC Associate Dean of Education, Dr David Hastie, the College has a high priority to partner with indigenous Australians in education. “Alphacrucis already has a strong presence in training for Indigenous Australians, and we are committed to seeing this extend to Indigenous school students and trainee teachers, particularly in rural areas.”
CFS is excited to announce that Dr Stephen Codrington joins a small team of just 25 Council of International Schools (CIS) affiliated consultants, accredited to provide support to CIS schools in all parts of the world. He is one of only two Australians on the high-powered list.
Stephen, Alphacrucis College Director of School Governance and Leadership Development, was recently accepted by the CIS team in the area of Leadership Training and School Governance.
“We are so glad that Stephen’s extensive background in international education, his wide experience in school leadership positions, and his work supporting school boards through the CFS affiliate consultancy organisation, Optimal School Governance, were pivotal in being accepted by CIS as one of its affiliated consultants.” Dean of Education Professor Mark Hutchinson remarked upon hearing of the elite appointment.
Based in Leiden (Netherlands), the Council of International Schools is a non-profit association of 734 schools and 622 colleges and universities in 116 countries. It provides program certification and quality assurance through school accreditation, assistance with teacher recruitment, support for institutional governance and professional development for teachers and school leaders.
Its program of affiliated consultants began about five years ago to provide expertise in specific improvement areas that are identified as priorities by member schools. The consultants must be individuals with proven experience helping schools develop in targeted areas of need. To become a CIS affiliated consultant, applicants must be thoroughly evaluated by CIS to ensure they meet standards for quality service according to stringent application requirements. “The appointment further strengthens Alphacrucis CFS as a globally oriented Christian tertiary provider,” Associate Dean Dr David Hastie observed, “the world is a big place, and we are going there.”
CSF staff have been energetically promoting the Hub model to the Federal House of Representatives STANDING COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION AND TRAINING STATUS OF THE TEACHING PROFESSION.
“The political response to our innovative model has been very exciting”, said Dr David Hastie, Associate Dean of Education, “Policy makers are keen to find more effective ways to train teachers, and the school cluster autonomous, clinical practice model in annual cohorts, has definitely captured the imaginations of many elected members on both sides of the house, and in between”. Nick Jensen, Alphacrucis Political Liaison, former director of The Lachlan Macquarie Institute, has been amazed at the reception: “there is a rare naturalness to the way policy makers are receptive to the Hub Model. We always thought it an elegant solution to a multi-faceted entrenched problem, but it’s been interesting to discover that many others are thinking likewise.”
“The Hub model allows schools to choose who enters initial teacher training, rather than just waiting to see who comes out of the other side of a tertiary training process and trying their luck in a cold – call job application,” reflected Alphacrucis Dean of Education, Professor Mark Hutchinson. “ by embedding them in schools through a clinical training model, school clusters are getting what they see, and who they train.”
The Alphacrucis submission to the Federal Inquiry (no. 50) can be found here: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Employment_Education_and_Training/TeachingProfession/Submissions
Public hearings for the inquiry start in early March.
Dr Stephen Codrington, Director of School Governance and Leadership Development at our Parramatta campus, has been honoured with the award of Life Membership of the Geographical Society of New South Wales for his “exceptional support” over many years to the Society and the discipline of Geography.
In the words of the Geographical Society’s Vice-President, Prof. Philip McManus, “Stephen’s international achievements and his commitment to geographical education align with the Society’s mission to advance geography in New South Wales and throughout Australia, to promote, support and, when necessary, defend geographical research, scholarship and education and to expand geographical literacy”.
Stephen joins a small handful of geographers in receiving this accolade that includes such famous academics and authors as Don Biddle, Colin Sale, Mal Barlow, Bruce Thom, Jim Forrest and Deirdre Dragovich.
Stephen’s contributions to Geography have been manifold and diverse. He has authored or co-authored 59 books, including a set of ten books that are now being used in 92 countries as textbooks in schools that teach International Baccalaureate (IB) Geography. He is a former editor of the journal of the Geography Teachers Association (GTA), as well as a former President of both the GTA and the Geographical Society. He served for many years as an examiner for both HSC and IB Geography, setting examinations as well as marking them and leading teacher workshops. He has also led study tours to such diverse locations as North Korea, Papua New Guinea, China, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Russia and Indonesia, just a few of the 157 countries he has visited. He continues to teach Geography in several of the courses he lectures at Alphacrucis.
The Geographical Society of New South Wales was founded in 1927 by a group of university academics headed by Griffith Taylor, then at the University of Sydney, a prolific author and a survivor of Scott’s ill-fated 1911 Antarctic expedition. Now in its 92nd year, the Society is a strong professional association whose members comprise geography academics, teachers, practising geographers from both the public and private spheres, and other interested members of the public.
The citation read at the award of Stephen’s Honorary Life Membership can be seen at https://www.stephencodrington.com/Hub/Life_Membership.html.
In a vital step for quality PD in NSW Christian Schools, Alphacrucis has been accredited as a NSW NESA approved PD provider. Five 4.5 hour courses are now available that address a range of teacher needs, including a Christian Worldview perspective. “It’s been a complex but worthwhile process,” said Alphacrucis Director of School Professional Development, Dr Stephen Fyson, “the PD offering completes the suite of training courses at Alphacrucis: VET, Initial Teacher training, PD, Masters and PhD.”
The new courses are: Growing Critical Thinking to Improve Student Learning; Taming my Teaching Programs; Including All My Students; Keeping Routines Routine; From Clear Expectations to Clear Responses (to challenging behaviours).
The PD was already available for use in other states and territories, and gaining NESA accreditation meets the more particular requirements characterising NSW education. Alphacrucis College now stands, along with Avondale College, as the only Australian Protestant tertiary provider able to offer the full range of training levels in education, both nationally and internationally.
For dates of courses and further inquiries contact Dr Fyson ([email protected]), and go to the PD website: https://www.ac.edu.au/education-professional-development/
CFS has been active as usual in the public education conversation, with Alphacrucis Associate Dean of Education, Dr David Hastie, recently publishing a challenging article in The Australian, two controversial articles in 2018 in The Sydney Morning Herald, and a crucial 2018 article relating to religious schooling freedoms in Eternity. “Being a part of the public dialogue about Australian education and its social meanings is a vital role to play for a Christian Tertiary Provider”, said Alphacrucis Dean of Education, Professor Mark Hutchinson. “Good public policy is the domain of all thinking, engaged citizens. Christian education cannot afford to sit quietly in a safe spot while watching from the sidelines. Australian evangelicalism needs to rediscover its vital role at the centre of social change, a place it held for over a century, but has tended since to hand over to others.”
Addressing the vexed issues of school funding, anti-discrimination exemptions in Christian schools, and the social meaning of religious school choice, the articles have sparked responses from Christians and non-Christians alike.
Dr Hastie’s articles can be found at:
In the fissile parliamentary sessions of late 2018 CSF staff were on the front foot in our national parliament promoting religious freedom around schools and tertiary employment. Along with extensive lobbying of elected members, Alphacrucis Associate Dean of Education, Dr David Hastie and Alphacrucis political liaison, Nick Jensen, have contributed two formal submissions to the SENATE STANDING COMMITTEES ON LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS inquiry: LEGISLATIVE EXEMPTIONS THAT ALLOW FAITH-BASED EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND STAFF
Their key tenor, similar to many other submissions, was to slow down the consultation process to a reasonable pace, and to enshrine religious freedom for Christian schools and Tertiary as a right, rather than an exemption, in anti-discrimination law. The push to rush legislation through the parliament in the November sittings was defeated in the senate, thwarting a highly politicised attempt to use the complex issues as a test of the government’s reduced numbers in the House of Representatives, following the surprise defection of Liberal Member Julia Banks.
The submission (no.84) by Dr Hastie can be found here https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Legal_and_Constitutional_Affairs/Schooldiscrimination/Submissions
The submission (no. 60) by Nick Jensen on behalf of Australian Christian Higher Education Alliance can be found here:
It is unclear at this stage whether this will come up again in the life of this parliament, but religious freedom will certainly be a point of contention during the election campaign.
Since 2014, all members of independent school boards in New South Wales have been required to undertake regular training in proper governance by a NESA-approved trainer as a condition of their school’s registration. Alphacrucis College plays a key role in this training as Dr Stephen Codrington, our Director of School Governance and Leadership Development, has been a NESA-approved training provider since 2015.
This week, NESA approved eight new courses written by Stephen to be provided to school boards through the CFS affiliate consultancy organisation, Optimal School Governance. This brings to 11 the total number of school board governance training courses offered by Stephen.
The eight new courses that are now available to school boards through Stephen are:
• Board operations (8 hours)
• Creating and Sustaining Healthy Boards in Good Times and Bad (4 hours)
• Future-focussed board leadership (4 hours)
• Governance and management (4 hours)
• Mission, Vision and Strategic Thinking (4 hours)
• Overcoming the Challenges of Governance and Minimising Risk (4 hours)
• The Board’s Duties (4 hours)
• Directing and managing Change (4 hours)
The new courses offer more in-depth, tailored training for school boards that are interested in improving their performance and effectiveness, and complement Stephen’s existing offerings to school boards that offer broader overviews:
• School Board Basics
• Best Practice in School Governance
• Effective School Governance
Although mandatory training in effective governance for members of school boards is a requirement in many overseas countries, New South Wales is so far the only state in Australia to introduce such a requirement. It is reassuring that Alphacrucis College is at the forefront of this movement to enhance student outcomes, teacher morale and school viability, all of which are demonstrated outcomes of enhancing board effectiveness.
Further details of the NESA-approved courses we offer to school boards can be seen at https://optimalschool.com/Core/NESA.html and https://optimalschool.com/Core/NESA_2.html.
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.