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.
The national online site for Education news, The Educator, recently carried coverage of the St Philips Teaching School. The Executive Principal of the St Philips group, Graeme Irwin, noted:
“I believe that the Teaching School is a way forward for teacher education in this country,” Irwin said. "The immediate on-the-job application of the learnt theory is extremely beneficial for producing successful teachers, but beyond this, we are educating teachers in a tertiary setting which is Christ-focused, and this is ground-breaking.”
To read the piece in full, click here.
While most look to the AC Hub School-Tertiary relationship for its revolutionary contributions to initial teacher education, it also has other strengths. In 2018, the St Philips group of schools introduced the Cert III Ministry onto its Waratah campus, as an alternative to traditional approaches to Studies of Religion in Year 11. The results have been profound in that most important of indices -- impact on the lives of students. We include here the first of series of self-reflections by students learning under Kieran Bridger. Obviously, we cannot identify students by name, but one student (let's call him Jesse) reflected on the year of ministry training like this:
Jesse: The first thing that comes to mind that I’ve learnt in this course is the difficulty of leadership. The dedication and responsibility that it takes to be a leader is not for everyone, but the responsibility is a blessing. Being chosen by God as a model that someone should work to be like is a reward in and of itself. This course has helped me to understand what it means to be a leader and shown me that there is no such thing as a 'text-book' leader: each leader has their own unique form of it. Through the year, I learnt about my style of leadership. It is unique and difficult to explain but I think I’m the type of leader that gets behind someone and pushes them further than I can go myself. I help them to become strong enough to not need my leadership anymore once they become a strong leader in their own way. I believe my leadership strengths are delegation and exhortation. However, I struggle when a task is not people focussed, as I am a people-person.
Alpha Australia continued to extend its range in a recent 'first' at West Ryde. On Saturday, 15 September, Professor Mark Hutchinson of the Centre participated in a livestreamed session focusing on 'Re-engaging Gen-Y'. Geoff Brailey (an AC grad) from McCrindle Research provided a very helpful overview of the background trend affecting Gen-Y, and a sneak peak at work he is currently doing with approaches to mentoring. Ben Woodman, the International Youth Coordinator at Alpha, provided international observations and some brilliant vignettes as to how Alpha is touching Gen-Y. Professor Hutchinson spoke on 'Thinking the Unthinkable', outlining case based approaches to avoiding 'diseases of strategic thinking' when approaching strategies such as those being canvassed in the youth work of many churches. The slides from his talk can be found here.
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.