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.
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.
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.