International projects and partnerships
Visit to Ecuador
Over January 2019, Professor Jim Watterston, Dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education joined his colleagues Professor Lorraine Graham, Dr Lisa Mackay-Brown, Professor Janet Clinton in Ecuador to see the extraordinary work they are implementing in educational inclusion and sustainable learning.
The project aims to provide face-to-face and online support to approximately 52,000 Ecuadoreans teachers over four years. It was a busy week visiting schools, meeting government officials, university colleagues and participating in the week-long professional development program.
University of Melbourne and the University of Virginia launch international partnership program
The University of Melbourne and the University of Virginia have announced they are collaborating on an education partnership program to advance the role of teachers, inside and outside the classroom.
Grounded in the latest research, this innovative partnership program has been developed to drive better student learning outcomes as well as to grow the strategic expertise of teachers, to influence and shape education systems and policies.
Volunteering in Bangkok
In January 2019 a group of Master of Learning Intervention (MLI) students and staff travelled to Bangkok, Thailand to complete a volunteer teaching experience at the Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School. This initial volunteer experience was an important pilot study for formal placements at the school, an important for step in implementing a memorandum of understanding between the University of Melbourne and Chulalongkorn University. Working with the Chulalongkorn University School of Education, our volunteers collaboratively planned, implemented and evaluated interventions to support students with a range of disabilities and specific learning difficulties. Due to the success of this pilot study, the first formal MLI placement was completed in January 2020. This partnership between the universities will continue to flourish as staff identify new opportunities to share teaching and research expertise.
Timor Leste and Vietnam
Working with International partner UN Women, the Youth Research Centre team (Prof Helen Cahill, Keren Shlezinger and Dr Jenny Chesters) will utilise the Connect with Respect (CWR) toolkit to adapt, develop and implement, monitor and evaluate the school-based prevention of violence against women and girls in selected schools in Timor Leste and Viet Nam during February and March 2019. UN Women, in partnership with the ministry of education in Timor Leste and Viet Nam, will support the implementation of the CWR toolkit, and is expected to provide concrete evidence on the effectiveness of a school-based approach in changing social norms to prevent violence against women and girls and promote gender equality.
Conventional walking tours can reinforce dominant histories, memories, power relations, and normative or fixed understandings of place.
To counter dominant and normative walking tours that ‘take place’ in specific locations, co-directors Sarah E. Truman, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Stephanie Spinggay, Associate Professor from the University of Toronto developed a method called a ‘queer walking tour’ to advocate for a critical consideration of place.
WalkingLab was curated into the Toronto Biennale of Art.
G8 Roundtable discussion
Professor Jim Watterston and Professor Diane Vella-Brodrick attended the G8 Roundtable discussion on India’s potentially transformative Draft National Educational Policy (DNEP) to further our understanding of this draft policy and the potential opportunities for MGSE to assist in this focus on high quality education for all.
The DNEP is the first comprehensive Indian education policy developed since 1986 and proposes changes across all levels of education from early childhood to University. With a population of 1.3 billion people, including a fifth of the world’s youth, the policy is aiming for a target of 50% of youth being enrolled in a University by 2035 (currently it is 24.5%). The scale of this challenge shouldn’t be underestimated but it does provide distinct opportunities for the University of Melbourne in terms of research partnerships, open and distance learning and our expertise in the internationalisation of education.
One of the main areas of interest for MGSE is the potential major role we could play in teacher training as India looks to other countries to assist in training the staff in universities who will be responsible for training teachers for their new system.
Global Learning Symposium on ending School-Related Gender-Based Violence
Professor Helen Cahill was invited to present at the Global Learning Symposium on ending School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SBGBV) Conference in Johannesburg, 26-28 March 2019. The Global Learning Symposium is a biennial event held by the Global Working Group to End School-Related Gender-Based Violence, co-hosted by UNESCO and UNGEI. This year’s Learning Symposium will be held in Eastern and Southern Africa with a view to bringing together several countries in the region that are implementing initiatives to address SRGBV and promote gender equality in education.
The India School Education Engagement (ISEE)
The India School Education Engagement (ISEE) grant provided an exciting opportunity to develop a research partnership between the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Mantra4Change, a Bangalore-based non-government organisation.
The research project explores the professional learning needs of teachers, school leaders and community members with the aim of creating more inclusive learning environments. The project focuses on the development of culturally appropriate ways of working in the Indian context and building the capacity of teachers and school leaders to promote inclusive education.
Participants were drawn from four primary schools in outer Bangalore, allowing for the identification of local priorities, challenges and solutions. An important dimension of the project is the reciprocal opportunity for educational mobility, which aims to build lasting partnerships with Indian schools and their communities, NGOs, tertiary education partners, and information technology collaborators.
Collaborative technologies will have a significant role in allowing these partnerships to thrive, with Mantra4Change and MGSE drawing on their collective expertise in fostering online learning communities. Professor Lorraine Graham, Dr Lisa McKay-Brown and Mr Matthew Harrison from the Learning Intervention team are leading the project.
Investigating the complexity of classroom practice
The International Centre for Classroom Research (ICCR) team is running three major projects investigating the complexity of classroom practice through a program of international video-based classroom research. The Lexicon Project examines the pedagogical naming systems in mathematics classrooms involving 11 countries and an edited book is currently in preparation. The Social Essentials of Learning project investigates collaborative problem solving in mathematics in Australia and China. The Learning from Lessons project investigates the knowledge construction process of mathematics teachers in Australia, China, and Germany. For further information, visit the ICCR website.