Running on November 10 and 11, C21st Learning: Acting (inter)Nationally, will explore the
schooling goals for young people, coinciding with a change of federal government, the establishment of the National Curriculum Board and the release of the Draft National Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.
“What we’re trying to do is, given we’re a ministerial company, reflect what the policy environment is like at the moment,” Martin Murley, from the Curriculum Corporation, explains. “The conference is targeted to educational leaders, but also leaders working in education sectors with the Catholic, independent and government systems.”
Delegates can look forward to a two-day program jam-packed with stimulating master classes and keynote speakers.
Dr Dahle Suggett, deputy secretary for policy, research and innovation at the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, is hoping the conference will inspire teachers to get thinking.
“The theme of the conference is around the challenges of the so-called ‘21st century environment’ and what I will be doing is talking about what that means for education
policy and practices in schools,” she points out. “I want to talk about three break-through innovations that we’ve adopted in
The first is to do with linking physical infrastructure with learning, and identifying what physical spaces maximise children’s learning opportunities. The second is all about encouraging teachers to work together and coach each other, while the last innovation sees schools collaborating with business and the community, rather than operating as isolated, separate units.
“We’ve got to really work out what sort of educational experience is acceptable to all young people.
“It’ll provide a broad, general framework, whereby people all around the country can talk about curriculum rather than it being something private to individual states.”
Conference organisers have also noted the need for community input into this year’s program and, for the first time, will be running a one-hour open forum at the end of the first day. Facilitated by ABC Radio National’s Life Matters host, Richard Aedy, the seminar will see four keynote speakers come together with members of the public.
“Our feelings are that discussions around the national curriculum and 21st century learning are community discussions as well, so it’s good to provide some opportunity for interaction for people that don’t actually work in the sector, but have a stake in it — parents in particular,” Murley says.
Suggett is hoping the conference will inspire teachers to think about improving student outcomes, highlighting that they’re more than ready to handle the new challenges that lie ahead.
“There’s a lot of knowledge transfer in education and this sort of conference is about that. It’s about throwing out the challenges and giving people the information about where success is occurring.”