Teachers swap knowledge in a first for the State

Thursday, 22 November 2007

The University of Adelaide will tomorrow host the State's first conference to promote excellent teaching and scholarship practices in the university and school sector.

The University's School of Education's one-day conference will showcase innovative and exemplary teaching practices in South Australia and offer educators an opportunity to share school-based research and professional learning.

Associate Professor Sivakumar Alagumalai, Head of the School of Education, says that 25 outstanding teachers from across the State will present their knowledge and experiences on best practice and professional learning.

The keynote speaker is Dr Stephanie Burley, Deputy Head of the School of Education and winner of the Executive Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2006.

"My address will raise challenges relating to teaching excellence, as well as options and possible solutions," Dr Burley says.

The 2006 winner of the Australian University Award for Teaching Excellence, Associate Professor Holger Maier, will also present his views on current teaching practices.

"Engaging students in learning is one of the most important and difficult tasks faced by teachers today. Students have varying degrees of interest in the subject matter, different learning styles and different backgrounds. Their priorities and the way they learn are also changing rapidly," Associate Professor Maier says.

"We need to look at how students are assessed to ensure that it is realistic and linked with course content and learning objectives. In regard to content, students are more likely to engage if multimedia online presentations and scenario-based learning are used.

"Interactive activities in the classroom are also effective in keeping students interested in the material," he says.

Professor Geoffrey Crisp, Director of the University's Centre for Learning and Professional Development, says interactive lessons also provide useful feedback to the teacher on how effective the class has been from the students' perspective.

"The Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) principle is something that many teachers could explore. This approach encourages teachers to use short, in-class quizzes to gauge the students' level of understanding across the class. It helps teachers to modify their teaching strategies to achieve more effective outcomes for students," Professor Crisp says.

The conference, to be held in the Napier Theatre 102, highlights the close collaboration between the University of Adelaide and the four education sectors: Department of Education and Children's Services; the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia; Catholic Education Office; and TAFE SA.


Contact Details

Dr Siva Alagumalai
Email: sivakumar.alagumalai@adelaide.edu.au
Website: http://www.education.adelaide.edu.au
Head of the School of Education
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5630

Professor Geoffrey Crisp
Email: geoffrey.crisp@adelaide.edu.au
Director of the Centre for Learning and Professional Development
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3769

Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/newsroom/
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762