Week-long showcase of teaching excellence

Published 12 August 2009

altc.jpgThe University of New England’s week-long “Learning and Teaching Showcase”, beginning today, will give members of the University’s staff an opportunity to share their expertise and learn from each other.

The week of presentations includes keynote addresses by Dr Kerri-Lee Harris from the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne and Professor Geoff Scott, Provost and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Quality) of the University of Western Sydney.

Sponsored by both the UNE Faculties, the event is part of the Promoting Excellence Initiative – a project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC).

Cathryn McCormack, the Promoting Excellence Initiative coordinator for the Faculty of The Professions, said staff members could review the Showcase’s extensive program and choose which of the presentations they would like to attend. The program begins today with a presentation by Professor Belinda Tynan, Academic Director of the Faculty of The Professions, titled “Research and Practice Nexus”.

UNE’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Eve Woodberry, will officially open the Showcase at 3 pm today in the Lewis Lecture Theatre. The opening will be followed by Dr Harris’s keynote address titled “Curriculum diversification in Australian universities and the implications for academic standards” and welcome drinks.

Dr Harris, who holds Bachelor of Science and PhD degrees from UNE, was a member of the project team that developed the “Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement” proposal for the Australian Government (a collaborative project with UNE) and has led several projects for the ALTC. She is currently involved in a project examining curriculum renewal in Australian universities.

The keynote address by Professor Scott will be at 2 pm on Tuesday 18 August. His talk, titled “The changing nature of the academic role”, will be followed by the official close of the Showcase by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Pettigrew.

Professor Scott’s book Change Matters: Making a difference in education and training is widely used in a number of countries. His research on the distinguishing capabilities of 322 effective school leaders has been used to underpin the leadership selection and development strategy of the NSW Department of Education and Training.

In 2000 he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian College of Education for his national and international contributions to post-secondary and higher education. In 2007 he was the recipient of the Australian Higher Education Quality Award.