I had the pleasure of attending the Vice Chancellor’s Breakfast at UniSA last week where David Lloyd and several senior members of the university staff publically launched their Digital Learning Strategy. I praised and shared the strategy via Twitter when it was first announced and blogged about it. I still hold it up as a strong example for all areas of education to follow in terms of declaration of intent, strategic direction and action planning to achieve goals set with reference to technology enhanced education. Knowing the process they went through to publish this strategy, I think there is also much to be said for pro-active, driven, co-ordinated actions to rubber stamp fundamental changes to teaching and learning.
However, there was something else mentioned on that morning that caught my intention and has plagued my thoughts ever since.
There have been plans at UniSA to build an ‘education precinct’ at their Magill Campus. I already knew of that but I wasn’t aware of the intention to have a secondary school in that precinct. Now, that’s nothing new as a concept. ASMS has been a feature of Flinders University for a number of years. What was ‘new’ to me was the mention of possibly having teachers in some sort of pedagogical innovation scheme where they came for a set period of time to teach in a certain way.
Unless the bacon sandwiches distracted me, I don’t think we received any more information than I have provided, but I immediately thought that this is an interesting idea. I am picturing a school where there is a backbone of ‘permanent’ staff but then each term/semester/year staff from other schools come to teach using a certain pedagogical approach (or approaches). Would this push innovation forward? Would it lead to teachers going back to their schools with greater experience and knowledge of effective pedagogy? Would the students in the precinct school benefit from this experience or could it be detrimental to their education? Would there be issues with instability and/or lack of student/teacher relationships?
I wonder what opinions are on this matter, whether such models have been done before and what were the findings.