Not Just a Teacher

binge thinking on technology and education

Not Just a Teacher

A Precinct School

August 6th, 2015 · 4 Comments · General

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.


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Andy

    Sounds like an interesting idea. Not sure when this would be actually rolling out. I guess UniSA will probably need to spend a fortune relocating its teaching faculties of Magill to city campus first before anything can really happen. With a lot of spending needed for other major projects i.e. reviving its city campus, not sure how much the university will have left to actually develop such a precinct. it sounds rather like a long term plan which won’t in next few years. Agree?

  • largerama

    Thanks for your comments Andy. Of course, there is always a fear that this will not come to fruition and from the outside looking in, I can only hope I guess. However, from my perspective, I think UniSA has delivered on most of its plans in recent times, so that would be an indicator that this would be similar.

  • largerama

    I have just been at UniSA with some of my students today and there seemed to be a positivity towards it all going ahead as planned.

  • Sophia

    As more details about the MEP become more evident, the biggest concerns is the Child Safety aspect.

    Currently 3500 students attend the UniSA site in some way. The concept plans currently available in the Executive Summary, do not discuss how the Child Saftey issue will be handled. As much it would be great to have all schools on one site, have they considered:
    *impact on the residence in the area;
    *car parking
    *fences at schools are built to keep strangers out, not students in!
    *Will every student attending the Uni require a *Working With Children checks
    *the concept plans don’t have any fencing!!!
    *How will 1500 from NMHS fit in the space provided, the new buildings potentially will have to be up to 3 storeys high – is the area zoned for this.
    *How are up to 6000 people expected to share one oval and a 25 metre pool.
    *Will the schools involved lose their identity;

    These are only some of the questions that come to mind instantly. I am sure those involved have lots more to think about.

    What about the Premier investing in NMHS and other schools now – instead of ‘outsourcing’ to UNISA.

    All the schools in the area have been crying out for infrastructure for many years, but these cries have fallen on deaf ears.

    There is current consultation with communities, but if you research MEP, it sounds like a done deal!!!

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