Monday, 21 January 2013

January Newsletter

1.  Issue 9 of SaMnet’s monthly newsletter 
Happy New Year from the team in SaMnet HQ! 
Listen to the newsletter? Now available in audio as a podcast.


This month's question:
What are you going to continue to do this year – in your teaching or in persuading your colleagues -- that you tried for the first time last year? 
The Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence - Early Career honour was received in November by SaMnet Scholar: Jessica Vanderlelei.  She is a biochemist at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus who has implemented a range of novel teaching strategies and documented their impact. 
Take a squiz at the awards list to see if anyone has done something relevant to your interests.  Considering applying?  Review assessors’ comments on the application pool, and ask Jessica, Roy Tasker, ... , or a member of the SaMnet steering committee (some have been assessors).   
2.  Conferences & publication
This special issue will focus on outcomes and insights from your SaMnet projects.
Abstracts are due today, 18 January 2013.  You will be forgiven for submitting by Tuesday, 22 January. Follow the link for a PDF Call for Papers, and contact the editors if you want to be included.
Perth Teaching and Learning Forum 2013 – 7-8 February @ Murdoch University.
ASELL National Science Workshop – 2-5 April 2013 at The University of Sydney
EOIs for submission of experiments due 25 January 2013
Registrations due 5 March 2013
PDF flyer for the workshop
ASELL Schools Science Workshop – 26 April 2013 at SHORE School, North Sydney, NSW
Do you know a school teacher interested in improving science experiments and lab experiences for high school students?  Pass on this information about the 2013 ASELL Schools Science Workshop.
EOIs for submission of experiments due 15 February 2013
Registrations due 5 April 2013
3.  Connections/Events  
Past:                      2nd Australian Tertiary Geosciences Teaching workshop
January 16-17, 2013 @ James Cook University
Future:                 Leadership Development Workshops in February 2013
                                February 4 – Melbourne workshop @ La Trobe University
                                February 5 – Adelaide workshop @ Flinders University
                                February 6 – Perth workshop @ Curtin University
                                February 11 -- Sydney workshop @ U of Sydney 
February 15 -- Brisbane workshop @ Griffith University. 
Have a colleague with leadership potential?  We have some open seats! 
As part of the SaMnet workshops in capital cities, OLT Fellow Liz Johnson will address SaMnet scholars and others in the wider community to share plans and garner input on the proposal Centre. Liz will also present at the Perth T&L forum on 7-8 February.
Match up:           Dan Mallet and Deb Jackson - with your experience in maths and statistics education - contact Leigh Findlay and Peter Dunn of U of Sunshine Coast.  Leigh and Peter are developing an effort to investigate and improve statistics abilities of Honours and Higher Research Degree students.
4.  SaMnet activity 
An article on SaMnet has been published in the Australian Journal of Education in Chemistry. Have a read on how your SaMnet engagement is collectively developing the future of Australia’s academic teaching in science and maths. 
Project Updates – Poster & Letter to Your Dean
Thank you to teams who have replied to the draft posters that we developed. Please send corrections, suggestions and updates to the letters and posters.  We will ‘post’ them to your Dean soon. 
5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) 
We have many good teachers in the SaMnet community, how can good teachers develop into great teachers who see results almost all the time?
SaMnet encourages the sharing of your ideas, in particular through publication. If Craig Nelson’s words inspire (and inform) you, submit an abstract to the IJISME special issue on SaMnet projects.  They are due TODAY! (Click for details)
6.  Leadership insights
This readable article presents a useful framework of elements that stop us from doing what we would like to do; it seems well founded on psychological constructs.
Forgive the author for the trite format for addressing negative thinking that ends the article. 
Short and provides a good reminder about the people around us whom we can learn from.  Also, you could be one of these mentor types. 
7. ‘Team’ in Focus: Changing the Game - The Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) National Centre for Teaching and Learning for Science and Mathematics. Liz Johnson, La Trobe University.
We are beginning the new year by sharing from the efforts of OLT Fellow Liz Johnson in developing the proposed ACDS T&L Centre.  That is the focus of her upcoming talks. See the flyer for details.
Faculties teaching science and mathematics need to shift their expectations and support of renewal to achieve broad scale improvement in teaching practice. The sector is developing a rich network of groups and individuals collaborating to improve teaching practice.  These efforts include discipline and leadership networks, national projects and emergence of national leaders in learning and teaching. Recently, the Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) began work toward a National Centre for Teaching and Learning for science and mathematics.
The new Centre will be a clearinghouse for sharing effective models for organizational change and curriculum development. It will focus the energies of learning and teaching leaders onto change at Faculty level by constructing good practice guides providing distilled advice for teaching and learning. The Centre will draw on the experience of learning and teaching leaders, science faculties and associated discipline groups to offer authoritative advice to Universities and external bodies. 
The ACDS Centre will be available to the sector through its website, and it will link existing groups, projects and leaders. The Centre website will (a) house the good practice guides, which are to be commissioned by the Centre, and (b) facilitate a practice exchange, which supports dissemination of good ideas between disciplines. The ACDS Centre will also provide timely advice for the ACDS on teaching and learning.
In the February 2013 sessions in capital cities, attendees will be invited to contribute their ideas and views to make the new ACDS Centre as relevant as possible.
Liz Johnson – Liz is the Associate Dean Academic in the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering at La Trobe University.  She leads curriculum renewal in the Faculty. Major projects include La Trobe's Design for Learning project, which embeds graduate capabilities into a renewed curriculum across the Faculty, and the Pathways in Science project, which is a major review and development of courses. Liz trained as a plant biochemist and contributes to teaching in foundation biochemistry at La Trobe. Liz's current research interests are in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Current research projects focus on strategies for curriculum development in the sciences, quantitative literacy support mechanisms and teaching scientific inquiry.  Liz is also active in a number of national initiatives in science and maths in higher education funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching  (DISSRTE).  She is a member of the steering committee for the SaMnet leadership project, the VIBEnet (Vision and Innovation in Biology Education) project, and is the evaluator for the Transitions in Biology project.  She was co-investigator on the recent ALTC project exploring scientific inquiry skills in biosciences.
8.  Classifieds 
Spaces open for your colleagues with leadership potential in SaMnet’s February workshops:
February 4 – Melbourne workshop @ La Trobe University
                                February 5 – Adelaide workshop @ Flinders University
                                February 6 – Perth workshop @ Curtin University
                                February 11 -- Sydney workshop @ U of Sydney 
February 15 -- Brisbane workshop @ Griffith University. 
If you dob them in, we will twist their arm ... 
Many thanks!