Thursday, 26 June 2014

June Newsletter

This month's question:
Do you spot articles on leadership relevant to science academics in Australia?
How about contributing to the Leadership section of this SaMnet newsletter? 
Join the special editor for our SoTL section, Emma Bartle of UQ. 
Job Description: Send two articles and short blurbs to SaMnet each month.  They will be disseminated to the community.
Inquire at

2.  Conferences & publication

Two discipline conferences are particularly calling for contributions from science education – Abstracts due immediately (June 27)
Australian Institute of Physics Congress | 7-11 December, Canberra

Both have expressed that they want more education submissions. If you are in Physics or Chemistry and have research to share, this is a great way to represent the Science and Maths Education community. SaMnet will be making a submission to the AIP Congress.

3.  Connections/Events  

Hong Kong Baptist University, 7-10 July 2014.
Let SaMnet HQ know if you are attending.  We will connect you with other SaMnet Scholars. 

Edith Cowan University, 9-11 July,
Interested in improving experiments and lab experiences for your students? Know high school teachers who are keen? Registration past due, June 14, but ...

4.  SaMnet activity 

SaMnet HQ is making submissions to ACSME and the AIP congress. We intend to have a network gathering at ACSME on the discipline day (October 1).

SaMnet Scholars are also getting involved. In the last month Emma Bartle has joined the newsletter editing team with contributions to the SoTL section and Nina Fotinatos will also be involved in the near future.

SaMnet steering committee member, Liz Johnson, is helping host the upcoming ACDS Education Conference in Melbourne (June 30 - July 1). SaMnet Scholars in Assoc Dean (and similar) roles will be in attendance.

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) (Edited by - Emma Bartle, UQ)

Bill Cerbin
SoTL is often outcomes-focussed – did my teaching innovation result in better learning than the traditional method I had been using previously? But what does that tell us about how the students did or did not learn? The authors propose the focus of SoTL needs to shift and make the learning process the object of inquiry, exploring how and why students learn.

Elizabeth Marquis, Mick Healey, Michelle Vine
SoTL themes cover multiple disciplines, providing potential for broader collaborations than discipline-based research. The authors describe and evaluate an innovative, international, collaborative writing group that was designed to build SoTL capacity across disciplines and international borders.

6.  Leadership insights (Edited by Matt Hill & Will Rifkin, USyd)

Two articles calling on academic institutions to develop better leadership pathways for women, both which also call on women to be bold in seeking leadership opportunities. Has insights for both male and female readers.

Kelly Ward (Washington State) & Pamela L. Eddy (College of William and Mary)
It is argued that women only make up 29% of full professors (USA) because some women, “lean back from the ladder of academic progress, promotion and leadership because of a perception that advanced positions of leadership are not open to women, and particularly women who hope to make time for a family or life beyond work”. Find out what the authors think about this perception. 

Prof Carol Black (Cambridge) & Aslya Islam (London School of Economics)
The statistics are even worse in the UK with only 20% female professors nationally and just 15.3% at the elite Cambridge. The system is improving, ”but women also have a part to play. They shouldn't walk away when they realise the work that it takes to make it to the top.”

7. Initiative in Focus:  This Month – Digital Explanations: Explaining, Learning and Communicating with Student-created Digital Media | A/Prof Garry Hoban (U of Wollongong)
In the last 12 months, Garry has been promoting science and science teacher education students to engage with science content by creating digital media as innovative assessment tasks to explain Science. His full day workshops at universities in each state have been warmly received by academics and supported by a comprehensive website that provides students with ideas, free instructions and resources for creating digital media available at The web site has had over 9,000 visits by individuals resulting in over 165,000 hits both nationally and internationally.

A culminating activity will be a Science Film Festival (DigiXFest) to be run at the end of first day of the ACSME, Monday 29th September with drinks and food being served at the end of the last session from 5.15-6.15, then a showing of digital media finalists from 6.15-7.15 pm. ACSME participants will vote to allocate $2,000 in cash prizes to students. Deadline for student entries is Monday 15th September – click for film competition details.

8.  Classifieds

Chemical Education Research Associate, University of New South Wales.
An 18 month, full time position is available working in the School of Chemistry to develop, implement and critically evaluate a new model of skills-based assessment in Chemistry Laboratory Classes at UNSW. Contact Prof Scott Kable for more information.
Applications close 4th of July, 2014.