Current community engagement projects
Key staff > Professor Barry Golding
Research over the past decade has been focused on the adult and community education sector in Australia, as well as on the rapidly growing international men's shed movement. It focuses upon the relationship between lifelong learning, in all its forms, and wellbeing for people of all ages. His widely published research has raised important questions about the gendered nature of learning and the ability of people of all ages to exercise agency and benefit greatly if they are treated with respect, dignity in community settings rather than as clients, patients or students from deficit models of provision in institutional settings. These models have been shown more recently to be transferable to younger unemployed men in nations experiencing severe economic downturns such as Ireland and England.
Students from the Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary) and the Bachelor of Education (P-6/P-10) are involved in team placements in three schools in the Grampians region. These students live in the towns where they are teaching and are actively involved in both the schools and the local communities. These placements focus on the importance of community engagement by schools and the need to extend children's education beyond the school gate, as well as inviting participation by community within the school. An example of this engagement was a project by last year's students, who organised a reading day where every child within their school was read to by an adult from the local community.
School-Community Teaching Placements
Key staff > Dr Jenene Burke
Teaching placements for Pre-Service Teachers (PSTs) have traditionally taken place in school environments where a PST works under the close supervision of an experienced mentor teacher in a conventional classroom setting. Under an innovative program we offer schools and community organisations the opportunity to draw on PSTs' skills as educators.
Examples of successful school-community teaching placements that our PSTs have participated in are:
- Curriculum design and implementation in the DOTS program,
- Education alliance, Highlands LLen
- Student literacy and numeracy support, Ballarat High School
- History curriculum design, Geoffrey Blainey Research Centre
- Community education, Art Gallery of Ballarat
- Schools program, National Gallery of Victoria
- Rural Schools Outreach Program
- Activity day WillUB12?, Mount Clear College.
An important benefit of this project is PSTs gaining valuable teaching skills and fresh insights into learning and learners, whilst contributing their expertise to projects that enhance the teaching capacities of schools and community groups.