Thursday, April 16
Donna Carr, Murdoch University
'Complex young lives and school survival - 'good teachers are practically extinct' (Anakin, age 17)'
Donna Carr is working with Murdoch's Aspirations and Pathways for University (MAP4U) with young people in the Rockingham, Kwinana and Peel regions.
Her Research Masters of Education was completed in 2014. Her current PHD research incorporates the implementation of a university enabling project that uses Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) to build efficacy, agency and higher educational aspiration attainment for the young people involved.
School failure and student dropout are not new, yet we continue to rehash old explanations and insist on archaic solutions when what is required is a paradigm shift and a move towards the Socially Just School. By and large young people with complex young lives are expected to quietly and obediently endure teacher centered instruction, content driven curriculum and a singular focus on the so called basics. These abstract notions of schooling are divorced from the lived experiences of many young people and only serve to entrench deficit perspectives of youth. Pervasive deficit stereotypes that depict youth as risky are totalizing and disregard the capacity, agency, and efficacy that young people exhibit when they navigate their worlds. A paradigm shift towards socially just schooling requires engaging in a pedagogy that insists on a two-way dialogue between the educator and learner - that is the use of critical literacies to assist young people to construct their own knowledge of their worlds.
Friday, April 17
Michelle Circelli, Research Management Branch, NCVER and the 2013 Fulbright Professional Scholar in Vocational Education and Training
'Measuring outcomes from adult literacy and numeracy programs: what can we learn from the United States?'
Michelle is a member of NCVER's Research Management Branch, manages commissioned research projects funded under the National VET Research Program. Michelle also undertakes research and consultancy projects for NCVER and has a particular interest in adult literacy and numeracy. Michelle was the 2013 Fulbright Professional Scholar in Vocational Education and Training and spent four months in the United States at the end of 2013 undertaking research into measuring success of adult literacy and numeracy programs with the Californian Community Colleges Chancellor's Office and the federal Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (formerly the Office of Vocational and Adult Education).
Michelle's keynote address will discuss the work undertaken during her Fulbright Scholarship in late 2013, highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly of particular approaches used in the United States to measure outcomes from adult literacy and numeracy programs. In recent years in Australia there has been increasing investment in programs and a greater acknowledgment of the importance of literacy and numeracy for social and economic participation. However, we know little about the returns on this investment for funders and providers, or outcomes for learners - what works for whom and why? How do we know if a program is successful? Indeed what 'outcomes'‚ are we measuring to determine success?