Dear subscriber,

News from the ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre

This is my first newsletter for the ACDS T&L Centre. I am delighted to have taken the role of  Director of the Centre, but I am also too aware how difficult it is to step into Liz’s shoes. Liz has provided the vision to establish the Centre in 2013, and has successfully led it since then. Liz’s passion and commitment to science education are well known, and she is been rightfully called a national treasure. Deakin University is so lucky to have her!

In this first issue I include reports on what took place in late 2018, projects under way and dates for your calendar. I also highlight the role of the ACDS T&L centre as an avenue for sharing knowledge and facilitating collaborations, and invite you to contribute to the activities of the Centre.  

ACDS inaugural Fellowship: applications close on February 28

Will you be applying for the inaugural ACDS Teaching and Learning Fellowship? This exciting program will fund a teaching and learning leader in science or mathematics to design, lead and deliver a national project to advance learning and teaching in Faculties of Science.

Applications close on February 28. You will find everything you need to know here, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

What does an Australian teaching specialist look like? Help us put the picture together

A new study led by Susan Rowland (UQ) and Liz Johnson (Deakin) is examining the careers of science education specialist academics in Australian Universities. Sponsored by the ACDS, the study is a collaboration with Kimberly Tanner, Seth Bush, Mike Stevens, and Kathy Williams, who have published a series of papers about American education specialists.  

If you are a teaching specialist, help us with putting this picture together by completing a survey. You will find the survey and further information here.

Successful WIL in science project now complete

The Successful WIL in science  project led by Liz Johnson is now complete. The final report is with the Department of Education and Training for editorial work, and will be published over the coming months.

The WIL in Science Guide produced as part of the project includes:   

• WIL Basics:  what is WIL, benefits and challenges of WIL and current state of WIL in science.

• Good Practice: tools and guidance for designing and delivering ‘good’ WIL.

• Leading WIL: leadership ideas and approaches for WIL

• Case studies of successful WIL: live examples of WIL in science courses

• Resources: an annotated bibliography organised by topic

WIL in Science national forum held in December 2018 – presentations now available

The third WIL in Science national forum held in December last year was again a great success. The sessions this year addressed some of the key challenges in constructing WIL programs from the perspective of students, industry and faculty. There was much buzz about Jan Orrell’s keynote presentation; she spoke about the challenges and opportunities of educating science students for future practice. We heard about the evaluation approach of Macquarie’s ambitious PACE project. There was deep discussion about the role of WIL professionals, and also the role of the ACDS in supporting the WIL agenda. All presentations and summaries of discussions are now available on the T&L Centre website.


The official proceedings for ACSME 2018 are currently being finalised and will be published this month on the ACSME website where you will also find the proceeding of all previous conferences.

ACSME 2019 preliminary preparations are underway at the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney. The conference will be held on 2-4 October 2019. What will you be presenting this year?

ACDS T&L Centre: an avenue for knowledge sharing and collaboration

Have you read something interesting about science education lately? Have you embarked on a new project that others should know about? Are you looking for collaborators to get an idea off the ground? Have you discovered or developed a new resource? Have you made any new observations about science teaching that you would like to share?  The very aim of the ACDS T&L Centre is to provide an avenue for knowledge sharing and collaboration across Australian science academics, so  contact me if you would like to publish a blog, or connect with others.

With very best wishes,

Cristina Varsavsky

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