Teaching & Learning Symposium: Foundations

Together with the resplendent Dr Kay Are (who would have been even more resplendent if she had worn colourful tights, as carefully planned), I coordinated an action-, provocation-, and snack- packed symposium on teaching and learning in the HASS disciplines.

Over 140 teaching associates (the new name for casual academics, who otherwise sound fond of tracksuits) came along and got involved with workshops including ‘The Inclusive Classroom’ and ‘Designing Engaging In-Class Activities’.

The Provocations panel in the morning was a highlight for me, with five fabulous speakers throwing out insight and intrigue in three minutes or less. Chi Baik from the Melbourne CSHE asked us to make our classrooms active; Jessica Gerrard queried the politics of contemporary higher education; Amelia Scurry from the NTEU got us organised; my personal heroine Catherine Mann wondered what it could mean for us to engage with our students’ futures; and Sandra McLaren dropped in from Science to talk about evidence-based teaching. And, yes, congrats on our all-female panel!

The afternoon saw us experiment with ‘participant-devised’ workshops, and a flurry of activity (and whiteboard writing) saw ten break-out groups head off to talk topics from radical teaching, to creativity, to academic precarity, to diversity, to simple teaching techniques and technologies. Awesome.

This was the first event we’ve held under the auspices of the Curriculum Design Lab – and here’s to many more successes to come.