Seminars 2011

Working to be different: Change for social inclusion

Professor Brenda Cherednichenko

Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Arts and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Engagement, Equity and Indigenous, Edith Cowan University

Brenda Cherednichenko.Professor Brenda Cherednichenko will discuss how large organisations and systems change and need to change to respond to the Federal government’s imperative of improving participation, access and success in higher education over the next few years. Brenda will draw on and discuss what the Gillard proposal means for schools, vocational education and universities and how we need to be and be seen as much more flexible in what we frame as curriculum, pathways to achieving success in post-compulsory education, starting from the early years and onward.

Brenda will review research about access and success, barriers to success, some current work with disengaged homeless citizens’ successful return to university studies and some of the learning they offer about how schools and the education sector might be more inclusive and build success for more young people. She will also draw on her US research which compared and contrasted approaches to community engagement by universities and the impact and outcomes of some of their work. This will provide the context for Brenda to report how ECU is working to achieve in social inclusion and improved outcomes for our community.

Brenda Cherednichenko’s current role is as Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Arts and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Engagement, Equity and Indigenous. Previously she was Director of the Victoria University Access and Success project, a university wide research project with schools and families to enhance the educational outcomes and opportunities, access, participation and success of young people in Melbourne’s west. Brenda has also been Head, School of Education, Chair of Preservice Teacher Education Programs, and worked in partnerships between schools, communities and University. She has published and presented widely on educational equity and she is a member of two international journal editorial boards, and chief investigator on the ARC linkage project, Enhancing the Social Inclusion of Disadvantaged Australians. In 2008, Brenda was a Fulbright Senior Scholar researching University programs for educational equity and engagement in the US.

Presented 21 September

Towards Academic Excellence: A qualitative study of students, parents and teachers

Dr Lesley Williams

Lesley WilliamsThe University of Western Australia

In this presentation, Dr Lesley Williams will discuss her PhD research on Academic Excellence. In-depth interviews were conducted with high achieving secondary school graduates, as well as their parents and teachers, in order to get a deeper understanding of academic excellence as it is experienced and conceptualised. The presentation will have four parts:

- An introduction to the study;
- Collection, analysis and presentation of the data;
- Key findings;
- Discussion of findings in the context of previous research.

Dr Lesley Williams is an Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Western Australia, an education consultant and company director. Her PhD thesis, which was awarded with Distinction, was nominated for the 2011 Cameron Prize in Education by the Research Committee of the Faculty of Education of UWA. Dr Williams has teaching experience in primary, education support and tertiary settings, and experience as co-ordinator of a National Curriculum project. She has worked as an Education Support Centre Principal and is a past President of the Western Australian Education Support Principal’s peak body.

Presented 8 June

Literature in Australian schools, 1945-2005: A first look at the data

Associate Professor Tim Dolin and Dr John N. Yiannakis

School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, Curtin University

In this presentation, Tim Dolin and John Yiannakis will introduce some preliminary findings from a study investigating literature syllabi and examination papers in Australia since World War II. The presentation will have four parts:

- An introduction to the study (Tim)
- Collecting and organising the data (John)
- Some first findings (Tim)
- What are the curricular and pedagogical contexts for interpreting this data? (John, Tim, and WAIER delegates)

Dr Tim Dolin is Associate Professor in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University. He is the author of George Eliot (2005) and Thomas Hardy (2008), and co-editor of Thomas Hardy and Contemporary Literary Studies (2004). He has written numerous essays and chapters on the nineteenth-century novel for international journals and books, and has edited novels by Hardy, Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Gaskell. He is presently writing The Real Hardy Country, about the contested meanings and uses of Wessex since Hardy’s death; and working on a study of Australian colonial readers of Victorian fiction.

Dr John Yiannakis is a Research Fellow and Historian at Curtin University. For many years he has been a lecturer in Modern and Ancient History at Tuart College where, from 1998 to 2001, he was also Head of the Social Sciences Department. Dr Yiannakis has a range of historical interests focussing on Australia and Western Australia. He has published extensively in the field of Greek migration, settlement and adaptation to Western Australia.

Presented 6 April

Tim Dolin and John Yiannakis.Literature seminar participants