Educational leaders have the privilege of setting the moral purpose, expectations, culture, as well as learning and teaching practices within their organisations. The 2019 ACEL National Conference will provide a platform for international and national speakers to share their expertise in the area of “Vision and Voice”.

The structure of the program at the 2019 ACEL’s National Conference has been redesigned to encourage a greater level of engagement and interaction. The program will now include interactive expert sessions, special interest group symposium workshops as well as concurrent sessions around the two broad streams, each further split up into two sub-themes as follows:

  1. Stream 1 Vision – leading the future
    1.1. Learning spaces – from architecture to pedagogy
    1.2. Curiosity & innovation
  2. Stream 2 Voice – engagement within and without
    2.1. Transforming practice through understanding context
    2.2. Empowerment & agency.

Presentations will address research, policy and practice from a system, school or classroom perspective.

Rooms 3+4: Level 1
Making Vision Reality: Solution-Focussed Strategy Canvas

Presented by: Jason Pascoe, Maria Serafim
Organisation: Growth Coaching International, NSW

Taking things from concept to implementation is challenging. School leaders are faced with many priorities and many worthwhile new initiatives related to school improvement, but it can be difficult to sustain commitment and progress on even the most important projects given competing time commitments and the busyness of school life. The Strategy Canvas process brings a coaching approach to team strategy development, goal setting and strategy implementation that enables school leaders to lead school improvement initiatives in a collaborative, engaging and most importantly, sustained way. In this practical workshop participants will reflect on how schools leaders have used the Strategy Canvas, reflect on its application in their context and apply it to a current leadership challenge.

Rooms 5+6: Level 1
Co-Creating a Culture of Innovation and Change

Presented by: Unity Taylor-Hill, Amy Sackville
Organisation: Anzac Park Public School, NSW

Anzac Park PS is a newly established school in Sydney. We have a commitment to improving student achievement and embedding core skills for 21st Century citizenship through a connected future-focussed school community. We are driven by five key drivers that form our Vision for Learning, based on current evidence-based practices. To develop a culture of collaboration, the leadership team harnessed the creativity and expertise of teachers to form the Vision for Learning teams. This program builds capacity across the school and allows opportunities for rigorous coaching practices in implementing a change process. Through a system of distributed leadership, co-leaders have applied innovative thinking and practice to teaching and learning, informed by evidence and research based on the needs of our students and school. Through these change systems, we have trialled and implemented whole-school initiatives to drive innovation. This approach has developed a schoolwide culture of effective leadership, transforming the quality of innovative teaching and learning and student achievement.

Stateroom: Level 2
From Student Voice to Agency: Evidence-based Practices to Support Improvement

Presented by: Gail Major, Murray Cronin
Organisation: Scoresby Secondary College, VIC

In an excelling school, there will be opportunities for students to collaborate and make decisions with adults around what and how their learning is assessed (State of Victoria 2017); and the literature is clear. Scoresby Secondary College in Victoria views student voice as integral to their education and are proud of the commitment to build student capabilities to influence positive changes within the College Community and beyond. This session focusses on how the College created a successful model that supports teachers and students to collaboratively reflect and improve instructional practice to initiate authentic experiences. Hear how students have been able to take responsibility for their learning across multiple contexts with the establishment of partnerships with universities, business, industry and community organisations. Experiences that have empowered students and provided positive learning opportunities that are not only preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s world, but also recognition for the highest growth in student academic outcomes in VCE.

Room 2: Level 2
Embedding national teacher certification as high-quality professional learning

Presented by: Erin Corbyn, Clinton Milroy, Emma Mansfield
Organisation: AITSL and Macarthur Girls High School

In a recent census of Highly Accomplished and Lead teachers (HALTs) across Australia, they told us that national teacher certification is the best professional learning they’ve ever done. This session will unpack what the evidence tells us about high-quality professional learning and the opportunities and challenges for the profession in this area. This workshop will consider, through case studies of effective practice, how some school leaders have embedded the national teacher certification program to create high-quality professional learning opportunities for their teachers across all career stages.

Room 3: Level 2
Gaining confidence including Indigenous curriculum content and building school culture

Presented by: Mark Yettica-Paulson, Susan Starling
Organisation: Australians Together, SA

For too long, many school leaders and teachers have struggled to confidently include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in curriculum and school culture. Demonstrating cultural awareness and authentic knowledge of our history and cultures is not only the responsibility of every Australian teacher and principal, but is the right of every Australian student to be educated in these ways. Participants in this workshop will gain insights into how this gap in awareness and knowledge can be addressed. They will see illustrations of practice from teachers who have used the Australians Together Learning Framework to deepen their understanding and implement curriculum, resulting in positive impact on student learning and voice. Becoming educated and aware are the first steps towards building empathy that underpins positive action and sustainable cultural change. This workshop is about changing minds, changing hearts and changing schools through a new vision and voice around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in curriculum, teaching and learning.

Room 4: Level 2
Leading Mathematics Education: System, School and Classroom Voices Together

Presented by: Dr Christine Mae, Andrea de Carvalho, Michael Manton, Lynnette Jackson
Organisation: Sydney Catholic Schools

In this workshop participants will learn how system, school and teacher leaders are working together in a sustained and strategic partnership to transform the teaching and learning of mathematics, with a focus on learning and success for all. Participants will reflect on how shared vision, coherent voices, design principles, contextualised implementation and support are foundational to building capacity across a large schooling system. They will evaluate evidence of impact in a strategy where resourcing targets knowledge, experience, beliefs and confidence in ways that build collective capacity, energise teaching and transform learning. In response to the perspectives of stakeholders and videos of classroom practice, participants will apply principles, standards and research to critically examine the opportunity to build collective capacity, energise teaching and transform learning.

Room 5: Level 2
Defining and Measuring Character and 21st Century Competencies

Presented by: Dr Rick van der Zwan, Noel Thomas
Organisation: Extol Analytics, NSW

Based on the exploration of a growing body of research and practice, the presenters, in association with the Hong Kong-based Yew Chung Education Foundation, have developed and are trialling a unique assessment framework for character development and 21st Century competencies. The model defines and breaks down the core behavioural elements of Grit, Wisdom, Optimism, Humility, Integrity and Cultural Sensitivity as well as more widely discussed competencies including Flexible Thinking, Innovation & Creation, Communication & Teamwork and Problem Solving. Sample rubrics designed to inform and support valid student assessments will be presented and explained as well as the rationale for their inclusion. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their appropriateness for a variety of K-12 levels and contribute to the development of practical mechanisms through which student progress can be fostered, compared and reported to parents and among those schools and educators directly involved. The findings from our initial school-based implementation feedback will be shared and discussed.

Room 6: Level 2
Opening the Doors to Innovation: Leading a Quest for Improvement

Presented by: Rebecca Brownhall
Organisation: Toowoomba Catholic Schools, QLD

The word innovation is used widely in education. While working innovatively is recognised as integral to 21st Century learning capabilities, schools can find it difficult to implement innovative thinking authentically. During this session, participants will be invited to:

  • Explore the credentials for leading a “Quest to Innovation”
  • Determine what engages staff and students to begin a “courage culture” where innovative thinking can be nurtured
  • Work through a mental model for supporting the “Intrapreneur”, those who strive for the benefit of others
  • Hear how to form a partnership model to build an ethic of excellence for education
  • Create a vision for the pathway to your quest for learning that is innovative, engaging and creative.

Participants will hear how Toowoomba Catholic School's Lighthouse Action Research Project in numeracy has implemented a “Quest for Change”. Paramount to this work is utilising collective thinking and the contextual design of vision. The sharing of this journey will form the pathway for this presentation.

Grand Ballroom: Level 3
Leading School Transformation through agency and influence

Presented by: Dr Miranda Jefferson
Organisation: 4C Transformative Learning, NSW

The "why" of school transformation is evident for many educators but the "how" remains elusive for many schools and their leadership. In this interactive and practical session we will discuss and demonstrate how the development of agency and influence in schools can generate meaningful change for the whole school community. The session will discuss through case studies of Transforming Schools that we partner with how agency and influence supports embedding of creativity, collaboration, communication and critical reflection in pedagogy, curriculum and school organisation. 4C Transformative Learning now partners with 40 schools to embed agentic and influential leadership, and this session will draw on these partnerships to discuss how this transformation can be imagined and enabled through the coherence makers outlined in Transforming Schools.

Meeting Room: Level 4
Students articulating their own literacy learning: Year 7 Visible Literacy Continuum

Presented by: Antoinette Meade, Christine Payne, Linda Hicks
Organisation: St Agnes Catholic High School, NSW

A variety of data sets indicated lapses in our students’ ability to write at stage level in the early years. We needed to maximise student agency in literacy learning within Year 7. We introduced a new strategy that gave students the language and framework for assessing their own literacy learning within the secondary context. We co-constructed a Visible Literacy Continuum that signposted writing descriptors across five stages, was linked to the National Literacy Progressions, and pivotally, was framed for student voice in stage-specific language – "I am learning, I am experimenting, I can". The Visible Literacy Continuum was owned by students within their learning space. Students were given the skills to assess where they were at in their learning, what and why they were learning, how to gauge their achievement, identify their next steps and the strategies needed to attain them. The power of the Visible Literacy Continuum was in the students having the tools to accountably track and articulate their own learning.