Full program

(Subject to change without notice)

8.15am Registration opens
8.45am Entertainment
The Sussex Skylarks led by Phil Hudson
The Sussex Skylarks is a local inclusive community choir that is brimming with energy and fun. Led by Phil Hudson from Black Sheep Music, the choir loves giving back to the community and performs a variety of songs from world, folk and gospel to Abba, Bublé and Bowie. Soar on the wings of the Sussex Skylarks!
9.00am Welcome and welcome to country
Teaching and Research: Bridging the Abyss for effective practice
Dr. John Benseman, Director, Critical Insight Research and Evaluation, New Zealand

Teaching is at the heart of what we do in education. Effective teaching ensures that learning occurs with our learners. And yet, despite its centrality to education, we have little systematic documentation about what teachers actually do or what best achieves the impact with our learners.

Many practitioners perceive research as remote, irrelevant and offering little to the nuts and bolts of what we do as teachers. Research is seen as an esoteric undertaking that largely feeds on itself and offers little insight for what we do on Monday morning in our work.

So what shapes teachers’ teaching skills and strategies? Where do teachers look for their inspiration and information about how to teach? What role could research play in improving our practice?

In this presentation I will briefly review some research findings about what happens between teachers and their learners and what influences their ideas about how to teach. I will then examine the argument for basing our teaching practices on the reasonable body of adult literacy and numeracy research that has emerged over recent years – research-informed teaching. Finally I will suggest a range of ways that individual teachers or whole organisations can implement a professional development programme to bridge the current divide between research and practice.

After a brief stint as a primary school teacher, Dr John Benseman has worked in adult education and literacy for all of his professional career as a teacher, programme developer, researcher and evaluator. After he studied adult education in Sweden, he then worked in a range of New Zealand adult education areas including continuing medical education for general practitioners, community education with the Auckland Workers Education Association (WEA) , academic teaching at The University of Auckland and UNITEC, as well many years as a self-employed researcher and evaluator. He has also worked in literacy research projects for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). For five years, he ran the national Upskilling workplace literacy, language and numeracy research project for the Department of Labour, which is the largest study of its type internationally. Currently he is the evaluator of an innovative community development project in Auckland’s Mt Roskill area and working as a workplace literacy teacher.
10.45am Morning Tea and Networking
11.15-12.15pm Group A – choose 1 from 4

A1 What should our banner say!
Lindee Conway, Melbourne Polytechnic

New Zealand educators have recourse to AKO Aotearoa, an organisation dedicated to adult learning principles and support for practitioners and adult learners. In many foundation and enabling staff-rooms, AKO banners are stuck on the cork-board. They are inspirational and practical: just one example – ‘theory without practice is empty; practice without theory is blind’.

Lindee will bring a dozen or so to the session, to discuss the philosophies and ideas contained in a few short words. Then, we’ll decide what our banners should say. The session will encourage open discussion about the passion and frustration of working in a sector which seeks to be compliant, profitable educational and inspiring (big ask?). It will also seek to celebrate and make concrete our passion.

Lindee Conway is Head of the School of Foundation & Preparation at Melbourne Polytechnic. Her working days are, therefore, no longer spent in classrooms and lunchrooms talking with learners and teachers. But! She still cares, a lot, about the processes of learning and teaching.

Lindee was awarded a fellowship and chose to visit New Zealand in 2016, in order to study the concerted efforts that nation has made to address adult learning and foundational learners. She learned about a decade’s worth of ideas, in 4 short weeks. This workshop will focus on one aspect – resources available to educators in NZ and here

FULL A2 Enhancing student engagement and retention to maximize outcomes and course completion
Allyson Dutschke, TAFESA

The lecturer/student relationship is one of the most critical elements of student success (Tinto, 2010), and in the VET sector, there may only be 6-12 months to get this right. And in an environment of more restrictive Government funding, with the expectation of increased outcomes, the imperative to ‘get it right’ for students is intensified. .

During 2016 a research project has been undertaken within TAFESA to investigate how far some lecturers will go to assist student engagement and retention – some are even available 24/7. Knowing your lecturer willingly goes ‘above and beyond’ to help you should encourage students to continue on to apply themselves to a greater degree. But at what cost to the lecturer, and IS this sustainable? .

This presentation will challenge those teaching adults to review their own attitudes and practices to build the retention and engagement of their students, and look at some of the practices of TAFESA which exemplify the principles of adult learning.

Allyson Dutschke is a Children’s Services lecturer and program coordinator with TAFESA since 2000. She studied a Bachelor of Education (Adult, Vocational & Workplace Learning), and Graduate Certificate of Education (Vocational Learning in Schools) with UniSA, and a Master of Education (Career Education) with ACU. She has a passion for student retention and engagement. .

Allyson participated in the 2015 TAFESA Leadership program, completing the Diploma of Management. Currently she is an early stage researcher with the TAFESA Action Research program, and planning to study her Educational Doctorate in the near future.

A3 Jobs Expo-Presentation
Christine Morris and Christopher Moxam, Wyndham Community & Education Centre

At Wyndham CEC, SEE teachers have run two simulated job interview days (Jobs Expos) to address our students’ need to know how to prepare for and what to expect at job interviews. Classes prepared for the Jobs Expo for 3 – 6 months. They learned how to identify their skills and experience; to answer interview questions; and how to present for the interview. About 60 students attended both Expos. They gained insights about what makes a good job interview through observation and participation – both as job seeker and interviewer. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive and staff are planning to make this an annual event. .

This presentation will explain how reflection on classroom practice resulted in the idea of a formal interview day; illustrate the step-by-step plan to prepare for and execute the Expo; describe the day and resulting student feedback and practical outcomes; and include a little audience participation.

Christine commenced her professional life with the hope of developing a vaccine against Sheep Blowfly Strike in a molecular biology lab. The maggots, being not as cooperative as she had hoped, she ditched science and became a teacher. Christine commenced teaching adults at Broadmeadows Community and Further Education in 1997. Since then, she has taught EFL in China, ESP (Science and Engineering) and EAP at Swinburne ELICOS, and adult literacy at Swinburne TAFE. She now works in the SEE program at Wyndham Community and Education Centre.

Before the turn of the century, confirmed bachelor Christopher Moxham was a bit bored with life in Australia and sought stimulation by teaching English in Japan. He taught TOEIC*, TOEFL, Travel English, Business English and held some classes for children. Japan lived up to his expectations of excitement, and he finally returned to Australia with a wife and two children. He then taught ELICOS# and Cert IV in TESOL at Ozford; and ESL Frameworks and CSWE at Glen Eira Adult Learning Centre. He now teaches LLN skills at Wyndham Community and Education Centre in the SEE program and to workers in industry.

A4 Engaging Numeracy Students
Pam Mahlis, Olympic Adult Education
Do your students shy away from numeracy? How can you make your numeracy classes more engaging? What activities assist students to understand mathematical concepts?
By engaging students in activities/tasks that relate to their lives, a better understanding of mathematical concepts can develop. Responding to student interests and providing hands on activities can be used for students to gain confidence and thus apply the mathematics/numeracy to personal or work situations.
This presentation will explore a range of activities and teaching approaches to ensure that your students are kept interested and stimulated. Participants will have the opportunity to discover how to incorporate everyday activities that are relevant and easy to implement.
It is hoped that this session will help participants further their ideas about how they can use these practices for increased engagement in their numeracy classes.
Pam began her teaching career as a secondary teacher and has taught a variety of maths and science subjects to a wide array of learners. A few years ago, she made the transition to adult education. Currently at Olympic Adult Education she is teaching the Certificate in General Education for Adults. Her passion lies in teaching numeracy to students in order to help them realise the importance of mathematics in their everyday life.
12.20 – 1.20pm Group B – choose 1 from 4

B1 Best Practice Models of Professional Development
Margaret Corrigan, Carringbush Adult Education
Margaret was recently awarded an International Specialised Skills Institute Fellowship, sponsored by HESG, to investigate best practice models of Professional Development for teachers of EAL and Adult Basic Education. Teachers of adults with low proficiency are often ill equipped to meet the needs of their students, despite in many cases having postgraduate teaching qualifications. The Professional Development available to them can be piecemeal, however. The presentation will provide a summary of Margaret’s findings from her recent trip to the US and Canada, where she explored some great models of Professional Development in Calgary, Alberta, and St Paul, Minnesota and attended the TESOL Convention in Seattle, Washington.
Margaret is Manager at Carringbush Adult Education. She has taught in a range of educational settings in Australia, Asia and the Pacific over the past 30 years. She has a passion for working collaboratively to achieve the best possible outcomes for learners who have barriers to participation.

FULL B2 Engaging Learners, Engaging Teachers, Engaging Community
Jillian Ashley and Marilyn Lowe, NSW TAFE North Coast

Jill and Marilyn will share their innovative teaching practices, which are based on delivery in and with the community. They will present examples of teaching practice, which both engage the learner and encourage the learner to construct his/her own knowledge.

Jill will share her ideas about engaging the more disengaged community members in project based learning in collaboration with community organisations. She will also show how effective teaching models can become good business models. Marilyn will discuss the pedagogical practices, which underpin any innovative delivery and share ideas/suggestions for PD for teachers.

Jill Ashley is the Head Teacher of Education, Employment & Support and Business faculties at Macksville TAFE. Her teaching and business experience has enabled her to collaborate with local schools, Local Council, Lands Councils, Jobactives and community organisations to deliver supported vocational programs to marginalised and disengaged students. These programs and their positive outcomes are both socially and economically beneficial for the whole community. Jill is currently the Project Officer for the SEE (Skills for Education and Employment) Program for NSW TAFE, North Coast. Marilyn Lowe is the Program Manager for the SEE (Skills for Education and Employment) Program for NSW TAFE, North Coast. She has extensive experience in adult LLN both as a teacher and section manager. Her area of teaching expertise is numeracy. In recent years this focus has moved to training teachers how to teach numeracy.

FULL B3 ‘Techknowledey Workshop’- Blended Learning for the LLN Classroom
Kathrin Colgan, Chisholm Institute
This workshop will assist educators to familiarise themselves with blended learning tools and applications such as Moodle, Edmodo, Nearpod, Kahoot, and Edpuzzle. As part of a VET Development Centre grant in 2016, presenters were involved in a 6-month trial of blended learning products with LLN and CALD students. They are keen to share their successes and strategies for overcoming difficulties in implementing blended delivery tools in the classroom. The workshop will be hands on and enhance teachers’ technological skills, as well as cover tips for instructional design and dealing with copyright. At the end of the workshop each participant will have an engaging activity to take away and trial with their students. This is a BYOD workshop and participants are encouraged to download Nearpod, Kahoot and Edpuzzle before the session.
The EAL teaching team at Chisholm Institute have been working closely with their students to develop engaging activities through technology that not only strengthens the delivery in daily classes, but prepares the students to enter the new world when they go on with their education. Each of the team members bring more than 20 years’ experience in teaching EAL and also draw on their current capability of working with different delivery models and funding streams. Kathrin, Ruth and Heather welcome you to share the ‘techknowledgey’ at our workshop.

B4 Plan your class with Es/Ease
Rhonda Raisbeck, Holmesglen TAFE
This hands on workshop will encourage participants to review and reflect on their knowledge of how adults learn and adult learning theory in order to improve teaching and learning in the LL&N class. The principles of adult learning will be applied to lesson planning and the types of activities prepared for LL&N students. A model of lesson planning based on the 5 Es will be presented and analysed. Participants will then work in groups to apply theory to a lesson planning activity, which will devise reading, writing and numeracy activities based on a text.
Rhonda has worked in the LL&N field since 1987. She has been a volunteer adult literacy tutor, a trainer of volunteer tutors and president of the Committee of Management at a community provider. For 23 years, Rhonda taught and managed CGEA and EAL courses on campus and in workplaces at Holmesglen TAFE. She taught in graduate programs for LL&N teachers and teacher refresher programs for overseas trained teachers, as well as presented professional learning.
1.20-2.10pm Lunch, displays, networking and ‘Lunchtime Chats’
2.15-3.15pm Group C – choose 1 from 4

C1 Maximising conference benefits- What informs practitioner decision making about their own learning?
Louise Wignall, Wignall Consulting

So you sign up for a conference and the program is published: how do you decide which sessions to go to?

You may choose sessions that have interesting titles or the ones that your colleagues are presenting or perhaps the ones in the room with a view?

This session will focus on how a schema can be used to help practitioners make reflective and effective choices by relating the content and outcomes of a conference session or professional development offering directly to their own professional learning needs.

The workshop will introduce participants to the completed Foundation Skills Professional Standards Framework and provide an opportunity to use it to map their PD choices against descriptors for professional competence and capacity building.

Louise Wignall and Anita Roberts have contributed to strategic projects focused on the importance of Foundation Skills in VET over the last 20 years. Their work has informed the development of significant national policies and products, particularly in relation to building workforce capability for the delivery of foundation skills. Through recent work under the National Foundation Skills Strategy project they have investigated system capacity to deliver foundation skills to working age Australians and developed a Foundation Skills Professional Standards Framework and a number of associated implementation tools.

FULL C2 Learning within and beyond
Daniella Mayer, Chisholm Institute of TAFE
Through this session I will reflect on the connection to ongoing learning that has evolved within Chisholm Institute of TAFE through the Professional Educator College and compare and contrast the experience of engaging with the Foundation Skills Literature review project. In this way I will identify opportunities that I have had to engage both within and beyond my employment in ways that have built capacity as an educator. Through exploring the challenges and successes of continuous learning I will create a space to reflect on how to create your own path in the field of adult education.

Daniella Mayer, is a Senior Educator at Chisholm Institute of TAFE and has recently completed the Foundation Skills Literature Review project, available on the NCVER website.


C3 Show me the Money
Marc Brierty, Melbourne Polytechnic

Show Me The Money is a presentation based around students being able to achieve a number of EAL Framework Curriculum assessment modules simultaneously.

The oral presentation modules in Certificates III and IV in EAL (Further Study) are compulsory core units that students normally complete in semester one each year. The emphasis is on an active group-learning environment and maintaining authenticity and currency. To achieve this, real life examples of realia are used to improve students understanding of other cultures and real life situations.

Australian Bank Notes and Coins are used in class as a springboard, to develop teamwork skills, research and oral presentation skills.

Marc Brierty has been a teacher for more than thirty years. He has taught EAL at VU for ten years, at La Trobe University for twelve years and has been teaching at Melbourne Polytechnic for the past six years. Marc has also taught adults English overseas in the UK, Japan, China and Saudi Arabia.

Students are motivated to go beyond the classroom into their communities, families and friends and the exercise empowers them to communicate with local native speakers because money is an everyday item and it’s a great talking point.

FULL C4 A sound approach to spelling
Jacky Springall and Lilliana Hajncl, AMES Australia
This hands-on workshop will introduce an approach and resources to support the development of ‘bottom-up’ writing skills, i.e. the decoding and encoding of words in English. It is intended to sit alongside a broad range of other strategies and activities that develop skills for critical and functional literacy. The systematic approach introduces adult EAL students to the graphemes (spelling choices) that denote the phonemes used in the writing and pronunciation of words. Activities move from a focus on phonemes and graphemes in words and sentences, to whole texts. Texts are suitable for ACSF levels 1-3 and include workplace and employment contexts
Jacky and Lilliana both work in Education support at AMES Australia delivering professional development and EAL resources to staff and programs across AMES and the Adult EAL sector.
Plenary: Public Pedagogies: Learning and Teaching in Public Spaces
Dr Karen Charman, Public Pedagogies Institute and Senior lecturer at Victoria University
What can we learn from others who engage in learning and teaching outside formal educational institutions? What and who are important to know and understand in these spaces? Welcome to the world of public pedagogy. The Public Pedagogies Institute (PPI) is a multi-disciplinary group involved in the practice, research and evaluation of public learning in institutions like museums, libraries, neighbourhood houses and community centres and includes people from the arts, community and public history. Come and hear about transformative practice of learning outside the classroom and what other disciplines can tell us about this space.
Karen Charman is a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University with expertise in curriculum, pedagogy, public history, memory and narrative. She is the President of the Public Pedagogies Institute and editor of the newly published ‘Journal of Public Pedagogies’. This journal celebrates the transformative articulations that express multidisciplinary conceptions of the public while challenging how these ways of being and knowing are pedagogical within the everyday.
4.00-4.15pm Closing – Raffle, Prizes and thankyous
At the end of the day join us in the foyer for refreshments, conversations and networking.