JUDITH (JUDY) TRAVERSTo undertake an in-depth study of major advances in teaching during the middle years of schooling - USA, Germany, UK
I have worked with the Department of Education (currently in my 42nd year with the DoE) in various roles and capacities ranging from teacher, Principal, District Superintendent, Manager Learning, Director Centre for Excellence in online learning and currently General Manager of schools, colleges and child and family centres in the south of the state.
Prior to 2000 I was working as a District Superintendent and was acutely aware of the need to look at innovative and effective ways of engaging young people in learning and pathways that would provide continuing opportunities and successful outcomes for them.
The Churchill Fellowship, which I undertook in 2000, enabled me to meet key people and see programs and opportunities in practice in the USA, Germany, England and Scotland.
I spent time visiting schools with alternative ways of teaching and learning, learning precincts in London boroughs and connecting with innovative practices, and specific flexible programs that reached across groups of schools, which I then brought back to Tasmania and put into practices.
Innovative programs such as NotSchool from the UK are still in place in Tasmania and are providing opportunities for highly disengaged students to reconnect to learning and further education.
Attendance at an International Conference in Edinburgh provided contacts and examples of quality innovative practices that have impacted on my work in Tasmanian schools and at system level.
FELLOWSHIP CONCLUSIONS & OUTCOMES
The Fellowship provided me with an outstanding opportunity to view effective practices, programs and whole district approaches to engaging students in learning, particularly those who are highly disengaged, but also extending to ensuring quality learning for all students. The Fellowship stimulated changed thinking and approaches and impacted on areas such as flexible programs, online learning and mainstream teaching and learning programs.
It has also enabled continuing connection to leading thinkers and global connections.
The Fellowship also impacted on my continuing educational journey in that it motivated me to commence PhD studies and continue to seek global learning opportunities; a recent one being a 6 week study in Jerusalem 2011 on teaching the Holocaust; both to ensure this part of our global history is known and to highlight deep discussion and understanding by our students of issues of tolerance, prejudice and so on.
The Fellowship provided me with deep understanding in key areas, the impetus to make a difference and to hopefully inspire help others to do the same.