INDEPENDENT NEWS

UNITECH Working With Schools To Improve Outcomes

Published: Thu 14 Oct 1999 06:29 PM
UNITEC Media Release
Thursday 14 October
WORKING WITH SCHOOLS TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS
The launch of UNITEC in Schools
On Wednesday 20 October UNITEC's School of Education is launching UNITEC in Schools, a unique initiative in teacher professional development.
"Existing approaches to professional development in schools have been about dousing fires - they're reactive and short term," says the Director of UNITEC in Schools, Phil Coogan. "What we're offering is the sprinkler system - a structure to deal with issues as they come up."
UNITEC in Schools involves UNITEC consultants working as facilitators in schools to implement an action learning model which identifies and addresses school-specific problems.
This year UNITEC began piloting the scheme, and already have a number of successful case studies. Examples of issues addressed include student under-achievement and low staff moral in specific departments, changing a school's management structure and incorporating ICT into the curriculum.
"We're meeting real demand," says Phil. "And that demand is increasing with self-managing schools."
Phil says the key to the UNITEC in Schools model is that it's ongoing. "We take an action learning approach, which begins with in-depth problem analysis. From there we create an action plan that includes consideration of resources and has measurable outcomes. The contract isn't finished until we've evaluated what changes have taken place. That means high accountability for us and for the schools."
"Our aim is to work with schools to a point we're they're able to manage their professional development for themselves."
Another important feature of UNITEC in Schools consultancies is that they employ the skills of practising teachers who have strengths in the area of concern.
"We take on these 'expert practitioners' for short term contracts to work with us in schools," says Phil. "This offers recognition to successful teachers and provides a mechanism for them to share ideas and model best practice." more... UNITEC in Schools also places a strong emphasis on incorporating information and learning technologies into school action plans.
At the same time as helping to solve internal school problems, UNITEC in Schools' initiatives can be tied into professional qualifications. UNITEC programmes such as the Diploma in Education Technology and Certificate in School Middle Management can be delivered on-site in schools. In the near future, teachers working with UNITEC in Schools will also be able to complete a Master of Education paper titled Applied Professional Development.
UNITEC in Schools is a centre within the UNITEC School of Education, which is headed by Professor Carol Cardno. Carol has been a primary teacher, secondary principal, directed school leadership, management and performance appraisal contracts and is currently engaged in school contracts for school self-review, team development and dilemma management. Phil Coogan, the UNITEC in Schools Director, has a wide background in secondary education including departmental leadership, school management, pre- and in-service teacher education, qualifications and assessment and contract direction.
For more information about UNITEC in Schools contact: Phil Coogan Tel: 09-815 4321 ext 8395 Email: pcoogan@unitec.ac.nz Or visit the UNITEC in Schools website at: http://schools.unitecnology.ac.nz
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Liz McAndrew Publicist, Marketing Unit UNITEC Institute of Technology http://www.unitec.ac.nz Private Bag 92025 Auckland Ph: (64 9) 815 4321 extn 8751 Fax: (64 9) 815 2902 Email: lmcandrew@unitec.ac.nz

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