Parent program’s national recognition

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How do we better prepare young people for life after school?

This common goal between parents and teachers has fuelled an innovative seven-week program that will be showcased during a national conference at Wollongong in November.

Callaghan College Waratah Technology Campus is set to present its work to the Equity Practitioners in Higher Education event in the hope it will benefit students in other states.

Class teacher Sheena Roberts, who organised the weekly meetings alongside the University of Newcastle, said last-lasting connections were made with parents, while teachers had found their careers reinvigorated.

“I wanted to give parents and teachers an opportunity to come together and reflect on some of the bigger questions around the future of education,” she said.
“Our discussion went beyond the families’ personal experience of high school into fundamental areas such as the role of technology, ethical decisions, equity in education, and how teaching might be done differently and better in the future.

“These are the kind of things that will shape how students are taught as society’s and employers’ needs change: it’s all about preparing students for life after school.”

The Equity Practitioners in Higher Education in Australasia (EPHEA) and National Association of Educators in Australia (NAEEA) conference is key in the equity landscape of education.

It aims to highlight and share knowledge on best practice in student and staff equity.

Parent Katrina Fowler, who took part in the Waratah-based campus’ program, said she was excited to promote the initiative at the conference.

“My kids have special needs so, for me personally, I’ve always had a lot of engagement with teachers since primary school,” she said.

“A lot of us [parents] want to be engaged – it’s a different world to when we went to school.

“Sometimes teachers might question why they are doing what they’re doing, but parents engaging them can reignite their flame.
“We’ll look to engage people at the conference so they might experience what we did.

“It’s just about promoting maybe a more flexible learning system and giving people something to think about.”

Callaghan College operates across three campuses: Waratah Technology Campus and Wallsend Campus cater for Years 7 to Year 10, while Years 11 and 12 attend Jesmond Campus.

Visit enablingequity.com for more information on the conference.

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