Friday, October 02, 2009

efest - eTLC2009 - day three

My workshop went well with just over a dozen keen people attending & participating. We explored possibilities A 9am start after a very late finish at yesterday’s conference dinner. Convivial community, good food, a nice merlot & a hypnotist for entertainment.

Professor Tai Black keynote on relevance, research outcomes of Tuhoe oral & written literature as a continually expanding commentary on Tuhoe people’s infinitely varied lives of yesterday, today & tomorrow’ dedicated to Sir Howard Morrison.

Dr Black began with a story about how he first met Sir Howard. His first meeting was to bring Sir Howard out hunting & fishing into the Ureweras. Hi grew up in the Bay of Plenty / East Coast where much of the ‘literature’ he encountered was oral & not written. Hi provided examples of the oral richness of Maori literature & provided these within the context of why & when these were coined. An example is:
‘Hokia ki o maunga kiap urea koe e nga hau Tawhirimatea’ (John Rangihau) Return to your mountains that you may be cleansed by the winds of Tawhirimatea. In order to find out about yourself, you have to go home. There is a need of Maori academics to assist Maori (especially urban Maori) to find where they come from, the land & people they are connected to, to help them ground themselves for life. The presentation provided a good background on an aspect of multiliteracies valued by Maori but generally well known or appreciated by the wider NZ population.

Second keynote of the day from Dr. Peter Coolbear from Ako Aotearoa. Peter spoke about the ‘meaningful reflective practice: the mark of a professional tertiary teacher. The recent Tertiary education strategy emphases quality of teaching and learning framed in value for money terms. Increasing whole-of-institution perspective on completions/outcomes, performance based funding framework, self assessment & evaluation review (SAEER) & governance accountability. Tertiary teachers (should be in leadership position to make changes to teaching & learning), are they professionals (have power & influence) or journeypersons (skills & buffeted by policy changes etc)? Critical reflective practice through reflection in action and reflection on action. Need to move from self reference/self reflection towards meaningful critical self-reflection. High performing professional tertiary teacher has empathy, utilises reflection-in-action, able to use critical self-reflection & emancipatory. Evidence based research informs what tertiary teachers to do, how it is done & how they are valued.

Last conference keynote from Dr. Lisa Emerson on ‘teaching for excellence – excellence in teaching’ picks up on the conference theme. What is excellence in teaching? How can it me measured quantitatively – retention, success rates, student evaluations, compliance measures, willingness to engage with new technologies, willingness to engage in professional development & willingness to disseminate good practice? Used the consequences game process to collect & share participants’ thoughts on teaching excellence.

Conference closed by Bonnie Dewart, deputy chief executive at UCOL.

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