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Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Senior Victorians

My current role as Commissioner for Senior Victorians is the most important role I’ve ever undertaken.

My career pathway was varied. As I reached the end of my time at secondary school, I had no idea what career I wanted to do, and so at 18 years old, I rode my motorbike to Sydney and lived there for two years. During that time, I had the chance to try different types of work and stumbled on the profession of youth work. My passion was ignited, and I completed my youth work course a few years later. This set me on a career that focussed on people, from youth work to community education, a decade in the trade union movement before becoming a CEO and running peak bodies in children’s services and later in aged care.

When I reflect on my own career pathway, there is a strong connection throughout to learning, education, study and research. I have been so lucky to have the opportunity to travel both in Australia and overseas too. It is so inspiring to travel to a new place, explore the history, talk to the locals and discover something more about the world in which we live.

The spirit of ‘discovery’ and ‘exploration’ are in my view key elements in the quest for a successful and fulfilling experience of ageing, of growing older.

In my current role, I have the absolute pleasure of being able to spend lots of my time out in the community, talking with, and listening to, the enormously diverse experiences of senior Victorians. In these conversations two things stand out to me.

Firstly, we are never too old to learn. There are just so many ways that senior Victorians can explore and discover, often within our own local communities, neighbourhoods or regions. Just think about how many neighbourhood houses there are, learn locals, libraries or museums where we can continue to broaden our knowledge and understanding as we age. There are key institutions that provide adult education, TAFE colleges and many other opportunities to continue to learn.

My own Auntie, as she approached 80 years of age, completed a Year 12 English subject because she had never had the chance to finish secondary school. How inspiring is her story and those of so many others who keep learning and re-discovering as they age.

Secondly, I have learnt from the stories of so many older people just how important it is to remain socially connected. The international literature now clearly tells us that isolation and loneliness can be killer experiences that take years off our lives. So many of our opportunities to continue to grow and learn involving connecting with other people. I don’t think it is any accident that over the last twenty years one of the rapidly growing grass roots movements is the University of the Third Age (U3A). I hear great stories about older people who join a U3A because they are inspired to learn a language like French. Or they want to understand more about history. Or join a book club. There are Neighbourhood Houses, Men’s Sheds, Life Activity Clubs and so many community groups and organisations who provide wonderful opportunities to build and maintain social connections – but I don’t have the space to list them here. Your local library or local council are great places to start to find out what’s on and available in your local community

So many older people are an inspiration to us all as they continue to learn, seek to better understand our world and explore life right throughout their seniors years!

And so, what will inspire you to try something different? For me, I’ve recently discovered Listening Books via the Borrowbox App that is available in many local libraries. I now combine listening to books with my local walks around the Maribyrnong River.

Let’s put to bed the myth “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. So, what will inspire you to ‘discover’ and ‘explore’ as you age?

The post Igniting a spirit of discovery appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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Adult Learning Australia supports the Australian Coalition for Education Development’s (ACED) call for a national plan on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Australia is one of 193 countries that have signed onto the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which identifies 17 goals to achieve a better and more sustainable future.

The SDGs are a call to action for partners across the globe to unite to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality and tackle climate change. SDG 4 addresses inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all, both in Australia and across the region through Australia’s aid investments.

ALA ACED Media Release

ACED Spotlight Exec Summary

ACED Spotlight Report

The post Spotlight on Australia’s Progress on SDG4: Education and Lifelong Learning appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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About this webinar

In this workshop, teachers will try out a range of activities that encourage students to dive straight into writing without fear of failure.

The activities are slightly left of centre incorporating technology and new genres of writing. The aim is to provide a springboard of creative ideas for teachers to build on, adapt and transform according to their own imagination and the needs of their students. The workshop will encourage participants to draw on their own knowledge and experience.

Participants will be encouraged to share how they might use the activities in different ways and what might work with their cohort of students.

About the presenter

Lee Kindler is an experienced educator having worked in schools, TAFE and a range of private and public organisations. His experience includes developing print, video and multimedia teaching and learning resources and curriculum materials for primary, secondary and vocational education.

ALA Webinars are FREE to ALA Members and Associate Members.
The cost to non-members is $50, payable online.

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The post ALA Webinar: Radical Ideas for Reluctant Writers appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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Associate Professor Tony Brown, Adult, Community and Higher Education, University of Canberra

Elections focus attention on what we hope for in the immediate future, and what we aspire to become as a society.

My main underlying hope this year is that the atmosphere surrounding our national discourse will change. That the shrill tone and meanness of spirit that has dominated discussion on issues like immigration, security, energy and climate can be altered. If the tone and tenor of debate becomes more civil then we will all be better able to engage more constructively with each other, including those with whom we disagree.

What hope should we be looking for in education?

It’s easy to understand why governments focus on school funding, higher education, vocational training and more recently early childhood education. They are the big-ticket areas and they engender the most concern from parents, unions, sectoral providers and industry. Policy has been dominated for decades now by an overly narrow concentration on education as a means to build competitiveness – building individuals’ human capital to compete on the labour market; training for business productivity, and a skilled nation to compete globally.

Will the next government simply continue on managing this policy setting, albeit with some important adjustments to the mix of school funding, restoring some cuts in higher education and research funding, restoring TAFE and ending the scandalous waste that accompanied the privatization of VET, and expanding pre-school education? Or could it set a new course?

We should ask if education as currently configured is meeting the needs of a complex society, with wider needs beyond preparation for work? Should we expect more? What if a new government set itself some more ambitious goals? Goals that recognise a broader set of education needs. Goals that recognise that many learners don’t follow a neat linear path through education, and that one in five Australians are over the age of 60 and looking for different educational opportunities.

A more ambitious agenda would understand the need to foster learning throughout life. It conjures up a progressive approach to learning for a contemporary society undergoing change and conceives of a new ecology of educational arrangements. Conceptualised this way education combines the formal institutionalised settings and the many informal sites, it supports early childhood, school, post-compulsory, adult and third age learning. It recognises indigenous knowledge and different traditions of learning while introducing positive strategies to support indigenous participation in mainstream education. It fosters workplace and community education and has a special focus on developing strategies to engage discouraged and disillusioned learners. It plays a leading role in promoting and understanding cognitive development, new teaching and learning pedagogies and the need for recognising and supporting learning in the workplace and in the community. It is lifelong and life-wide.

Its aim is to provide skills and knowledge for a changing economy, to equip people to deal with rapidly evolving technology, to understand the social and economic changes taking place, to appreciate the vital issues of climate change and sustainability, and to use learning to foster community development especially in regional and rural areas. It conceives of education in a broad sense not in confining educational vision to the narrowest sense of formal educational institutions.

It has a view that education can play a key role in developing a vibrant society, with individuals skilled for the economy, prepared for civic participation and democratic involvement, confident in responding to technological, scientific and demographic change, supportive of an inclusive and multicultural society, and encouraging their children to have a positive view of ongoing learning.

For the past thirty years education has been too closely tied to narrow economic interests. Governments, planners and funding bodies have over-emphasised learning for competitiveness and productivity while neglecting its contribution to our quality of life.

Learning for pleasure, social, civic or aesthetic purposes has been dismissed or downplayed. Because it’s harder to measure, planners and funding bodies neglect education that builds communities and active citizens and which enriches culture.

Providing and maintaining high quality and well-resourced school, higher and vocational education must remain a priority. However, there are many pressing social, health and economic issues that call for measures beyond administering the existing systems. They are essential issues of educational equity.

Establishing a national policy framework around education and learning that provides the umbrella to support and encourage all forms of organised education, and to then provide the resources to deliver on an expanded vision would make clear that a new government is committed to something more than business as usual.

The question after May shouldn’t be ‘Can we do more?’ but rather can we afford not to do more?

Every election raises hope that things will improve; lets hope that this year an incoming government will expand its horizon and mark the beginning of something better.

The post We should hope for more appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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In our first issue of Quest for 2019, you can read about:

Read the complete issue of Quest, 1, 2019 (.pdf)

The post Latest issue of Quest out now! appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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Suitable for

Vocational trainers or training managers.

Description

As a vocational trainer or training manager, you play a crucial role in the lives of the people you train. In this interactive workshop, we’ll discover how a focus on foundation skills can improve training outcomes and equip your learners for today’s constantly-evolving world-of-work. We’ll help you identify practical ways to build learners’ foundation skills through your training.

Outcomes

By the end of this webinar participants should be able to:

  • explain what foundation skills are and how they impact learner performance
  • identify facilitation strategies to add a stronger foundation-skill-focus to their training practice.
About Cheméne

Chemène Sinson is a learning and performance consultant who specialises in both accredited and non-accredited program design and delivery. She is a TAE trainer and has designed learning and assessment materials for the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment purchased by more than 100 RTOs since they were first introduced in 2009. Her primary interest is in ‘best practice’ learning design and facilitation that improves performance in today’s world of work. She speaks regularly on related topics at conferences and special events.

How to participate

Access all ALA webinars for FREE with an ALA membership.

Not sure of your member status or your member log-in details? Contact us at membership@ala.asn.au for assistance.

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Join ALA

Access all ALA webinars for FREE with an ALA membership.

The post ALA Webinar: Use foundation skills to improve training outcomes appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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Australia’s modern economy and society have created new demands for high levels of literacy and numeracy. Technological advancement and globalisation have decreased the availability of low skills jobs and increased the number of jobs that require high levels of information processing, digital and communication skills.

In the lead up to the federal election, Adult Learning Australia and its partners are calling for a national lifelong learning policy that includes an adult literacy strategy, in order to create a fairer and more equitable Australia.

Downloads

The post Media release: Lifelong learning and community education create a fairer Australia appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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The teaching of the different spelling knowledges (morphemic, etymological, phonological and visual) is a way of building the linguistic skills and processes that students need to become proficient spellers.

These spelling knowledges also provide a useful framework for teachers to assess students’ strengths and weaknesses in spelling and to identify areas where students can improve their spelling by building their existing linguistic know-how.

This workshop will look at examples of students’ writing and analyse the spelling – what they get right and wrong – through the lens of the knowledges. Participants will then have the opportunity to use this strategy to analyse spelling in student written texts.

Our presenter, Jan Hagston is a director of Multifangled, an education and training consultancy specialising in adult and youth education. She has taught in secondary schools, the VET sector, the ACE sector and in workplace programs. She also has significant experience in curriculum and materials development, professional development, and research.

ACE shop

We have an array of Jan’s fantastic Multifangled resources in our ACE shop. Check them out here.


ALA Webinars
are FREE to ALA Members and Associate Members.
The cost to non-members is $50, payable online.

______________________________

______________________________

Access all ALA Webinars for free with an ALA membership.

Join ALA

The post ALA webinar: Analysing and assessing spelling using spelling knowledges appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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On 12 December 2018, the AQF Review Panel released a discussion paper, and called for submissions.

Our response

In our response, we recommended that the AQF go further in terms of embracing a lifelong learning model not just to ensure productivity but also to promote access, equity and social inclusion.

Download ALA’s response to AQF Review.

The post AQF review appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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The Royal Commission report on Family Violence was handed down two years ago and highlighted the fact that family violence can touch the lives of us all and that it exists across all communities and in many forms.

Adult and community educators will be working with some participants who have experienced family violence, whether the participants disclose or not.

When educators understand family violence and the dynamics, its impact and what responses are helpful, they will be better able to empower the people that they work with who experience it and better able to support them to seek help.

This webinar will cover the impacts on the people who experience family violence, the service response to those who perpetrate it and provide key communication strategies for when speaking to victim survivors.

This session will be run by Jo Howard (Consultant and Trainer)

Jo has a long-standing commitment to a fair and equitable society and to address injustice, poverty and discrimination. She is particularly committed to social inclusion, gender equity and family violence prevention. Jo’s work over thirty years includes direct service, clinical supervision, management, consultation, program design and implementation, evaluation and research and public policy and management.  Her key areas of expertise are in gender, fathering, family violence prevention, (women’s and children’s, men’s behaviour change and adolescent family violence) and family work.  She has published extensively including works on global practice approaches to adolescent violence in the home (Holt, 2016) and on parenting. In 2009, Jo gained a Winston Churchill Fellowship to research best practice responses to adolescent family violence.

How to participate

Access all ALA webinars for FREE with an ALA membership.

Not sure of your member status or your member log-in details? Contact us at membership@ala.asn.au for assistance.

______________________________

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Join ALA

Access all ALA webinars for FREE with an ALA membership.

The post ALA Webinar: Understanding family violence – a webinar for adult and community educators appeared first on Adult Learning Australia.

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