AUGUST RESEARCH SEMINAR
11:30AM-12:00PM 28 AUGUST 2017
LEVEL 8, NEXUS BUILDING, 10 PULTENEY STREET, SMaRTe ROOM, SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
MELT USE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS: STEM, PHILOSOPHY AND MUSIC
MR JOHN WILLISON
The Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching (MELT) emerged from teaching and research in Australian High Schools. MELT have provided a structure for students to understand their own thinking in contexts as diverse as primary Music, secondary Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) and the International Baccalaureate Personal Project. These models have a shared conceptual structure that enable teachers to talk together about, creatively facilitate and perceive student thinking. MELT require a dynamic engagement by teachers, who necessarily make modifications to suit their contexts and subjects. The parameters of MELT are six facets of thinking and student autonomy in learning www.melt.edu.au and published versions of MELT include:
The Research Skill Development framework www.rsd.edu.au (2006)
The Work Skill Development framework www.melt.edu.au (2009)
The Optimising Problem Solving pentagon www.melt.edu.au (2014)
Scientific Method Design Template http://www.adelaide.edu.au/rsd/schooling/frameworks/#secondary (2015)
Research Mountain http://www.adelaide.edu.au/rsd/schooling/early-childhood/ (2014)
Numerous other MELT have been emerging, with teacher-adapted terminology and shape, so that each model works in the context in which it is used.
This presentation focus’s on examples of the MELT and how they have been brought to life with students of different year levels.
Dr John Willison has twenty five years of experience in formal education, and throughout that time has been most enthralled in how to help students to engage in research-based learning, beginning with Year 8 classes, where he strived to make science laboratories hands-on and minds-on. Dr Willison found that this necessitated a raft of scaffolding and literacy strategies, and resulted in the development of resources called writE Science (writing and reading integrated with talking about experiments). As Dr Willison completed his PhD in Science Education he coordinated an Early Childhood and Primary Science course in a Teacher Education program, then subsequently found himself at the University of Adelaide as the Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. This shift to students who were academics from all disciplines caused Dr Willison to broaden his research agenda to search for something in common across disciplines: a framework representing how all educators may facilitate their students’ research skills.
In collaboration, Dr Willison developed early versions of the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework and colleagues in First Year Human Biology began to trial the RSD, followed by other courses in various contexts showing positive outcomes for students. This success inspired Dr Willison to lead two five-university ALTC Innovation and Development projects, one for course-level implementation of RSD (2007-2009) and the other for program-level implementation (2011-2013). These projects and new AQF 9 research requirements led to demand for RSD to inform coursework Masters programs and Dr Willison held a National Teaching Fellowship on this theme 2014-2015. As the use of the RSD escalates nationally and internationally, he is currently keen to bring the RSD ‘full-circle’ and begin to influence Faculties of Education through High Schools’ use of the RSD, as well as consolidate RSD use in undergraduate, Masters and PhD studies across all disciplines. This is the focus of the National Senior Teaching Fellowship he holds from the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training.