Big Picture Summer Institute - Tasmania 2009

Big Picture Education (Aus) and
University of Tasmania
together with the Australian National Schools Network

invite educators to enrol in a 4-day course on personalising learning.

1st – 4th February, 2009

University Of Tasmania, Hobart.

UNITAS Hobart Campus, University Centre, Churchill Avenue, Sandy Bay.

Led by Viv White renowned educator and Director of the Big Picture Education Australia


Big Picture Education

Big Picture Education is a not for profit organisation that works to catalyse change in education by generating and sustaining innovative, personalised schools that work in tandem with the greater community. Big Picture was founded in the United States by Elliot Washor and Dennis Littky having previously worked with the US Coalition of Essential Schools based on the research and ideas of Ted Sizer. Big Picture Australia is working in collaboration with US colleagues.  Big Picture Education develops public schools based on research in new designs for education, trains educators to serve as leaders in their schools and communities, and actively engages the public as participants and decision makers in the education of our youth. This is based in the belief that true learning takes place when each student is an active participant in their education, when their course of study is personalised by teachers, parents and mentors who know them well, and when school-based learning is blended with outside experiences that heighten the student’s interest.

Big Picture is currently involved in new initiatives to create Big Picture schools in Australia and is also supporting a network of Big Picture Inspired schools.

The Big Picture School - What does it look like?

Big Picture's rigorous and highly personalised approach to education combines academic work with real world learning in schools, small by design.  It focuses on 'educating one student at a time' in a community of learners; and inverts the traditional education model by placing the student and their interests at the centre of the learning process.

What Distinguishes a Big Picture School from Other Schools

  • Small by design: Each school consists of 130-150 students located in a range of settings with facilities designed for personal and community-based learning. Small schools are divided into advisories of 15-17 students and a school team that collaborate and manage and support students. 
  • Adult world emersion - learning in the real world:  Students learn for two days a week, with a mentor from the community, in an interest based internship with based on an intellectually rigorous project connected to agreed learning goals.

  • One student at a time :  Each student has a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) based on the interests of the student.  It is developed with the Teacher advisor, student and parent; and includes an interest based project.

  • Academic rigour through Learning Goals: Quantitative Reasoning, Empirical Reasoning, Social Reasoning, Communication and Personal Qualities are critical elements of all learning activities and project work.

  • Exhibitions: Personal Learning Plans are reviewed four times a year and at the end of each term students exhibit their work, providing evidence of achievement of the learning goals.

  • Advisory: Each student works in an advisory with 1-17 others and a teacher advisor for the whole of secondary education. The teacher advisor manages the learning plan.

  • Family Engagement:  Parents and families are essential members of the student’s learning team, starting with the application process all the way through to exhibitions and graduation.
  • College/TAFE and University Bound: All students are enrolled to work towards graduation to further learning/work and training. All students are concurrently exposed and connected to opportunities at colleges and universities.

  • Life Long/Life Wide Learning: Student learning that takes place outside school hours is recognized and credited; and support provided during the transitional years from high school to post graduate opportunities.

The Five Day Big Picture Summer Institute

The  Summer Institute will be led by Viv White from Big Picture Australia.

Programs offered provide opportunities for teachers to examine the Big Picture’s rigorous and highly personalized approach to education that combines academic work with real-world learning. Participants will explore the focus on educating ‘one student at a time’ that inverts the traditional education model by placing the student, their passions and their interest, at the centre of the learning process.

Participants will investigate the key design elements of Big Picture schools—highly personalizsed, adult world immersion, community connectedness, smooth post-secondary transition and intellectual rigour and a range of reflective processes and strategies that include public exhibitions, advisory groups, and journaling.  Importantly the program is designed to bring together the design elements of Big Picture as a school framework  to improve student engagement and achievement.

The suite of programs offered includes :

Personalising learning

  • Identifying students interests and passions

  • Personal Learning Plans

  • Advisory Groups- teams and independent learning

Adult World Emersion- Learning in the real world

  • Mentored Learning

  • Community based projects
  • Learning through internships

  • Designing the learning to ensure academic rigour
  • Establishing learning goals

  • Strengthening personalised pedagogy
  • Ensuring high quality work meets standards

  • Designing authentic assessments, portfolios and public exhibitions

  • Arranging student placements in university, TAFE, other training and / or work

Building Relationships

  • With students, families and communities

  • With each other

  • With colleges and universities

With mentors
  • With businesses and cultural institutions

The Big Picture School - Leading a Personalised School

  • Developing leadership potential in principals, teachers, students and mentors
  • Team Building in schools and communities.

The five day course is supplemented by a component of applied inquiry in participants’ work settings

Further Information about the course, the location etc will be forwarded to participants after their enrolment.

Enrolling for Credit

Students successfully completing this course may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning against the certificate or degree requirements of universities in their state or Territory.

Cost Including GST

$900 including GST per participant
$800 including GST per participant if individual or school member of the ANSN
$700 including GST per participant if individual or school member of the BPC (Aus)
$600 including GST per participant if individual or school member of both the ANSN and the BPC.

Early bird registrations by 28 November will receive 10% discount.

About Viv White

Former National Coordinator of the Australian National Schools Network and CEO of the Innovations Commission Viv White now works with colleagues in Big Picture Education leading the work to establish a big picture school in Australia She also acts as a coach for the Australian National Schools Network.

With more than thirty years experience in both the education, research community and policy-making sector, Viv is known for her innovative thinking, challenging perspectives and sound understanding of educational change and reform.
Viv is committed to generating excitement about learning through capitalising on successful innovative techniques and strategies identified within and outside the education sector. Viv is especially interested in how technology and pedagogical reform can be harnessed to improve the working lives of teachers and the learning lives of students.

Prior to working with the Australian National Schools Network for ten years and the Innovations Commission with Dr Barry Jones, Viv has worked in the public education sector as a teacher, policy developer, educational researcher, change agent and facilitator of leadership and team development within schools, universities and other organisations. 

Join Big Picture Education

Individuals and schools can become members of the BPC. Members get access to introductory materials for advisory teachers, mentors and students.

First year membership for schools is $880 (incl GST) and thereafter $660 per annum.

First year membership for individuals is $132 incl GST and thereafter $88 per annum.

Schools wishing to access the full range of Big Picture consultancy services and resources for 3 years as Big Picture Inspired schools can do so by negotiation.

Join the ANSN

The Australian National Schools Network (ANSN) is a not-for-profit company that seeks to lead and support rethinking teaching and learning for a socially just world by fostering connections between people and schools nationally and internationally.

School Membership  $275.00 per year ($220 if your system is also a member.)
Individual Membership  $ 55.00 per year. for further details and flyer.

To Enrol

Complete the attached registration form and Fax it to ANSN on: 02 9590 3416
Complete the attached registration form and post it to ANSN National Office, PO Box 544 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012

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