Education experts at FutureSchools Festival - Education Matters
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FutureSchools: Education experts focus on improved learning outcomes

FutureSchools announced education experts as key speakers

As the next instalment of the National FutureSchools Festival gets closer, organisers have revealed an exciting line-up of education experts as key speakers and a new stream curated specifically for principals.

Bringing together the entire K-12 sector, the upcoming National FutureSchools Festival has been revamped. A premier event on the education calendar, it will be held from 18-19 March 2020 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, offering an immersive and interactive experience.

Focusing on the key areas of technology, environment, pedagogy and curriculum; the redesigned event will allow participants to create their own agenda from 110 learning hours that are jam-packed with knowledge.

In past years, the event has featured a Future Leaders stream, but it has been renamed and will run as the Leadership stream, which is designed specifically for principals and school leaders.

Within the Leadership stream, a range of education experts from various fields will share their knowledge and provide their insight on a topical issues and subjects.

Celebrated educator Yasodai Selvakumaran will present a session in the plenary on Day One of FutureSchools called ‘Why are we educators?’

A humanities teacher at Rooty Hill High School in Sydney’s west, Ms Selvakumaran is the only Australian teacher to be named as a top 10 finalist for the 2019 $1 million Global Teacher Prize. Over 10,000 nominations were received from 179 countries. She was also awarded the Australian Council of Educational Leadership Mary Armstrong Award for Outstanding Young Educational Leader in 2014 and the Australian Teaching Fellowship in 2018.

Also speaking in the plenary on Day One, Finnish education expert and Professor of Education Policy at the Gonski Institute for Education, Dr Pasi Sahlberg, will present a session called ‘Our place in the world – The latest OECD statistics’, where he will discuss data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Dr Sahlberg has worked as a school teacher, teacher educator, researcher and policy advisor in Finland. He has studied education systems, analysed education policies, and advised education reforms around the world. He has received numerous awards including the 2012 Education Award in Finland, the 2014 Robert Owen Award in Scotland, the 2016 Lego Prize, and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident Fellowship in 2017.

Deputy Headmaster of Student and Teacher Excellence K-12 at Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Karen Yager, will host a session on ‘Collaborative teaching’. Recently, she led a school-based research project called ‘Aiming for student and teacher excellence’, designed to build a whole school culture centred around improving student learning outcomes using data to inform practice, and allowing teachers to work collaboratively for more effective classroom teaching.

CEO of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia, Beth Blackwood, will discuss the topic ‘Principals as executives’. Her career has included 30 years as a teacher of History and Psychology, and 19 years as Principal of Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Perth, a K-12 all-girls school with approximately 1200 students.

Principal at Lithgow High School in regional NSW, Ann Caro, will present ‘School Transformation and Leadership. Earlier this year, she was awarded the Harvard Club of Australia Principals’ Scholarship, which gave her the opportunity to travel to Boston to take part in a brief professional education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Director of UNSW’s Gonski Institute for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has also been announced as one of the event’s key speakers. His session will focus on ‘The complex nature of distance learning’. Mr Piccoli served as a Member of NSW Parliament for 19 years and was the NSW Minister for Education for six years.

Tamsyn Rosenberg, CEO of Alive project, a community-driven organisation working to prevent youth suicide in Australia, will present on ‘Mental health in the classroom’. She is also the founder of Get Real International, which works to address challenges faced by young people and empower carers and professionals working with them.

Mitchell Institute education policy fellow, Dr Zoran Endekov has also been named as a key speaker. He is presenting on ‘A vision for the future progress towards the goals of the Melbourne Declaration’.

Keep an eye on www.futureschools.com.au for more announcements on speakers and agenda. For tickets and more information, please visit the National FutureSchools Festival website. Tickets purchased before 7 February 2020 will be eligible for a discounted rate of $350. Group bookings are also available, with special rates for groups of four or more.

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