Promoting a creative teaching approach

ENHANCING enquiry-based learning was the focus of a teacher and librarian forum delivered by international guest speaker Carol Gordon at Maffra Secondary College on Monday.

The forum, presented through School Library Association of Victoria, attracted teachers and librarians from government and private schools.

Association executive officer Cindy Tschernitz said it was taking a number of workshops to country areas, with teachers and librarians from as far afield as Pakenham, Orbost and Yarram attending the Maffra session.

“Our presenter Dr Carol Gordon, a recently retired lecturer from Rutgers University (USA), is presenting a series of lectures,” she said.

“It’s part of our commitment to take forums to country Victoria.

“We felt it important to attract an international speaker, and not just make it Melbourne centric.”

Dr Gordon is a recently retired library educator, school and academic librarian.

At Rutgers University, New Jersey, she held positions of Associate Professor of library and information science and was co-director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries.

Ms Tschernitz said the forum had a focus on self-directed learning with an enquiry-based approach, encouraging teachers to take a creative approach.

“Creativity is a key to learning,” she said.

“If you’re not creative, how can you expect your students to be creative?

“Hopefully teachers are empowered to take it back to their schools and work with the teachers.

“ Hopefully it (a creative approach) can stem the flow of student disengagement, which statistics show is high in Gippsland.”

Maffra Secondary College teacher Jacinta Fleming said the forum encouraged a learning approach “looking beyond Google”.

“Students can look up answers on Google, but it’s very superficial and it doesn’t stick in their memory,” she said.

“They know how to find the answer, but the knowledge isn’t there.”

Mrs Fleming said the Australian curriculum was set up to respect the professionalism of teachers in finding a creative means of study.

“Studying Macbeth, a lot of students say it is boring, so the teacher has to be asking the reason why,” she said.

“It’s learning literature from 500 years ago, but how does it relate to today?

“We were studying conflicts, with the end goal of looking at Macbeth in a different way, rather than just reading it and that’s it.”