Principals and deputies from 20 Fraser Coast high schools have spoken highly of their recent opportunity to network with local counterparts at one of Hervey Bay’s relaxed waterfront eateries.
USQ Fraser Coast campus executive manager Brett Langabeer said the university’s initiative was aimed at bringing principals and deputy principals together to exchange ideas and discuss opportunities to work on educational programs.
The luncheon followed his recent visits to Maryborough and Hervey Bay schools where he sought engagement and information on improving university services.
As well as being a networking opportunity, the luncheon at Café Balaena at the Hervey Bay Marina included short talks from three USQ Fraser Coast Faculty of Education staff Trevor Black, Sharon Louth and David Martin on their PhD research projects.
Mr Black talked about his research on what factors affected the experiences of local first-year students who entered the Bachelor of Education degree at a regional university campus.
Ms Louth discussed her investigations on the impact on students and their teachers of regular implementation of traditional indigenous games in the curriculum.
Mr Martin focused on his investigations into problem-based learning with pre-service teachers in a mathematics education course as an effective strategy for them to develop pedagogical content knowledge.
Praising USQ Fraser Coast’s initiative to host the luncheon, deputy principal Ian Christie from Urangan State High School said the event presented a good opportunity to network with other principals and deputy principals of the region.
“I met other staff I hadn’t met before,” Mr Christie said. “It was also good to hear about the research programs going on in our local university, which has already prompted conversations about what other courses of university study would be appropriate for our community.”
Aldridge State High School principal Ross Higgins said he enjoyed hearing Mr Langabeer articulate specific things USQ was doing and that there was genuine intent to increase dialogue and action with principals of the region.
“I also enjoyed hearing three of USQ’s educators outline what they’re doing with PhD research. It shows the important work the education faculty people are doing.”
Meanwhile, Maryborough State High School’s Desolee Murdoch was pleased to hear USQ Fraser Coast was taking on-board the concerns of Heritage City educators that access and mobility between the two Fraser Coast cities was a constraint for many potential USQ students from Maryborough.
Mr Langabeer said USQ Fraser Coast was currently looking at strategies to broaden its programs by looking at academic and business delivery models to enable efficient delivery and greater flexibility to students.
“We’re also exploring ways to better engage with Maryborough-based schools and community,” he said.