Friday, December 25, 2009

Partnerships for authentic learning--delivering breadth & depth.(2008AWARD-WINNING PROGRAMME)(Dover District High School). USA, LLC

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* SCUBA, Real Estate, Multi-media, Automotive and Outdoor Education programmes provide authentic, community based learning demonstrating innovation and community involvement in the delivery of educational opportunity.

* These opportunities enrich a school programme placing emphasis on literacy, numeracy, science and transition planning into further education, training or employment.

* This provides breadth and depth in the opportunities available.

* This is reflected in the fact that the school currently has 17 adult students engaged in courses in wood design and information technology.

* This is good for the local community, but flow on effects on other students who see adults from the community re-engaging with education.

Dover District High School--Context:

* Dover is a small seaside community of approximately 700 people located 100 km south of Hobart. It is the centre for the Far South community at the bottom of Tasmania which backs onto the South West World Heritage area. The main industries are fishing (including aquaculture), forestry, farming and tourism.

* Dover DHS is a K-12 school with a current enrolment of approximately 139 FTE.

* The class structure at present comprises a Kindergarten supplemented by a Birth to 4 early years programme, a Grade Prep/1, 2/3, 4/5, 6/7, 8/9/10 and a year 11/12 class of adult students.

* Teaching staff is 10.5 full and part time teachers. Three of these currently travel from Hobart daily, a 200 km round trip, with the remainder sourced from the Huon Valley or the local area. Teaching staff travel daily from Hobart, with the remainder sourced from local area as far as Huonville.

* The strengths of the school are its small size that allows more individual attention for students, its rural values and links with the local community. In order to meet the variety of educational needs, teachers must be multi-skilled and prepared to be flexible.

* The school has a history of delivering quality VET programmes that has covered Seafood Industry Programmes, Information Technology, Environmental Tourism, Hospitality Industry Programmes, and Hospitality. The Myola VET facility has been recently redeveloped as to renew VET programmes and promote adult learning.

* School programmes such as aquaculture, outdoor education and SCUBA demonstrate strong partnership links with the local community and provide a sound basis for community based learning initiatives.

* Particular difficulties that affect the delivery of educational programmes include staffing (quality and recruitment in terms of attraction, maintenance and replacement of teachers with specific skills) and the availability of relief staff. Access to professional learning opportunities in terms of time, cost and effort is an issue, particularly in regard to the up-skilling of teachers in particular skill areas and their replacement. Small numbers in each grade can be a significant issue for the sustainability of programmes over time as there is a conflict between resource scarcity and the need to provide a wide range of programmes. The availability of support staff such as social workers, guidance officers and support teachers is a major issue. There is a significant demand for such services because of isolation and the fact that Dover suffers from the 'end of the road syndrome'. As a result, school staff take on a huge extra load, particularly where families have significant needs.

Source Citation
"Partnerships for authentic learning--delivering breadth & depth." Education in Rural Australia 18.1 (2008): 82+. Academic OneFile. Web. 25 Dec. 2009. .

Gale Document Number:A195427987

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