Media Release

Newsroom Releases 2013 October The crucial years of Middle School

25/10/2013
The crucial years of Middle School
Local residents are invited to see the world through an adolescent brain as part of a JCU conference in Townsville this weekend.

The crucial years of Middle School

Local residents are invited to see the world through an adolescent brain as part of a James Cook University conference in Townsville this weekend.

Presented by Education Queensland and the School of Education at JCU, Middle School-Junior Secondary Conference: Pedagogies to effectively engage middle school students will start tomorrow morning (Saturday, October 26).

Dr Louisa Tomas, Senior Lecturer and Director of Professional Experience and Community Engagement in the School of Education at JCU, and Ward Nicholas, Junior Secondary Principal Education Advisor from Education Queensland, will lead the conference.

As Year Seven transitions into high school, Dr Tomas said the junior secondary phase of schooling was undergoing one of the most significant reform agendas undertaken by Queensland state schools.

“Defining Years 7–9 as a distinct phase of schooling is much more than a structural change,” Dr Tomas said.

“It signals an intentional approach to teaching and learning in the early adolescent years to bring about improved outcomes for these students.”

Dr Tomas said strong pedagogy was crucial to the successful implementation of working with students during the junior secondary school phase.

“Educators will be required to engage students with an understanding of the current educational research supporting this phase of learning and adopt pedagogical approaches that enable their to switch on and excel in the junior secondary years.

Dr Tomas said keynote and closing speaker Dr Andrew Fuller would focus on how to engage these students.

“This conference is specifically designed to equip middle and junior secondary school educators with subject-specific approaches and information to engage students for learning and successfully enhance the classroom environment.”

Dr Tomas said the conference might be of particular interest to Primary and Secondary middle school and junior secondary teachers.

Speakers include Andrew Fuller, a clinical psychologist and published author who works with many organisations on using brain science to create improved outcomes.

Program of events:

8:15-8.40 Registration and workshop sign-up

School of Education staff room and balcony

8:45 Welcome: Mr. Ward Nicholas and Dr. Louisa Tomas

Welcome to Country DA134.010

Collaborative lecture theatre

9:00-10:30 Keynote Speaker Dr Andrew Fuller

10:30-10.55 MORNING TEA DA134.106

School of Education staff room and balcony

11:00-12:10 Session 1. Distributive Law of Multiplication over Addition (Dr. Jo Balatti) DA134.116

Meeting Room 7

Hooks and Engaging Activities relating to each KLA for Junior Secondary Students (Mr. Ward Nicholas) DA134.130

Dry teaching space

The World as Seen by an Adolescent Brain (Dr Helen Boon) DA134.010

Collaborative lecture theatre

12:15-12.40 LUNCH DA134.106

School of Education staff room and balcony

12:45-1.55 Session 2. Please choose one of the following options:

How Can We Make Explanations More Engaging in Middle Years Science? (Associate Professor Brian Lewthwaite & Dr. Louisa Tomas) DA134.132

Wet teaching space

Using ICTs to Engage Indigenous Students in the Middle School (Mr Max Lenoy) DA134.021

TEAL room

History Mysteries and Geography Fun: An Introduction to Engaging Learning Activities for Humanities and Social Sciences (Ms. Lyne Megarrity & Ms. Helen McDonald) DA134.130

Dry teaching space

2:00-3:00 Close: Dr. Andrew Fuller DA134.010

Collaborative lecture theatre

3:00-3:30 THANK YOU AND AFTERNOON TEA DA134.106

Details for media:

Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013

Location: School of Education, James Cook University, Townsville Campus, Building DA134 – Education Central

For more information, or interviews, contact: Dr. Louisa Tomas, Senior Lecturer, Director of Professional Experience and Community Engagement, tel: (07) 4781 6117 or louisa.tomas@jcu.edu.au

http://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/louisa.tomas

JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175