THE CELEBRATING DOERS
RUN by Education Changemakers (EC), Educhange 2018 provides world class innovation and leadership training for educators, by educators.
Educhange director Summer Howarth said educators will be surrounded by like-minded peers who are pushing forward with teacher-led innovation.
There will be amazing opportunities to network and build a community that will stay with them long after the event.
“Educators will leave the three day festival well equipped to go forward and to make good, solid change – knowing that they are backed by a network of like-minded educators who share that language of change and are in a community curated by Education Changemakers,” Ms Howarth said.
“We hope that people leave the event not only inspired by great stories, but inspired by their own abilities to make change,” she said.
Speakers range from Australia’s resident maths darling Eddie Woo to Daniel Flynn, co-founder of social enterprise Thankyou.
“We’ve also got some great principals from around the world who are transforming schools and their own systems so there’s a lot of variety for educators,” Ms Howarth said.
The Change Making, Change Leading, and Change Learning masterclasses are designed for different career stages.
“There’s really something for everyone; we encourage schools to send teams and have different people at all three of those Masterclasses. When they come back together they’ll have the same language of design thinking and change making, from every facet that a school might be interested in,” Ms Howarth said.
The event is also accessible online via Educhange in a box - allowing anyone, anywhere to experience the main event via a live link.
“Teachers can even run it on their own site so everyone can essentially facilitate their own event within their own context,” Ms Howarth said.
On 3 October the Spotlight event will shine a light on education innovations in Victoria as part of EC’S work with Finnish non-profit Hundred.
“We’ve been working closely with these projects, we’ve shot video case studies of them because we believe that if people have struck gold on something that improves the lives of kids, communities and schools they often need a little bit of help to share how that innovation will change the system,” Ms Howarth said.
“The Spotlight is about launching these innovations in a really nice celebration event.”
TV host, Masterchef Australia alum, former food editor, best-selling author and educator Alice Zaslavsky will be speaking at Educhange 2018.
“When I was a Department Head of Humanities at Haileybury School in Melbourne I was always trying to include food in my classrooms, integrate it into history, geography, and English,” Ms Zaslavsky said.
“I tried to pitch an elective to one of the heads of the school and they said ‘we don’t think we’ll get the numbers and you don’t really have the expertise’.
“So I thought I’ll show them! I went off and did an accreditation at the William Angliss Institute and towards the end of it I realised that Masterchef Auditions were taking place in the same building.
“I was always hearing my students talk about the show so I thought if I went on Masterchef and my students saw me and they’d want to do my elective; so I auditioned and got in and my life got completely flipped upside down!”
Ms Zaslavsky is no longer a classroom teacher, but while doing TV shows, writing a book, working as food editor for Melbourne’s Weekly Review and live presenting with top chefs like Nigella and Rick Stein, she never stopped being a teacher at heart. So she developed a Food Education Program called Phenomenon.
“All that time I was still thinking about the fact that our kids are still disconnected from food as a normal and important part of their lives,” she said.
“I’ve always been seeking out an opportunity and Phenomenon is the marriage of my food media, my passion, and my education background.
“A lot of the stuff in the food education space is created for teachers by marketing executives or strategy teams and it doesn’t work – because they don’t know what it’s like to be in a classroom!”
Phenomenon is what Ms Zaslavsky would have wanted to teach and use as a tool in the classroom, she said.
“I created it through the support of Hort Innovation, which is a research and development corporation that looks after growers, so in this case it was a vegetable fund – the vegetable growers have funded a program to help our kids change their attitudes to fresh food.”
At Educhange Ms Zaslavsky will be speaking about the power of curriculum to change attitudes and create behavioural change.
“Obviously for me the focus is food but I think that, as teachers, we have an incredible opportunity every single day to change the lives of every student in our classroom,” she said.
Ms Howarth pointed out that many professional learning events were lacking the ‘how’, and speakers like Ms Zaslavsky and Mr Woo don’t just talk about the need for change in their subject areas – they take action and make change.
“This event is a real celebration of the doers and it’s all based in research, it’s based on data,” she said.
“We front-end the stories and celebrate people who are doing things, leading change, putting it out there, and doing the hard work.”
Alice Zaslavsky is passionate about food education.
Educhange 2018 runs from October 1 to 3 in Melbourne.