Academy Symposium, December 2015
The 2015 Academy Symposium featured thirteen presentations from Academy members across a wide range of topics, including transition to tertiary education, tailored assessment, and effective post-graduate supervision. New members and first-time attendees featured heavily in the programme, giving six presentations, whilst twelve of the sixty-two attendees were also from this group. 2015 was the first year that invitations to the symposium were extended to the Ako Aotearoa Board, Māori Caucus and Pacific Peoples Caucus, with Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Jenni Hindmarsh and Peter Stevens attending.
In what is hoped to be a permanent feature of the programme, 2014 Prime Minister's Award winner Karyn Paringatai opened the presentations with a tale of her journey using the traditional method of "teaching in the dark", including a practical exposition of the technique with attendees. Day one ended with Zoe Jordans reporting on the Ako Aotearoa funded project she leads exploring science lecturers’ views on quality teaching in science at university.
Day two began with a staple of the Symposium - an illuminating outline of the tertiary landscape by Ako Aotearoa director Peter Coolbear. This was followed by Angus Hikairo Macfarlane giving a tour de force exposition looking back at 50 years of M?ori education. The Symposium ended with a light-hearted but nonetheless thought-provoking "hypothetical" led by Ksenija Napan, examining the dynamics within a neoliberal university through the lens of the story and characters of the tale of Pinocchio.
2015 saw a continuation of the reversal achieved in 2014 in terms of attendance at the Symposium, and the Academy Executive feels this trend will continue with the on-going efforts to engage members not only in the life of the Academy, but through continuing member engagement with Ako Hubs and the wider tertiary sector.
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