A Community of Practice - Specialist School Programs
A purpose built, inclusive program, which uses the design thinking process to elevate and inspire students' passion for STEAM.
Monash Special Developmental, Ashwood and Glenallen Schools, have been partners with Monash Tech School since 2017.
MSDS delivered foundation STEAM teachings, using a standard curriculum. A Specialist School teacher from MSDS approached Monash Tech School with a strong interest in elevating the school’s existing STEAM offerings by utilising MTS’s programs, expertise and technologies to scaffold students' experience of STEAM. A working group was established to explore what was possible and a submission was made to the Department of Education to provide funding for the project. The grant application was successful and the STEAM project was officially approved.
The specialist STEM programs have been developed in consultation with partner schools through professional development opportunities and school visits. The Enhancing Access for Specialist Schools Communities (EASSC) Project, which started mid-2019, is being led by an Expert Special Education Teacher, who has been seconded from Monash Special Developmental School for 18 months.
Monash Tech School continues to build a Community of Practice with its Specialist Partner Schools to ensure the teaching of STEAM in specialist settings is prioritised, personalised to students’ abilities and connects to real-world experiences.
The EASSC project deliverables will enhance students' understanding and confidence using STEAM, by incorporating a blend of practical skills development with a greater emphasis on inclusive teaching practices. Students participate in a range of modules that are based on technologies such as coding, robotics and electronics skills. They will use a design thinking framework to explore, create and evaluate in a supported and fun environment.
Monash Tech School will assist in the delivery of this important and innovative project that combines Victoria’s Priority Industry sectors and the Victorian Curriculum (Levels A to 1). Thirty (30) stand-alone STEAM modules and professional development resources will be produced by the project’s conclusion and will be launched on FUSE, the Victorian Department of Education’s resource website. It will also be showcased at Monash Tech School’s celebratory symposium. The 30 modules are complemented by a teachers resource pack that will enable educators to tailor and further develop a range of STEAM lessons.
Monash Tech School continues to build a Community of Practice with its Specialist Partner Schools. This will enhance our capacity to provide programs that are balanced between industry and student learning. The relationship between Monash Tech School and its specialist partner schools continues to grow and we look forward to increasing collaboration and planning for future innovative programs. Looking ahead, we intend to embed industry-led contribution to our specialist school program. By facilitating the STEAM-focused conversation between Industry and Specialist Schools, we will continue to create real-world learning opportunities for students. Ultimately, this will enhance students' understanding of STEAM as well as support the development of employability skills.
Monash Tech School is committed to improving STEAM education outcomes for students with disabilities and additional learning needs.