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  What Works - The Work Program

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Details about the course

Angela discusses other aspects of the Certificate III course.


Improving the delivery model

Going back to the year 2000, it was all delivered centrally at the University of Ballarat TAFE campus. It was the big lecture hall model, and everyone was sitting there and we'd just deliver the information.

But slowly we got smarter. So, for instance, we now deliver training through the Koorie Educators' conference that we have each year. And we deliver in cooperation with the university. They have a dedicated teacher for it, but also our project officers step in and deliver some of the modules where they're relevant to our work. Some of us have the certificate for assessment of workplace training, so we were able to look at the modules, look at the criteria that needed to be met and then develop learning tasks that were consistent with the outcomes.

For instance, I'm able to deliver the modules about inclusive curriculum with the curriculum officer and we have other officers who deliver the modules relating to literacy. So we're able to add value to the university's knowledge base.

And we found that a lot of people didn't want to come away from home, especially to a central place, because even though it was good for us in terms of large numbers, it wasn't good for them because of family responsibilities. So, since last year, we're delivering in three regional sites: Ballarat, Benalla and Sale, so we're finding where the workers are and then we're going to a location close to them. That way, people are, if anything, one to two hours away from home and they can manage the travel.

They come in for two days once a term. The trainers go out and deliver the content, talk to them between the training days and give them support. The Koorie Educators send their work in.

This year we've developed some more up-front assessment material as well, so we can go out to the workplaces and look at their evidence. It might be talking to them or their principals talking to them as well.


Graduation

Last year we had 37 enrolled in the certificate and ten have graduated so far. It takes about two years, but the university is flexible on that and some people can take longer. We had our graduation presentation at the Koorie Educators' conference recently. The university deputy vice-chancellor came down and presented people with their certificates and made a speech and one of the Koorie Educators made a speech as well. She said that she felt that they had learned a lot and really achieved something, and knowing that they could do it meant that others could do it too. She said she was looking forward to seeing the others when they graduate.

They're really powerful role models because they can now say, 'I know what it's like to study and I know it's hard. I've had a similar experience and this is how I approached it.' The kids can see that the Koorie Educators have been working on something and have succeeded and they can relate to that.


Curriculum

It's been great to work with the Koorie Educators on curriculum. First, we did activities to find out what they thought curriculum was. Then we talked about how our curriculum has been organised into eight key learning areas and we worked on what was included in each of those areas.

We even went through what the outcomes were for something like SOSE, and we actually developed lesson plans that address those outcomes. For some people, it was the first time they'd had this sort of understanding of curriculum.

One thing they had to do was go back to school and ask a teacher a series of questions and then identify what they thought the characteristics were of an inclusive resource. We developed a blank template for them and they had to do a lesson plan based on that. Part of it was to help them understand that what they'd already been doing in the classroom could be put into that format. It was showing them that they already had a lot of knowledge, from working in classrooms. And that was quite empowering for many, because they sort of thought curriculum was out there somewhere and not what you're actually doing every day.

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