The Victoria International School of Sharjah (VISS) has strengthened its partnership with Monash University, one of Australia’s top-ranked universities.
The school welcomed Professor John Loughran, Dean of Faculty of Education from Monash University, who met with Mr Dean Pyrah, Principal of VISS.
Professor Loughran held discussions on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and hosted research-focused meetings with the school’s Executive leadership team. He also provided an interactive professional development workshop with staff.
The visit follows the school’s announcement earlier this year that it is exploring plans for a strategic and wide-ranging partnership in educational areas of mutual interest with Monash University. This includes VISS being on the list of Australian schools where graduating students from Monash University’s Faculty of Education undertake their final year internships.
“This was an excellent opportunity for us to build on the relationship we have developed with Monash University,” said Mr Pyrah.
“John’s career is an inspiration and we can all learn from someone of his calibre and experience. It was very beneficial for our staff, and we are grateful for the wide range of topics and knowledge sharing he provided in the interest of our new partnership.”
Professor Loughran was a secondary school science teacher before becoming a teacher educator. His portfolio is now rich with degrees – BSc, DipEd, MEd Studies, PhD, DLitt;
and many positions, including foundation Chair, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Monash University, and Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA).
Professor Loughran’s message of the need for on-going professional learning and for teacher’s to inquire into their own teaching practices resonated with VISS staff.
In his book “What expert teachers do: Enhancing professional knowledge for classroom practice”, Professor Loughran writes about how teachers can engage their students in ways that create a real ‘need to know’, and a desire to become active learners. He has published widely in teacher education, including pedagogical content knowledge (PCK); reflective practice; and self-study of teacher education practices.
“It was a great pleasure to visit VISS, meet with the school leaders and teachers and begin to develop a deeper understanding of the school and the way it works,” said Professor Loughran.
“I look forward to seeing our student teachers visiting the school early next year and helping to build our relationship further in a strong and meaningful way. There are good opportunities for VISS and the Faculty of Education at Monash to collaborate and research together, and I am sure these opportunities will be taken up by us both in the coming years.”
VISS, a premium school in the UAE offering both the Australian Curriculum and IB diploma, provides a rigorous academic program for its students.