12/02/2020 - 09:34

Fresh focus on innovation at MLC

12/02/2020 - 09:34

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Methodist Ladies College has taken a step to balance traditional teaching practices with innovative learning by creating a new role for 2020 and beyond: director of innovation.

Fresh focus on innovation at MLC
Marie Perry says schools must take innovation seriously given the unpredictable future of work. Photo: MLC

Methodist Ladies' College has taken a step to balance traditional teaching practices with innovative learning by creating a new role for 2020 and beyond: director of innovation.

MLC principal Marie Perry framed the new appointment as a way to ensure students were well prepared for a workforce that was becoming increasingly difficult to predict due to technological and cultural changes.

“We don’t know what the world of work will look like for our girls [currently] in year one,” she said.

“Helping them develop skills … through a whole range of learning experiences in the classroom [is important], some of which will be enhanced by technology, but also through outside of the classroom opportunities.”

Meagan King has been appointed to the new position, having previously served as director of teaching, learning and academic performance at AB Paterson College in Queensland, where Ms Perry was previously assistant principal.

Ms King will oversee research and evidence-based approaches to learning, and develop programs that maximise opportunities for students.

Ms Perry said though innovation was generally associated with technology, Ms King’s role would focus on how students learn broadly, with Ms King drawing on her experience in school leadership to execute the role.

“I’m not interested in following fads in education,” she said.

“I wanted someone who had the experience to understand the research process and make sure that all our ideas and suggestions were well constructed.

“[That meant] looking at our teaching and learning programs and all of the additional things we offer outside of the classroom, so that the teaching and learning programs are helping the girls foster a sense of curiosity, collaboration, problem-solving, risk taking and resilience.”

The creation of a role directly overseeing innovation is becoming commonplace in schools across Western Australia, with Servite College and Perth College among the state’s private schools to do so.

Ms Perry explained that innovation was becoming a focus for schools because parents wanted to know they were serious about preparing students for a competitive and unpredictable workplace.

“It’s a valued part of what we do because parents want to make sure that their girls have the best opportunities post-school,” she said.

MLC ranks 34th largest on the BNiQ list of private schools, with 1,086 total enrolments, and has the most employees of any private school in WA at 354. Nick Henry, international team leader at PwC, serves as the school’s chair.

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