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Successful Learning Conference 2019

25 Years of Successful Learning: Looking to the Future
This annual conference focuses on issues and developments in the provision of quality education for students K–12.

1 - 2 July 2019

In 2019, we will be focusing on the implementation of educational practices that are inclusive of students with a range of educational, social and emotional needs. The conference will engage with research and practices that examine and demonstrate education practices that can be used with fidelity, and professional wisdom, across differing curriculum areas and year levels. Specific focus will be given to Aboriginal and Indigenous education, assessment and decision-making, communications, behaviour and social skills, literacy and numeracy, technology, students’ mental health and trauma informed practice. Presentations and workshops will be given by teachers, consultants, community-based personnel and academics, from metropolitan and rural locations in NSW, interstate and overseas.

Keynote speakers


Portrait of Professor David Chard

Professor David Chard
Dean ad interim, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, Boston University, US

The Successful Learning Conference has been at the vanguard of applied research and practice for more than two decades. To mark its 25th anniversary, this keynote will be dedicated to the strides that have been made over the past quarter-century in better serving students with learning differences in, and out, of schools. As a leader in several professional organisations focused on improving life outcomes for children and youth with learning differences, as well as a leader in tertiary-education institutions, Dr Chard has had a birds-eye view of the many areas of progress that have been achieved to advance learning and development.

This presentation will focus on the foundations of our field and how they have been confirmed or dispelled by researchers and practitioners in the past three decades. Participants will also discuss current trends in the teaching and care of children and youth with learning differences including our enhanced understanding of the biological basis of learning and attention, efforts to use technology to personalise learning, renewed interests in the effectiveness of teaching approaches, and determinants of school success including racial/cultural bias and stereotype threats. Dr Chard will also engage participants in a discussion about the next 25 years: what can we expect from advances in technology? What are the trends and challenges we might expect in student motivation, support needs for student mental health, and the improved global outcomes in literacy, numeracy, and child health? Finally, participants will discuss the research evidence that continues to emerge regarding the needs of students who require intensive support for success in and out of school. 

David J. Chard is dean ad interim of Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development and Professor of Special Education. Prior to coming to Boston University (BU), he served as the 14th President of Wheelock College and was founding dean the of Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He has held faculty positions at BU, the University of Texas at Austin and served as associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. Dr Chard has published more than 100 articles, monographs, book chapters, and books. He is a member of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities and has served in leadership roles in numerous professional organisations. Dr Chard has been a classroom teacher in California, Michigan, and in the US Peace Corps in Lesotho in southern Africa. In October of 2011 Dr Chard was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences. He was confirmed in 2012 by the US Senate and was elected chair of the board in 2013. In 2016, he was reappointed by President Obama for a second three-year term.

Dr Devin Kearns

Dr Devin M Kearns
Assistant Professor of Special Education, Department of Educational Psychology, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, US

Reading comprehension requires deep understanding of the meanings of many words, and many students do not acquire enough vocabulary knowledge without the direct support of their teachers. I describe the role of vocabulary in theoretical models of reading comprehension, provide guidance on how to select appropriate words for instruction, and explain instructional methods to support students in learning individual words. 

Devin M. Kearns is an assistant professor of Special Education in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, and research scientist for the Center for Behavioral Education & Research (CBER) and Haskins Laboratories. He has a master’s degree in elementary literacy from Loyola Marymount University and a PhD in special education from Vanderbilt University.

Dr Kearns researches a range of reading disabilities including dyslexia. His early-literacy work focuses on helping students read long words more easily with new curricula; development of an app-to-screen for dyslexia; and examination of how the brain responds to reading instruction.

His middle-school work focuses on helping middle-school-inclusion co-teachers to provide effective reading comprehension instruction. Dr Kearns and his colleagues have received funded grants from government agencies, private foundations, and other organisations to complete this work.

Dr Kearns has published research related to reading and learning disabilities in journals such as the Journal of Educational Psychology and TEACHING Exceptional Children. He is a member of several editorial boards for academic journals, inluding the Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly and The Reading Teacher.

Dr Kearns has extensive experience as an educator and professional development provider. He has seven years of classroom experience as a general-education teacher, literacy coach, and reading specialist. He has delivered professional development and undertaken curriculum design for universities, national educational organisations, and public, charter, and private schools, and school districts across the US and in school boards across Canada. He also gives demonstration lessons in schools to model effective literacy instructional practices. In addition, Dr Kearns has developed an extensive course on explicit instruction for the National Center on Intensive Intervention funded by the United States Department of Education.

Dr Kearns was a Learning Sciences Institute and Institute of Education Sciences fellow from 2006 to 2010, the 2010 recipient of Vanderbilt University’s Robert Gaylord-Ross Award for Writing Excellence, and the 2017 Neag School of Education Early-Career Researcher of the Year.


Feature speakers


Professor Michael Kelly

Professor Michael Arthur-Kelly
Director, Centre for Special Education and Disability Studies, School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle

Our work with all students must be rigorous and real. This session is an interactive opportunity to critique how we grow as professionals and thereby enhance learning outcomes for our students. The synergistic roles of evidence-led practices, coaching and professional learning along with action research will form the basis for our discussions and feedback.


David Chard

Professor David Chard
Dean ad interim, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, Boston University, US

Mathematics is the language used to make sense of our natural world and is the basis of our scientific communication. For centuries, mathematics has been considered a discipline that only a few can understand. Students with learning differences were offered a daily diet of basic arithmetic with little emphasis of its importance to their daily lives and their understanding of the world around them. This presentation will focus on the critical connections that teachers can create for their students that will support their numeracy development and their understanding of how numbers can contribute to their better understanding of their world. A framework for instruction and assessment will be discussed that could be used as a school-wide model for mathematics teaching and learning.

David J. Chard is dean ad interim of Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development and Professor of Special Education. Prior to coming to Boston University (BU), he served as the 14th President of Wheelock College and was founding dean the of Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He has held faculty positions at BU, the University of Texas at Austin and served as associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. Dr Chard has published more than 100 articles, monographs, book chapters, and books. He is a member of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities and has served in leadership roles in numerous professional organisations. Dr Chard has been a classroom teacher in California, Michigan, and in the US Peace Corps in Lesotho in southern Africa. In October of 2011 Dr Chard was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences. He was confirmed in 2012 by the US Senate and was elected chair of the board in 2013. In 2016, he was reappointed by President Obama for a second three-year term.


Potrait photo of Dr Lorraine Hammond

Dr Lorraine Hammond
Associate Professor, School of Education, Edith Cowan University

This session will demonstrate how middle primary Aboriginal children, from a remote community school in Western Australia, significantly improved the quality and quantity of their writing through explicit vocabulary and sentence-grammar instruction. Taking no more than 30 minutes each day, a critical feature of the fast-paced, highly-sequenced and systematic approach was the emphasis on ‘no fail’ instruction. Put simply, students were never asked to do anything they had not first been taught and this led to greater student engagement and participation. This practical session includes videos that illustrate the design and delivery of the teacher-led instructional approach that is suitable for students of all ages.

Dr Lorraine Hammond is an associate professor from Edith Cowan University in WA and the President of Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA). Lorraine works with schools across Australia taking up Explicit Instruction and coaches teachers regularly.  She has published research on Explicit Instruction and its impact on students’ literacy outcomes and instructional coaching. Lorraine has a particular interest in preventing literacy-based learning difficulties and regularly travels to the north of Western Australia to work in remote community schools where she delivers professional learning for the Kimberley Schools Project. Lorraine remains highly connected to the classroom and is the Chair, Deputy Chair and Board Member of three high performing WA schools. The Australian Government recognised Lorraine with an Excellence in University Teaching Award in 2016, and in 2017 the Australian Council of Educational Leadership acknowledged her work in schools on high-impact instruction with a Leadership Award.


Dr Devin Kearns

Dr Devin M Kearns
Assistant Professor of Special Education, Department of Educational Psychology, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, US

Explicit instruction is a research-validated approach to providing instruction to students with and without academic difficulty. It is an important part of instruction for all students because it reduces the cognitive load associated with learning new and complex tasks. Effective explicit instruction lessons begin with clear objectives based on important goals and are designed to be focused on a single outcome and defined in behavioural terms. Teachers then provide models to support students in completing lessons focused on those objectives. Effective models include clear explanations of processes or definitions and multiple carefully planned examples. Both guided and independent practices provide students with opportunities to consolidate learning. To make these processes effective, educators need to use supporting practices including providing multiple opportunities to respond, specific feedback, and good pacing. This feature presentation provides an overview of these key components and includes many real-world examples to help educators understand them better.

Devin M. Kearns is an assistant professor of Special Education in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, and research scientist for the Center for Behavioral Education & Research (CBER) and Haskins Laboratories. He has a master’s degree in elementary literacy from Loyola Marymount University and a PhD in special education from Vanderbilt University.

Dr Kearns researches a range of reading disabilities including dyslexia. His early-literacy work focuses on helping students read long words more easily with new curricula; development of an app-to-screen for dyslexia; and examination of how the brain responds to reading instruction. His middle-school work focuses on helping middle-school-inclusion co-teachers to provide effective reading comprehension instruction.

Dr Kearns has published research related to reading and learning disabilities in journals such as the Journal of Educational Psychology and TEACHING Exceptional Children. He is a member of several editorial boards for academic journals, inluding the Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly and The Reading Teacher.

Dr Kearns has extensive experience as an educator and professional development provider. He has seven years of classroom experience as a general-education teacher, literacy coach, and reading specialist. He has delivered professional development and undertaken curriculum design for universities, national educational organisations, and public, charter, and private schools, and school districts across the US and in school boards across Canada. He also gives demonstration lessons in schools to model effective literacy instructional practices. In addition, Dr Kearns has developed an extensive course on explicit instruction for the National Center on Intensive Intervention funded by the United States Department of Education.

Dr Kearns was a Learning Sciences Institute and Institute of Education Sciences fellow from 2006 to 2010, the 2010 recipient of Vanderbilt University’s Robert Gaylord-Ross Award for Writing Excellence, and the 2017 Neag School of Education Early-Career Researcher of the Year.


Potrait of Dr Shiralee Poed

Dr Shiralee Poed
Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne

High levels of occupational stress continue to be reported by Australian school personnel. Increased role demands and accountability measures are frequently cited as attributing to this stress. An understanding of Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports can assist in working out ways to cope with the barrage of competing initiatives faced by schools. In this session we will explore how, at the classroom, school, and system level, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support can be adopted as a framework for reform. Whether you are a policy advisor, a school principal, or a classroom teacher, practical strategies informed by research will be outlined to help you cope with the daily demands of your role that enable your primary focus to remain on students and their learning.

Dr Shiralee Poed is a senior lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education within the University of Melbourne. She is also the co-chair of Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports Australia. Her career spans 30 years and includes working as a teacher and leader in state, Catholic and independent primary, secondary and special schools in Queensland and NSW. Commencing her academic career at Griffith University in Queensland, Shiralee relocated to Victoria in 2011 to work at the University of Melbourne. During 2014 and 2015, Shiralee was seconded to the Victorian Department of Education and Training to lead the implementation of School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support or, as known in NSW, Positive Behaviour for Learning. Her research interests include disability discrimination in education, reducing the use of restrictive interventions, and implementing PBIS and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support with fidelity.


Portrait of Fiona Thomas

Fiona Thomas
Learning and Teaching Specialist, Texthelp Asiapac

Previously assistive technology (AT) was often large and expensive purpose-built devices or software which made students accessing it stand out for all the wrong reasons. AT in 2019 is portable, flexible and cheaper than its predecessors and more than likely inbuilt or available in or on the technology all students are accessing.

The cost and look of AT is an important aspect of its effectiveness but it has other benefits as well. AT supports the provision of a personalised approach to learning and the development of learner agency. Providing the tools required for students to make their own decisions about how they will access information, process meaning, express their understandings and reflect and respond on their learning.

This session will provide participants with information about the range of free and paid AT available for students to facilitate participation and enhance overall well-being, while supporting participation across curriculum areas including literacy, maths, research and study skills.

Fiona Thomas is the newest member of the AsiaPAC Texthelp team. Formerly an assistant principal and assistive technology adviser for the Department of Education in NSW, Fiona holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education and has worked across primary and secondary settings in NSW and Victoria for more than 30 years. Over that time, Fiona has been an avid user of technology to support the teaching and learning needs of the diverse range of students in her classrooms. Extending that role further by guiding and supporting other educators embarking on their own technology adventures.


Registration

Participants may attend the conference as a stand-alone event or as part of the Educational Studies (Learning Support) Program, which includes five additional workshops held on Thursday evenings (4.30pm to 7.30pm) in July, August and September. Register to attend the conference:

Delegates

Conference 2 days (Monday 1 & Tuesday 2 July) $495
Conference Day 1 only (Monday 1 July) $275
Conference Day 2 only (Tuesday 2 July)
$275
Educational Studies (Learning Support) Program
Fee includes two-day conference + five late afternoon/evening workshops
$1500
Successful Learning Conference Masterclass with Devin Kearns: intensive intervention for students with reading disabilities (Wednesday 3 July)
$190

Fees and registration (per person/GST inclusive)

Exhibitors

Conference 1 day (Monday 1 or Tuesday 2 July)                      
$250 (one-day)  
Conference 2 days (Monday 1 & Tuesday 2 July) $445 (two-day)  

Fee per table

Find out more about the Educational Studies (Learning Support) Program.


Would you like to present at the 2019 conference?

Call for papers are now open for workshop presentations. Deadline for 1st round abstract submission is Friday, 15 March 2019. All proposals will be reviewed within two to four weeks of submission.

Download the submission form.


Accreditation

NSW Government logo

Completing the Successful Learning Conference will contribute 11 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) registered PD addressing 1.5.2, 2.5.2, 4.1.2, 4.3.2, 5.1.2 and 6.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.


Parking and transport

There is limited parking available on site at the Epping Club. A request for parking can be sent to Rachel Payne at rachel.payne@sydney.edu.au for consideration. Preference will be given to regional drivers, drivers with an Australian Disability Parking Permit and presenters. Should you be eligible for a car space, your registration number will be required for entry into the car park. Where possible please make all reasonable efforts to car pool. As parking is limited it is recommended you travel by train to the event where possible. The train station is a 2-3 minute walk from the Epping Club and is located on the T1 North Shore, Northern & Western Line and the CCN Central Coast and Newcastle Line, please see Sydney Trains for timetable information. Lastly, there is all-day unrestricted parking available in the surrounding streets.  The Epping Club recommends Chesterfield Road and Chelmsford Avenue (7-10 minute walk to the venue). It is, however, advisable to arrive early to secure a space. 

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Registration fees

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Call for papers

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Epping Club

Contacts


Professor David Evans

Academic coordinator/presenter

Rachel Payne

Project coordinator