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Inside Teaching : April 2011
www.atra.edu.au | firstname.lastname@example.org RESEARCH 47 Innovation and the Southern Downs Regional Council. Typical of most Gateway Schools Projects, the wine tourism project seeks to improve student awareness of career options through first-hand experience of the industry and, in this case, the real world of viniculture from the field right through to marketing. This includes designing the labels appearing on wine bottles. Hosting 13 schools in eight different wine-growing regions of Queensland, the partnership has generated a range of industry mechanisms to support teaching and learning. These include access to the facilities and services of the QCWT, hands-on training through work experience, industry consultation, materials and resources, school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, attendance at workshops, and support for awards ceremonies. Working together in this way to develop new curriculum materials has also enhanced professional engagement and learning opportunities for teachers. An example is the cooperation of teachers with local winemakers and wine scientists from USQ to develop a new unit of study for chemistry, Wine Science. Consistent with industry standards, this unit embeds chemistry knowledge within the theoretical and practical processes of winemaking. Other examples include the development of units in mathematics which focus on the solution of a number of problems associated with wine production. The sharing of technical knowledge such as this is changing teacher attitudes to, and perceptions of, their own professional roles as they come to see themselves as experts and leaders in their respective fields of endeavour. Having been mentored by industry personnel, this newfound expertise has given teachers the confidence to conduct professional development workshops with their peers as interested schools across the state that are not part of the Gateway Schools Project take up Wine Science as an accredited unit of study. These professional relationships with local and distant colleagues, and with business communities that have global reach, are forging national and international links for schools that previously were more difficult to develop and sustain. This example of the wine tourism project illustrates the kinds of shifts in school governance, leadership, and curricular and pedagogical practices that are emerging across the Gateway Schools Projects and Queensland schools more broadly. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are positive outcomes from the partnerships in terms of student engagement and transition to employment or ongoing studies, but little is known of the long- term social implications of a post-bureaucratic approach to the provision of school education. Given that the Gateway Schools Projects now involve more than 100 secondary schools from the state, Catholic and independent sectors – one quarter of schools in Queensland – the research project outlined here is well overdue. We look forward to sharing our findings about this exciting innovation with industry, the teaching community, parents, students and education authorities, and informing the formation of policy on partnerships in Queensland. Cushla Kapitzke is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology. Stephen Hay is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Griffith University. The Australian Research Council funded the project, ‘Industry school partnerships: A strategy to enhance education and training opportunities’ (LP100200052), in 2010 under the Linkage Project Scheme. Queensland’s Department of Education and Training and Independent Schools Queensland are contributing partners. REFERENCES Maroy, C. (2009). Convergences and hybridization of educational policies around ‘post-bureaucratic’ models of regulation. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 39(1), 71-84.