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Making time at HERDSA 2013 to TATAL (Talk about Teaching and Learning)

John Gilchrist, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT
Lee Partridge, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA
Coralie McCormack, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT
Robert Kennelly, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT
Two NZ facilitators

Good teaching takes time and commitment. Few teachers would disagree with this statement which also resonates strongly in the literature (McCormack & Kennelly, 2011). The TATAL (Talking about Teaching and Learning) workshops offer a rare opportunity for time-poor academics to devote productive periods towards their professional growth. TATAL positions participants’ investigations of their own teaching and their students’ learning within a scholarly framework (outlined in McCormack & Kennelly, 2011) to promote teaching excellence. The TATAL workshops seek to develop cohorts of reflective practitioners, who meet regularly to enhance their teaching and the learning of their students. At the 2013 Conference, the program will begin with a pre-conference workshop and continue with a session each day of the conference. Pre-conference: The three hour pre-conference workshop will introduce the program and its processes and establish a group sense of community. Participants will begin to construct their teaching philosophy statement by free writing their response to the questions: Why is being a teacher important to me? What personal experiences inform/motivate my teaching? During conference: Participants will free write, share, reflect and rewrite responses to questions such as: What do I believe about teaching? What do I believe about learning? Why do I hold these beliefs? How are my beliefs about learning and teaching played out in my teaching context? Final day: Given the anticipated large number of NZ delegates the group will be divided in two for the final workshop (depending on the numbers this division into two groups may have happened earlier). The NZ group will continue with its own facilitators and one from Australia. The other group will continue with the remaining three Australian facilitators. By the end of the conference, delegates who participated in each activity will have had time (7.5 hours) to produce a draftteaching philosophy statement and will have received collaborative feedback on their statement. Each workshop builds on the previous in a way that supports the participants’ reflections and ongoing development. For this reason, participants will be expected to commit to all of the workshops at the conference which follow the pre-conference workshop.