La Salle Academy educational leadership initiatives
Published: Wednesday 8th February 2017
Professor Br David Hall FMS (La Salle Academy Dean) and Professor Chris Branson (Chair of Educational Leadership) welcomed continuing and new Educational Leadership staff to the North Sydney Campus in early February.
The gathering was an opportunity for colleagues to be briefed on University directions and contribute to Educational Leadership initiatives.
The La Salle Academy for Faith Formation and Religious Education is a joint enterprise between the Faculty of Education and Arts, Faculty of Theology and Directorate of Identity and Mission.
Professor Hall spoke of the essence of the Academy as being “a collective of people sharing and advancing a commitment to faith formation and religious education principles in processes and courses of learning and teaching.”
He underlined the Academy focus on teachers and leaders and the vocation of teaching as engaging goals of integration of faith, life and culture. Drawing from ‘I am a mission’ (Pope Francis) and Paul VI, ‘the drama of our time is the engagement of faith and culture’ he highlighted the directions for Educational Leadership residing in partnerships in a collaborative mission centred on ‘Leading for Mission…Leading for Learning.’
Professor Branson, in the role of the newly appointed Chair of Educational Leadership, facilitated discussion on Unit reflections and development. Significant consideration was given to advancing quality through the experience of lecturing staff in providing grounded feedback on what has been most useful for students.
A highlight of the gathering was the briefing by Professor Tania Aspland, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education and Arts. As someone very familiar with the history of educational leadership and conscious of participant and Catholic employer needs, Professor Aspland provided both awareness and challenge around new directions incorporating multi-modal delivery, internationality, quality and authenticity. Professor Aspland affirmed those gathered and expressed delight in developments: “Our people and programs are being mentioned; connections are being made; relationships are being extended and we are making a difference through working together for students and systems as part of the Church.”
The group provided gave a commitment to collegiality and forecasted the possibility of a wider leadership forum by way of a national conference in 2019.