STUDY TRIP TO UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA
The Lord Mayor of Wollongong, Councillor Alex Darling and group leader Dr. Absorn Meesing of the Faculty of Education at the welcome reception.
Group photo at dinner party with Director of Catholic Educaiton Office, Mr. Greg Whitby, Nettie Broekman, CEO and presenter of Australian Education and the host families.
10 Graduate Diploma and Master of Education students from the Faculty of Education took a study trip to Wollongong, Australia during February - March 2003. The group leader was Dr. Absorn Meesing, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education, hi brief, we had a very successful trip. We learned a lot about Australian schools, their achievements, as well as their concerns and perspectives.
We departed for Australia with three objectives in mind:
- To present papers and exchange ideas and experiences at the conference: "2003 Educational Leadership: People, Purpose, Process" and workshops organized by Wollongong University,
- To visit the Catholic Education Office and their nearby primary and secondary schools, and
- To learn about Australian heritage and culture through education programes and living with host families.
The trip was kindly arranged by the University of Wollongong Department of Education and the Catholic Education Office. Two key persons who had made the trip so wonderful and maximized our learning experience were Dr. Terry Burke, Professor at UW Department of Education, and Mr. Gregory Whitby, Director of the Catholic Education Office. All of us highly appreciated the arrangements, their friendly services and warmest hospitality these two gentlemen and their teams had provided for us. We all enjoyed and learned a great deal in a short time from the conference^ the workshops, school visits and staying with host families.
Sasitorn and her "students" at St. Paul's School where she practised her teaching.
In addition, all students were required to practice teaching or conduct a study project at schools. Reports from students were all positive. The students enjoyed their teaching. For instance, Roy Maynard, an American student, reported that he learned about computer literacy and IT support in classrooms from class observations and talking to computer teachers. Sasitorn and Paddiwaradda, two Thai Master students, enjoyed their teaching practice. They still y receive emails from their "students" occasionally. Khine Zin Aung, our student from Myanmar and also instructor at AU, said the trip broadened her perspectives in education. She also learned new computer skills tremendously as she tried to put her report in electronic format. Laxmi, Roslin, Praveen, and Kalpana exchanged several interesting points at the workshops and wrote extensive, exciting reports. One thing we all need to mention is that all our host families were terrific. We all had a great stay and learned how to be a member of an Australian family.
It was a memorable trip for all of us. We wish to express our deepest thanks to all our kind hosts: the University of Wollongong, the Catholic Education Office, and all the host families for making our trip highly academic yet so terrific and memorable.
For more details of the trip, you are welcome to visit our electronic reports (first time ever in such form) at www.education.au.edu. I wish to thank Roy Maynard for his many hours reformatting individual reports into this webpage.
Reported by Dr. Absorn Meesing Faculty of Education