Fellowship Supports Partnership Between Pacific & Australian Educators

Professor Mike Charles, educationPacific University Education Professor Mike Charles has been awarded an Endeavour Executive Fellowship to support a collaborative professional development project with teachers in Australia.

Charles, a faculty member in the Pacific University College of Education, will spend his February-April 2018 sabbatical as an invited scholar in the School of Education at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. While there, he will facilitate workshops and partnerships between Flinders, the Australian Science and Mathematics School on its campus, and Pacific faculty members Rich Van Buskirk (environmental science), James Butler (physics) and Steve Rhine (education), as well as James Madison University's Dean of the College of Integrated Science and Engineering, Bob Kolvoord.

The Pacific team will share some of the high school science and mathematics teaching tools they have developed and put in place here in Oregon. The Pacific team will even incorporate the experiences of students taking a conceptual physics course at Forest Grove High School with teacher and Pacific alumna Briana VanRoekel '16, MAT '17.

While the workshops will allow ASMS teachers to build on the innovative coursework developed by the faculty team, it also will allow the faculty team to learn more about the project-based science and math teaching environment in place at the Australia school and bring lessons back to their own teaching at Pacific, including their work in preparing future educators.
"It will allow my team and me to learn about and contribute to the design of learning and teaching approaches that challenge and intellectually stretch our students in Oregon in a manner similar to what is done at ASMS," Charles wrote in his project proposal. 

The Endeavour Executive Fellowship is part of a program sponsored by the Australian government to support study, research and professional development overseas. 

Feb. 22, 2018