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Learning and Teaching in Public Spaces

The Grant: 2011-13

The Learning and Teaching in Public Spaces project has been funded through an Office of Learning and Teaching grant.

This is a national collaborative exchange project between universities and museums to engage post-secondary Humanities and Education students in experiential learning and citizenship 2011 - 2013.

This ambitious project partnered with a number of universities and museums/libraries across Victoria, NSW and Queensland.QUT

QUT's Faculty of Education partnered with the State Library of Queensland, Brisbane to realise aspects of a third year pre-service education unit "The Global Teacher".

In 2014, that unit went digital, culminating in the digital narratives presented through this portal.

  Learning & Teaching in Public Spaces - Participating Institutions


The Global Teacher at QUT

The Global Teacher program at Queensland University of Technology:

 Exhibiting students’ work in public spaces

As part of the process of globalisation, schools and colleges across the globe are undergoing a transition from being nation-centered to becoming institutions that engage with diversity in a more interconnected world. The Global Teacher subject is included at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) as part of the Bachelor of Education course because it helps educators prepare students to live and work interculturally, with a greater global understanding of socio-cultural, educational issues of planetary significance.  Since 2004, The Global Teacher has offered the opportunity to engage with education topics in a global context. Between 30 and 50 undergraduate students each year take this elective. They explore the following topics:

  • Identity and Cultural Representation
  • Racism and Anti-racist strategies in Education
  • Poverty and Anti-poverty strategies in education
  • The Role of Education in Tackling Violence
  • Education for Environmental and Community Health
  • Changing Schools for a Changing World.

In 2012, QUT’s The Global Teacher subject became part of a project on Learning and Teaching in Public Spaces led by Professor Maureen Ryan at Victoria University. This is a library/museum research project with OLT funding, entitled "Collaborative exchanges with museums/libraries in experiential learning and citizenship". The project was implemented in four universities in Australia: Victoria University, Deakin, Charles Sturt and QUT.

As part of this project, QUT developed a process that took The Global Teacher students into the State’s public museums and libraries to study how these public spaces represented historical and contemporary issues, social beliefs and practices, including political events that shaped Queensland in different eras. The aim was for the students to use their new knowledge about representation to develop their own ideas about presenting the education topics in The Global Teacher in a visual, three-dimensional way. They were asked to present their interpretation of education problems and solutions in a framework that is both global and local. 

The Global Teacher: Student Exhibition. State Library of Queensland, 2013

This new pedagogy was developed in 2013, in collaboration with the State Library of Queensland. QUT lecturers Dr. Erika Hepple and Professor Anne Hickling-Hudson provided the forum for students to encounter and explore issues of global education central to each of the The Global Teacher topics. The State Library staff led by Samantha Harrington-McFeeter, Coordinator of Learning and Participation at State Library Queensland, provided the exhibition environment, the curatorial skills, and the learning/teaching space in which groups of students and staff discussed the narratives and the creative processes that went into shaping the exhibition. The student groups mounted their exhibition at the State Library.

The Global Teacher: Digital Narratives.  QUT Library, Kelvin Grove 2014

From February to 1st May, 2014, Dr Erika Hepple worked with the students to present the topics in The Global Teacher as digital narratives, with the help of research assistant Julia Mascadri. The task was underpinned by the collaboration with the State Library of Queensland, whose education staff, Samantha Harrington-McFeeter and Amy Middleby, provided additional thematic and technical expertise to the students in the creation of these digital narratives. The students worked in pairs to create three- minute films (digital narratives) on topics illustrating "Global Teacher" themes. The QUT Library hosted an extra-curricular event on 1st May 2014, in which students presented their digital narratives to their peers, lecturers, and invited guests.