Champions or helpers: Leadership in curriculum reform in science


  • Elizabeth Johnson
  • Fiona Bird La Trobe University
  • Jeanette Fyffe
  • Emma Yench


Elizabeth Johnson1, Fiona Bird2, Jeanette Fyffe3 & Emma Yench1 Presenting author: Fiona Bird ([email protected]) 1 Faculty of Science Technology and Engineering 2 Department of Zoology, School of Life Sciences 3 Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Centre Abstract This study describes the perceptions of embedded teaching and learning leadership teams working on curriculum reform in science teaching departments. The teams combined a formally recognised leader, School Director of Learning and Teaching, with a project-based, more junior academic, Curriculum Fellow, to better leverage support for curriculum reform. Teams were established on the principles of localizing support and maximising credibility with discipline staff. The core teams were supported by a larger Faculty team of Associate Dean Academic, academic developer, educational designer, first year coordinator and project manager. Key themes emerging from the collected data were the complementary roles of members of the team, different perceptions of leadership between the School Directors of Learning and Teaching and the Curriculum Fellows, the importance of acting locally within the disciplines and the synergistic value of working in a team. The combination of formal and informal leadership aggregated into the FSTE School teams offers a model to support sustainable improvement in science teaching and learning in higher education

Author Biography

Fiona Bird, La Trobe University

Head, Department of Zoology. Director of Teaching & Learning, School of Life Sciences.