BUTLER College has been the focus of research for three PhD students as part of a partnership with the iPREPWA initiative.
Researcher Rashmi Watson helped develop a whole-school culture of ‘development and continuous learning’ in 2014, which continued into 2017 as the school numbers grew to almost 2000 students and about 350 staff members.
All staff, including education assistants, cleaners, gardeners, administration and non-teaching support staff, learn how to engage in a peer-coaching process to set continuous, professional learning goals.
Associate principal Helen Macri said the program had “shown diversity of staff at different levels of career are listened to and acknowledged”.
“It has empowered staff to develop along their own journey, supported aspirant leaders, acknowledged all members of staff and provided them with meaningful feedback and developed a culture of open learning in all staff,” she said.
The iPREPWA initiative includes all five WA universities in a university-industry partnership, linking PhD candidates to a six-week internship with an industry partner during their thesis examination.
UWA students Faye Lim and Nicolas Nagloo plus ECU’s Alex Zhang did their research at the Butler school and have since submitted their theses.
“The iPREPWA students bring incredible skills and talent to the project,” Dr Watson said.
“Their work allows current school initiatives to progress at an increased speed with a multi-disciplinary research approach.”
Their work included analysing the data collected on the culture of development framework and through recent school surveys designed to find out what Butler College does well and what it could do to improve.
While a full report is yet to be published, preliminary data indicated that students liked the positive learning environment provided by teachers through positive relationships, communication and learning activities.