Inside the Collection

TeachMeets at MAAS

Audience of adults and children watches a presentation
Reverse TeachMeet, Museums Discovery Centre, June 2018. Photo: Ryan Hernandez, MAAS

The Education and Digital Learning team at MAAS produce a wide variety of experiences exploring the Museum’s collection and disciplines for school audiences, including programs for teachers.

Keeping in touch with teachers and teacher communities is important to us. Not only to build and maintain relationships, but to keep up to date with issues facing teachers, their ideas on teaching and learning, and to get regular reality checks on life at school.

One teacher community our team has been involved in for some time is the TeachMeet community.

TeachMeets are free, informal gatherings for teachers to share ideas and experiences with each other. They are a form of participant-driven professional learning, often organised around a theme and supported by an online presence.

Two teachers participating in design thinking activity
TeachMeet:Connect, Museums Discovery Centre, November 2016. Photo: Valentina Schulte, MAAS

Legend has it that the first TeachMeet was held in 2006 at the Jolly Judge pub in Edinburgh, when a group of teachers and educators organised their own get-together as an antidote to the education technologies conference they were attending. They were keen to hear from each other about the exciting ideas and innovations being implemented in their classrooms, believing in the rich learning that could take place between teachers sharing stories from practice.

TeachMeets have grown into a global movement, with groups and online communities coordinating and sharing events run by teachers and educators. TeachMeet NSW has been managed for many years now by superstar teachers Matt Esterman and Simon Harper, both of whom are regular attendees at events across Sydney.

Teacher speaking at lectern
TeachMeet:Connect, Powerhouse Museum, November 2016. Photo: Ryan Hernandez, MAAS

MAAS has hosted a number of TeachMeets over the years across all our sites. We aim to hold one as part of Sydney Design Festival and Sydney Science Festival each year, taking the festival theme as the TeachMeet theme. Teachers and educators of all subject areas, ages and stages are invited to do a short presentation (usually 3 or 7 minutes) or just to join in the fun and conversation (and snacks).

We get a fantastic, diverse range of teachers sharing awesome projects, thoughtful and innovative approaches to learning, ideas and challenges, and sometimes even just practicing their public speaking. We’ve even had rural teachers dial-in and present to the gathering through the magic of video conferencing.

Teacher presenting at TeachMeet: Design 2018
TeachMeet: Design, Powerhouse Museum, March 2018. Photo: Ryan Hernandez, MAAS

In the spirit of the unconference, we have also experimented with the format ourselves. In 2017 and 2018 we hosted Reverse TeachMeets at the Museums Discovery Centre. In these flipped events, the young people are the experts, sharing their ideas about and experiences of learning with their peers and teachers. We have heard many wonderful presentations from young people from Year 1 to Year 12, and it has been a delight and a privilege to provide a forum and platform for these members of our most important audience to voice their own perspectives.

Year 1 and Year 6 from Crestwood Public School present their Classroom Museum project at Reverse TeachMeet, Museums Discovery Centre, June 2017. Photo: Ryan Hernandez, MAAS
Three young people in school uniform presenting at a lectern, with a display in the background.
Year 8 from Doonside Technology High School present their cross-curricular approach to learning at Reverse TeachMeet, Museums Discovery Centre, June 2018. Photo: Ryan Hernandez, MAAS
Group of children wearing white lab coats standing at a desk with a computer. One is speaking into a microphone.
Year 1 from Holy Cross Primary School present findings from their research on insects at Reverse TeachMeet, Museums Discovery Centre, June 2018. Photo: Ryan Hernandez, MAAS
Teenagers showing primary schoolers how to drive a romote-controlled robot.
Fresh from the FIRST Robotics Championships in Houston, Texas, Blacktown Girls High School Robotics Team teach Murray Farm Public School Vivace String Ensemble members how to drive their award-winning robot. Reverse TeachMeet, Museums Discovery Centre, June 2018. Photo: Ryan Hernandez, MAAS

Our next TeachMeet celebrates Sydney Design Festival 2019.
We’d love to see you there!

TeachMeet: Accessing Design
Thursday 28 February 2019
4:30 for 5pm start
The Lab, Powerhouse Museum

#TMDesign #tmNSW #SDF19

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