Accelerating Change: The Work and Focus of the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning

By Stephen Harris.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since 2005, the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL,, a research, development and innovation unit located within Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS), Sydney, Australia, has been steering the process of accelerated pedagogic change within and beyond the school.

Multiple programs have been developed, including the provision of fully accredited online distance courses for senior years students; accredited professional development for teachers; the creation of virtual learning environments in Second Life and Open Sim; virtual space supporting real life; the design and construction of an educational precinct that supports mobile and collaborative learning – using ‘campfire’, ‘watering hole’ and ‘cave’ spaces for multimedia-enhanced, multimodal learning.

The paper will assess the role that purpose-designed learning spaces, radical furnishings, on-going professional development, virtual learning space, strategic vision and mission, collaborative learning and pervasive mobile technologies have in effectively facilitating a shift in pedagogy.

A particular focus will be on the role of educational leadership within an institution and how management strategies, structures and frameworks can add focus, speed and clarity to the process of educational change.

Keywords: 21st Century Learning Spaces, Strategic Vision, Research and Innovation, Educational Management

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp.143-158. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.589MB).

Stephen Harris

Executive Director, Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning, Northern Beaches Christian School, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Stephen Harris, is Principal of Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS), in Sydney, Australia. NBCS has 1200 day students and a further 350 online students. Stephen Harris is also founder and Executive Director of the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL), a research, innovation and development unit within NBCS. Stephen Harris has worked continuously in schools for 33 years and has been the Principal of NBCS for the last twelve years. Stephen has presented papers at a number of national and international conferences on topics relating to the effective integration of technologies into the classroom, as well as strategies for transforming the pedagogic practice of teachers so that they are better equipped to deliver contemporary and relevant courses within a school environment and adept at integrating new technologies into all practice. Stephen Harris is also a part time PhD student at the University of Technology, Sydney, with a focus on enabling teacher-led innovation and pedagogic transformation.


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