The John Monash Science School (JMSS) is an exciting educational venture, responding to a perceived lack of specialists entering the fields of Science and Maths beyond secondary education. JMSS is a partnership between the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Victoria) (DEECD) and Monash University. It showcases new ways of thinking about curriculum and pedagogies whilst also reconceptualising physical and virtual spaces for effective student learning.
The John Monash Science School is situated at Monash University, Clayton Campus, in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. JMSS is a selective specialist entry state senior school. JMSS is different from other selective entry schools in a number of ways. Not only is it a specialist school but the enrolment policy at JMSS reflects a more individualised and specialised process, based upon the ‘applicant’s passion and aptitude for science, capacity for logical and numerical reasoning, and mathematical ability’ (John Monash Science School, 2010) as determined by interview and entry exam.
Innovation is visibly evident within the John Monash Science School due to its flexible learning spaces, quality of teacher and student interactions and the creative ways in which learning occurs. A ‘culture of collaboration and collegiality’ is exemplified, as well as the staff’s ongoing commitment to professional learning. In the same way, the rigorous intellectual pathways for student engagement and autonomy are enhanced by inquiry based curriculum and the school’s daily practices.
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