Winchester Prof receives honour from Oz

Innovative research into positive learning techniques has won a University of Winchester academic an accolade from Australia

Professor Bill Lucas has been awarded a Fellowship by the Melbourne-based International Specialised Skills Institute (ISSI) in recognition of his thought-leading work inspiring change in Australian schools.

Professor Lucas’ latest work with colleague Professor Guy Claxton – Building Learning Power (BLP) – looks at helping young people become better learners by developing their portable learning power and preparing them for ongoing study. This is of particular interest in Australia, which has a capability-driven curriculum.

“Across a number of states in Australia there is growing interest in the work which I and my colleague Professor Guy Claxton have undertaken,” said Professor Lucas. “It is exciting to be forging so many dynamic partnerships with our Australian colleagues.”

Lucas is the founding director of the University of Winchester’s Centre for Real-World Learning, which promotes approaches to teaching that create positive experiences for learners whether their studies are practical, vocational or academic. This in turn helps them to become life-long learners. 

The work of Lucas and the Centre has already received praise in business and academic communities. His book rEvolution; how to thrive in crazy times was chosen as management book of the year by the Chartered Management Institute and his ground-breaking research into vocational education has been debated in the House of Lords. In addition, Professor Lucas’ approach to developing creativity in schools was published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

For the past three years he has been working with the Australian Council for Education, delivering keynote speeches and visiting schools to share his experiences.

Having received an ISSI Fellowship, Lucas will now talk to business, community, philanthropic and school leaders in Melbourne and Sydney. He joins the ISSI for a speaking tour in November.

“We are delighted that, under Professor Lucas’s leadership, the research of the Centre for Real-World Learning is making a significant impact and attracting international acclaim,” said Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Winchester. “We are proud to be associated with Australia’s Institute for Specialised Skills through this tour.”

The International Specialised Skills Institute is an independent, national organisation that works with Australian governments, industry and education institutions to enable individuals to gain enhanced skills and experience in traditional trades, professions and leading-edge technologies.

Previous recipients of this ISSI Fellowships include Dame Julia Cleverdon, Chief Executive of Business in the Community; Professor Carlo Ratti, Director of MIT, SENSEable City Lab; and Sunit Tandon, Director General of the Indian Institute of Mass Communications.

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