Posts Tagged ‘higher education’

Interview with Phillip Mendes, UNSW Press

The Educational Publishing Awards are committed to rewarding excellence and innovation in the publishing industry at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We have put together a series of interviews with the publishers, editors and authors involved in the creation and development of educational resources.

We caught up with Phillip Mendes, the author who has teamed up with UNSW Press to create Australia’s Welfare Wars: The Players, the Politics and the Ideologies 3rd Edition, a shortlisted entry for the Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Scholarly Resource award.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and the shortlisted entry?

I am the Acting Head of Social Work and the Director of the Social Inclusion and Social Policy Research unit in the Department of Social Work, Monash University. I have been a social work and social policy practitioner and educator for 30 years, with particular experience in the fields of income security, young people leaving state care, social workers and policy practice, and illicit drugs.

Little has been written about the impact of ideologies and interest groups on the contemporary debate surrounding the Australian welfare state. Many local texts emphasise major historical developments and key policy initiatives rather than the political debates, ideologies, and interest groups which influenced these outcomes.

In contrast, this text concentrates on the role played by ideology and advocacy groups in determining welfare outcomes, with specific reference to up-to-date theories about globalisation. Students are provided with relevant case-study and source material which is used to analyse and explain contemporary policies and outcomes in the Australian welfare state, and to assist readers to predict future policy directions.

What was your motivation for developing this resource?

Many of the ideas in this text are drawn from my experiences as a social work and social policy practitioner and educator over the last 30 years. During this period, I have noted with grave concern the increasing harshness of government and community attitudes towards the poor and disadvantaged, and the corresponding growth in social and economic deprivation and inequity. Most policy makers today don’t even pretend to view the welfare state as an instrument to promote greater equity and social cohesion.

This text represents an attempt to question many of the key values and assumptions that underpin contemporary social welfare policies. In particular, it is intended to be a critique and expose of the neoliberal ideas currently dominating welfare debates locally and internationally, and an opportunity to reaffirm the continued relevance of social democratic/welfare state ideals such as social justice and fairness.

Why do you think this text will be appealing for students to engage with in their students?

It provides lots of case studies on real-world social welfare policy debates and outcomes, and also places Australian policies in a global context utilising comparative perspectives from the Nordic states and Singapore.

What challenges do you think teachers face and how can this resource solve these challenges?

[The challenge is] how to teach social policy as an interesting and practice-based discipline, particularly when educating diverse groups of local and international students who come from different political and cultural contexts. Many texts talk about theory and abstract issues, but don’t explain the range of real world factors – including ideologies and lobby groups – that impact on policy options and decisions. This text does so in detail.

What impacts have this resource made in the classrooms? Is there a need for teachers to use this resource?

It appears to be widely regarded given the large number of University social work and social science departments across Australia that utilize the text.

Why does your product deserve to win at this year’s EPAAs? Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge and thank for making this product the success it is?

It is an accessible and user-friendly text that seems to be valued by students. [If it is to win], personally, it would be very exciting, and confirm the value of social policy education for those practising in human service fields.

Particular thanks to the numerous Monash University social work students emanating from many corners of the globe who have alternatively challenged and inspired over the past 20 years.

Good luck and all the best to Phillip and the UNSW Press team!

The Educational Publishing Awards are held at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne on Wednesday, 20 September 2017.

Book your ticket now.

Keep up with the latest EPAA news @EPAs_Aus or join the conversation #EPAA17.

Interview with Lori Dyer, Wiley

Understanding Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice in Health, Wiley.

The Educational Publishing Awards are committed to rewarding excellence and innovation in the publishing industry at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We have put together a series of interviews with the publishers, editors and authors involved in the creation and development of educational resources.

Today we caught up with Lori Dyer, a publisher from Wiley to talk about Understanding Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice in Health, a shortlisted entry for the Tertiary (Adaptations) Teaching and Learning Resource award.

Understanding Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice in Health is your first local textbook in evidence-based practice, what can you tell us about the motivation for developing this resource? 
Evidence-based practice (EBP) in all disciplines has always been a passion of mine. I was first introduced to EBP by an influential academic during the first year of my master’s degree and it was a genuine life-changing event. It sounds like such an obvious thing to do but the fact remains that we still all go about our lives, making major decisions based on ‘gut’, ‘instinct’ or just repeat actions and decisions because it is ‘how we have always done things’. For example, did you know that around 150 years ago, doctors and nurses didn’t regularly wash their hands before dealing with patients? It seems ridiculous now.

Fortuitously, there was also an absence of a local product in the higher education market to help allied health students learn more about EBP, despite the fact that it is now a mandatory, core unit. So the time was just right for us to produce one!

Why does this textbook deserve to win at this year’s EPAAs?
The product deserves to win because it really is the most innovative solution in its category – in both its content and its delivery. Unlike many existing evidence-based practice resources, Understanding Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice in Health is designed specifically for the local market: it is written by a team of renowned Australian authors, highly aligned with the key topics in a 12-week EBP unit in undergraduate nursing and allied health course, and focused on consumers, rather than producers, of research. This is really important as it helps students concentrate on the skills most relevant to them, such as synthesising research for clinical practice.

Additionally, this resource is delivered as a WileyPLUS Learning Space interactive online textbook (no print text!), packed full with branching animated case scenarios, author videos, concept check questions, and other rich media – all embedded at the point of learning.

Its success so far is a huge indication of how much students love the digital resource.

What are your views on the future of the Australian educational publishing industry?

I’m excited by what I’m seeing out there at the moment. I truly believe we are in the most exhilarating phase of educational publishing and we are so fortunate to be able to make a tangible difference in thousands of people’s lives day in and day out.

New technology like augmented reality, virtual reality and maker spaces are improving learning outcomes and moving lecturers away from being ‘the sage on the stage’ to become more of a ‘guide on the side’ and fostering higher-ordered thinking activities.

The future is bright – bring it on!

Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge and thank for making this product the success it is?

First and foremost, we need to thank the authors who worked under a tight deadline and were subjected to being videoed, as well as being forced to write narrative for a 2D game design (capstone, end of chapter activities).
It’s also really important to recognise and applaud the incredible and formidable effort of Kylie Challenor and Bec Cam from our Editorial team – their mark and influence is literally on every page and screen in this resource. Kim Huynh and Hannah Sutton from Marketing created compelling campaigns, targeted messaging and amazing videos to help promote this resource, as well. Ultimately, I am eternally grateful to everyone in the Sales team who got this book in the courses.

Good luck and all the best, Wiley!

The Educational Publishing Awards are held at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne on Wednesday, 20 September 2017.

Book your ticket now.

Keep up with the latest EPAA news @EPAs_Aus or join the conversation #EPAA17.