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Principal

Welcome to The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School, fondly known as Mac.Rob.

Principal Dr Toni E. MeathEstablished in 1934 as The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School, our school has had a long and rich history spanning two centuries. In this time, it has developed a unique culture of excellence and vibrancy of education provision for girls. Culture can be defined as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society. Mac.Rob has a distinctive culture which is visible in the day to day actions of our community. It is what we do, what we accept as normal, appreciate, value and give importance to. I have personally reflected on what are the tangible signs our school culture. It appears to me in the following ways: there are high expectations and a pursuit of excellence in academia rigour; a sense of inclusiveness and a respect of individual difference; the deep belief of responsibility to serve and to lead; a commitment to being industrious and doing; a genuine love of learning; and a remarkable shared sense of intellectual humour.

Additionally, at Mac.Rob we are committed to a set of core values that genuinely permeate the life of the school and have a significant impact on the educational experience and achievement of our students. These values include:

  • Engendering a love of learning
  • Offering an education based on liberal, democratic values
  • Achieving exceptional academic success
  • Providing a challenging, accepting and supportive environment
  • Fostering confidence, responsibility and self-discipline
  • Cultivating integrity and mutual respect
  • Developing effective leadership skills
  • Meeting the challenges of the future while respecting the past

The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School is a contemporary and generous school with strong future and global thinking where student voice is central to our core values. In essence, ours is a 'thinking' school one that is a trusted space where students can be themselves, love learning and aspire to academic excellence. We have a reputation as a world class learning environment with inspiring teachers where students develop a passion for learning, are empowered to synthesise the complexities of the world and to be creative, respectful and ethical citizens. As Principal, I seek for all our students to be critical, creative and caring thinkers well prepared to make their mark on the world.

Our school is a vibrant learning community and I warmly welcome parents to consider Mac.Rob as an authentic choice for their highly abled daughter.

Dr Toni E. Meath

Conference Presentations

  •   2018 'Leading Collaboratively' 2018 Global Forum on Girls' Education II, National Coalition of Girls' Schools, 18th-20th June, 2018, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
  •   2017 'A cross-cultural comparison of leading school models for engaging intellectually able students: the U.S.A. and Australia' Symposium. World Council of Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) 22nd Biennial Conference, title "Global Perspectives",  Sydney
  •   2016 'The Mac.Rob Model: A leadership Perspective' ACEL Conference, 28th-30th September, Melbourne
  •   2015"Creating a School where the Gifted Thrive" 21st World Gifted Conference, 10-14 August 2015, Odense, Denmark "Educating Gifted and Talented Children Turning Research into Practice".
  •   2015 "Creating a School where the Gifted Thrive" International Gifted and Talented National Conference  "Illuminating the Spectrum of Giftedness and Talent Development", Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented Children (QAGTC), Brisbane, 19-21st March, 2015
  •   2012  ACEL Conference, 'An Inquiry Mindset', 1 4th  September, 2012, Brisbane, Australia, 'Nossal High School responding creatively to the curriculum and pedagogical needs of highly able students'
  •   Wangaratta High School, 'Continuing The Learning Journey for All', Differentiation and Personalising Learning for the Regular Classroom, 16th April, 2012
  •   19th World Conference for Gifted and Talented Children, Prague, Czech Republic, 8 - 12th August, 2011, Doctoral Dissertation presentation plus Symposium with Monash University on the 'creation of Nossal High School'
  •   11th Asia Pacific Gifted Education Conference, July- 01 August, 2010, Sydney, Australia, "Thinking Smart: Effective Partnerships for Talent Development", Nossal High School: The creation of a contemporary select entry high school for the third millennium pedagogical, physical, political and systemic implications
  •   2010 ACEL International Conference,  'Hosting and Harvesting', Sydney, 29-30 September 'Nossal High School: The creation of a contemporary select high school for the third millennium the wellbeing and curriculum implications
  •   The 9th World Convention of the International Confederation of Principals 2009, "Charting the New Educational Landscape", "Inspiring tomorrow's Leaders at Mordialloc College: The implementation of an innovative, learner directed and wholly integrated learning program." Singapore, 6 - 10th July
  •   2007 ACEL New Imagery for Schools and Schooling, 10 - 12th October, Sydney, "Creating a Performance & Development Culture."
  •   13th Post Graduate Research Conference, The University of Melbourne, 4th November, 2006"The Thinking Curriculum and the Gifted Learner."
  •   9th Asia-Pacific Conference of Gifted Education, Taipei, Taiwan, 31st July - 4th August, 2006, "A Case Study of VELS Thinking Process Domain Implementation"
  •   2004 IES Conference, "Differentiating the Curriculum", Keynote Address, Melbourne 27 - 28th May.
  •   National PEEL Conference 2002, "Effective Learning Teams. Structure, Organisation and Operation"
  •   National PEEL Conference 2001, "The Parkdale Team Model"

Publications

  • Meath, T. E. (2004) Using a Thinking Curriculum to Guide Learning in the Middle Years. Designing a Thinking Curriculum. S. Wilks. Melbourne, Australian Academy of the Arts. 1: 45-58.
  • Meath, T.E., (2004) What is a Differentiated Curriculum? Differentiating Curriculum 2004 Teaching Strategies for Today, IES, Melbourne. 1:1-9
  • Meath, T. E, (2006) The Thinking Oriented Curriculum and the Gifted Learner: A Case Study of the Implementation of the "Domain of Thinking Processes" in the Victorian essential Learning Standards (VELS) Editors: Kuo, C.C & Chen, W.K., Meeting The Unique Needs of the Gifted, 229-236, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Meath, T.E. & Tallarida, J.E (2007) 'Creating a Performance & Development Culture', Australian Council of Educational Leaders Conference Proceedings, Sydney, N.S.W
  • Meath, T.E (2009) 'Inspiring tomorrow's Leaders at Mordialloc College: The implementation of an innovative, learner directed and wholly integrated learning program', International Confederation of Principals e- journal, Singapore.
  • Meath, T.E. (2011) 'Nossal High School Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Education of Gifted and Talented Students', Melbourne
  • Meath, T.E. (2012)  'A case study of the implementation of the VELS Thinking Processes Domain for gifted learners in the Year 8 program in two Victorian government secondary colleges' Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne
  • Meath, T.E. (2013) 'Nossal High School Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the extent, benefits and potential of music education in Victorian Schools', Melbourne

Interests

  • Gardening
  • Swimming
  • Music
  • Ballet and the Theatre
  • Literature/reading
  • Hot Yoga


Abstract Doctoral Dissertation


Meath, T.E. (2012)  'A case study of the implementation of the VELS Thinking Processes Domain for gifted learners in the Year 8 program in two Victorian government secondary colleges' Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne

In November 2003, the Victorian State Department of Education and Training (DE&T) introduced a 'Blueprint' for educational reform. An important component of this reform was the introduction of a new curriculum framework, the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS), which responded to a reform agenda that sought to prepare students for the 21st century. A notable feature of this reform curriculum was an Interdisciplinary Strand with its Thinking Processes Domain. Of interest to this study is the potential of the domain to improve provision for gifted learners in Victorian schools. This was a recommendation of the Australian Government Senate Inquiry (Australian Parliament, 2001) and a Victorian State Education Department initiative in 2006. Although the VELS is now six years into its implementation, to date there has been little research undertaken to determine how the teachers' pedagogical delivery of the curriculum has met the needs of gifted learners.

Therefore, the aims of this research study are twofold: to investigate the opportunities the VELS has created for teachers to utilise the Thinking Processes Domain for the enhancement and extension of learning for gifted learners; and to explore possibilities the VELS offers for differentiating the curriculum to meet the needs of these students. Differentiated curriculum instruction (Griffin, 2009; Maker, 2006; Tomlinson, 2008) can be described as a more precise way of thinking about student needs and personalising their learning.

This qualitative case study was undertaken in two suburban government secondary schools in the state of Victoria, Australia with sixteen Year 8 students identified as gifted; ten of their teachers were also involved. Methods included: data analysis of relevant VELS documentation to determine opportunities for curriculum differentiation; and focus group interviews with teacher and student participants to gain both perspectives on the implementation of the Thinking Processes Domain. Enabling gifted students to voice their responses to the curriculum reform's new emphasis on a thinking curriculum was central to this study.

Findings of the study revealed the distinct need to embed the explicit language of thinking within classroom practice as well as the need for both teachers and gifted learners to acquire a metalanguage for talking about thinking processes. The study found that there were hesitations in the teachers' approach to the VELS and there were gaps and uncertainties in both their knowledge of the Thinking Processes Domain and in their understanding of how to cater for the unique needs of gifted learners.

The study emphasises the importance of providing professional learning explicitly aimed at transforming teacher knowledge of gifted education and pedagogical approaches to the teaching of thinking dispositions. Recommendations are made for classroom research into the disciplinary implementation of the 'Thinking Processes', which could inform the roll out of the new national Australian Curriculum, and importantly support the provisioning for gifted learners.
 

Professional Panels & Affiliations / Membership

Current:

  • The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), Board Member (2018 - ) 
  • Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia, Director (2018-
  •   The Mac.Rob Foundation, Director (2015-   )
  •   ACEL Victorian Branch Executive Committee (2017
  •   DET Gifted and Talent Expert Reference Panel member (2013- )
  •   VASSP, Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (2006 - )
  •   ACEL - Australian Council of Educational Leaders (2006 - )
  •   DET Select Entry Network (2009 - )
  •   DET City Edge Network (2013- )
  •   DET Beachside Network (2013- )
  •   Alliance of Girls' Schools (2013- )
  •   The Invergowrie Foundation (2013- )
  •   Victorian Girls' State Secondary  Schools (2013- )
  •   DET Inner City Edge Network (2013- )
  •   The Australian Ballet, Leadership Circle Patron (2003 - )
Past:
  •   ACER Expert Reference Panel member "National School Improvement Tool" (2015- 2016)
  •   Nossal High School Council (2010-2013)
  •   VIT Panel of Professional Practice and Conduct chaired by Christine Hazelwood (2004 - 2006)
  •   VIT Panel of Professional Practice and Conduct chaired by Susan Halliday (2006 - 2009)
  •   WCGTC Academic Committee for the 22nd Biennial Conference, title "Global Perspectives",  Sydney
  •    WCGTC, World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (2002- ), 1 of three Australian elected representatives (2011 - 2017)
  •   APFGTC, Asia-Pacific Federation of The World Council for Gifted and Talented Education (2002- 2012)
  • (1 of three Australian elected representatives, 2004 - 2008)
  •   AAGTC, Australian Association Gifted & Talented Children (2004 -2008 )
  •   VAGTC, Victorian Association of Gifted & Talented Children (2004 - 2008 )
  •   DEECD, OLT, Victorian State Gifted Special Programs Network Group led by Betty Skantos (2001 - 2007)
  •   South East Education Forum (2009 - 2013)
  •   Mordialloc Secondary College Council (2007-2009)
  •   Mentone Girls' Secondary College Council (2005-2007)
  •   Parkdale Secondary College Council (2002-2004)
  •   Melbourne Youth Music (2004 - 2009 )


Peer Reviews

  •   Melbourne Girls' College 2017
  •   Suzanne Cory High School 2016
  •   Dromana Secondary College 2015
  •   Melbourne High School 2014

Scholarships/Awards

  •   National Fellowship of Australian Council of Educational Leaders 2013
  •   Mentone Girls' Secondary College School Council Professional Learning Fellowship 2006
  •   Parkdale Secondary College School Council Professional Learning Scholarship 2004
  •   Parkdale Secondary College School Council Professional Learning Scholarship 2003

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