New Tech Network and Parramatta Marist Collaborate to Establish Australian Training Center

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Seven schools join the New Tech Network of over 180 schools in the United States and Australia

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The hope is that when students leave the school, they will take with them a passion for discovery through lifelong learning.

New Tech Network, (NTN), today announced that seven more schools have joined its network in Australia. The New Tech Network is now comprised of more than 180 schools in 29 U.S. states and Australia and is a leading design partner for comprehensive school change. NTN's mission is to support schools and school districts to ensure students gain the knowledge and deeper learning skills necessary to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow.

New Tech Network and Parramatta Marist High School (Parramatta is 15 miles west of downtown Sydney) began working together in 2008, and the school became the first New Tech Network school outside the U.S. in 2012.

Parramatta Marist School Principal, Brother Patrick Howlett, has spent 27 years leading three large high schools in Sydney. As a visionary educator, Brother Pat knew there was more to educating students than asking them to memorize vast amounts of text that were not relevant to their lives.

“I ventured overseas in search of the best teaching practices for my students and found what I was looking for at New Tech,” said Brother Pat. “I visited various schools in the U.S., and in 2008, after two years of consultation within my school community, I adapted teaching methods from New Tech Network and implemented project-based learning (PBL) at Parramatta Marist’s middle years.”

“Learning at Parramatta Marist High School is rigorous, relevant, authentic and student-centered,” said Brother Pat. “It is designed around a Project-Based Learning approach refined from the NTN model. There is never just one correct answer in the PBL approach, which encourages students to propose a variety of credible responses to questions. The hope is that when students leave the school, they will take with them a passion for discovery through lifelong learning.”

PMHS also serves as a Centre for Deeper Learning where learning is shared with the educational community at large. Due in part to the success PMHS has seen, training focuses on key aspects of New Tech model that have proven effective for PMHS students ─ a proven school model, a project-based learning platform and powerful professional development. The Centre for Deeper Learning demonstrates how teachers in Australia can make use of powerful practices developed by their U.S. counterparts.

“This partnership has served to strengthen our goal that all students graduate college and career ready,” said Lydia Dobyns, NTN President and CEO. “PMHS has helped to carry our mission forward, further reducing barriers like governance and geography that so often plague education innovation. We, at New Tech, are stronger as a result of this partnership and as Parramatta Marist commits resources to support other Australian schools who wish to produce a similar result for their students.”

According to Bradley Scanlon, a Parramatta Marist academic coach, "Australia is in the midst of changing its educational system. Much like the United States, there is a movement in Australia to change educational practices, and it is achieving excellent results."

“These new schools in Australia view New Tech's methods as successful for all students in helping them realize their post-secondary aspirations. If you put students at the center of their own learning with a very dedicated staff and use technology to enable them to develop content and skills, you get real world problem solvers and ownership. This is student-centered learning at its best,” said Scanlon.

The Centre for Deeper Learning shows the value of being in an Australian network and the benefits of participating with American educators via training events and by using the PBL-based system and ECHO (NTN’s powerful online learning management system) for exchanging best practices and developing new projects for students.

In 2014, Emmanuel College at Altona and at Point Cook opened as an NTN school. This year St. Joseph’s College Geelong, King’s Christian College Gold Coast, Marist College Bendigo, St. Monica's Primary North Parramatta and St. Philip’s Christian College in Newcastle and Port Stephens began the school year as high schools in the New Tech Network. Mother Teresa Primary and Catherine McAuley both from Westmead, will begin in August.


New Tech Network (NTN) is a leading design partner for comprehensive school change. We work closely with districts and schools to create innovative learning environments. Through a proven school model, a project-based learning platform, and powerful professional development, we coach schools toward lasting change and ongoing improvement.

There are more than 180 schools in 29 states and Australia in the New Tech Network. Visit a school today!

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Krista Clark

Krista Clark
since: 05/2009
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