About ACSA
Garth Boomer Award

The Garth Boomer Award is presented in conjunction with each ACSA Biennial Conference

Nominations have closed for the 2019 Garth Boomer Award

The winner will be announced on 7th September 2019 at the ACSA Curriculum conference in Melbourne.

Garth Boomer (1940-93)

Garth was one of Australia's major contributors to the advancement of school based curriculum development. Through his publications and his work as the Director of Wattle Park Teachers Centre in Adelaide, Garth encouraged teachers to see education as a collaborative partnership between themselves and their students. During subsequent positions as Director of the Curriculum Development Centre, Chairman of the Commonwealth Schools Commission, Interim Chair of the Schools Council and Associate Director of Education in South Australia, Garth was also an advocate for teachers being responsible for what is taught in their own classrooms.

What was Garth's Educational Philosophy?

Garth believed in the power of children to learn, the promotion of children's understanding of how they learn, and the value of inquiry and experiment in learning. He strongly advocated that teachers should negotiate curriculum with their students. Such negotiation requires that, for example,

  • curriculum intentions should be made explicit to students
  • students should be 'actors' and not just 'acted upon'
  • curriculum, including assessment, must involve collaboration between teacher and student
  • power relationships in the classroom, school or system should be examined.

Click here to view Garth's writing and philosophy

Why does ACSA present the Award?

It is appropriate that ACSA recognise and commemorate Garth's substantial contribution to educational thinking and practice, because ACSA and Garth share a similar educational philosophy. Garth was involved in establishing ACSA and he supported ACSA directly in a number of ways, including the organisation of the first Biennial Conference in Adelaide in 1983.

What is the nature of the Award?

The Garth Boomer Award is made to members of a team of two or more educators who have made a significant contribution to promote collaborative principles in a school. The award is made at a special ceremony at ACSA's Biennial Conferences and is followed by the Garth Boomer Lecture.

What are the criteria for the Award?

Evidence of one or more of the following:

• Critical literacy practices that question power, inequality and injustice
• Curriculum that is developed. Negotiated and constructed with participants and key stakeholders
• Learners thinking about how they can learn and reflecting on their learning strengths
• Team based and collaborative learning capabilities
• Inquiry based learning that is innovative and outcomes focused
• Curriculum that highlights the student and their learning at the heart of its design and implementation.

Garth Boomer Award Recipients

2017 Silkwood High School, Queensland
2013 Australian Science and Mathematics School, South Australia
2011 Dandenong High School Leadership Team, Victoria
2009 ruMAD, Foundation for Young Australians
2007 Wooranna Park Primary School, Victoria
2005 Swan View Senior High School, Western Australia
2003 Buranda State School, Queensland
2001 Willunga High School, South Australia
1999 Titjikala School, Northern Territory
1997 Eumemmerring Secondary College, Victoria
1995 Paralowie R-12, South Australia