Partnership aims to develop excellent new teachers | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Partnership aims to develop excellent new teachers

USC has formed a new partnership with Immanuel Lutheran College, Sunshine Coast Grammar School and Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) to provide the best possible professional experience for its pre-service teachers at those schools.

The two Sunshine Coast independent schools were awarded funding in 2014 to become ISQ School Centres of Excellence in Pre-Service Teaching in collaboration with USC.

Associate Professor of Education Deborah Heck said the alliance between the University, its pre-service teachers, staff at the two schools and ISQ aimed to deepen knowledge and expertise in quality teaching by identifying and developing evidence-based best practice.

“In the past, schools and teachers weren’t given any special training or extra time to supervise and give feedback to pre-service teachers,” she said. “Now the University can form a very communicative relationship with these schools and the pre-service teachers get to have a voice too.

“The pre-service teachers can form a better connection with their supervising teacher at the school and gain a better understanding of the techniques and strategies required to be a good teacher.”

All partners agree that the initiative bridges the gap between the theory of what is taught at university and current best practice in classrooms.

“It allows us to identify and eliminate those gaps if they exist,” said Associate Professor Heck. “If schools think we might need to review or change an aspect of what we teach, they now have an opportunity to give us that feedback.”

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson welcomed the opportunity for Queensland independent schools to play a greater role in quality initial teacher education.

Sunshine Coast Grammar School’s Dean of Secondary Schooling David Andersson said his school was delighted to be a part of this initiative.

“The ISQ grant allows Grammar to focus time and energy on improving the capacity of our staff who regularly mentor pre-service teachers from USC. We think the partnership is one which will advantage all stakeholders.”

Immanuel Lutheran College’s Head of Junior School Chris Mallett said the program would benefit future teachers and their students for years to come.

“By utilising professional expertise from USC, ISQ and Immanuel, we feel confident that much will be achieved in regard to deepening the craft of teaching”

— Jane Cameron

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