USC's location provides great opportunities to experience a rural workplace learning placement as part of an education degree.
The definition of rural and remote varies between many organisations and institutions. Generally, rural areas are sparsely populated and have farming or agriculture as their main source of employment and income. Some schools located within two hours drive from USC could be considered rural.
Remote locations are those that are generally much further away, have limited facilities and are more than three hours drive from a regional or larger town. Remote towns can also be classified as rural and can have different income sources such as mining, fishing or tourism.
There are many opportunities available for USC preservice teachers to experience regional, rural or remote teaching placements.
The Queensland teacher registration body, Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) states that preservice teachers: “should learn to work in different school settings and with a wide range of learners; for example, learners of both genders and of varied ages, abilities, special needs, social and geographical circumstances and cultures”. This includes experiences in rural and / or remote schools.
USC currently has a Coast to Country field excursion available to undergraduate preservice teachers who have never lived or worked in a rural or remote location. This is a five day excursion designed to enable preservice teachers to experience life and teaching in a country area. This allows preservice teachers to make more informed decisions regarding future workplace learning experiences.
It should be a significant consideration of all preservice teachers at USC to undertake a rural or remote placement at least once throughout an education degree. This experience can widen employment options, as well as broaden teaching and learning opportunities and inform future decisions regarding a teaching career.
The Tim Fairfax Family Foundation (TFFF) offers the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation Rural and Remote Education Bursary to assist preservice teachers who choose to undertake a rural or a remote workplace learning experience in either a rural or remote location. For more information refer to Scholarships.
A rural or remote education placement will often be the best preservice teaching opportunity you will ever experience, leading you to re-think your future career directions.
Contact the Education Professional Learning Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.