School principals will be given the power to remove poorly performing staff under a proposed Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. The University of Wollongong (UOW) says it is well placed to welcome the changes.
Leading UOW Education researcher and Associate Professor Pauline Lysaght, said the University is training students to graduate with the skills sought after by school principals.
“Students are provided with experiences in school settings that confirm their choice of degree and career, and that also provide them with a practical basis for making meaning of the theoretical approaches that are incorporated into a teaching degree,” said Professor Lysaght.
Kanhooka High School Principal Peter Jones says the approach taken by the University of Wollongong is exemplary.
“I know the education process and I believe UOW is doing the right thing in terms of getting trainees into schools to see what it is like,” said Mr Jones.
“It is important to understand what your own capabilities are early on so you can work on building those skills before you graduate.”
Jemma Noakes is a student studying a Bachelor of Primary Education at the University. She said the practical experience offered by the program has been the most important part of her degree.
“There is no point in finishing a degree with high marks on paper and no experience. Successful teachers may not achieve the highest marks but may positively impact hundreds of children’s lives in the classroom,” said Ms Noakes.
Although she feels equipped to graduate, Ms Noakes believes improvements to the education program can be made.
“I think the concept of a teacher ‘apprenticeship’ would be so beneficial,” she said. “We can read text books that explain the ‘ideal’ classroom and behaviour strategies, but it’s not until we experience these situations that we will know how to act and deal with them appropriately.”
Professor Lysaght ensures constant improvements are being made to the structure and delivery of content.
She said that as the University increasingly looks into new technologies, the experience for the students continues to improve. She believes this is one of the reasons why students should choose to study Education at UOW.
“Teaching is also a great ‘door opener’. Employers often think of teachers as people who are educated, organised and can manage others effectively,” said Professor Lysaght.
“These qualities are highly valued in many careers so teachers are being offered work that is well beyond the boundaries of a classroom.”
Words: ALYSSA MARTIN
Pictures: VANESSA CONRY
Video: LIAM NETHERY