The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, today announced that the University of Melbourne has been selected to work with Teach for Australia to develop and run a national teacher education course for top graduates entering the teaching workforce.
This initiative is part of the Rudd Government’s comprehensive quality teaching reform agenda.
The Rudd Government’s Teach for Australia initiative has been developed to attract the best and brightest university graduates into the nation’s classrooms.
Through the initiative, high-calibre graduates from Australian universities will sign up for a unique and intensive two-year teaching placement in Australian schools.
After preliminary training at the University of Melbourne, the graduates, supported by in-school mentors, will be placed in challenging school environments to help raise student achievement.
Building on their past success in developing teacher education courses such as the recently introduced Master of Teaching program, the University of Melbourne will work closely with employers and teacher registration authorities to develop a rigorous, fully supported, employment-based, teacher education course.
When they complete their two-year placement, graduates will be awarded a teaching qualification equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching.
As announced earlier this year, non-profit organisation Teach for Australia will be the national coordinator of the initiative. Graduate recruitment is currently under way and graduate placement in Victorian schools will begin in Term 1, 2010.
This is the start of an exciting new social entrepreneurial approach that will see top graduates from around the nation taking on the challenges and rewards of educating our young people.
Pathway programs for top graduates such as Teach First in the UK and Teach for America in the US have been shown to deliver better student outcomes and help raise the status of the profession.
The initiative is part of Government’s $550 million National Partnership with the States and Territories to drive quality teaching across Australia.
Our National Partnership will also establish new national standards to reward the best performing principals and teachers.
It will provide additional funding to help school systems to invest in teacher recruitment, development and excellence.
This initiative illustrates the Rudd Government’s continuing commitment to quality teaching through helping to recruit more well-trained and dedicated teachers.
As part of its Education Revolution, the Australian Government is investing heavily in quality teaching as the single greatest influence on student engagement and achievement.
This was supported by funding in the 2009-10 Budget to encourage universities to deliver high quality teacher education and attract students into teaching.
Businesses and graduates interested in participating can visit the Teach For Australiawebsite.