Within the school placement setting the student teacher learns how to put into practice the theoretical elements from their education foundation disciplines, their subject disciplinary and procedural knowledge and their knowledge of curriculum and pedagogy. They are guided in becoming a critically reflective teacher through mentoring and monitoring by the university tutors and through support offered by cooperating/mentor teachers in the classroom and school setting.
In the first placement we expect student teachers to create a pedagogically effective educational experience for all learners, one which pays attention to safe practices and evidenced-based strategies. We expect our student teachers to be thoroughly prepared for class, use accurate subject content knowledge and engage in a well-defined reflective practice according to advice from their university lecturers, tutors, research findings, literature and their School Placement Handbook. In the second placement experience we expect the student teacher to participate as an active member of the school community and further develop the key competencies and skills developed in the first placement. In addition to these skills, we expect student teachers to develop a critical consciousness in relation to the social, ethical and political dimensions of teaching.
Our university tutors carry dual tutoring roles: one of evaluator of teaching and one of mentoring. We endeavour to give our student teachers the time and attention needed to become caring, creative, collaborative and critically reflective teachers. We are open to learning how best to do this and willing to engage in new partnership approaches with School Principals, deputy principals and cooperating/mentor teachers in this regard. All our developments and research-based activities in this area aim to enhance the teacher education continuum, particularly through the development of the School Placement experience.