7 March 2014

Eleven education students who start studies at UQ this week will be ready to teach primary school classes at schools across Queensland by the middle of next year.

The teachers-in-training are the first students in UQ’s Master of Teaching (Primary) Program (MTeach).

Program Coordinator Dr Linda Willis said the program was a unique graduate entry pathway for beginning teachers, designed to align with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership national accreditation framework.

“These students will be remembered as the first cohort of what we believe will be an exceptional teacher education program,” she said.

“This year’s MTeach entrants have completed undergraduate degrees from across a wide range of areas, including science, music, arts, journalism and sociology.

“The program aims to enrich and extend their disciplinary knowledge and skills as they learn about the Australian Curriculum and convert their knowledge to effectively engage with students in classrooms,” she said.

MTeach student Amanda Dunster said she was excited that the program would kick-start her career in teaching.

“I like that it is a flexible and practical course delivered in only 18 months,” she said.

“The amount of practical experience that we are offered is phenomenal.”

Amanda graduated from UQ with a Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of Communication majoring in Public Relations in 2013.

Studies in teaching English as a foreign language fanned a passion for teaching that led her to the Master of Teaching program.

“It’s exciting to know that in such a short time, using the knowledge I have gained throughout the program, I will also be teaching in the industry,” she said.

Dr Willis said the program featured collaboration with the Ironside State School to guide the MTeach cohort.

“During professional experience, pairs of pre-service teachers will work with individual collaborating teachers, and the usual role of the school’s principal, Dr Angela Douglas, will be expanded to include delivering aspects of university coursework in-situ,” she said.

UQ School of Education Head Professor Merrilyn Goos said collaboration with teachers at Ironside offered mutual benefits through supervision and mentoring.

“We anticipate that UQ’s relationship with Ironside will be mutually beneficial, and that this will become a defining feature of the MTeach program,” she said.

Media: Master of Teaching (Primary) Program  Coordinator Linda Willis, (+617) 3365 6868, l.willis@uq.edu.au; Head of School Merrilyn Goos (+617) 3365 6227, m.goos@uq.edu.au; or HASS Communications officer Kristen Bastian, (+617) 3346 1633, k.bastian@uq.edu.au.