A new generation of specialist teachers have started their career in the Pilbara thanks to an innovative internship program managed by Murdoch University.
Supported by $250,000 from Royalties for Regions, The Pilbara Cities Internship Program will offer fully funded residential internships at Karratha and Hedland Senior High Schools to final year education students from Murdoch University.
The internships are being offered to pre-service teachers specialising in Maths, Science, English and Design.
Murdoch University’s Director of Professional Experience in the School of Education, Dr Sue Ledger, said the internships offered a unique opportunity for young teachers in Western Australia.
“Students who complete their final year of teaching within an internship exit confident and well prepared as they transition into the teaching profession,” Dr Ledger said.
“Graduating interns are actively sought in the job market – some have been chosen over more experienced teachers in the independent public schools and independent school sectors.”
Dr Ledger said the interns would gain a full range of professional development as a teacher, from helping with classroom set up before term, having access to online reporting tools, administrative tasks and school events throughout the year and school based professional learning opportunities.
“The interns are able to immerse themselves in the school experience with the safety of having strong mentoring and university lecturers to support them,” she said.
“The students will continue to study externally at Murdoch throughout their residency.”
Tracey Prout, from the Pilbara Regional Office said the internships would give students an amazing opportunity to fast-track their careers.
“The Pilbara is an incredibly progressive environment with a lot of leadership opportunities," she said.
“We hope that exposing pre-service teachers to the Pilbara will encourage to them to build their careers here.”
The Pilbara secondary program builds on a strong internship program already established at Murdoch. In 2008 the Minister of Education and Training announced Kingston Primary School as the first internship school in W.A. In 2010 – 2012 Murdoch led a WA combined universities training school program and hailed as successful by the Department.
"Murdoch University engages with a number of WA internship schools including Kingston, Parkwood, Bertram, Maylands, Comet Bay, OConnor in Kalgoorlie, Harvey and Gingin," said Dr Ledger.
“The Pilbara internship program is the first of its kind in rural WA targeting secondary school teachers.
"It will run alongside internship arrangements Murdoch has with other secondary schools in the metropolitan region such as Baldivis and Comet Bay, Hamilton High and Ballajura. We hope to make internships a flagship element of all Murdoch School of Education programs in the future.”
In 2014, 52 Murdoch interns have been placed in primary and secondary partnership schools throughout WA.