Murdoch University’s School of Education has created a new mentoring program that will give student teachers a more realistic experience of teaching, allowing them time to gain first-hand knowledge and develop peer relationships with teachers and staff.
The new mentoring program will give student teachers the opportunity to spend a full year attached to a single primary school, rather than several short-term placements.
Murdoch University’s Partnerships and Placements Officer Annie Hayes said the mentoring program would be a win-win situation for all involved.
"Already, we have student teachers who trialled this program at Bertram PS, Bletchley Park PS, Ashfield PS and Maylands Peninsula PS this year – the feedback has been extremely positive," Ms Hayes said.
"Twelve schools will take part in the mentoring model from the beginning of 2011."
She said students would be better able to develop a sense of belonging to a particular school, and see the changes in a school and its students, over a year.
She added that it was important to build strong relationships between schools and universities to produce confident graduate teachers.
"Student teachers will reap the benefits of having in-school workshops and tutorials, observing and participating in a variety of teaching strategies and working in the school’s focus areas – an advantage of being at one school, and growing with that school, rather than changing between schools for short-term placements," she said.
"Schools will also benefit from the students trained in the School of Education’s various specialist courses, including the Bachelor of Education/Australian Indigenous Studies, Bachelor of Education/Early Childhood and the Bachelor of Education/Inclusive Education.
"On the flipside to that, student teachers will benefit from school specialists in Studies of Society and Environment and Science, Physical Education/Health, the Arts, Numeracy and Literacy – the year timeframe allows for our students to really develop themselves alongside these specialists in addition to their classroom mentor teacher and other school staff."
Murdoch Partnership flags have been raised at participating schools to show the community the school’s ongoing association with the University.