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New partnership brings STEM specialists into classrooms

Three minutes
Monday, December 5th, 2022

Teach For Australia (TFA) is being supported by the global GHD Foundation to enhance access to STEM education for thousands of students in regional, rural and remote Australia.

The partnership is supporting TFA to provide training, coaching and mentoring for up to 50 new female STEM-specialist teachers through its flagship Leadership Development Program.

Part of TFA’s 2022 Cohort, the teachers work at schools in areas where STEM workforce needs are acute, reaching up to 8,000 students in regional, rural and remote communities.

“Teach For Australia is so grateful to have GHD Foundation’s support as we work towards our vision of an Australia where education gives every child greater choice for their future,” TFA CEO Melodie Potts Rosevear said.

“Securing subject specialists with STEM backgrounds is a widespread and longstanding challenge for schools in regional, rural and remote communities. This partnership is helping us to bring additional STEM-skilled teachers to classrooms that need them.”

The GHD Foundation has a focus on providing better access to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education and employment for under-represented populations.

“Many young people are missing out on the tools they need to create prosperous futures. For example, its disproportionately girls falling behind: just 27% of girls study STEM subjects in Australia vs 76% in China and in partnering with TFA the support they provide will help change the story,” Jo Metcalf, Managing Director of the GHD Foundation, said.

The additional STEM-specialist teachers have been recruited and placed into secondary schools via TFA’s two-year Leadership Development Program (LDP) – the country’s leading employment-study pathway into teaching.

The two-year program rigorously recruits high-calibre career changers and graduates, known as Associates, who receive intensive training to teach in schools while completing a Master of Teaching, with ongoing coaching and mentoring to accelerate their professional development.

Since 2010, TFA has placed nearly 600 additional STEM-skilled teachers across Australia – and more than half of TFA’s current STEM teachers identify as female.

Molly Smith relocated from Melbourne, Victoria, to teach Mathematics and Science at Tintinara Area School in South Australia this year as part of the 2022 Cohort of the LDP.

Molly holds a Bachelor of Science (Genetics) and a Diploma of Languages (French) from Monash University and had always been interested in education and teaching. But after COVID lockdowns, she felt even more motivated to pursue teaching and decided to apply to Teach For Australia’s program.

“For me, I enjoy the day-to-day, ‘simple’ things of teaching like getting to know the students, delving into the content and thinking of the best way to teach content,” she said.

“I studied a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Genetics, so I can’t wait to teach my genetics topic! But in general, I have always enjoyed science and I am interested in exploring specific STEM projects to engage my students.”

“What I really enjoy about teaching STEM is helping students improve their skills such as collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and research skills.”

Recruitment for TFA’s Leadership Development Program opens again early next year.

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