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Teach For Australia embarks on exciting innovation, appoints new university partner

Friday, August 25th, 2017

In Australia, by age 15, children from poorer households are on average almost three years behind in school than children from wealthy households. Approximately 40 per cent of children from the poorest backgrounds do not complete Year 12. This long standing and unacceptable gap continues to grow.

Through our award-winning Leadership Development Program, Teach For Australia (TFA) works to break this cycle of disadvantage by developing exceptional teachers and leaders and placing them in areas of need across Australia.

After an extensive, competitive tender process, Teach For Australia (TFA) is delighted to be partnering with Australian Catholic University (ACU) to deliver a Masters of Teaching – Professional Practice (MTPP) to our 2018 and 2019 incoming teachers, known as Associates. This new partnership, underpinned by a shared value of social justice, marks a bold innovation in teacher preparation in Australia.

Building on Teach For Australia’s success in employment based pathways, and ACU’s extensive experience in teacher education, for the first time, Associates will be able to fully integrate three components – their classroom teaching, Teach For Australia leadership development activities, and Master of Teaching studies – such that their efforts across all three domains are recognised, and contribute towards their qualification.

“The new partnership provides an opportunity to truly integrate the experience for our Associates, so that the work they do from day one in the classroom is recognised towards their Master of Teaching qualification.”  Melodie Potts Rosevear, Founder and CEO Teach For Australia

In addition to the integration of program components, there will be enhanced integration of local context and on-the-ground Associate supports. The combined national footprint of ACU and TFA means that the program will respond to the unique contexts of the schools and states and territories in which the Associates teach. There will be dedicated regional ACU staff working alongside academic mentors who have first-hand teaching experience in each region. These roles, together with TFA’s Teaching and Leadership Advisors and in-school mentors, will provide the necessary support Associates need to make an impact.

The strengths of this innovative partnership will further enhance Associate efficacy, satisfaction, workload and impact.

“ACU is excited to partner with TFA on an innovative approach to teacher education underpinned by a shared belief in the potential of all students, regardless of background. At ACU, we develop teachers with exceptional professional skills as well as a commitment to human dignity and the common good.” – Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven

Together, TFA and ACU share a commitment to listen to and work closely alongside our stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcomes for all Australian students.

“ACU will work collaboratively alongside TFA and welcomes the diverse group of Associates and partner schools in the program. We actively celebrate the human dignity of all individuals regardless of background, income, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or belief.” – Professor Tania Aspland – Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Arts

TFA has valued the partnership with Deakin University over the past three years. Associates in the 2016 and 2017 Cohorts will continue to be fully supported by Teach For Australia and Deakin University to attain their nationally accredited Master of Teaching degree by 2019.

For further questions, please contact Kylie Whittard at kylie.whittard@teachforaustrlalia.org.

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training is a major supporter of the Teach For Australia initiative.

About Teach For Australia

• Teach For Australia’s vision is of an Australia, where all children, regardless of background, attain an excellent education.
• Teach For Australia is a not-for-profit organisation which was established in 2008.
• Teach For Australia works towards this vision by recruiting highly competent individuals from diverse academic backgrounds and training and developing them to become exceptional teachers and inspirational leaders that meet the needs of schools in low socioeconomic communities and the broader education system.
• Through the Leadership Development Program, Teach For Australia has developed 549 highly effective teachers, placing them in 132 schools across Australia, impacting the lives of over 120,000 students.
• Teach For Australia is governed by an independent board of directors and works closely with a number of public and private stakeholders to accomplish its goals.

About ACU

• ACU is the largest provider of teacher education in Australia.
• Established in 1991 following the amalgamation of four institutions with origins in the mid-1800s, ACU supports more than 34,000 students and more than 2,500 staff.
• ACU is a publicly funded university, open to students of all beliefs, and teaches within the Catholic intellectual tradition.
• ACU students learn to think critically and be guided by social justice principles. They are inspired to create an impact through empathy: bringing about change in their community, profession and industry.
• ACU views teacher formation as development of the whole person. It embeds the development of professional skills and knowledge within a commitment to human dignity and common good to ensure our graduates are committed to maximising the potential and life chances of all students they teach.
• The University has seven campuses around Australia – in Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney (North Sydney and Strathfield).

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