Professional experience placements are an essential component of initial teacher education (ITE) programs. It allows pre-service teachers to develop their skills through a supported, workplace-based learning experience and demonstrate their performance against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Successful placements hinge on solid relationships between ITE providers, placement settings and communities, and pre-service teachers. This applies across Australia, including in outer regional and remote contexts. Pre-service teacher placements in these contexts are the focus of a new Spotlight report, Pre-service teacher placements beyond urban settings, released today by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

More than one-fifth of the 9,620 Australian schools are in outer regional, remote, or very remote locations. Providing pre-service teachers an opportunity to undertake structured, supported, professional experience placements in these contexts can help to expose them to employment opportunities they may not have considered previously.

AITSL CEO Mark Grant states, “It’s certainly not always easy for pre-service teachers when doing placements in rural and remote areas. We find that pre-service teachers who become part of the local community and educational setting, and learn about the culture and foster strong working relationships, enjoy a positive experience while completing their placement.”

“It’s also a win for the local school and community as the pre-service teacher is more likely to return after completing their initial teacher education program. And like everywhere, we need more teachers in our rural and remote areas.”

Crucial to the success of these placements is meaningful engagement by the local school and community in the selection and preparation of pre-service teachers, in partnership with ITE providers. When pre-service and supervising teachers make contact before the placement, this helps to ensure continuity of learning for students and allows the pre-service teacher to learn about their students and the community.

“We find that effective initial teacher education prepares graduate teachers with the skills and expertise to lead a classroom of diverse learners confidently. They are equipped to respond to their individual learning needs,” Mr Grant said.

This edition also showcases three programs and partnerships that demonstrate unique approaches to supporting pre-service teachers and schools before, during, and after professional experience placements in outer regional and remote Australia.

AITSL also has many free tools and resources to assist ITE providers, pre-service teachers, and schools.

You can read the June Spotlight here

Media inquiries: 0421 187 894

Note for Editors - The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) provides national leadership for the Australian, state and territory governments in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership. AITSL is funded by the Australian Government.