Nauruan students in Armidale to gain professional experience

Published 05 October 2016

Nauru IPE 2015University of New England students will arrive in Armidale from Nauru to complete their international professional experience this weekend.

The 19 students are enrolled in the Associate Degree in Teaching (Pacific Focus), developed by the School of Education, and the new Diploma in Community Welfare and Wellbeing (Pacific Focus).

The teacher education students will spend four weeks working in local schools – Armidale Community Preschool, Minimbah Preschool and Primary School, Martin’s Gully Public School, Sandon Public School, Armidale City Public School and Armidale High School – to gain hands-on classroom experience.

Associate Professor Pep Serow said that this is an excellent opportunity for the students to build their teaching capacity and confidence by working alongside teachers in Armidale.

“Pre-service teachers can develop their skills and knowledge in terms of meeting students’ needs, planning and implementing lessons and using ICT guided by in-service professionals,” A/Prof. Serow said.

In addition to the teacher education students, five community welfare and wellbeing students will also be in Armidale for placement.

They will be hosted by a range of organisations that provide support and services to the community including The Ascent Group, the Armidale Neighbourhood Centre, BackTrack, the Women’s Shelter and school counsellors working in local high schools.

This is the first cohort of students in the one-year Diploma in Community Welfare and Wellbeing (Pacific Focus) developed by the School of Education and School of Health.

For both groups, the experience will provide opportunities to learn and share knowledge.

“The international experience allows students apply the knowledge and skills from their UNE studies, and to take new ideas and resources back to Nauru with them,” A/Prof. Pep Serow said.

UNE’s Nauru Teacher Education Project (NTEP) is led by A/Prof. Pep Serow and was awarded an ISFIRE award at the 2016 Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia (SPERA) conference recently. The ISFIRE award recognises innovative strategies for improving equity in rural education in international settings.