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Welcome to SecEd@UC!

Introduction

Whether you’re a Grad Dip student or an Undergraduate, you may find our approach somewhat different from your previous experience of tertiary education. We, your teachers, work together as a team to make sure that the units work well together, that you’re learning is connected and avoids repetitions, and that your assessments allow you the time to demonstrate depth of understanding.

At the core of your learning are nine central questions, the Nine Provocations. As you’ll see when you read them, these are highly relevant questions to everyone who is learning to become a teacher, questions which you’ll find continue to be relevant to you throughout your teaching careers. Our course is designed to help you explore these central questions.

Your units

Some of you are part of the Bachelor of Education course, and others belong to the Graduate Diploma course. All of you are doing one or more of the units we’ll be teaching this semester:

You’ll find a detailed description of each of these units in each of your Unit Outlines.

The SecEd@UC group

This is the first year our Faculty has structured these units with a combined cohort of undergraduates and graduates. In the past, these two cohorts have been separate. We’re calling these units and the combined cohort SecEd@UC.

There will be times (like the Tuesday morning lectures, the Thursday Drop-in at Inspire, the three CPP 1 Thursday afternoon Workshops and the three CPP 2 Thursday afternoon Workshops) when the two cohorts will work as one.

At other times, the two cohorts will work separately (Grad Dips at the Inspire Centre on Tuesdays, Undergraduates at tutorials on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays).

Professional Experience

You’ll all be doing some Professional Experience in schools this semester regardless of if you are a full-time or part-time student. You find details by clicking here.

The workload

We’ve worked hard to make our units stimulating and relevant, and have had good feedback about changes we’ve made over the past few years. The workload, though, is demanding. You will struggle if you can’t spend, on average, 8 hours a week for each unit you’re doing, on top of the time you spend in face-to-face sessions.
For those of you graduating in 2012, we understand you'll have time taken up by applications and other experiences run by the various Education Departments. We will make sure to have everything finalised as soon as possible at our end.

Your weekly work

So how are we asking you to spend those 8 hours per unit, on top of the face-to-face time?
All of it will be spent preparing yourself for the major assessment pieces, all of which have been designed to help you connect theory with practice and to be useful for you once you're in your own classroom.
And, specifically, what will this involve? We have carefully scaffolded the assessment preparation in week-sized chunks. On the front page of this wiki, you will find a chart called The Weekly (on the wiki). There your tasks for each week will be posted (by the Friday of the preceding week). Attending carefully to these tasks will set you up nicely for the major assessments.

Technology

We understand that you might not be familiar with some of the technology that we will use in SecEd@UC (wikis, Moodle, Ning, twitter) or some of the key concepts we will use (Provocations, Pedagogical Reasoning). We will ground you as much as we feasibly can. However it is up to you to seek out your peers, or us, if you require extra assistance.

Assessments

We do not have separate Assessment Tasks for each unit. Instead, you’ll do two assessments this semester (with an extra bit for CPP 1 and an extra bit for CPP 2). In each of these assessments, you draw on material from each of the units you’re doing. In the first assessment task, we ask you to explore assumptions about teaching that you bring to our course. In the second assessment task, we have you think about one of our Provocations in the light of what you’re observing or experiencing in your Professional Experience. In all of this work, there is a strong emphasis on linking theory with practice.

Preparation for your teaching careers

Teaching is a complex business, and the learning involved in becoming a good teacher is going to continue throughout your career. In this course, the emphasis is on introducing you to key ideas and practices, and on teaching you ways of continuing to learn on the job. This is going to be a key in a successful professional life.

Collaborations

As you’ll quickly discover, your four teachers are very different from each other. You’ll also find that your classmates come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a wealth of experiences to the course. This diversity is something we draw on in the course. You’ll find that you’ll learn from each other as well as being guided by us.

Solving problems and giving feedback

For immediate enquiries about enrolment issues or course advice, please contact our Education Office (5C2, phone 6201 2400, email education@canberra.edu.au). We have Course Advisers present every day at the moment, and you can make an appointment with one of these through the Education Office.

For ongoing help once our units are underway, all staff members are going to be present in the Inspire Centre (Building 25) on Thursday from 12.30 to 2.30pm. At that time, we’ll be available to help with individual enquiries, to respond to concerns you may be having, or to work with you on evolving ideas and tasks. No need to book; just come along.

We will ask you for feedback mid-semester on how you find the course progressing and there will be formal uni feedback at the end of each semester. We welcome ongoing feedback.

Student involvement in UC teacher-led research

For over a year now, the Strike Team has been involved in a number of research projects, helping us to evaluate the success of our approach. This has involved collecting data through student surveys, as well as keeping ourselves up-to-date with innovations happening throughout the tertiary sector. There will be some surveys we ask you to do help us evaluate and improve our course, and have already led to some interesting innovations.

Part-time Students

Phil Roberts is the contact for part-time students, and he has prepared a special section of this wiki for information for part-time students.
As a result of the changes to the structure of the course, things will be a little different for continuing PT students, particularly in relation to Professional Experience.
Continuing part-time students will also notice that the names of some units have changed (STS becomes CPP 1, PPLE becomes CPP 2). We understand that this can be confusing, but the changes were necessary given the changes we’ve made in the way we structure, teach and register the units.

We have paired the units when we can (CPP 1 with ELPC 1, and CPP 2 with Educational Foundations) to make things easier for Part-time students.

Student led mini-conference

This is a compulsory Mini-conference presently scheduled for all day Tuesday 11th September. Last year it was followed by a social function in the evening. The mini-conference is the culmination of the course and is organized around assignment 4, where students are required to prepare poster exploring a chosen provocation with reference to their learning from the entire course. Last year it was expertly organised by a student committee, so we will be looking for a new committee to emulate their achievements.


And so welcome to SecEd@UC. You’ll soon sense that we teachers find this an exciting time to be in teacher education, and we’re looking forward to meeting and working with you.

The Strike Team (for Semester 1)

Charlotte Liu, Meg Poore, Phil Roberts, Steve Shann & Raegina Taylor.

P.S. Some of you may be wondering why we’re called the Strike Team. We took on the name flippantly when, over a year ago, we were asked to form a team to restructure the Grad Dip course. The name stuck … and lives on!