BEd (PRIMARY EDUCATION) INTERNSHIPS

Final-year BEd preservice teachers will have completed a total of 58 days of supervised Professional Experience and all course units by the beginning of the School Term 4 when they commence their internships. They will have already received an ‘R’ (satisfies requirements) grade for their supervised Year 4 Professional Experience placement in June during which they were assessed against the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate Teacher. For many preservice teachers the internship is an opportunity to return to the same school at which they completed this supervised placement, to teach without the constant in-class supervision of their mentor teacher.

Interns are expected to teach only 50–60 per cent of a full teaching load. This includes, under the guidance of the mentor teacher, responsibility for all aspects of teaching and student matters for one class within a partial teaching load. In the remainder of the time, the intern will become involved in as many other aspects of school life as possible. In addition, preservice teachers will complete a small Action Learning Project that is part of their EDUP4017 unit of study (pdf, 51.3kB) coursework.

The exact nature of the internship for each intern will be negotiated with the school at the time of the application, as well as through subsequent interview by members of school staff.


Action learning project

As part of the internship, each intern must complete a small action learning project. Interns will be well prepared for this project as a result of the work they have completed on the Board of Studies, Teaching & Educational Standards (BOSTES) – previously NSW Institute of Teachers’ (NSWIT) – Graduate Teaching Standards in their Semester One professional experience subject, Professional Experiences 4 (Primary) (EDUP4079).

As well, prior to commencing the internship, preservice teachers will have completed seminars about action learning that are scheduled for the first 10 weeks of Semester Two. During these seminars, each preservice teacher will develop a proposal to use the internship to research an aspect of their own classroom practice that they identified as needing improvement during their 15-day professional experience in School Term Two. Interns will work in a 'critical friend' partnership to support their professional learning, culminating in a report presentation after the internship to outline the contribution the action learning and 'critical friend' partnership had on their learning. During the internship, they will post ‘milestones’ of their project’s development in an online forum (Blackboard).

The action learning will be framed by the AITSL Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate Teacher. Its focus for the action learning project must be negotiated between the intern's tutors at University and supervising and mentor teachers at the school. This means interns will need to maintain contact with their internship school after the completion of Professional Experiences 4 (Primary) and before the commencement of Professional Experiences Internship (EDUP4017).

Because the action learning project is focused on the intern’s own practice, interns will only employ basic research methods and data collection techniques that a teacher might employ to evaluate their own teaching effectiveness. These methods do not, therefore, require school or University ethics approval. Experience shows that students who chose a small focus and investigate it deeply find their projects easier to run than those who plan something too ambitious.

Project timeline and planning

Preplacement visit Week 1 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6

· get to know
  your school
  and class

· seek
  feedback from
  mentor
  teacher about
  the final
  planning of
  your action
  learning
  project;
  ensure it
  matches a
  school need
  and your
  professional
  needs

· find out any
  changes to the
  school and
  class since
  your visit in
  School Term 2

· re-engage
  with the class

· reflect on
  your action
  learning
  project
  proposal and
  the current
  context of
  your class –
  make any
  necessary
  modification

· send home
  letter to
  parents
  regarding
  your action
  learning
  project

· post
  Milestone 5
  online using
  Blackboard

· post
  Milestone 6
  online using
  Blackboard

· begin
  Cycle 2 of
  your action
  learning
  project

· plan for
  Cycle 2

· post
  Milestone 7
  online using
  Blackboard

· meet with
  your 'critical
  friend' to
  prepare your
  action
  learning
  project report

... as well, throughout your six-week internship, you should:
  • observe other teachers where possible (mentor teacher, other teachers in school and other preservice teachers, including your 'critical friend'

  • regularly discuss the Internship Professional Experience report (interactive pdf, 654kB) with your mentor teacher to gain input on your development

  • attend staff meetings

  • discuss your action learning project with your mentor teacher and 'critical friend' to ensure you are on track with timelines and requirements



Key characteristics of the BEd (Primary Education) internship

Compulsory preplacement visit

to be negotiated with the mentor teacher

Internship dates

7 October to 21 November 2014
34-day internship

Teaching load

0.5–0.6 of a full teaching load. Independent duty of care.

Observation of classes

at least one per day (except when teaching whole days). Complete a focused observation form (pdf, 192kB) for each lesson observed (observations may be of the mentor teacher, critical friend, other teachers or other preservice teachers)

Attendance

Attendance is mandatory and preservice teachers will be required to make up any time lost due to illness, misadventure or other unforeseen circumstances where their attendance is less than 100 per cent of the professional experience. (Time spent at DEC or graduate interview does not need to be made up but evidence needs to be provided.)

Mentor teacher's responsibilities

complete an Internship Professional Experience report (pdf, 654kB)

Tertiary mentor's responsibilities

one liaison visit

Lesson

A lesson in primary school can range from 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the age of the students. A lesson can also be developed for a small group, a large group, or a whole class.

Lesson planning

Lesson and unit planning are compulsory. Written lesson plans – by negotiation in Day Book format (pdf, 66kB) – must be submitted to the mentor teacher for approval prior to the lesson. Written evidence of self-reflection is required for each lesson.