Professional Experience units of study are central components of all teacher-education programs at the University of Sydney. These include school observations, supervised block professional experience components and internships. The supervised experiences are designed to support preservice teachers to develop progressively their teaching capacity and professional identity and to prepare them for the more independent teaching expected within an internship.
Within an internship, preservice teachers are accepted as interns and thus conditionally qualified to teach. Such a designation has been described and formally agreed to within the Internship Agreement negotiated between the University, the NSW Department of Education and Communities and the NSW Teachers Federation. The NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) document, Statement of Principles for Internships (pdf, 832kB), gives a more complete outline of this form of Professional Experience. This document provides the following definition:
Internships refer to an in-school placement of a Preservice Teacher who:
- is undergoing full-time further study in teacher education at a university
- has completed content and methodology course which meet the NSW Department of Education and Communities minimum requirements for teaching
- has demonstrated successful teaching practices in developmental field experiences leading to the internship
- is approved to teach a class without the presence of a supervising teacher.
Schools other than those of the NSW DEC agree to accept University of Sydney preservice teachers for internship knowing the expectations and guidelines for internship as outlined in these pages and, where required, through discussion with the Director of Professional Experience. The school supports all schools that accept an intern in developing an internship program that not only meets the requirements of the University but also is appropriate to the needs of the school and its teachers.