Professional Learning Programs for International Groups

visiting Thai academics

Visiting scholars

Main quad and jacaranda tree

Main quad and jacaranda tree

Professional Learning in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work delivers customised professional development on request for academics, university and school administrators, teachers, postgraduate students, and social work and welfare professionals from overseas institutions. These programs are tailored to meet the specific needs of each group.

The school has many years of experience in developing and delivering programs for visiting international groups and has a wealth of academic expertise available to support a wide variety of education and social work areas. All teaching staff are specialists with academic and professional qualifications, along with many years of professional experience. We also have close links with schools and other institutions in our region and can organise visits to enhance participants’ learning experiences.

The programs

Previous programs have focused on topics including:

  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • student administration
  • the Australian school and higher education systems
  • curriculum development and teaching methods
  • teacher education
  • the Australian welfare and medical systems.

We can deliver activities ranging in length from one day courses to intensive programs running over several weeks. Here are a few samples:

TEFL for Teachers (6-weeks full-time intensive)
Participants gained knowledge and skills in teaching English as a foreign language, and increased fluency in English. By studying at the University of Sydney they had an opportunity to engage with contemporary Australian culture and to learn English in a native speaking context. The program prepared overseas trained graduates to teach English in their home countries. They gained confidence in their ability to communicate professionally in English and to select, devise and use appropriate teaching tasks and materials. They engaged with modern approaches to English language teaching and developed skills in listening, reading, speaking and writing English in academic settings.

Issues in Teaching and Learning in Teacher Education (3-weeks part-time intensive)
Topics included: Teaching methodology for postgraduate students; Practicum in teacher education; Student progress and assessment; Alternative programs for teacher education; and school/classroom observation visits.

Curriculum Development and Teaching Methods in Australia (5-days intensive)
Topics included: The Australian education system; Introduction to teaching and learning in higher education (scholarship in teaching and research–based teaching); Trends in teacher education; Key concepts of modular curriculum; Curriculum implementation; and school/classroom observation visits.

Writing for Publication (20-hour workshop)
This workshop focussed on developing strategies for getting published in academic journals. The peer-review process was discussed, as were ways of targeting particular journals. Other topics included strategies for evaluating potential journals in which to publish, typical review criteria, and ways of responding to reviewers’ reports.

About the school

The first chair in education at the University of Sydney was established in 1910, and social work was first taught at the University in 1940. In 2003, the faculties and administrations from both disciplines were merged to become the Sydney School of Education and Social Work. The merger reflected the close association between education and social work within the University and the often overlapping research interests and units of study, particularly in the area of policy and practice. In 2017 the faculty was reorganised into the Sydney School of Education and Social Work in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The three buildings that house the school are equipped with continuously updated facilities for the training of educators and social workers. Well-equipped lecture and tutorial rooms are complemented by specialist teaching precincts, including laboratories for science and  technology, dance and drama studios, visual arts workshops and a television studio.


If you wish to enquire about sending a group to participate in a professional development program with us, email Nina Goodwin, Project Coordinator, Office of Professional Learning.