Are you interested in pursuing an impactful and fulfilling career in education? Professor Andrea Chester discusses RMIT's suite of education degrees, including their key learning structure and outcomes, and the kinds of projects you can expect to work on as a student.
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Andrea Chester: Hi, my name is Professor Andrea Chester, and I'm the Dean of the School of Education at RMIT. I've been an educator for more than 20 years, and I have a background in psychology as well as education. I'm delighted to lead the School of Education and help shape the teachers of the future. Today, I'm proud to tell you a bit about RMIT's suite of education programs. I'll explain some of the key learning outcomes of each degree, the structure of the programs, and the kinds of projects you can expect to work on as a student. It's my privilege to be a part of the education community at RMIT and I'd love to welcome you to our programs.
Wominjeka, I'd like to welcome you in the traditional language of the Wurundijeri people and to acknowledge the people of the Bunurong and Warruŋu language groups on which RMIT is situated and to pay my respect to elders past, present, and particularly in the context of education leaders who are emerging. RMIT is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for education studies, which really speaks to the reputation of our teaching and our research. On an undergraduate level, there are four Bachelor of Education programs on offer. You can take a straight Bachelor of Education program with an opportunity to work in primary settings. There are three other options in addition to that, which allow you to specialize in particular areas. So the primary and disability specialization, the primary and early childhood specialization, and the primary and physical education specialization. All of those four programs have the same core components to them, but differ in the optional courses students take around them. Just of note RMIT programs, undergraduate programs have a hundred plus days of work-based learning.
Now that's more than the required number for initial teacher education programs. And we have more professional learning days because we know that's so important to the learning of new teachers. Also useful is the statistic around graduate employment, 95% of our recent graduates found employment, the highest rate of any Victorian institution. So we have a focus on work-based learning and our students get work at a higher rate than other universities. In terms of entry requirements, every initial teacher education program across the state now has a minimum ATAR of 70. So you can see the ATAR scores all sit at 70 or above for those four different programs.
There are prerequisites that sit around general maths, as well as English, both English EAL and English other than EAL. In addition to those prerequisites, there's a requirement to sit a CASPer tests. Now the CASPer test is a non-academic selection task, and this is a requirement across the whole state. And this is a way for us to assess the values and attitudes that you have. So we want people who are ideally suited to education, who are passionate about it, and who can represent that through their values and attitudes. If you're concerned that you might not have an ATAR of 70, there is another pathway into the program, it's the Diploma of Teacher Education Preparation. So do look at that option, if for some reason you think you might not get an ATAR of 70, or you're looking for an alternative pathway.
The structure of the Bachelor of Education is over four years and it's a mix of theory and practice. And the practice happens in nearly every semester and that practice happens in industry. So it happens in schools, in learning centers, and in alternative places of learning. If you look at the structure there, you can see that there are four opportunities to take electives, and those might be from other areas of interest to you, but you can also see that the structure of the program enables you to finish in three and a half years. So that means that you can be finished the program and out looking for work before most other graduates have finished at the end of the year.
The Bachelor of Education and all of its specializations is taught at the Bundoora Campus and this is a picture of the very beautiful Bundoora Campus with its fantastic sporting facilities. This shows building 220, which is the building in which education is for the most part taught. Now that building has over the last year, been renovated and we have now really beautiful state of the art learning spaces and spaces for student belonging. You can see here some images of the new learning spaces with transparent walls, so we can see all the learning as it's happening. And this space is called our PoPLab, our Pedagogies of Possibilities Lab, where all sorts of learning can take place with young learners, particularly from early childhood and primary settings with opportunities to film those learners and stream that learning experience into other rooms.
As I mentioned before, the programs have 100 plus days of placement in schools and alternative settings, and this is a core part of our program. We know that a lot of your learning will take place when you put the theory into practice in schools, in supportive environments, where you are mentored and where we connect with you. You can also take part in overseas and local work placements, both paid and unpaid, attend field trips, and always receive mentoring by industry professionals, so current teachers and others involved in learning. The school has a wide range of industry partners, particularly and obviously schools, but a whole range of other organizations, such as Noah's Ark, who provide support for students and families with disabilities, and we're connected to a range of other community organizations. As I've said, work-based learning is a core part of the education programs and also what we do at RMIT. Three examples here of some work-based learning across our programs.
One was from a placement that took place in the Northern territory in an indigenous community, where our students experience life in a remote community, teaching children and learning about indigenous culture. As you can imagine, a very transformative experience for our initial teacher education students. All of our students also complete a placement in a disability setting, allowing you to develop strategies to support students with really diverse learning needs. And a third example is around sustainability, so teacher education students work with school students and teachers both in the classroom and beyond it to integrate sustainability, not only in their own lives, but within the community and also globally now and into the future. In terms of global opportunities, as you can see, RMIT has many, many partnerships with universities and other partners around the world, and the Bachelor of Education program has really unique opportunities for global connections.
Obviously, of course, with travel paused at the moment, we're making those connections in creative ways with our partners across the globe, but there will be opportunities for you to learn with pre-service teachers and other teachers in other countries. Oli Harris is a great example of a graduate of the program, who surprised himself by, on graduation becoming a teacher at the Royal Children's Hospital, so an alternative place for learning. And we really encourage our graduates to think more broadly beyond the classroom. So in terms of career outcomes, aside from thinking about traditional education settings, like early learning and primary classrooms. When you graduate from these programs, you have the skills, knowledge, and experience to work in organizations, in private enterprise, government agencies, working around policy, community service, et cetera. As a teacher, no matter where you work, you're in a position to shape minds and foster a lifelong love of learning. So important dates, 2021 orientation is 22nd to the 26th of February, and then classes begin on the 1st of March.
Let me end by saying thank you for taking the time to hear about our fantastic education programs at RMIT. For more information about teacher education at RMIT, check out our website or call study at RMIT on 9925-2260. Take care, and I wish you all the best as you take the next step in your learning.
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