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The success of the practicum is dependent upon strong positive relationships between all stakeholders. Deakin University professional experience works closely with our settings to ensure the pre service teachers have access to quality teaching and learning experience. Please make yourself familiar with our policy and guidelines to ensure clarity in all processes incorporated during placement. Please contact the PEO if you have queries or unclear about any situation.
The pre-service teacher should:
Pre-service teachers must:
Notify the Professional Experience Office if the placement you are withdrawing from is due to start within 6 weeks. The PEO should be contacted even if the withdrawal from the practicum unit is done before the university census date or if the withdrawal is done on-line. Failure to withdraw from a unit not undertaken will result in a result of 'XN' and possible referral to the Academic Progress and Discipline Committee (APDC).
Credit for Prior Learning for school placements- there is no recognition for advanced standing for:
During practicum, on occasion issues arise and it is important that these are dealt with in an appropriate manner. If the pre service teacher perceives that an issues needs resolution please follow the appropriate protocol.
If the pre-service teacher and the supervising teacher are not able to resolve any difficulties that occur, the FIRST person a pre-service teacher should contact is the Coordinator of Pre-service Teachers within the school. This is because conflicts are best resolved at the level closest to where they are occurring, and not by an "outside" party being involved early. This does not prevent any of the parties contacting the Professional Experience Office for advice regarding issues that may have arisen.
If the Pre-service teacher does not feel confident with discussing the issue with the school coordinator, please contact the Professional Experience office to be advised and guided how to proceed.
It is important that any issue arising is dealt with as early as possible. It is often a communication problem, which are resolved smoothly. Please do not hesitate to contact the Professional experience office if you have any concerns.
It is crucial that the supervising teacher or the coordinator of pre-service teachers notifies the Professional Experience Office as soon as possible if a pre-service teacher is experiencing difficulties. Ideally, the Professional Experience Office should be contacted as soon as a problem is identified, following consultation with the Coordinator of Pre-service Teachers at the school. If there is concern that a pre-service teacher might not be able to satisfy the requirements of the practicum, the Professional Experience Office MUST be contacted and an academic staff member will contact the school or setting.
Once a practicum has started, pre-service teachers are not able to withdraw without providing a medical certificate to the Professional Experience Office as soon as difficulties arise, regardless of the date for withdrawal for units in that semester. If a pre-service teacher cannot undertake the placement during the timetabled/scheduled dates he/she must consult with the Professional Experience Officer at the earliest possible opportunity. Late notification of cancelled placements adversely affects the University's relationship with schools.Special Consideration And Practicums
In general, an application for special consideration (granted in the case of serious medical or other disruption) can only be dealt with in one of 2 ways: either by withdrawal from the professional experience unit code or by having the placement postponed (and completed within the same year). The Special Consideration application must be submitted as per Faculty rules and students must contact the Deakin University Professional Experience Office urgently.
If a pre-service teacher is sick during a placement - they must:
Deakin academic staff or members of the professional experience liaison team will visit or contact the school during most placements. In addition, visits, support and advice are available by contacting the Professional Experience Office or the academic direct. Visits can be arranged at the request of the school or the pre-service teacher.
If you have, or perceive there maybe, a clash between any academic requirement (such as for performing arts units or science prac. classes) and your need to commit to a Professional Experience placement then please contact your placement officer about possibly changing the timing of the placement. It is important that such contact be made as early as possible to enable the alternative arrangements to be discussed and cancellation of any prearranged placements can be utilised for others or the request can be withdrawn in a timely manner as far as the school is concerned. Unless you contact the placement officer at least 3 months in advance of the placement, the likelihood of being able to move placements becomes more difficult.
The Professional Experience Office will facilitate placements in rural Victoria and/or interstate where possible. Some subsidies are available from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for pre-service teachers who undertake specific practicum in a rural or hard-to-staff schools in Victoria. Please refer to
International Placements must be discussed with the Deakin University Professional Experience Office.
Pre-service teachers should talk to a placement officer if they would like to undertake:
Pre-service teachers who commit to a global experience placement must inform the Deakin University Professional Experience Office. If there is any change in the arrangements, it is the pre-service teachers's responsibility to inform the Deakin University Professional Experience Officer. Failure to do so will mean that pre-service teachers might not be placed for the next time-tabled placement, which could delay qualifying for their degree.
Lessons should be prepared either at home or in "free time" (NOT when observing the class or otherwise involved in the supervising teacher's daily routine).
Planning and preparation are vital for the adequate structuring of lessons. All pre-service teachers are to:
A school might ask a pre-service teacher to sign a "privacy agreement". Pre-service teachers must observe the obligation to maintain all confidences both during AND after the placement.
Pre-service teachers have no legal status in the classroom and must have a supervising teacher when teaching a lesson. Pre-service teachers are not to be left alone with sole responsibility for the class or a group of students or be on yard duty without other teachers present.
Up to 5 days can be counted as practicum days if the camp falls during the practicum period. Please contact the Placement Office if clarification is needed.
Excursions can be included as part of the required number of days if the supervising teacher approves participation in the excursion and is willing to "count" it as one of the placement days.
Harassment is any form of behaviour that is not wanted, not asked for and/or not returned that humiliates, offends or intimidates someone, and that happens because of their race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, disability, sexual preference or age. Pre-service teachers should be very aware of their own behaviour and find out the centre or school's procedures for reporting and dealing with harassment.
If a pre-service teacher is harassed while on professional experience placement they should, in the first instance, raise the issue with their supervisor. If this is not appropriate or possible, the pre-service teacher can contact the Professional Experience Manager or Coordinator. Alternatively, the pre-service teacher can refer to the Student Complaint process, available from http://www.deakin.edu.au/current-students/services/complaints/
Pre-service teachers with a disability (which under the Australian Government Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) includes present, past, future and imputed physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological, malformation or disfigurement, the presence of disease causing organisms in the body) who have identified themselves with the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) are able to take advantage of the provision of reasonable adjustments to assist them to participate in professional experience placements on the same basis as other pre-service teachers. Adjustments are measures or actions taken to assist a pre-service teacher with a disability to participate in education and training on the same basis as other pre-service teachers, eg the provision of a sighted aide for a visually impaired pre-service teacher. This provision can only be provided if the pre-service teacher has registered with DRC.
For more details regards the processes that are in place to support pre-service teachers who have registered with DRC please contact the Professional Experience Office.
Pre-service teachers are NOT prescribed as mandatory reporters. They should discuss issues of mandatory reporting with your supervising teacher and must inform the supervising teacher, principal or student well-being coordinator of any disclosure made to them by school students while on placements.
Mandated reporters include principals and teachers. Mandated staff must make a report to the Department of Human Services Child Protection as soon as practicable after forming a belief on reasonable grounds that a child or young person is in need of protection from significant harm as a result of physical injury or sexual abuse, and the child's parents are unable or unwilling to protect the child.
Definitions of Child Abuse and indicator of harm include:
Information about these definitions can be found in Appendix 2, p 35, Protecting the Safety and Wellbeing of children and young people. A joint protocol of the Department of Human Services Child Protection, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Licensed Children's Services and Victorian Schools http://www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/stuman/wellbeing/protecting_children_protocol27_5_10.pdf
On days when teachers are undertaking industrial action, pre-service teachers should:
The Professional Experience Office must be notified if an accident occurs on a practicum placement. A written report will be requested.
Where a pre-service teacher is injured while on a practicum coverage is provided by the Deakin University personal accident insurance policy; pre-service teachers can obtain claim forms from the Student Association, from the University Insurance Office or online at - www.deakin.edu.au/divisions/cgrcs/insurance.php.
The University's Public Liability Policy provides insurance cover against claims made by third parties for bodily injury and/or damage. There is also insurance cover for public liability for Host Organisations/Employers.
Please note that none of these policies covers the loss of or damage to a pre-service teacher's personal property, including car parked in school carparks.
The 20 'additional days' are 'voluntary' days that pre-service teachers complete in addition to the Professional Experience placement organised as part of their course. It is highly recommended but not mandatory to complete these days. These additional days need to be documented and included in a pre-service teacher's portfolio. Prospective education employers will be looking for evidence of interest in, and enthusiasm for teaching and school-age students beyond formally organised Professional Experience, including with evidence of involvement in work with school age students as a coach, scout or church or youth group leader etc.; school-based research for a curriculum unit; visits to classes to undertake particular projects; relevant industry experience (e.g. teacher aide position), attendance at camps and/or holiday programs.
Reports are the culmination of the pre-service teacher's learning while on Professional Experience placement. The evaluation process includes written notes made during the lessons and given to the pre-service teacher by the supervising teacher/s as well as formal and informal discussions between the pre-service teacher and supervising teacher/s. The final report should not contain any surprises. Pre-service teachers should take the opportunity to discuss their report with the supervising teacher/s. When a pre-service teacher signs the report, it is ONLY an indication that it has been read (not necessarily agreed with). The practicum must be completed satisfactorily before the next professional experience unit can be attempted.
All pre-service teachers should get a copy of their practicum report once it has been completed so they can include it in their portfolio.
Practicum embedded within academic units.
Pre-service teachers will not be able to proceed to the next professional experience unit until both the academic and practicum components of the current one have been passed.
Student results for stand-alone practicum units are:
UP - a satisfactory Professional Experience placement.
N - a fail grade because:
XA - a report has not been received by the University by the date for submission of results.
XN - failure to undertake/attend a practicum for which a student is enrolled.
When a school has serious concerns about the work of a student teacher and feels that she/he is facing an assessment of 'At Risk' or 'Unsatisfactory' then the school is asked to contact the Professional Experience Office who will arrange for a Deakin University staff member to contact the school. A student cannot be given an Unsatisfactory grade without the involvement of a Deakin University staff member. It is crucial that the university is contacted as soon as a problem is identified.
After one unsatisfactory assessment for a practicum the pre-service teacher can be excluded and referred to the APDC to show cause why he/she should not be excluded from further enrolment.
'At Risk' assessment: A pre-service teacher deemed to be 'At Risk' must demonstrate that they have followed advice from an academic staff member to address the problems identified in the 'At Risk' report prior to their next placement. A pre-service teacher could be required to undertake further experience or will be permitted to complete the subsequent placement under close monitoring.
If pre-service teachers have any concerns about the placement process, please consult your placement officer or the Manager, Ian Trend. If required matters can be referred to the academic Coordinator of Professional Experience, Mr Alan Marshall
Please note that the University keeps the original copies of the reports for 3 years (after a pre-service teacher has graduated) and for 7 years (where a pre-service teacher has intermitted or discontinued). After this time the reports are destroyed.