New approach to teaching required

Workplaces and careers are already changing fast, and schools need to reflect that to prepare students effectively.

As a result, teaching and schools will undergo a massive transformation in the next five years and teachers will need to adapt, according to Dr Joanna Barbousas, Associate Professor in Education at La Trobe University.

Speaking ahead of a public forum on the future of education, Professor Barbousas said that schools and teaching are stuck in 19th century structures that don’t suit the digital age.

‘Workplaces have undergone dramatic changes in the past ten years, yet the learning environment in schools has remained largely the same for the last 150 years. We still have rows of desks with teachers at the front giving information,’ Dr Barbousas said.

‘We are starting to see a shift, and the next five years will bring dramatic change to the way schools are designed and used, and how teaching is done. Teachers will need to be able to apply what we call practical wisdom – adaptable, responsive and diverse approaches, not just a toolkit of classroom tactics.

‘We recognise the significant challenges modern teachers face, including increasing regulation and accountability, a crowded curriculum and the impact of technology. So we will develop teachers who have strong foundations in learning and communicating so they can support diverse students in all kinds of environments,’ Dr Barbousas said.

La Trobe University has responded by restructuring their education courses. Developed in consultation with Victorian principals, the new undergraduate courses start with a foundation year, so future teachers spend time understanding their own learning before they decide on primary or secondary specialties.

The new course also offers final year students the opportunity to spend a whole year engaged with a school – making them ‘classroom ready’, well connected with the school community.

Dr Barbousas will join independent school leaders John Marsden and Rosa Storelli at this week’s Bold Thinking Series lecture to debate the need for an education revolution - including the role teacher education plays in quality learning outcomes, the most important skills needed for 21st century learners, and how we build a more collaborative and sustainable model.

Media Contact: Matthew Hurst, 0423 396 685

The Bold Thinking event: Education Revolution – What happened to the clever country? Wednesday 23 November, State Library of Victoria

For more information:

How to apply:

Year 12 students: apply through VTAC or UAC.

Mature age students applying for an Initial Teacher Education course: apply through VTAC or UAC.

Postgraduate applicants: apply directly to La Trobe at

Latrobe University School of Education operates on these campuses:

  • Melbourne
  • Albury-Wodonga
  • Bendigo
  • Mildura
  • Shepparton.