Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Evans said the University understood the important role that teachers played in the community, and the proposed changes were designed to further improve the reputation of La Trobe University graduates.
“Our vision is to create an agile and vibrant School of Education that is known across Australia for excellent research, and teaching programs that are evidence-based and responsive to the needs of both learners and professional educators,” Professor Evans said.
“We want to make our courses even better and are proposing changes to how we teach and what we teach. We’ve also challenged ourselves to increase the research output of our staff and will introduce new ways of teaching in regional Victoria to make it easier for students to access learning.
“The big winner will be students in local schools, who will learn to their full potential with the assistance of skilled, passionate and innovative La Trobe-qualified teachers,” he said.
La Trobe University will continue to offer the full range of specialisations across a broad spectrum of compulsory schooling – early childhood, primary and secondary – which are currently available at campuses in Melbourne and across regional Victoria.
“The community and our own students have made it clear they all expect the highest standards of our teachers in classrooms. We share that ambition and these changes aim to deliver on that,” Professor Evans said.
“Changes proposed today include updating the way Initial Teacher Education is taught in regional Victoria. Our students are often juggling family, study and work responsibilities, so we will make learning easier to access by putting more of our subjects online, and running at least one subject in intensive mode - in two-week intensive blocks - rather than spreading out study over a longer period.
“We also intend to recruit senior educators who will travel across regional communities. Not only will they teach at our campuses, but they will also meet with practising teachers in local schools to offer professional development and help improve the local classroom experience. They will conduct local research projects to ensure local innovation and champion teaching excellence in schools,” Professor Evans said.
He said the proposed changes have also been prompted by a series of regulatory changes and recommendations from Federal and State governments that have impacted on what student must learn, and therefore the required skill set of La Trobe teaching staff.
In addition, ATAR requirements for entry into ITE programs in Victoria have increased since 2016, leading to declining enrolments, falling revenue and declining operating margins, particularly in regional areas.
Professor Evans said the first of the proposed changes are planned for early 2019 and will be progressively rolled out to be fully in place by 2020.
The University is working with staff who may be impacted by the proposed changes, in line with its Collective Agreement.
Media contact: Tim Mitchell – 0437457780/ firstname.lastname@example.org