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OUA Professional Experience

Professional experience is an integral part of your teacher preparation course at Curtin University. We anticipate that you will find working with children in schools enjoyable and rewarding.

Professional experience placements provide opportunities for in-depth exploration of your chosen career, and the chance to trial, apply, reflect on and refine ideas that have been developing throughout each study period of the degree program.

The professional experience program is based on the premise that you will have gradual, varied and integrated experiences. Pre-service teachers must satisfactorily complete each stage of the professional experience program.

Key FAQs

Can I attend a school where I have relatives working or attending?

No. You are not permitted to have a placement in a school where you have relatives working or attending. This is for confidentiality issues. Your role as a parent/wife/relative is very different from that of student teacher. You may well be exposed to confidentiality issues that might be inappropriate.

Can I do a practicum placement in the school where I work?

No. You are not able to complete a practicum placement in your place of work. This would create a conflict of interest within your school and you would run the risk of not being assessed fairly.

The children and parents in the school might find it difficult to understand seeing you in a different role.

How many school placements do I need to complete?

ECE – You need to complete three school placements in total:

  • 3 weeks in second year (EDE222);
  • 3 weeks in third year (EDE322) and 10 x 1 day per week and a 3 week block in an Early Learning Centre in third year EDE325);
  • and 10-11 weeks (School Term) in fourth year (EDC421).

Primary – You need to complete four school placements in total:

  • sets of 2 then 3 weeks in second year (EDP223/226);
  • 4 weeks in 3rd year (EDP323);
  • and 10-11 weeks (School Term) in fourth year (EDC421).

These placements are embedded within units. There are approximately 9 weeks of interaction as normal within your units (for 2nd and 3rd year) and a placement for 2, 3 and 4 weeks in a school setting.

During your course of study, students need to gain experience in a variety of school contexts to meet Course and Teacher Registration requirements.

EDC421 Transition to the Teaching Profession has no coursework, but there will be a discussion board on the unit Blackboard site for set up to support you during this time. You will continue to have a tutor for any issues with which you need assistance

How many schools do I need to find?

At least 3 different schools are required for your professional experiences units.

This is to give you the opportunity to experience a range of learning and teaching contexts.

How will the internship be offered?

The Internship is a 10-11 weeks (School Term) placement in fourth year and is offered in all 4 study periods. However SP4 is not usually suitable for most students as it covers the school holiday period.

Students will enrol in the relevant study period (e.g. SP1 starting in March) and complete the school experience in the following school term – term 2 starting in April. This will mean that technically you will be involved in 2 study periods (in the example SP1 and SP2) for your internship….but financially will only be enrolled in 1 (SP1) and pay once.

Your grade will not be submitted until the paperwork has been completed and we have verified that you have successfully passed the placement and completed the required number of days.

Please remember, you need to have completed and passed all of the units for your degree, including electives, before you can commence your practicum placement. You also need to have a pass mark in the maths and literacy competency tests. If you have found a school, and then discover that you have failed a unit, you will need to withdraw from that school immediately.

What happens if a school or I terminate my placement?

Under Section 7.7 (7.7.2) of the Curtin Fieldwork Education Policy, if a student is terminated by the School or terminates themselves from their placement, the student will be deemed as failing the unit.