Home' InDaily : February 24th 2011 Contents 6 | Vol 22 No 1 February 2011
Year 12s head to Flinders for maths and science
Program extends student teachers’ stay in schools
A group of eighty-four Year 12 students
from seven southern region schools will
soon be getting to grips with their Stage 2
specialist maths, physics or chemistry
subjects on the Flinders University
campus, thanks to a new program that
will also give them a preview of
Students taking part in the pilot Year 12
Science and Maths Academy at Flinders
(SMAF) from this month will be taught via
lectures, classes and hands-on projects in
the University’s first-year laboratories and
teaching spaces by teachers competitively
selected from the participating schools.
The students will also have access to a
wide range of facilities and resources,
including the University’s library.
Manager, Education Partnership of the
Southern Knowledge Transfer Program,
Ms Darlene Voss, said the program was an
exciting collaboration between southern
region schools and Flinders.
“The venture is designed to enhance and
support the teaching of Stage 2 maths
Flinders University is leading a radical new
education program with nine student
teachers currently undertaking a
six-month placement in schools in South
Australia’s Riverland and South East.
The Extended Rural Practicum Program
(ERPP) is designed to give students an
extended firsthand experience of the
opportunities and challenges of teaching
in a rural population centre.
Sidney Myer Chair of Rural Education
and Communities, Professor John Halsey
said the ERPP was inspired by Flinders’
highly successful Parallel Rural
Community Curriculum (PRCC) for
“An enduring issue for education in rural
Australia is attracting and retaining
teachers,” Professor Halsey said.
“The PRCC has had an impressive track
record in attracting graduate doctors to
rural communities. This is a unique
opportunity to do a similar thing for rural
education,” he said.
“Instead of a placement of a few weeks,
the student teachers will spend an entire
semester learning, working and living in a
rural centre as part of their preparation for
careers as teachers.”
Eight students are placed in the Riverland:
one each at Loxton High, Swan Reach
and science aligned with pathways to
university, while providing a sophisticated
and secure learning environment for
school-aged students,” Ms Voss said.
Ms Liz Mead, Principal of Aberfoyle Park High
School, said that interactions with other
like-minded students and Flinders student
mentors in the adult environment of
university would provide the students with
new opportunities to understand their
subjects give insights into future pathways
and inspire them to achieve their best.
Professor Martin Westwell, Director of the
Flinders Centre for Science Education in the
21st Century (Science 21), said the program
would provide innovation in science and
“By working together, in partnership with
Flinders, the schools will be offering the
highest quality Year 12 courses. I’m delighted
that the university is able to play its part in
supporting the students, teachers and school
communities involved,” Professor Westwell
The participating schools are Aberfoyle Park
Area, Barmera Primary, Berri Primary,
Glossop Middle School, Renmark North
Primary, Monash Primary and Waikerie
High. One student is placed at Moorak
Primary in the South East.
The ERPP has the support of principals in
the Riverland who, over several years, have
been working to have student teachers
stay in their schools and communities for
an extended period.
“Given what is occurring in many rural
areas through the impacts of drought,
climate change, globalisation and
demographic shifts, the challenges of
attracting and retaining professionals to
rural areas will persist and are likely to
High School, Christies Beach High School,
Eastern Fleurieu School, Hamilton High
School, Mount Compass Area School,
Seaford 6-12 High School and Wirreanda
intensify,” Professor Halsey said.
“The ERPP is a fresh and bold solution that
provides insights and opportunities that can
only be gained by being immersed in ‘place’.
“There are also substantial benefits for
employers of teachers in recruiting from a
pool of graduates who have firsthand
experience of rural contexts.”
Flinders will be conducting research into
the ERPP, to assess its benefits and impact.
The ERPP is receiving financial support
from the Yulgilbar Foundation, the
Department of Education and Children’s
Services and Credit Union SA.
SMAF participants, from left, Eleanor Lewis and Ben
Hutton from Christies Beach High School and Kate Jacobs
from Mount Compass Area School.
Photo: Stephen Laffer / Messenger Newspapers
Student teachers will be based in the Riverland
Vol 22 No 1 February 2011 | 7
Program extends student teachers’ stay in schools
More than 1100 swimmers, including 16 Flinders staff
and family, met the challenge of windy and choppy sea
conditions in the Brighton Jetty Classic this month. But
there was also plenty of action on land with Flinders’
sponsorship of the event and the associated sculptures
competition. Flinders staff were on hand to introduce
prospective students to the University’s courses, engage
with the public and manage a very popular graffiti wall
that will now adorn the Brighton Surf Lifesaving Club.
Flinders dives in to Brighton Jetty Classic
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