Welcome to the School of Education
On behalf of our academic and professional staff, welcome to the School of Education at the University of Newcastle. It is an honour to be part of the largest academic unit at the University and one of the largest schools of education in Australia.
We have nearly 6,000 students in initial teacher education, postgraduate and research higher degree programs. We are fortunate to have an opportunity each day to make a difference in Newcastle and the Hunter, the Central Coast, the mid-North Coast, Sydney, and beyond. We are grateful to all of the original custodians of the land on which our campuses are located, and we recognise their vital contributions to our diverse and dynamic history. Our mission as a School is to prepare teachers and educational leaders who strive each day to provide full access to educational opportunity for all learners.
We are specifically concerned with ensuring the success of all learners, those who learn quickly, are extraordinary thinkers or show brilliance, through to those who have enormous potential but may have a formal learning need, or just learn differently. Through our research, teaching and service we strive to impact the educational systems locally, regionally, nationally and internationally so that all learners will succeed academically and become productive and healthy people. The challenge of combining a quest for equity and excellence means that our programs must connect sound research and theory to the best practice in learning and teaching.
We are able to succeed in our journey toward equity and excellence because of the outstanding intelligence and experience of our academics and the professional staff who support them. Our staff members come from across Australia and around the world to prepare our students to be exceptional educators and to conduct some of the most important research in the field. Our researchers are leading the country in advancing the knowledge base across the disciplines and serving as leaders in state, national and international organisations.
The same attributes at UoN that excited me about the opportunity to serve as Head of School/Dean will excite you about joining us to study here. In addition, Newcastle, as a post-industrial age city, is a vibrant hub of reinvention, creating the skill set needed to thrive in what I call the collaborative, global innovation age. We need everyone to be able to work together (collaborate) to solve problems and create knowledge (innovate) that helps improve the human condition (global). Each of us, each day, in our own way, has the opportunity to collaborate to help improve the common good. Artists, waitresses, nurses, builders, mechanics, seamstresses, soldiers, philosophers, doctors and teachers do that—as does everyone. In this new era, education has never been more important. We have the moral imperative to educate everyone successfully and, economically, we must have every person achieve his or her potential.
In spite of enormous efforts, inequities around the world still prevail, and there is much to do so that all teachers, leaders, scholars and constituents use the knowledge base that we help build to guide success for all. In 1979, Ron Edmonds stated that:
"We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us… We already know more than we need to do that; and… Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven't so far."
That is a call to action and a call to come to UoN. Come join us for our journey to leave a legacy that improves educational opportunity for all. It will be a pleasure to learn and grow with you.
Professor John Fischetti
Head of School of Education
University of Newcastle