UON ranked in the world's top 150 for Education
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
The University of Newcastle (UON) Australia's education discipline has ranked in the top 150 in the world, confirmed by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016.
Education research at the UON is leading the way to a new era of teacher education and professional development.
School systems throughout the world acknowledge that the quality of teaching is the most critical in-school factor impacting on student outcomes. Millions of dollars are invested annually in teacher professional development yet few studies show rigorous evidence of impact.
Given the existing workforce in Australian schools of more than 250,000 teachers and more than 75,000 students enrolled in teacher education programs, the question of how teaching can be improved remains one of fundamental significance in Australia and internationally.
UON’s Research Centre for Teachers and Teaching is building a world-class model of teacher development that is having significant impact on the quality of teaching in primary and secondary schools.
Professor Jenny Gore (pictured), Director of the Research Centre for Teachers and Teaching, is excited by findings from a recent study that revealed a significant effect on teaching quality with a relatively short-term intervention.
“With the effect remaining stable six months post-intervention and high levels of teacher buy-in, our Quality Teaching Rounds approach is at the cutting edge of developments worldwide,” she said.
Quality Teaching Rounds, developed with PhD student and colleague Julie Bowe, brings teachers together in small and highly focused professional learning communities to observe, analyse, and discuss each other’s teaching.
“This collaborative work, which centres on the Quality Teaching model, gives teachers a common language and set of conceptual standards with which to engage in rigorous diagnostic conversations focused on their individual and collective practice,” Professor Gore explained.
With its emphasis on research-informed practice, this work is a key component of the undergraduate teacher education programs at UON and a central platform of the flagship Master of Teaching program. A specialist suite of pedagogy courses utilising this research is also offered in the Master of Educational Studies, and there are several current PhD students connecting with the Quality Teaching program of research.
“The Quality Teaching model guides teachers in providing teaching that is intellectually demanding, supportive of learning, and connected with students’ lives and the world beyond the classroom.
“The Quality Teaching Rounds approach is applicable across all subject areas and all levels of schooling and is relatively low cost, signalling its enormous potential for making a difference in both quality and equity.
“Quality Teaching Rounds strengthens the knowledge base for teaching leading to renewed confidence and enthusiasm among teachers and better outcomes for students,” Professor Gore said.