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Final Professional Experience (FPE 1 &2)

The Final Professional Experience (FPE 1&2) is a 10 week placement that takes place in the final semester of the Bachelor of Education or Graduate Diploma of Education program. Secondary Pre-service Teachers complete the FPE in their major curriculum learning area. All Pre-service Teachers are required to successfully complete Final Professional Experience (1) prior to completing Final Professional Experience (2).

FPE (1) is a 3 week placement, and is then followed by FPE (2) which is a 7 week placement. It is expected the total 10 week placement will take place in the same school. (If any stakeholder believes that they have a strong case for the Pre-service Teacher not returning to the same school for FPE (2), then they should provide reasons in writing to the Professional Experience Unit Coordinator.)

NOTE: For fourth year Bachelor of Education students, your National Police History Clearance (valid for 3 years) will most likely be expired or due to expire. In this circumstance, the Professional Experience Office will extend your NPHC on your behalf. (However, this cannot be done for students who have taken a break of 6 months or more (one semester) from their studies - for more information about this click here).

Supervision

Pre-service Teachers will be supported by a University Representative and Mentor Teacher during their Final Professional Experience. University Representatives will be in contact with Pre-service Teachers at the commencement of the placement and will communicate at key stages during the FPE. The Mentor Teacher will supervise the Pre-service Teacher and write their final report. If the Mentor Teacher deems a student 'at risk' they must seek support from the university (see below).

Students deemed 'at risk'

If, during the course of the school-based Final Professional Experience, the Mentor Teacher deems that a Pre-service Teacher is 'at risk' of failing the unit they will inform the School Coordinator who will in turn contact either the University Moderator or the FPE Coordinator. The Unit Coordinator will immediately inform the student of the situation and will appoint an External Mentor to support the student.

In order to provide sufficient opportunities for the Pre-service Teacher to demonstrate improvement, they will be informed of the areas of concern. The Pre-service Teacher will have a minimum of two weeks of the Professional Experience to make the necessary improvements.

Duty of Care

The opportunity to take full responsibility for a class can provide an important learning experience for students. Mentor Teachers may ask Pre-service Teachers to accept duty of care for the class. In this case it is important that Pre-service Teachers are familiar with contingency plans should they experience difficulties whilst taking classes on their own. For example, Mentor Teachers should inform Pre-service Teachers;

  • Where they will be and how long they will be away from the classroom;
  • Appropriate behaviour management strategies;
  • School behaviour management policies; and
  • How they might access support.

    NOTE:
  • Pre-service Teachers should not be penalised if they refuse to accept duty of care.
  • All Professional Experience Unit Guides contain statements regarding Duty of Care.

Common issues

It is quite common that some or all of the following tensions may arise during the longer placement. Being aware of these issues may go some way to addressing them.

Classroom Management

An initiative of Murdoch's School of Education has been to team up with the WA Department of Education to present classroom management workshops for all students enrolled in FPE. The workshops are highly interactive with delivery through a range of instructional strategies and tactics. All participants receive a certificate of participation for their professional portfolios at the completion of the course. Click here for more information.

Behaviour Management

Issues associated with behaviour management are referred to in several units that Pre-service Teachers undertake. Essentially, approaches to behaviour management centre around several themes:

  • Understanding of behaviour management policies that operate in the school
  • Proactive approaches including the importance of careful lesson planning and ensuring a physically and emotionally safe learning environment
  • Establishing a respectful rapport with all students
  • Awareness of all members of the classroom
  • Providing clear expectations and consequences
  • Low key interventions

Pedagogy

Given that learners will learn in different ways in different contexts, it is important that Pre-service Teachers implement a wide range of suitable pedagogies whilst on Professional Experience. In an environment where there is the support of the mentor teacher it is Murdoch’s position that Pre-service Teachers should take calculated risks and show initiative when designing learning experiences. They should be encouraged to be appropriately creative in the approaches they use to teach content or skills and use ‘real’ examples or vicarious experiences to assist learning. It is assumed that all Pre-service Teachers will reflect on the innovative strategies they use and be able to articulate ways they can improve.

Murdoch promotes the use of student centred learning and the use of varying classroom dynamics to promote the learning of all students (eg. pair work, small group work, whole class work, individual work). Mentor Teachers can play an important role by encouraging pre-service teachers to plan and implement student centred pedagogies.

Workload Fatigue

Whilst undertaking the Professional Experience some Pre-service Teachers may become overwhelmed by the workload. Pre-service Teachers are advised to consider cutting back on their usual commitments in order to focus on their school experience. It is recognised that in some cases this may not be possible. Mentor Teachers can assist Pre-service Teachers to self-monitor their workload and commitments and alert them to warning signs of undue stress or fatigue.

Assessment of Professional Experience

Assessment of a student’s performance in the Final Professional Experience (FPE) is based on the following:

  • Final school-based component 60%
  • On-Campus component 40%

Assessment of Pre-service Teachers for the school-based component of the Professional Experience has been based on the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Framework for Teachers. This framework describes the principles that underpin effective teaching and learning and the role of the teacher and categorises these into five core ‘dimensions’. Elements of these dimensions have been included in the final report and Pre-service Teachers will be assessed according to the extent to which they have demonstrated achievement of level 1 outcomes of these dimensions.

Half way evaluation

During week 3 or week 4 of the Professional Experience, the Mentor Teacher should conduct a formal half way evaluation with the Pre-service Teacher. The half way evaluation will provide feedback on areas of strength and weakness in their performance.

It is recommended that Mentor Teachers are familiar with the indicators of this evaluation and be able to discuss progress with the Pre-service Teacher . It is also recommended that the Pre-service Teacher completes a half way evaluation of their own progress prior to the half way evaluation meeting.


Final Report

All aspects of assessment of the Pre-service Teacher’s learning has been organised around the five dimensions of competence as described in the AITSL Framework for Teachers. The Pre-service Teacher’s final report for the school-based Professional Internship should indicate the extent to which they have achieved the indicators of level 1 competence in each of the dimensions.

It is recommended that all Pre-service Teachers are informed about the general areas of strength and weakness prior to discussion of the final report. Emphasis in the final assessment should also acknowledge the degree of improvement that has occurred in the Pre-service Teacher’s practice over six weeks.

It is assumed that Pre-service Teachers achieving a HD for the final component of the Final Professional Experience (2) will achieve ‘outstanding’ by both the mentor teacher and an external mentor for all sections of the final report.

All Pre-service Teachers should receive a copy of the final report and the original should be sent to the Professional Experience Office by the School Coordinator.

On campus component

At times whilst completing their Professional Experience, Pre-service Teachers may also have assignments due for units they are studying on campus (On-Campus component). These assignments are related to the Professional Experience. For example, Pre-service Teachers may be required to gather resources such as policy documents or assessment strategies; they may have to analyse the nature of school/community links; or they may need to write their reflections of ‘critical incidents’. These assignments are considered to be an important part of professional learning and Pre-service Teachers should not regard these as additional to the ‘real work’ of classroom teaching. These assignments have been designed to assist Pre-service Teachers better understand and appreciate the symbiosis between the practical and theoretical aspects of teaching.