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Leading the charge with disability support units in Bachelor of Education

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From 2025, the School of Education will offer a co-major and minor for inclusive education.

The most recent People with Disability in Australia Report released by the Australian Government revealed that 89 per cent of school students aged 5-18 with a disability attended a mainstream school.

Despite this, most training offered to pre-service teachers doesn't prepare them for working with children who have additional needs. Murdoch University is leading the charge of change. 

From 2025, students studying education will have the option to select a co-major (secondary education) or minor (primary education) that will equip them with the skills to ensure all students have equitable access to high-quality education. 

Preparing graduate teachers to meet the needs of students of all abilities is our responsibility,” Associate Dean Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Dr Chad Morrison said. 

“Working closely with school leaders, support coordinators, specialist teachers, families and students, pre-service teachers will hone their knowledge to become specialist teachers ready to make a difference with students who have additional and complex needs.”  

For Primary Education students, the Inclusive Education Minor will include units around teaching literacy and mathematics to children with learning difficulties and disabilities, and teaching students with high-incidence disabilities.  

Liana Luyt, lecturer in Inclusive Support and Special Education, said the demand for this course was great, and these units would take leaps towards meeting it. 

“An increasing number of students with disability in Australian schools means there is increased demand for teachers with specialist skills to include all students in their classes,” Ms Luyt said.  

“This will require a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce.” 

The Secondary Education Support co-major will also include units in teaching literacy and numeracy to students with disabilities, as well as high-incidence disabilities. Additionally, it will include a unit in psychological health and wellbeing.  

Dr Alison Hilton, Academic Chair of the Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education) has driven this curriculum reform for pre-service teachers.  

Students in every school need excellent teachers who can support their learning and development. Teacher shortages are across all schools and classrooms. It is important students with a disability continue to have great teachers” Dr Hilton said.

“These co-major and minor offerings provide skills and knowledge for graduate teachers to work in education support settings. Mainstream schools will also benefit from having graduate teachers who can support students of all abilities.” 

The School of Education will offer a new Extended Professional Practice Program to high-achieving pre-service teachers, which will allow the opportunity to experience enhanced initial teacher education within pilot schools and put their skills into real-world practice.   

Feature image from Unsplash.

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Posted on:

13 Jun 2024

Topics:

Teaching, General

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