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Future teachers program wins award

The Monash University Faculty of Education’s International Professional Experience team recently won a prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Award in the category for ‘programs that enhance learning’.

Each year 230 Monash students who are studying to become teachers complete some of their professional experience overseas. One of the places where this program runs is here in Prato.

Since 2014, students have been able to undertake a professional placement in primary and secondary schools in Prato. Students practise what they have learnt during their course in Australia and develop their skills and confidence as professionals. Not only do students gain experience in teaching English as another language, they also teach other subjects in English, including Science, History and Physical Education to name but a few.

“Offering an international option for their professional experience provides students with the opportunity to develop important skills in inter-cultural communication as well as personal skills such as adaptability and resilience”, says Dr Michael Phillips, the Prato Placement Coordinator. 

Dr Cecilia Hewlett, the Director of the Monash Prato Centre, explains that local schools in Prato are very supportive of the program. “We are extremely grateful to the Prato teachers who generously give of their time to mentor our students, and to the local school students for the enthusiastic welcome that they give our Monash students!”

Maddy Curtin was one of 18 students who completed a three and half week Prato placement over November and December last year. Maddy tells us that “this was my first international trip and it certainly won’t be my last. I have learned so much living and working here in Prato, not only about teaching and learning but also about myself and my ability as a teacher. I really hope to be able to return to Prato soon and continue to work with the amazing teachers and students in my placement school”.

A new group of 18 students has recently arrived for their placement in January.

We extend our congratulations on this award to all staff involved in the International Professional Experience and we look forward to continuing to welcome future teachers to Prato!

Further information about the program is available on the Faculty of Education’s website. If you are a teacher in a school in Prato and would like to be involved, you can contact Loredana D’Elia, our Academic Programs and Internships Coordinator.