Home' Teacher : August 2011 Contents fe ature – p ostgr aduate study 47
Teaching reading in remote areas
Postgraduate study through the ACER
Institute is helping Meegan Brown to fulfil
her lifelong passion for i mproving the learn-
ing outcomes for students in remote areas .
Meegan has taught in schools in rural
and remote areas for the last 15 years. Since
2008, she has been the Head of Campus
of the Gregory Educational Facility, a one-
teacher ca mpus of Doomadgee State School
located in Gregory Downs , approxi mately
350 kilometres north of Mount Isa in inland
Queensland . The facility caters for students
from pre-prep to Year 7.
This year, Meegan started the Graduate
Progra m in the Teaching of Reading offered
through the ACER Institute. She hopes that
the progra m will assist her to improve her
own practice and help other teachers and
schools develop effective reading programs.
‘I want to continue to develop my under-
standing of how students learn to read, and
how to effectively teach and assess reading,’
‘By doing this course I hope to continue to
develop literacy progra ms that are effective
so that my students have a ra nge of strate-
gies that enable them to become successful
independent readers who enjoy reading.
Meegan has undertaken postgraduate
study before, and stressed the importance
for teachers to continually build on their
skills. She also notes the value for teachers
in building professional networks – particu-
larly for teachers , such as herself, who are
physically isolated from their colleagues.
‘ The support offered by the ACER
Institute to allow me to study externally
has been amazing . It caters for the different
circu mstances of its students. Even though
we are separated by great distances, the
members of the course are supportive of
each other and learn through sharing our
knowledge and experiences,’ Meegan says.
‘It has been a wonderful opportunity to
be able to participate in this course. The
knowledge and networks I have been able to
establish as a result are priceless,’ she says.
The course is one of two new gradu-
ate progra ms offered through the ACER
Institute. The programs a re university-rec-
ognised and cont ribute to a masters degree.
The ACER Institute also offers a range of
professional learning workshops and semi-
nars, as well as the annual conference of
the Australian Council for Educational
For more information, visit www.acerin-
Teaching the teachers
Completing the Flinders University Graduate
Certificate in Education (Professional
Learni ng) has helped Jason Loke to deliver
more effective professional development to
practicing and pre-service teachers.
Jason’s role at the Australian Science
and Mathematics School involves teaching
maths and physics to students, as well as
delivering professional developme nt pro-
gra ms to colleagues locally and nationally.
The school is a specialist Years 10 to 12
government school located on the grou nds
of Flinders University in Adelaide.
‘Completing the Graduate Cer tificate
has improved my planning and delivery of
professional development . I already had
significant exposure to a variety of profes-
sional development activities, but through
the course I was able develop new skills
and to synthesise these with my personal
experiences a nd existing knowledge,’ Jason
Jason says the course has allowed him
have an impact on the delivery of content,
curriculum and pedagogical knowledge in
the field of senior mathematics education,
and on refining the course each year to bet-
ter suit the needs of the students.
‘Completing the course increased my
confidence in developing, prese nting, and
engaging peers in effective and purposeful
professional development activities. I have a
valuable new perspective on my field, and I
feel better prepared to view workplace com-
plexities as potential opportunities.’
‘In particular, I feel I have been better
able to meet the specific needs of colleagues
focusing on student engagement and sup-
porting student inquiry approaches within
the interdisciplinary context offered at my
‘Being able to link the assessment for the
Graduate Certificate to my work was a key
factor i n my capacity to complete this quali-
fication,’ he says.
Undertaking postgraduate study also
allowed Jason to teach a senior mathemat-
ics curriculum specialisation topic in the
bachelor-level education degree at Flinders
‘It has enabled me to work closely with
final-year pre -service teachers, developing
their professional skills in senior mathemat-
ics education and providing mentorship
duri ng their probationa ry time as graduate
teachers ,’ he says.
Jason says that effective teacher profes-
sional development , i ncluding postgraduate
study, provides teachers with the skills and
knowledge to make a difference, and can
cont ribute to a more professional, produc-
tive and progressive school environment.
Flinders University offers graduate cer-
tificates, masters and doctorate degrees in
For more information, visit w
Photo of Catherine Pike, page 44,
by Chris Stacey, courtesy of Griffith
Photo of Sarah Rakich, page 45,
by Marcel Aucar, courtesy of the
University of Melbourne.
Photo of Shelly Dent Alonso, page
45, courtesy of Corinda State High
Photo of Gavin Wake, page 46, by
Donna Edwards, courtesy of Deakin
Links Archive June-July 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page