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How Placements Work

How placements work

We ensure Australia’s newest teachers are classroom ready by delivering a well-rounded, high-quality education that encourages students to develop professional skills as they learn.

We actively prepare our students so they can be engaged in the placement process – an important graduate attribute. Students and mentor teachers have the opportunity to meet before the placement starts, ensuring both parties are comfortable and well-prepared.

How we prepare & support our students

All Swinburne Online students are enrolled in a professional experience (practicum unit) while on placement where they learn the theory that will enable them to complete their placements at your school or early learning centre.

During this time, they are supported by eLearning Advisors (eLAs), who are also current or recent teachers themselves. They are passionate professionals with years of industry experience, specially trained for teaching online students. They will help to guide the student through their course content and are on-hand to support the mentor teacher and student with any placement questions they might have.

Each unit is studied as part of an online study group of between 20–30 students. Facilitated by eLAs, study groups provide an ideal forum to network with other students and utilise the knowledge of the group to support learning.

eLAs are the primary source of academic support, and are available to answer questions and help students through their assessments. They work collaboratively with both mentor teachers and pre-service teachers to provide support in putting theory into practice while they are completing the placement component of this unit.

What to expect

  • Secure the placement: The placement details are finalised via the Acceptance of Placement form. It is recommended that students arrange a meeting to complete this form with the Pre-service Teacher Coordinator. Please note: Pre-service teachers in Victoria and NSW wishing to secure a placement in a government school are supported to access placements via our mediated process.
  • Confirmation email: After the placement has been approved, the Pre-service Teacher Coordinator and Mentor Teacher will receive a confirmation email, which will include an outline of the placement details.
  • Before the placement starts: 10 days before the placement begins the Pre-service Teacher Coordinator and Mentor Teacher will receive an email outlining the lines of support during the placement.
  • Interim assessment: For all placements except EDU30003 (10-day practicum), Mentor Teachers must complete an Interim Assessment Report on day 10 of the placement.
  • End of placement: Three days before the end of placement the Pre-service Teacher Coordinator will receive an email with the Claim for Payment form and feedback form.

The Professional Experience unit

Each professional experience (practicum unit) is embedded with eight weeks of relevant theoretical content together with a practical placement in order to prepare our students to apply theory into classroom practice.

Each unit has Learning Outcomes, Assessments and Key Generic Skills. The students will learn communication skills (both oral and written), negotiating, planning and organisation, inquiry/research, critical thinking, teamwork, use of communications technology and internet resources.

Lesson plans and other written work and documentation will contribute to their assessment in each practicum unit. It is a requirement that students pass both the theoretical component and the placement component in order to successfully complete the unit.

Placement requirements

  • Have a valid Child Safety Screening Clearance;
  • Complete no more than two placements in each education setting;
  • Complete placements across different age groups/year levels;
  • Show an understanding and appreciation of diversity in education by completing placements at a variety of education providers and with students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds;
  • Complete the required number of placement days during the specified dates;
  • Complete the placement in an education setting that follows the Australian Curriculum or Early Years Learning Framework where English is the primary language of instruction.

Placement contact days

The number of placement days each student must complete depends on the course.

  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood): 3 x 20 days, 1 x 21 days, 1 x 10 days. Total: 91 days
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching): 4 x 20 days. Total: 80 days
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary): 3 x 20 days, 1 x 21 days, 1 x 10 days. Total: 91 days
  • Bachelor of Education (Primary): 3 x 20 days, 1 x 21 days. Total: 81 days
  • Master of Teaching (Primary): 3 x 20 days. Total: 60 days
  • Master of Teaching (Secondary) 3 x 20 days. Total: 60 days