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The SPA program concentrates on the mentoring aspect of Pre-Service Teacher (PST) experience, and in particular, mentoring around what it means to teach in a Catholic/Faith-based setting, developing one’s own spiritual identity, pedagogical expertise, and how this influences their teaching. There are also research aspects to the program.

Principals, PST Coordinators and Supervising Teachers will be invited to a variety of sessions and meetings, designed to provide the PST with a greater understanding of teaching in a Catholic/Faith-based school, and notably increased confidence when entering the school as a teacher.

School Leaders must agree to:

Supervising Teachers:

  • Help PST feel welcome during staff days in January
  • Negotiate 1 day per week or fortnight visits with the PST**, before block placement/s
  • Attend 2 professional conversation/s with your PST, the ACU Project Lead, Spiritual and Pedagogical Companion, and leadership staff if available, during block placement/s
  • [Research purpose only – Attend one 20-minute recorded interview in Nov/Dec at project completion or complete a survey]

Principals/PST Coordinator:

  • Attend an information/introduction session in November of the prior year;
  • Help PST/s feel welcome during staff days in January
  • Attend 1 professional conversation with the PST, the ACU Project Lead, Spiritual and Pedagogical Companion, and Supervising teacher, if possible
  • [Research purpose only – Attend one 20-minute recorded interview in Nov/Dec or complete a survey].

Schools and Dioceses will assist with sourcing Spiritual and Pedagogical Companion/s.  As part of the collaboration, Dioceses/systems fund components of the Companioning and evaluation costs.

** Regional Schools

Includes PST/s attending the PD day and first week of school in January/February, as well as their official placement block/s.

And, virtual connection to their classroom and Supervising Teacher, either once per week or fortnight, (as agreed) for the duration of the SPA experience.

Regional Diocese provides additional support, eg. flights, accommodation, and stipend while PSTs are attending the school.

NB: Additional days in schools outside of official university professional experience blocks are on a voluntary basis for both the PSTs and schools.

Interested? Contact the SPA Team via the form below.

The SPA program concentrates on the mentoring aspect of Pre-Service Teacher (PST) experience, and in particular, mentoring around what it means to teach in a Catholic/Faith-based setting, developing one’s own spiritual identity, pedagogical expertise, and how this influences their teaching. There are also research aspects to the program.

No judgement will be made about your faith (or non-faith). This project explores faith identity, and may include discussion about one’s own faith (or non-faith), with opportunities for reflection and feedback.  You need to be open to reflecting on and strengthening your understanding of spirituality, your own spiritual identity and how this connects to Catholic/Faith-based school settings.

The SPA Program includes:

  • Professional Development Modules
  • SPA 2-day ‘Retreat’
  • Mentoring
  • Extended school experiences
  • Spiritual and Pedagogical Companion and support
  • Understanding Catholic/Faith Identity in a school environment
  • Signum Fidei program for undergraduate PSTs who enter the program in their 2nd year
  • Sense of belonging and confidence
  • Career guidance and advice
  • Certificate of Completion for your CV

NB/ Secondary PSTs may be studying any subject area (not just RE)

The SPA program concentrates on the mentoring aspect of Pre-Service Teacher (PST) experience, and in particular, mentoring around what it means to teach in a Catholic/Faith-based setting, developing one’s own spiritual identity, pedagogical expertise, and how this influences their teaching. There are also research aspects to the program.

Universities need to provide:

  • Collaboration with their PEP Office
  • Payment for Companion visits during block placements
  • Partnership endorsement by University Executive Leadership staff

** Current Partner Universities:

  • Australian Catholic University (ACU)
  • Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
  • University of the Sunshine Coast (USC)
Interested? Contact the SPA Team via the form below.

The SPA program concentrates on the mentoring aspect of Pre-Service Teacher (PST) experience, and in particular, mentoring around what it means to teach in a Catholic/Faith-based setting, developing one’s own spiritual identity, pedagogical expertise, and how this influences their teaching. There are also research aspects to the program.

Companions must be open to a community of practice offering spiritual companionship and mentoring support to a one or a small group of PSTs, and are supported by the ACU academic coordinator and a Lead Companion.

Our SPA Companions are Catholic education Alumni, often retired Catholic school leaders or retired Catholic Diocese staff.

PSTs are connected to a Spiritual and Pedagogical Companion and school across the year (or half year).  The SPA Companion assists in understanding spirituality, pedagogical ideas and what it means to teach in a Catholic/Faith-based setting.​ They also encourage PSTs to engage critically with research and readings around teaching and spirituality.

NB. This is a contracted role (paid by ACU) with hours allocated per PST.

Interested? Contact the SPA Team via the form below.

We are currently open to exploring partnerships with international Catholic Universities.

Email amanda.gutierrez@acu.edu.au.

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