Teacher Aide Professional Development
Over 2022 and 2023, the University of Newcastle supported the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (MESC) in delivering a bespoke teacher aide professional learning program in Apia. The learning program was in response to a request by MESC to address a gap in teacher aide certification that was required by staff who supported students with disability in classrooms. To date, two cohorts have participated in the course. The Principal Officer for Inclusion at MESC, Jennifer Pemila, delivered a year-long program that consisted of a series of workshops and on the job coaching, mentoring and feedback that culminated in an in-country certificate for teacher aides. The course is also accredited by CIFAL Newcastle is an accredited organisation which designs and delivers learning solutions related to UN thematic areas that include Social Inclusion, Capacity for Agenda 2030, Public-Private Partnerships, Education and Innovation, and Sustainable Development Goals.
Vanuatu Inclusive Teacher Education
In September 2022, members of Pacific RISE (Dr Jo Anderson, Professor Chris Boyle, Dr Angela Page) conducted a week-long workshop for teachers in Vanuatu. The workshop targeted inclusive teaching practices that focused on students with disability but also involved the development of teaching skills to address all students’ needs. Planning for 30 teachers, we welcomed just under 100 staff who wanted to attend. The post-workshop survey indicated that teachers were more knowledgeable and confident in considering adopting inclusive teaching practices as a result of the interactive sessions.