Western: Leading Change in Tomorrow’s EducationBy ATAR Notes in HSC
2nd of August 2017
Education is crucially important. ATAR Notes’ aim is to improve Australia’s quality of education, to make education more easily accessible, and to build a passion for teaching in the next generation of educators.
Educating others is, surely, one of the most exciting career paths imaginable. Seriously. You get the chance to pass across your knowledge to others, to open minds – ultimately, you will change lives. That very thought is what makes us passionate about what we do.
With that in mind, a career in education can be richly rewarding and diverse. Indeed, a career in education may very well be for you!
It’s hard to know what to look for, though. Until you start a degree, it’s pretty difficult to judge whether or not you’ll actually enjoy it. Trust us: we feel that on an almost spiritual level. But there are definitely some things you should consider before making your uni preferences.
DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
It’s a changing world. So, it makes sense that the way we teach changes, too.
Outdated education degrees have seemingly limited benefit. It’s all well and good to know how things were taught in the past, but how do we best educate today?
Western Sydney University’s Teaching and Education courses, for example, focus strongly on a contemporary curriculum – and that’s really exciting. Western undertook extensive research in developing its education programs to ensure its students were best-equipped for today’s world – and that of the future.
The benefit, here, is that you get really relevant experience. And that experience will benefit you not only in Australia, but all across the world.
After all, the “here’s a textbook – do the questions” style of teaching is no good these days!
Doing things differently might also include the actual course structure. For example, at Western, you can study an undergraduate Pathway to Teaching degree. When combined with a Master of Teaching, this fully qualifies you to become a teacher. You can even choose your specialisation: early childhood, primary or secondary.
But if you decide teaching isn’t for you, you’ll still have an undergraduate degree, having acquired skills to confidently pursue other careers.
It’s a great program, and there are Pathway to Teaching degrees across Arts, Business, Graphic Design, Health Science (HPE) and Science. Very cool.
What’s the point of uni if you walk into day one of teaching having no idea what to actually do? Like, it’s good to know how to teach in theory, but what if you don’t know how to do it in practice?
Just imagine: it’s your first day. Students are throwing paper planes, there’s an argument in the corner, and you’re just like, “err…?”
That’s not something that will happen with practical experience. The good thing about Western is that it strongly emphasises practical and professional experience, through placements in school settings.
Even if you don’t end up becoming a teacher, that sort of experience is invaluable. You’ll be guided through how to deal with all sorts of situations, and develop critical thinking, problem-solving and leadership skills. And that’s often the toughest bit.
Western was this year ranked in the top 150 universities worldwide for education. It achieved that ranking for a reason. Clearly, WSU cares about its student population. For instance, Western last year gave students free digital textbooks (which could otherwise cost, like, $800) for first-year units – and that will happen again in 2018.
When you’re choosing a course, you want something that gives you some sort of certainty. Western is one of Australia’s largest providers of professional teachers; that’s the sort of stuff you can bank on.
So, real talk for a moment.
No matter what you’re interested in studying after Year 12, making an informed choice is really important. At the end of the day, you want to make the best possible decision for you.
A big part of that selection process is attending Open Days. There, you can ask whatever questions you have, whether they be course-specific, more general, or even sort of uni-related.
After all, the general vibe of the place can be a pretty big deciding factor. You might walk onto a campus and straight away think, “yep – this is the uni for me”. And that’s going to be an incredibly useful investment of your time.
For what it’s worth, Western Sydney University’s Open Day is on 27 August at the Parramatta Campus. 10/10, would recommend.