Education a university for the real world

Lady Gowrie Queensland collaboration enriches teacher education during COVID-19

18th May 2020

QUT’s early childhood education students have gained valuable professional experience during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to an innovative collaboration with Lady Gowrie Queensland. 

Twenty-two pre-service early childhood teachers volunteered to observe live group sessions through online video at Lady Gowrie kindergartens, where children are being taught online and in the kindergarten learning environment.

Professor Sue Irvine said the pre-service early childhood teachers were given a unique opportunity to learn first-hand from teachers who were transforming and innovating their practice during the pandemic.

“Early childhood teachers in prior-to-school education and care settings are doing an amazing job delivering learning online and in centres, in addition to supporting learning and families at home,” said Professor Irvine.

“When Lady Gowrie offered our pre-service teachers the chance to observe and learn from experienced and skilled teachers during these extraordinary circumstances, we jumped at the opportunity.”

As part of the experience, students also engaged in one-on-one professional learning conversations with the Lady Gowrie early childhood teacher to explore the pedagogy and learning observed.

Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) student Alex Campbell said the opportunity was inspiring and educational.

“The experience made me realise that early childhood teachers are truly adaptable and creative!” said Alex.

I found it really interesting to hear about the advantages and disadvantages of online kindy learning and learn about some of the teaching methods they’ll continue to use when kindergarten returns to centres.

“Taking part in the online learning observation really helped me remember why I’m studying education and re-inspired my passion for teaching!”

Professor Irvine said the opportunity was made possible thanks to the strong partnership between QUT and Lady Gowrie.

“Since 1940, Lady Gowrie’s mission has been to inspire and support high quality educational programs and practices, which strongly aligns with QUT’s vision for teacher education,” said Professor Irvine.

“The pandemic has put a spotlight on the invaluable service of early childhood teachers. We’re excited that our collaboration with Lady Gowrie will inspire and prepare the next generation of teachers.”

Thank you to QUT and Lady Gowrie Queensland staff for their commitment and agility to deliver this valuable professional learning experience: Louise Jackson and Amanda McFadden (Lady Gowrie) and Mia Christensen, Chrystal Whiteford and Megan Gibson (QUT Faculty of Education).

Visit our website for information on studying education at QUT. 

Image: Lady Gowrie early childhood teacher Sarah Bryce delivers a kindergarten group session online and in the kindergarten. This session was observed virtually by QUT pre-service early childhood teachers as part of a unique professional learning experience. 

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