New courses launched to combat out-of-field technology teaching

Teachers who teach technology subjects without a qualification in that field will get much needed support and training under a partnership between Deakin University and the Victorian Government.

From February next year, secondary teachers who teach digital technologies or design and technologies despite not being qualified to do so will be eligible to upskill by undertaking a Graduate Certificate for free with Deakin University.

Deakin School of Education Associate Professor Julianne Lynch, course lead for the new Graduate Certificate of Secondary Digital Technologies, said chronic staff shortages meant out-of-field teaching was an issue across Victoria, particularly in regional areas.

Almost half of the teachers currently teaching technology classes in state schools do not have any formal qualification in those areas, which puts pressure on teachers and reduced subject options for students.

“Technology subjects are among the hardest learning areas to recruit in due to staff shortages and they have the highest rates of out-of-field teaching,” Associate Professor Lynch said.

“More and more we are seeing teachers being required to fill staffing gaps in the curriculum and having to oversee classes they are not qualified to teach. Our new graduate certificates will give them the support they need to deliver the course content effectively and confidently.

“For regional teachers, this is an opportunity to access learning that is otherwise difficult to get to. They will get to connect with teachers from other schools to share resources and experiences and to build their professional networks in technology teaching.”

A Deakin University report last year found Australia’s teacher shortage crisis was stunting students’ ability to learn critical maths, technology and science subjects.

Dr John Cripps Clark, course lead for the new Graduate Certificate of Secondary Design and Technologies, said the new qualifications were vital to strengthening the delivery of these classes and improving student outcomes.

“We know that students being taught by a teacher with subject content and teaching training learn more and are more likely to aspire to further study and careers such as computer science, engineering and design,” Dr Cripps Clark said.

“We also know that jobs in science, technology, engineering and maths are expected to grow by more than 14 per cent. It is crucial that we have educators capable of equipping students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need for the jobs of the future.”

Fifty places have been fully funded by the Department of Education in both the Graduate Certificate of Secondary Digital Technologies and Graduate Certificate of Secondary Design and Technologies.

The course content will be delivered part-time over two years via a combination of face-to-face intensives and after-school online workshops.

Schools will also be funded to provide teachers with time out of the classroom to complete their studies in the courses. Those eligible will also have their travel and accommodation costs covered by the Department of Education where required.

A summary of each course is included below.

Graduate Certificate of Secondary Design and Technologies

The Graduate Certificate in Secondary Design and Technologies consists of 4 units that participants complete over 2 years. The Technologies and Society and Creating Design Solutions strands of the Victorian Curriculum: Design and Technologies are explored through all four units, with an emphasis on the four Technologies Contexts in the central two units. Teachers will develop a more powerful and sophisticated understanding of the design process and systems thinking and its economic, environmental, ethical, legal, and aesthetic role in our society both locally and globally, allowing them to integrate a range of innovative and traditional materials and technologies into their teaching practice.

Graduate Certificate of Secondary Digital Technologies

The Graduate Certificate of Secondary Digital Technologies is a two-year course consisting of 4 units that participants complete across 2024 and 2025. The units integrate the three interconnected strands of the Victorian Curriculum: Digital Technologies (Creating digital solutions, Data and information and Digital systems) to further participants’ pedagogical content knowledge and skills. The first three units support teachers to develop their knowledge and professional skills within the strands of the Digital Technologies secondary curriculum. Unit 4 provides an opportunity for teachers to draw on the knowledge built in the previous units to investigate, design, develop, communicate, and refine curriculum resources that respond to the circumstances, contexts, and opportunities of their own schools. All units involve experiential, hands-on learning, where teachers will identify, develop, and share teaching and learning resources.

Media contact:
Rebecca DiNuzzo
Coordinator, Communications
Deakin University
M: 0407 878 813

News 9 August 2023