Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Professional Experience Handbook: Section 1

Note: There may be changes to the Professional Experience Handbook from year to year. Please ensure you are using this version to ensure currency.


Professional experience is an essential part of teacher education courses within the Faculty of Arts and Education. The time spent in schools and/or early childhood settings provides teacher education student with opportunity to apply theory and practice studied in their courses to the school or early childhood environment. This time has been carefully structured so there is both an increasing understanding of the diverse roles of a teacher, and a gradual development of the practical knowledge and skills necessary for teaching.

The aim of the professional experience program is to develop necessary professional knowledge, skills and attributes for effective teaching. This is achieved through collaboration and mentoring by the supervising early childhood or school teachers and the University lecturer.

The goals of the program are to provide a range of diverse, structured, site-based programs which enable teacher education students to develop their teaching in ways that are inclusive and appropriate to the age and stage of learning of children/students.

In addition, the professional experience program assists teacher education students to:

  • Make explicit connections between campus based and site based learning;
  • Engage in continuing communication with teaching professionals in order to improve and to build a capacity to undertake effective teaching;
  • Lay the foundation for continuing study, research, self-evaluation and increasing effectiveness within the context of changing educational and social conditions;
  • Develop a sense of responsibility for acquiring the professional and personal qualities and capabilities necessary to begin a teaching career, through the identification and evaluation of individual professional objectives; and
  • Reflect on their suitability, performance and effectiveness as teachers.