Education, Change and Society

Connell, Raewyn

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This was a primary school unit with a primary school text book with primary school lectures using primary school examples and case studies. It assumes that there is no need to even try to address secondary school teachers or relate anything into a secondary setting. This is most evident when you look at the timing of practicum. It's alright for a primary education student, whose majority of units are on hold during prac, but for someone studying secondary education, during the second week you were effectively working a full-time job (with all the extras like lesson planning) whilst also studying three-quarters of a full-time study load. It is not realistic to expect students to be able to keep up with this. You would definitely tell a student it would be unwise to pursue full-time study alongside a full-time job, or possibly even prevent them from doing so, yet this is exactly what you expect us to do when you send secondary students out on prac during a teaching week. It is due to this that my overall GPA has dropped. I’m not trying to draw this out of proportion, I am being realistic. The strain of having practicum over a teaching week has had an adverse effect on my other units marks. This unit has made me not only caution, but in fact stress to people NOT to attend Murdoch if they want to study secondary education. Dr Lisa Cary's lectures were extremely unhelpful. They were full of cartoons and videos with very little content or anything helpful. Dr Greg Thompson's lectures were very applicable (I felt) and he was actually one of the few lecturers who related examples and situations to secondary settings. It is a shame that his second lecture was in the last week as we had no assessable reason to attend. The assessments for this unit felt like incessant naval gazing. Furthermore, my experience was that if you were not reflecting in alignment with your assessors ideas or opinions, you were not meeting the criteria. Having to reflect to exactly one page (not a line above or below) is not free reflection or critical thinking. I understand that there needs to be some kind of limit imposed, but being penalised for being a couple of lines below but not being able to go over leads to just writing extra words to fill in the space to make up exactly one page. I also believe that the professional log is flawed as an assignment. We write the assignment from the point of view of having actually taught the lesson, whereas the assessor is viewing from a completely external point of view. I tried as much as I could to explain exactly what I did in my lesson (in one page, along with what did and didn't work and what I planned to do to fix it) yet there was still elements that went misunderstood that I was penalised on. Overall I was extremely disappointed in this unit and I will definitely recommend future students to attend a different university if they were planning to study secondary education.

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2013