Exceptional Teachers for Disadvantaged Schools
Case study snapshot
Very few of the highest performing graduate teachers are being directed into low SES schools.
The ETDS program prepares the highest performing pre-service teachers to work in low SES schools. The ETDS program provides a specialised curriculum and practicum experience in low SES schools.
Early exposure through directed and supportive pre-service training improves attraction of pre-service teachers to low SES schools. It also increases retention as it better prepares early career teachers for the demands of working in a disadvantaged community.
Teachers in low socio-economic status schools (SES) require an additional set of pedagogies, attributes, experience and understandings to what may ordinarily be provided in typical initial teacher education courses. The Education Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has acknowledged this requirement and has created the Exceptional Teachers for Disadvantaged Schools program (ETDS).
ETDS was designed in 2008 by Associate Professors Jo Lampert and Bruce Burnett to address the issues of teacher quality in low SES schools. The ETDS program creates a pathway for the highest quality pre-service teachers to be fully prepared, professionally and personally, for roles within the schools that need them most.
The ETDS program identifies the highest-achieving education students based on university grades at the end of their second year, and selects the top 5-10% of students. The program offers a specialised curriculum and practicum experience with partnering low SES schools. By working closely with Education Queensland and partner schools, the program also works to channel these exceptional pre-service teachers into low SES schools.
The quality of initial teacher education is a key determinant for improving early career teacher effectiveness, attraction, and retention in low SES schools. While the ETDS program is focused on pre-service teachers, it is having positive outcomes on early career teacher quality in low SES schools.