The clinical teaching model

Individual teaching styles for unique learning needs

One of the toughest things when taking on a new class is remembering kids’ names. Wouldn’t it be great if all kids were just called Dave? Well, that’s how teaching has traditionally been taught. Once size (or name) fits all.

For years, many teacher education courses have focused on developing lesson plans, delivering lessons as planned and reviewing progress after the lesson is finished. Clinical teaching turns the tables. It involves the monitoring, evaluating, then the adaption of a lesson, during the lesson, to ensure it meets the needs of each student.

Teaching courses at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) are designed to recognise that teaching is much more than passionate information transmission and behaviour management. Clinical teaching equips teacher candidates with the art and science of a progressive teaching style, putting the student at the centre. And it allows them to focus on individual students' learning needs and growth.

A teaching style unlike any other

The MGSE’s program is a whole paradigm shift in education. It’s developed a new class of teacher.

It turns the traditional teacher education program on its head through connecting university theory, professional knowledge and classroom experience. It simply recognises that everyone has a unique learning style.

In the words of Alana Ryan, a Master of Teaching (Secondary) teacher candidate, “the Clinical Teaching Model is a general guiding principle for how teachers should approach every unit, lesson and academic interaction with a student.

“It focuses on the idea that in order to effectively move a students’ learning forward, you need to ‘diagnose’ their learning need (i.e. What does the student know and what do they need to know next?) and then use your professional judgement to decide on the best strategy (intervention, activity, or lesson structure) that will enable the student to move forward.  

“Once you’ve put the strategy in place, the next step is to evaluate its effectiveness and reflect on the learning that has been achieved. Then you start all over again with the next thing to be tackled.”

Pioneering a new way of educating teachers

The MGSE’s world-renowned teaching academics were taken to leading universities around the world to see how things could be done differently – including Stanford. And, this was the trigger for new thinking.

The result?

The MGSE offers an initial teacher education program unlike any other university, while also improving the nation’s education standards. This means at the MGSE, teacher candidates learn theory and practise - from an innovative curriculum - that equips them with powerful insights into children, and how children learn.

And, importantly, there’s no doubt that graduates gain an employment edge, as Heather Schangl, former Principal of Ivanhoe Girls Grammar attests to. She says, “we had the privilege of employing a number of them, and they’ve been wonderful practitioners of the art, craft and science of teaching.”

Learn to develop unique curriculum

It’s important for future teachers to gain the ability to construct appropriate teaching and learning environments for every student, whatever their developmental stage and current abilities.

Clinical teaching is clinical as such – as it is evidence based. Teacher candidates take on the information that a student knows and understands at the start of the teaching period. Then they use this information as insight into paving appropriate teaching interventions to improve students’ ability to learn.

Develop a radical education style during your regular teaching studies

The clinical teaching method is embedded in the curriculum: the way classes are taught, and the placements teacher candidates complete. So, along with the specialty (or generalist) areas teacher candidates learn to teach, gained through their degree, they’ll also learn the clinical teaching methods to compliment these.

Whether they’re beginning as a teacher or already have teaching experience – MGSE’s teacher candidates learn clinical teaching methodologies, to suit different career levels and paths.

This all leads to MGSE’s teaching graduates feeling well-equipped and prepared to enter into the profession as a well-rounded teacher with an edge.

To gain the skills and experience required to become an effective teacher, you can apply now to study one of four Master of Teaching streams in 2019: