July 2023

Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn (CECG) has been recognised at a national level for its bold vision and achievements in reimagining their teaching and learning approach at a meeting of State and Federal Education Ministers. It has also been profiled by the media on a national scale which draws attention to challenges within the education system and the solution that CECG has been implementing over the past four years to transform lives through learning.

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare said the initiative was aimed at making teachers feel more confident when they start the job.

“A lot of teachers tell me they did not feel like they were prepared for the classroom when they finished university,” he said.

Ross Fox, Director of CECG, echoed the Minister, recognising that early career teachers were too often not equipped with the knowledge and skills they needed to be successful in the classroom.

“We realised that to achieve the learning and teaching that we wanted at Catholic Education Archdiocese of Canberra Goulburn, we had to start with the theory that our educators needed to know to be able to effectively teach students,” Ross said.

“We believe that the teacher is the most important learner in our system and the education of the teacher is essential to the quality of learning that we can provide. If we support the teacher as the most important learner, they will take care of the students,” he said.

Read Ross Fox’s opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Read the ABC feature story – Universities given two years to overhaul teaching degrees after education ministers’ meeting

CECG Director Ross Fox with students from St Mary Mackillop

CECG initiated Catalyst over two years ago, to ensure all teachers could confidently deliver evidence-based, high impact teaching practice in their classrooms through specifically designed professional learning opportunities.

“There is an international movement that recognises that too often teachers didn’t know what they needed to know about how brains learn.”

“Catalyst draws on thousands of years of knowledge and history and giving teachers the tangible skills to apply it in classrooms in a contemporary and exciting way, is where we are going to make a big difference across Canberra Goulburn and hopefully across Australia.”

Catalyst aligns to the recommended reforms by focusing on High Impact Teaching Practice (HITP), including

  • A shared understanding on how students learn – Cognitive Load Theory
  • Evidence-based teaching practice such as
    • Breaking down what students need to learn and then demonstrating each step so that students understand what is expected of them – Explicit Instruction, Sequencing Concepts and Modelling (Rosenshine)
    • Assessing where students are in their learning and providing them with timely feedback to correct misunderstandings and build their knowledge – Check for Understanding, Daily Review (Rosenshine) and TAPPLE (DataWORKS)
    • Establishing safe, supportive, and engaging classroom environments, through Engagement Norms and explicitly teaching acceptable classroom behaviour

Read the national Teacher Education Expert Panel’s discussion paper released in March 2023 to learn more about the reforms recommended to teacher training to ensure graduates are adequately prepared for the workforce.

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