We’re the first Australian provider to introduce a new suite of short courses in special education and wellbeing. Mick Grimley, our Dean of Education explains how and why Torrens University is addressing some of the contemporary challenges that mainstream teachers face in the classroom…Educators today are faced with a whole host of complex new issues in the classroom. In the twenty-first century, our understanding of design, psychology and neuroscience is expanding faster than ever before. This knowledge is changing how we think about education and parenting and helping us to understand the nuances of learning behaviours – and that’s a good thing!
But, there’s also been a huge growth in the diagnosis of mental health conditions among children and adolescents. The unfortunate reality is that most of parents, students and educators are left without the resources to adequately manage the diverse needs of the contemporary classroom.
Our NEW Education short courses
The following short courses have been co-designed with individuals who experience mental health, autism or learning differences:
There is an imminent need for courses that equip teachers and parents or carers to negotiate the ever-increasing complexity of the student population in mainstream classrooms. Courses that traverse both communities and that are aimed at addressing contemporary issues in special education and wellbeing (such as mental ill-health, autism and learning differences) should be a priority for education providers.
Interested? We have 20% scholarships available*. Applications close 24 November 2017. *T&Cs apply.
The rise of mental health and developmental issues
In Australia, one in seven children and adolescents experience mental ill-health. The three most common conditions are anxiety, ADHD and depression. Combine these statistics with other developmental issues that are on the rise, such as autism (which presents in 1 in 62 children), and the landscape of Australia’s mainstream classrooms looks complex.
In a 2015 Australian survey, half of all teachers said they did not have the tools available to address mental health issues, while only one third said their school gave adequate mental-health training.
There is a dire need to educate, train and support teachers with student mental-ill-health and other conditions that lead to increased complexity and disruption in their classrooms. Our short course in Introduction to Mental Health Conditions takes a look at anxiety, depression and eating disorders in the context of education. We utilise a person-first approach where we listen to the people with the conditions to understand their issues.
There are many children with autism in mainstream classrooms as well as parents struggling to support their children in the education system. Our courses on autism are designed to help parents, carers and teachers to support children in their educational journey. Our Person First in Autism short course is designed to give an in-depth understanding of the person with autism and students of the course get to hear, firsthand, the struggles, issues and experiences of people with autism.
Although it ranges in many forms and is difficult to diagnose, dyslexia is estimated to affect 10% of the Australian population.
Many children are also affected by dyslexia in the classroom. Our short course on Dyslexia aims to help the teacher to better understand the condition and develop practical ideas on supporting that individual in the classroom.
Help yourself so you can help your students
Sadly, teachers report feeling helpless and overwhelmed when they can’t respond to student needs. Teachers work hard to provide an invaluable social service and they should be supported in school. But, if your school isn’t providing training and support, then you may have to look elsewhere to equip yourself with those tools.
In response to this, our education short courses have been designed for busy teachers so that they can study they are work. Not only are the courses flexible, in that they can be completed online and part-time, but they also provide distinct qualifications that can be completed in a modular format to work towards a Master of Education (Special Education), if so desired.
Designing the classroom around different needs
Diversity, personalised learning and awareness are concepts that characterise the contemporary school, – and that’s a positive thing! Offering a framework that allows teachers to treat learners as individuals ultimately delivers better results.
Design thinking has been identified as a powerful tool that can assist teachers in being able to respond to students’ individual needs. A growing number of schools are utilising this theoretical framework to introduce innovation into the curriculum.
Design Thinking for Education is our practical short course that demonstrates how to use the process of design thinking to address change and innovation in the classroom. The course allows you to start implementing changes straight away because you’ll work on practical issues that exist in your classroom as part of the course. This is a course that all school leaders should encourage their staff to take as it will make a real difference, in real time for the school as a whole.
Mick Grimley is the Dean of Education at Torrens University. He currently administers short courses that have been designed specifically for practising educators, based on research into the most pressing issues in education.