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ECU students offer their expertise to local high school students

Thursday, 10 December 2009


Year 11 and 12 students from St Stephen’s School in Duncraig are benefitting from ECU’s ‘Peer Tutoring @ ECU – Step Up!’ program.

Step Up is coordinated by John Poland, Community Officer in the Faculty of Computing, Health and Science and has been assisting high school students studying science since 1997.

The high school students pictured are studying Psychology with help from ECU student Rachel Silvini. High school Psychology has recently been introduced to the WA curriculum, with a number of high schools taking it on for the first time this year.

The Step Up program provides an opportunity for the Faculty to bring tertiary level expertise to schools, by allowing high-performing students to visit a school on a regular basis to provide support to students and staff in the classroom, while at the same time observing different teaching and learning methods.

The tutors have the opportunity to practice and enhance their developing professional skills, and it also allows high school teachers to tap into the university students’ knowledge and skills.

Students at St Stephen’s have been studying human behaviour and, in particular, the brain. While Rachel is providing support and assistance to the students with their research and laboratory tasks, she is able to learn and observe teaching methods.

“It provides a fantastic opportunity to observe and research a wide range of teaching methods and behavioural management techniques without disrupting the classroom,” she said.

“The students are really enjoying the unit – it is presented in an entertaining way with many hands-on activities and a lot of visual aids.”

ECU students commit to the program for a minimum of one semester and many continue for several semesters once they are established in a school.

With the intention of becoming a school psychologist, Rachel’s placement at the school has allowed her to observe a school environment and different aspects of teaching and learning, while at the same time providing assistance and support within the classroom to both students and teachers.


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