System innovation

Drive change and innovation in the education system

Teach For Australia is fostering the leadership of its Alumni to drive reform and innovation in education beyond the classroom.

Alumni are beginning to make their mark as government and political leaders and social entrepreneurs.

Two of our recent Alumni founded Maths Pathway – an e-learning curriculum and pedagogy for Years 5 to 10 students, which is changing the way that maths is taught by allowing teachers to deliver and assess individualised maths lessons for each student’s skill level, resulting in a rapid enhancement of student learning.

Having only commenced in July 2013, Maths Pathway has already worked with over 130 schools and has almost 60 partner schools across Australia.

An Alumna founded Boundless, which provides work-experience placement matches for students from outer metropolitan and regional schools.

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Partner schools and education systems are adopting many practices that Teach For Australia champions, such as rigorous recruitment, mentoring and classroom observation and feedback, which help improve teacher quality and student outcomes.

As the ACER evaluation found, many of Teach For Australia’s practices could benefit the broader education system, including:

  • the high-quality recruitment process, which delivers high-quality teachers, including in shortage areas such as maths and science;
  • strong partnerships with governments, universities and schools to support schools serving low socioeconomic communities;
  • the emphasis on practicum experience and providing leadership training for teachers;
  • and better school induction processes, including in-school mentors to help teachers improve their teaching practice. (2013b)

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Teach For Australia is fostering system leadership through initiatives and innovative partnerships.

  • EdFellows: EdFellows provides a six-month program to improve the policy and advocacy skills of early-career teachers, both Alumni and all other teachers. It seeks to give early career teachers a platform to share their education reform ideas.
  • Teach To Lead: Teach For Australia is incubating a comprehensive two-year leadership program to accelerate development of aspiring school leaders working in schools serving low socioeconomic communities. Teach To Lead commences in Victoria in 2016 and is open to Alumni and all other teachers.
  • TransformED: Our annual conference that brings together teachers, principals, academics, ministers, government officials, Associates and Alumni to discuss policy reform in education.

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International evidence indicates that this innovation will magnify over time.

More than two-thirds of those who have completed Teach First in the United Kingdom continue to work in organisations that support low income communities.

10 per cent Alumni are social entrepreneurs leading social enterprises in areas such as literacy and support for at-risk students and more than 300 Alumni are playing leading roles in non-profit organisations working to end educational inequality.

Almost 85 per cent of Teach For America’s Alumni remain in education or organisations that contribute to reform in low income communities.

It has produced more than 900 principals, 250 education system leaders and 90 elected officials.

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