Teaching Excellence Program
The Teaching Excellence Program is the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership's flagship program for highly skilled teachers from Catholic, government and independent schools. Developed in collaboration with each sector, the program is a unique opportunity to strengthen and extend your evidence-based teacher practice.
You will have the opportunity to deepen teaching excellence and advance your professional practice through disciplinary knowledge, the science of learning and contemporary pedagogies.
As part of the program you can expect to:
- build expertise with other curious teachers to sharpen your knowledge, skills and dispositions
- share knowledge and make connections as part of expert cross-sector networks
- contribute to our professional knowledge as a leading educational system
- enhance and demonstrate dispositions that support your ongoing professional development and growth.
You will explore the teaching and learning approaches that research suggests are essential to supporting young people to thrive at school and in their contemporary world.
You will be supported to conduct practitioner inquiries in your classroom, enhancing students’ learning and further improving your teaching practice.
The Teaching Excellence Program is structured around key discipline groups and responsive pedagogies.
|Discipline groups||Responsive pedagogies that enable:|
The Teaching Excellence Program is designed for highly skilled teachers with a minimum of 3 years’ teaching experience from Victorian government, independent and Catholic schools.
The program is suited to teachers with a classroom focussed orientation and who demonstrate exceptional teaching in their selected discipline area; it does not have a focus on leadership development.
The Department, Independent Schools Victoria and Catholic Education Commission of Victoria deliver leadership professional learning programs for their respective sectors.
Note: be sure to read the detailed information on the application process, including eligibility requirements, before applying.
The Teaching Excellence Program has been designed by experts who work in academia, education and fields beyond education in collaboration with representatives from the Victorian government, independent and Catholic education sectors.
Over the school year you will actively engage in and contribute to:
- conferences (5 days)
- masterclasses (up to 10 sessions)
- Teaching Excellence Learning Communities
- self-directed learning.
There will be opportunities for engagement at various points in the year. Depending on the final program, and the availability of guest presenters, this could include the term breaks.
The conferences will take place during school hours; the masterclasses will take place during and after school hours. The Teaching Excellence Learning Communities will meet after school hours.
The program is a cohesive learning experience that combines face-to-face and online delivery modes plus synchronous and asynchronous learning activities.
Note: the location of face-to-face sessions are yet to be confirmed, but accessibility for regional and rural teachers is a key design principle of the program.
The full program for 2022 will be available through this website later in 2021.
Conferences are delivered over 5 days (beginning with 2 days in Term 1) and will bring you together with your peers to collaborate and generate new understandings, knowledge and evidence that further advances the teaching profession.
Masterclasses are delivered over 10 sessions and are designed and led by master teachers and experts.
You will gain a deeper understanding of contemporary knowledge in your discipline, pedagogical content knowledge and application, and demonstrations of responsive pedagogies in action.
You will critically examine research and classroom-based data to identify practice challenges and inquiry steps in your discipline.
Teaching Excellence Learning Communities
You will meet with your discipline-based peers from other school settings and sectors in Teaching Excellence Learning Communities that are facilitated by master teachers. These sessions will occur 2-3 times per term.
The sessions provide a structured opportunity to stretch and challenge your teaching practices utilising practitioner inquiry elements – including demonstration, modelling, observation, feedback, and fieldwork – are used to investigate and sharpen practice, learner motivation and growth.
Practitioner inquiry with peers will involve:
- using data to identify enduring problems of practice in classroom contexts
- displaying, interpreting, and categorising data to further understand students’ learning
- developing strategic plans of action that align with your school context
- trialling and evaluating the impact of pedagogical approaches
- reflecting on dispositions required to enable thoughtful change.
The Spotlight Library supports self-directed learning with access to a dynamic range of online resources to spark curiosity, enhance practice, and extend and deepen learning in and beyond the program.
Resources will include recordings, readings, podcasts, interviews and presentations. The library is also a space where you can share your expertise in the science of learning, disciplines and teaching tools and strategies.
Note: detailed information about the program schedule will be available in Term 4.
By completing the program, you will:
- gain further recognition as an expert in your discipline
- understand the latest research in teacher learning and practice
- have developed connections and partnerships as part of an expert network
- have generated and mobilised new knowledge about practice for your discipline and the profession
- be recognised as an Academy Fellow.
You will also have an opportunity to apply for a master teacher role and/or engage in a research fellowship to take your learning further.
You will not be required to complete formal assessments, however, there are several graduation requirements including:
- submission of a portfolio that contains documentation collected throughout the program related to inquiries into your essential questions, plus resources and notes from masterclasses and other self-directed learning activities
- a participation rate of 90 per cent across conferences, masterclasses and Teaching Excellence Learning Communities
- delivering a presentation at your school and the graduation conference.
The program fees are significantly subsidised by the Department of Education and Training.
Co-contribution: $500 (incl. GST) for each participant.
In government schools, the co-contribution is paid by the school. In Catholic schools, the arrangement for payment will depend on each school’s context. In independent schools, the arrangement will depend on each school’s relevant internal policies.
To be eligible for the program you must:
- be an Australian citizen or have a permanent residency visa
- have full teacher registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching
- be in a current teaching role in Victoria (full-time or part-time)
- have taught for at least 3 years
- have your principal's endorsement.
You will need to follow your school's relevant policies and processes to fully participate in all aspects of the program.
As part of your application, you will need to:
- select 1 discipline (choose the discipline area you would most like to focus on in your school setting)
- complete a short statement about why you would like to participate in the program
- submit your curriculum vitae
- demonstrate your expertise as a teacher
- a statement of support from your principal or a peer (endorsed by your principal).
Find out more about the application process.