Co-requisite EDFD271 Creating Inclusive, Safe and Supportive Schools
The Community Engagement Program aims to assist preservice teachers to understand and value diversity in its many forms and to cater for diversity more effectively. The placement is in a community agency, where preservice teachers contribute to the functions of that agency and enhance the development of their understanding of the contextual factors that impact on the way in which people live their lives. The program is premised on an understanding that learning is enhanced through exposure to a variety of other individuals and contexts, particularly those that present different forms of knowledge, experiences, and attitudes. To enhance critical examination, promote reflective practices and challenge established beliefs, preservice teachers are offered an accessible array of non-formal educational settings such as hospitals, aged care, refugee and community centres that offer legitimate and authentic experiences for learning, and should therefore be recognised and valued. It enables preservice teachers to listen to the voices of marginalised people and, through reflection, allow such experiences to impact on their personal and professional lives as engaged citizens.