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AN INTRODUCTION TO THE FACULTY OF EDUCATION

We welcome you to the Faculty of Education at Australian Catholic University.

Australian Catholic University is unique in Australia, operating on a multi-campus basis across all states and territories along the eastern seaboard of Australia. Our students come from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, from within Australia, from Asia and the Pacific region, from Europe and elsewhere.

In our Faculty, courses are available for the preparation of primary and secondary teachers and for education professionals working in adult and community education and lifelong learning. Undergraduate and postgraduate studies can be taken in a broad range of areas including:

- Adult and community education
- Arts education, including dance, drama, music and visual arts
- Education for those with special needs
- Educational administration and leadership
- Humanities education, commerce, mathematics, and science education
- Indigenous education
- Philosophy, sociology and psychology of education
- Religious education and pastoral care

Graduates from our pre-service courses have a record, above the national average, for enjoying success in being placed in employment as teachers and professionals in the field of education.

In addition to providing undergraduate and postgraduate award programs, the Faculty of Education at ACU provides service to the broader community of which it is a part. It does so by offering specialised courses for in-service professional education, facilitating the conduct of short-term training programs, conferences, seminars, public lectures; facilitating study tours, school visits, collegial support and networking; promoting opportunities for school-based and classroom research designed to improve professional practice; and forging partnerships in the development of learning consortia.

We work closely with employing authorities to improve educational provision and to enhance the quality of the education profession. Our concern is to strengthen schools and other educating agencies by promoting values, faith and spirituality in the educational process and environment. Inherent in this is a commitment to social and cultural learning, and social justice and inclusion. This concern is exemplified in our work with people who have been marginalised in our society, and in our programs in adult and community education and lifelong learning, indigenous education and habilitation.

Members of the Faculty of Education at ACU seek to create a community where faith and reason support and complement each other; where Gospel values are taught and exemplified; where inherited wisdom from the Catholic tradition is transmitted and new knowledge is created. The Faculty provides a particular contribution to the improvement of education through its consideration of issues, problems and practices from a Christian perspective.

The Faculty is guided in its operation by a number of core values and principles. Our aim is to provide an education of value for our students. We strive to create an environment of support and challenge, where intellectual engagement and cognitive development occur as part of a deeper concern to help people learn, morally, spiritually, culturally and socially. Education, we believe, is embedded in moral intentions and purposes. An education of value can only take place in the context of institutional concern for personal enrichment, social inclusiveness and community development. Pastoral care is integrated into our work and the quality of the relationship between our staff and students correlates closely with the quality of our learning programs and course delivery. Learning, we believe, should not be passively received but actively entered into and mastered through a spirit of enquiry and discovery.

The Faculty is active in linking its work in the service of the Australian community with the international community of research, scholarship and professional practice. In recent years staff who are now employed at ACU have engaged in projects with international organisations such as OECD, UNESCO, and APEC. Mutually co-operative relationships have been forged with universities, professional groups and employing authorities in South East Asia, Africa, Europe, the Indian sub-continent, North America, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region more widely.

The Faculty has a vigorous research program. Students are able to enrol for the research-based degrees of M Phil, EdD, and PhD. Many staff are actively engaged in research and have national and international reputations in the areas of Catholic education, educational leadership; science and mathematics education; religious, spiritual, cultural and social learning; inclusive education; lifelong learning; quality schooling; and effective learning environments. The research undertakings of our staff are reflected and given expression in our joint commitment to increasing the range and quality of our students' learning. Our staff realise that their own continued learning is a necessary precondition for and a critical part of an approach to a whole series of shared pedagogical activities and processes in which we gain as much from our students as they gain from us.

It is this commitment that helps us try to create an environment of communal, professional and scholarly endeavour in seeking out the widest possible range of pathways to learning, and the shared satisfaction and pride in our common intellectual achievements - achievements that are made stronger and more vibrant by the strong framework of values and spiritual concerns in which they are conceived, articulated, and applied.

Professor Judith Chapman AM
Dean of Education