Professional Experience –
The process of learning teachers’ work


Welcome to the Professional Experience Office from the Dean of the School of Education and the Arts, Professor Bill Blayney.

Professional Experience at the School of Education and the Arts Transcript

This site has been constructed as an essential guide for all stakeholders who work together to support the professional learning of high quality graduates from CQUniversity’s initial teacher education courses.

About Professional Experience

Professional experience is the component of an initial teacher education course that provides pre-service teachers with the opportunity to learn and practise teachers’ work in educational settings such as schools, classrooms and early learning contexts. This professional learning takes place under the guidance and direct supervision of experienced, registered teachers.

Participation in professional experience is critical to the success of pre-service teachers as they prepare for entry into the teaching profession. Research evidence clearly shows that professional experience placements provide pre-service teachers with new ways of knowing, understanding and learning the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for effective teaching that cannot be acquired anywhere else.

The importance of professional experience for aspiring teachers is also evident in the fact that supervised, assessable placements are mandatory components of accredited initial teacher education courses in Australia. Students enrolled in undergraduate courses must complete a minimum of 80 days of assessable placement while students enrolled in graduate entry courses must complete at least 60 supervised, assessable days.

At CQUniversity, the design of professional experience for pre-service teachers is guided by two main goals:

  • Providing structured opportunities for pre-service teachers to learn and practise teachers’ work in authentic settings
  • Maximising the connectedness between the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in practice and in university coursework

These goals emphasise the active engagement of pre-service teachers in the task of “learning teaching”. This outcome can only be achieved through effective partnerships that clarify and support the roles of all participants in professional experience; and, that ensure the effective organisation and management of the processes underpinning professional experience placements for pre-service teachers. This site aims to outline these processes and support all participants involved in professional experience placements.

Using This Site

The links to the left of this page provide access to information for everyone involved in CQUniversity’s professional experience program for pre-service teachers. The terminology used to identify key people involved in professional experience placements is defined below as a guide for locating resources or information that support each of these roles.

A site coordinator is a representative from a school or other educational setting who acts as a link between the site and the university. The site coordinator organises and supports the placement of pre-service teachers with supervising teachers at the site.

A supervising teacher is a person responsible for the mentoring, direct supervision and assessment of a pre-service teacher. Pre-service teachers work alongside supervising teachers to learn and practise the knowledge and skills demonstrated by effective teachers.

A pre-service teacher is a CQUniversity student enrolled in an initial teacher education course. Courses include the Bachelor of Education (Primary, Early Childhood and Secondary) and the Master of Teaching (Primary and Secondary).

A university coordinator is the academic staff member on each CQUniversity campus who communicates with and directly supports pre-service teachers and supervising teachers during a professional experience placement.

A placement officer coordinates all administrative functions of the placement process including initial requests for placements, distribution of materials to schools or learning sites and processing of claims for payment by supervising teachers and site coordinators.

Booklets and reports for specific placements, placement request forms, payment forms for school staff and responses to frequently asked questions can also be accessed directly by clicking on the relevant links in the menu on the left.

Fast access to frequently used resources

Quick Links on this page provide access to important details for communication with the Professional Experience Office and the effective and timely organisation of professional experience.

Placement calendars and contact details are relevant to all users of this site. In addition, pre-service teachers must ensure they are familiar with the processes, mandatory requirements and eligibility criteria for requesting and completing a professional experience placement in a designated unit in their course of study.

Information you can access from the Quick Links on this page includes:

  • Placement calendars
    As a result of deferred placements and changes to the structure of placements for 2021, a single A3 calendar showing all placement dates is provided.  Individual course calendars can be accessed through unit moodle sites or by emailing
  • Contact details
    Contact details for university staff who organise and manage pre-service teacher placements on or near a regional campus and in other locations in Queensland or interstate. If you are visiting this site because you are interested in supervising a pre-service teacher, please contact the Professional Experience Office. We would be delighted to welcome you as a valued partner in preparing high quality graduates for the teaching profession.
  • Pre-requisite study for placements (Pre-service teachers)
    A list of units that must be completed by pre-service teachers to be eligible for specific placements throughout a course of study (either a Bachelor of Education or Masters of Teaching course at CQUniversity).
  • Access to the Learning Place
    Information about how to apply for access to Education Queensland’s eLearning space for teachers.