Master’s opens door to teaching career

It was while completing his honours in psychology at a Gold Coast school that Phillip Pearce first realised teaching would become his raison d’etre.

“I always had a passion for child developmental psychology, discovered I loved being in a school environment and so enrolled in the Master of Primary Teaching at Griffith,’’ he said.

“My study has given me the perfect balance of theory underpinned with practical knowledge.

“The lecturers come from the classroom so they are all super experienced. We can be discussing various pedagogical theories and they are able to relate it back to real life.

“It’s made me more confident in my pracs and I know teaching is the right career for me.”

Phillip, who works part-time at a Gold Coast school, said the flexibility of the Master’s program enabled him and other students to work while studying.

“I can structure my timetable around work. It’s intense, but manageable.”

An advocate for Positive Education, a curriculum approach combining traditional education with the study of happiness and wellbeing to promote students’ positive mental health, Phillip wasselected as a guest to attend the three-day Positive Education Schools Association conference in Geelong.

“PESA selected one student teacher to represent their state and I was honoured by the accolade to represent Queensland,’’ he said.

Uponreturn from the conference, Phillip presented to the Griffith Masters cohort and included a cross-cultural analysis onhow a positive education study of 700,000students in Bhutan, Peru and Mexico promoted students’ academic achievement and wellbeing.

“At the end of the 15-month study all the children in study group scored significantly higher than the control group on wellbeing and performance on national exams,’’ he said.

“PositiveEducation teaches students how to capitalise on their existing character strengths.”

Recalling an experience where he undertook Positive Education, Phillip created a ‘What Went Well Wall’ in the classroom where at the end of each day, students would write one thing that went well for them.

“The class reflects on what has been added to the wall and it helps them develop optimism and hope.”

Phillip hopes to implement Positive Education components into his teaching when he graduates.

Find out more about studying teaching at Griffith.