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.
“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 was selected 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.
Upon return from the conference, Phillip presented to the Griffith Masters cohort and included a cross-cultural analysis on how a positive education study of 700,000 students 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.
“Positive Education 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.