Trinity teachers offered doctoral fellowshipsJohn Blois
Research funding a trail-blazer for independent schools
Trinity Grammar School, Sydney, has underlined its commitment to lifetime learning and self-improvement by offering teachers a ground-breaking doctoral fellowship to help them complete higher research degrees.
The Trinity Grammar School (TGS) Doctoral Fellowship will fund one year of paid leave to enable teachers to make substantial progress in completing PhD or EdD studies.
The main aims are to cultivate a focus upon research at Trinity and position the School as an “employer of choice for high-calibre teachers”.
“To the best of my knowledge, there is no equivalent programme at any other independent school in Australia,” said Head Master Tim Bowden.
“We recognise there are substantial challenges to be overcome for teachers to do doctoral work mid-career, with time and financial commitments being prominent among them.
“The provision of extended study leave through the fellowship model is intended to assist staff in overcoming these challenges, without causing the disruption to student learning that is created by shorter periods of teacher absence.”
The announcement follows a year in which the School financially supported more than 30 staff with further study – about three quarters of them teachers and one quarter support staff. About a dozen more have applied to join them in 2022.
“I encourage our staff to consider further education as a way to continue to develop professional capacity and open up career possibilities,” said Mr Bowden.
“The extent of the School’s commitment to financially supporting such professional development efforts is uncommon among similar schools.”
The TGS fellowships are open to teachers who have been employed at the School for at least three years full-time.
Before applying, candidates must have progressed in their studies at least stage one or equivalent, which is at least two years of a part-time programme.
The proposed area of study must have direct relevance to the School’s programme and strategic direction.
Fellows will be required to do at least 35 days of casual teaching at Trinity during their fellowship year and continue to participate in the School’s formal and informal research networks.
They are expected to continue teaching full-time at Trinity for at least three years after their fellowship year. They will be required to provide a written and verbal report of the research within six months.
Mr Bowden said the School encourages staff to participate in ongoing professional learning and “engage with thought leaders, on and off campus, to create a workplace culture characterised by life-long learning
“We value enhancing the knowledge and skill of individuals and building exceptional professional practice across the School to improve student learning and growth experiences and outcomes,” he said.
Professional learning enables the delivery of “an education fit for the 21st century”.
Opportunities for professional learning and development include courses, seminars, briefings, conferences, webinars, school visits, workshops, online learning, and action-research projects.
Trinity offers numerous days each year for staff to undergo development and professional learning, and all permanent Staff may apply for support to undertake Higher Education.
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