Brain gain : boomerang PD
Australian teachers are gaining valuable professional experience by getting on a plane to the United States, thanks to an alliance between the US Visiting International Faculty (VIF) Program and the Australian Council for Educational Research. The VIF is the US's largest cultural exchange program for teachers, and has been placing Australian teachers in US schools for nearly 20 years, but a recent alliance with ACER aims to expand recognition for the skills and experience teachers gain abroad. Just as a boomerang always comes back, these teachers contribute to the 'brain gain' for our education system when they return. The stated aim of the program is to 'provide US schools with world-class teachers who groom a new generation of students for success in a globally-integrated world'. VIF teachers from 55 countries have the opportunity to work for up to three years on a J-1 cultural-exchange visa in the US, where they can explore alternative teaching methods and instructional approaches, and then return home to share their international experiences with students and colleagues in their home countries. In Australia, the endorsement and recommendation of ACER will ensure local recognition of the reputation of the program. ACER's role will be to increase the number of applicants, to manage selection of teachers in Australia and to ensure recognition for the professional development that teachers gain through the program. [Author abstract, ed]
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