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MIT takes early childhood education to the next le

Thursday, 22 June 2006

MIT takes early childhood education to the next level

Manukau Institute of Technology has been given the go-ahead by the Ministry of Education to develop an early childhood teaching degree, after gaining an exemption from the current moratorium on developing new teacher education programmes.

MIT currently offers a three-year Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education), but can now develop an exciting new Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching) degree, which it plans to offer by 2007.

Tertiary providers are restricted from developing new teaching programmes under the moratorium. However, MIT was granted an exemption as the Ministry identified the need for a local provider of an early childhood education degree in the fast-growing Counties Manukau region, says Lin Howie, head of MIT’s Early Childhood Education programme. “We are delighted to be able to deliver this degree in order to service our community.”

This development is a great win for students who live in the region, says Lin. “It is a huge benefit for the community as students who start their teacher education at MIT will be able to leave with a degree.”

Under the present system, students who graduate from MIT with a three-year diploma need to continue their studies elsewhere for another year if they wish to obtain a degree.

MIT’s proposed early childhood education degree programme will replace the current diploma programme and will also be a three-year, Level 7 qualification.

“The degree is a completely new programme developed through extensive community consultation, which focused on the attributes, knowledge and skills teachers will need in the future, particularly in this diverse community,” says Lin.

MIT aims to complete the development of the degree programme in time to introduce the programme next year. This process will involve obtaining approval and accreditation for the programme from the Teacher’s Council and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics Quality (ITPQ).

More than 200 students are enrolled in MIT’s Early Childhood Education diploma and a transition pathway will be provided for those already enrolled by the time the new degree programme is introduced. This means students who started studying towards their diploma can complete their studies with a degree providing transition requirements are met.

MIT principal lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences, Margaret Maciver, says the new degree programme is vital as New Zealand faces a shortage of early childhood teachers. “The government is encouraging people to go into early childhood education through its TeachNZ scholarship incentive programme, for example.”

MIT is working closely with schools to boost the numbers of school leavers who enrol in its early childhood education programme through a curriculum alignment project, says Margaret, adding that the level of interest in the project is high.

MIT offers a wide range of study options for those who wish to become a teacher or develop their teaching skills at all levels from early childhood to tertiary and adult education. For more information on these programmes contact MIT on 0800 62 62 52 or visit www.manukau.ac.nz.


ENDS

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