Engaging with Place: Activating student engagement and being present in the first year of the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood/Primary)

Year: 2016

Author: Hamm, Catherine, Boucher, Kelly, Iorio, Jeanne Marie

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In Australia, there has been recent attention paid to the standard of pre-service teacher education. Concerns have been raised about the quality of teacher candidates, with a particular focus on what it means to be ‘classroom ready’ (TEMAG, 2014). In response to these ‘concerns’ about the state of pre-service teacher education, a group of critical early childhood teacher educators (Agius, et al 2015) envision that ‘classroom ready’ involves early childhood pre-service teachers ‘being present’. Being present is framed as pre-service teachers that engage with complexity, learn to raise critical questions and take into account the ethics and politics of teaching (Lenz-Taguchi, 2010; Dahlberg, Moss & Pence 2007; Pacini-Ketchabaw et al, 2014). This presentation is drawn from a larger study “Rethinking Structures and Policies within the VU Early Childhood Course”. This study is documenting the course re-thinking process in the Bachelor of education (Early Childhood/Primary). The course rethinking process is being underpinned by three main concepts;1. Foregrounding Aboriginal perspectives2. Engaging with different ways of knowing, being & doing3. Positioning academics and students as public intellectuals We focus on the revisions that have been made the 1st Year of the program situated within a relationality framework, paying attention to the conceptual, pedagogical and technical aspects of teaching and teacher education. We will show how the 1st year professional experience has been rethought to foreground and re-centre local, specific Aboriginal knowledges. Secondly, we will highlight the conceptual underpinnings of the units of study and the first year professional experience/placement and show how these concepts relate to the overall course concepts. Finally, we illustrate how the content and assessment of the units of study have been built around and been informed by the professional experience placement.Agius,K., Aitken, J. Blaise, M., Boucher, K., Hamm., Iorio, J.M., Lovell, B., McCartin, J., Nehma, N (2015) Being Present: Imagining ‘classroom ready’ in early childhood education. Professional Educator. Dahlberg, G., Moss, P., & Pence, A. (2007) Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care:Languages of Evaluation. United Kingdom: Taylor & FrancisLenz-Taguchi, H (2010) Going beyond the theory/practice divide in early childhood education. New York: RoutledgePacini-Ketchabaw, V., Nxumalo,F., Kocker,L., E., Sanchez,A (2015) Journeys: Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Practices through Pedagogical Narration. Canada: University of Toronto Press.Teacher Education Ministerial Action Group. (2014) TEMAG Final Report: Action now: Classroom ready teachers.