Early Childhood Teacher Education
Working in early childhood education will offer you a challenging and rewarding career, enhancing the lives of infants, toddlers and young children, and providing support for families/whānau in their important task of parenting/caregiving. The early years of a child's life have a critical impact on their lifelong development. High quality learning experiences within those years lay the foundations for all later learning.
Now is a particularly good time to get into early childhood teaching as there are many scholarships for students enrolling in Early Childhood Teacher Education programmes. For more information go to TeachNZ.
Places are limited and a separate Application for Programme Entry (APE) to the College of Education is required.
Selection for entry is based on academic ability, involvement and interest in working with children, community involvement, communication skills and other personal qualities.
BTchLn(EarlyChildhood) applicants under 20 must have University Entrance or be over 20 years of age. For applicants over 20 years of age, recent tertiary study is desirable. For example, applicants may want to consider the Certificate in Learning Support (CertLS) which is available by distance or the Certificate in University Preparation (CUP). For GradDipECTch applicants a degree is required (overseas degrees will need to be assessed as equivalent to a New Zealand degree by the University).
The selection process includes a police check and may include an interview.
Students for whom English is an additional language must provide evidence of their English language ability as follows:
- IELTS (Academic) 7.0, with no individual score below 7.0; or
- At least two years of successful study in a New Zealand secondary school, with at least eight Level 2 NCEA credits in English (four reading and four writing) or equivalent.
As places are limited we strongly recommend that you apply for programme entry as early as possible (applications open in June). Applications are due four weeks prior to the commencement of the programme or when places are filled (whichever comes first).
Download an Application for Programme Entry (PDF, 321KB) or phone the Contact Centre on 0800 VARSITY (827 748). This includes the Application to Enrol. If your application is approved you will receive an offer of place letter.
Early Childhood qualifications at UC have four components.
In Education you will learn about the aims and purposes of education, child development, teaching and learning, assessment, the New Zealand education system, socio-political and cultural contexts, communication skills, information skills, and contemporary issues in education.
In Professional Inquiry and Professional Practice you will learn practical teaching skills and spend time working in a classroom alongside an experienced teacher. You will also be visited by your College lecturer who will observe and discuss your progress. The degree includes two three-week blocks of Professional Practice in Year 1 and two blocks of up to five weeks in each of years 2 and 3.
In Curriculum Studies you will learn about Te Whāriki – the Early Childhood Curriculum. Students gain pedagogical knowledge (knowledge about the theory of teaching), and skills required to teach effectively within an integrated curriculum.
The Early Childhood Flexible Learning Option (FLO) is available to BTchLn students throughout the country. Students must be able to attend up to two on-site intensives per year on the Christchurch campus. Classes are supplemented with web-based materials, audiovisual resources, audio conferences and email links. Students also attend professional practice placements in early childhood education centres for up to ten weeks per year.
The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching is available for students who hold a university degree.
FLO students study the majority of their programme by distance and attend three on-site intensives on campus.
Students are also required to attend professional practice placements in early childhood centres throughout their programme. These placements are arranged by the College of Education.
The Bachelor of Teaching and Learning with Honours (BTchLn(Hons)) is a one-year full-time postgraduate qualification for Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (or equivalent) graduates with a B grade average in their 200 and 300-level courses. The BTchLn(Hons) provides students with the opportunity to focus on educational issues or curriculum areas in which they have special interests.
Working in early childhood means you will:
- play a vital role in supporting the development and learning of infants, toddlers and young children in their formative years
- become a skilled professional who works alongside infants, toddlers and young children and their families/whānau in a range of early childhood settings
- join an interactive and collaborative teaching profession.
Early childhood teachers who graduate from UC are currently in high demand from employers.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers