New pathway to teaching

28 October 2016

University of Canterbury's (UC) Master of Teaching and Learning is fast developing a reputation for excellence and innovation.

New pathway to teaching

Head of School, Professor Letitia Fickel

University of Canterbury’s (UC) Master of Teaching and Learning is fast developing a reputation for excellence and innovation.

Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora College of Education, Health and Human Development’s intensive, one year professional preparation programme welcomed its first intake of students in 2015.

The course was developed by Head of School, Professor Letitia Fickel, in close consultation with Ngāi Tahu and Pasifika and has a strong focus on priority learners including Māori and Pasifika youth, students for whom English is a second language and those who experience special learning needs.

The course also places an emphasis on developing deeper knowledge and skills through research. Graduates’ added level of understanding equips them to adapt and apply their expertise to specific situations and contexts in their classroom.

Ninety-two percent of the 2015 graduates have gone on to work in the education sector.

“The success of the programme is grounded in the partnership we have developed among UC staff, the Ngāi Tahu Runanga Advisory Group, and our centre and school partners. Our diverse perspectives and complementary expertise have enabled us to put in place a range of innovations, and try new things. I continue to be impressed and humbled by the commitment to creative and collaborative teaching by the UC lecturers who have been integral to establishing this programme.”

New Zealand Principal’s Federation Executive Member Graeme Barber says one of the strengths of the programme is that it successfully adopts a Community of Practice approach, fostering a relationship between the Master of Teaching and Learning student, mentor teacher and University mentor.

“All three participants co-construct a shared vision of ‘good teaching’ by openly recognising and harnessing the expertise and knowledge they bring to the partnership. Through the use of a wide range of reflective practice tools the three partners increase understandings around best practice mentorship.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Gail Gillon says Professor Fickel has done an outstanding job in leading the College’s academics in the new initiative.

“She has developed a strong partnership model with school principals, early childhood centre leaders and our Māori and Pasifika advisory groups. Our students greatly benefit from the innovative programme design which weaves together research and practice, ensuring our students are ready to embrace challenging teaching contexts in culturally responsive ways when they graduate. I have heard nothing but praise from principals across the country who are employing our graduates.”

For further information please contact:
Fiona Clayton, Communications Team Leader
Mobile: 027 404 4719 fiona.clayton@canterbury.ac.nz
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