Relationships are at the heart of learning and teaching. In fact, relationships are one of the four key principles in the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 2017). Early Childhood Education is not just about knowing what to teach and how to teach it. Young children deserve to have educators who know who they are, how this impacts their teaching and the relationships they develop, and are committed to getting to know each child and their whanau at a deep level.
At Bethlehem Tertiary Institute (BTI), strong reciprocal relationships enable educators to develop a greater awareness of who their students are and how they can best work with them. Teacher educators model this as they teach and walk alongside student teachers throughout their studies. Hannah Jones, a graduating teacher of the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) ECE degree says “I feel as though I have received much more than a teaching degree at BTI. I have been supported and mentored through a journey of personal growth. BTI has helped me to develop confidence in who I am as a teacher and person. I now have a clear vision of the passion that drives my desire to teach and will carry this with me throughout my teaching journey.”
Karyn Robertson (Programme Leader, Bachelor of Education (Teaching) ECE) is passionate about building relationships and equipping students for a career in the early childhood sector. Her passion enables her to develop well prepared educators who are not only highly skilled and passionate about education but also have the ability to care for and nurture the children they will eventually be responsible for. She constantly challenges her students to not only grow as teachers but also as individuals. "Each student comes with unique God-given gifts and talents. Through support and mentoring they are encouraged to engage with head, heart and hands as they seek to fulfill their calling and use their strengths and passion to be change agents in our nation and beyond”.
With New Zealand currently experiencing a shortage of qualified early childhood educators, now is the perfect time to consider stepping up into a career that will make a difference that lasts a lifetime.
The Bachelor of Education (Teaching) ECE prepares graduates to teach in a range of early childhood services in New Zealand and beyond.
For BTI, delivering a qualification is about preparing the student for life as a graduate in their chosen profession so that they will be successful at gaining employment and transforming lives. To this end, we work with industry stakeholders to ensure that our programmes are fit for purpose; that our graduates are sought after.
Our 2014 graduation survey shows that 86.77% of BTI students are employed in a job that is linked to their qualification at the time of graduation.
Bachelor of Counselling graduates reported that 83% of them were employed, an increase of 7% on 2013 outcomes.
90.2% of Teacher Education graduates were employed in schools, with 83% of students graduating with a degree in primary teaching having secured a job. This is an increase of 18% on 2013.
88% of students who graduated with BTI’s Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) degree in 2014 were employed by the time that they graduated, and it is further encouraging to note that our research shows that of those graduating in 2014, 44% were offered a job in either their ‘Host school’ or a school at which they carried out a practicum experience. This shows that BTI is teaching the skills required in the programme to meet the needs of industry.
Our graduate job outcomes for 2014 are particularly encouraging as the current national trend for those graduating with a degree in Primary and Secondary teaching is significantly lower. Our evidence, based on student and stakeholder feedback, shows us that BTI’s commitment to growing students both holistically and academically, stretching them towards excellence, is outworked by students whilst on practicum and witnessed by employers.
The skills that graduates learn at BTI are not just focussed on the specific practice skills required, ie “teaching”, “counselling”, “social work”, they also learn transferrable skills such as working in teams, problem solving, communication and accountably. We believe that this is imperative if we are to ensure that our graduates are educated for roles that may not yet be available to them in NZ. This approach helps to ‘future-proof’ our graduates and makes them highly attractive to stakeholders, many of whom recognise these skills at the time of practicum or ‘Host school’ experience.
2014 is a year that BTI will remember for quite some time to come; not only is it our coming of age, it is also the year in which NQZA gave approval for BTI to deliver two new qualifications:
* Postgraduate Diploma of Professional Practice
* Master of Professional Practice
The added significance of this approval is that, not only is this BTI's first step into postgraduate programme delivery, but that the whole approval process from submission to approval took just over 12 weeks!
In responding to the submission, the NZQA approval panel commended BTI on the following:
* The integration of research throughout the whole programme, incorporating a broad range of research methodologies.
* The level of staff qualification and research experience.
* The example provided by senior staff in combining programme development, teaching and research involvement with the leadership roles.
* The comprehensive consultation process, which was iterative, broad and meaningful, and which clearly influenced development.
* The well designed integrated approach to research supported by committee structure, strategic plan and professional development.
* The inclusion of an exegesis option for the thesis.
* The successful integration of the faith-based special character of BTI with the academic rigour required at
post-graduate level without compromising either.
BTI Dean, Dr Andrew Smith, says the qualification is specifically faith-based and is for any professional working in people-helping roles such as teaching, counselling, social work or occupational therapy and who wants to look at integrating faith and work, “This doesn’t mean postgraduate students will be working in a
Christian school or church. It just means they want to think about what it means to bring their faith to work.”
The qualification consists of 18 months’ equivalent full time study, but will be completed on a part time basis across three years allowing students to integrate study with their professional practice.
“We are going to be provoking students to look at themselves and think about who they are as professionals. They will then look at some of the principles that they bring to the workplace. Often people get involved in these sorts of roles without necessarily clearly articulating the principles that we work from.”
BTI has also woven research aspects throughout the whole qualification which is an innovative approach to postgraduate study.
The programme, which is expected to fill quickly due to a waiting list of eager would-be students, will be delivered for the first time in early 2015.
On Saturday 5th April 2014, as the glorious hot sunshine beat down on Tauranga, shoppers paused to acknowledge 125 graduands decked out in the gold and blue colours that represent BTI's Teacher Education and Counsellor Education programmes. The celebratory processsion, which commenced at the waterfront at 1.15pm, was led by a piped band and cheered on by friends, family and whanau lining Devonport Road.
Deputy Major, Kelvin Clout, joined an impressive crowd of almost 800 to celebrate BTI's 2014 Graduation ceremony at Holy Trinity Church. As always, there was a strong sense of community spirit evident, and a number of the graduands were publicly honoured with tributes from whanau and family.
This graduation was especially important for BTI, as it marked the largest number of Secondary Teaching students to graduate in one group in BTI's 21 year history. 25 students, who had studied the Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) programme by distance, from all around New Zealand, came together in celebration with 76% of this cohort already having secured jobs; 40% of which are in their 'Host School'. The national average for Secondary graduates gaining employment after graduation is closer to 30%!
Al Ronberg, pictured centre in this main photo, says of the Secondary programme, "When you study at BTI, you become a part of a family - you get the feeling that YOUR OWN personal success is something that EVERYONE on staff is working towards. They give you a long leash and continually personalise the course to your individual subject requirements and personality. The jewel in the crown is their ingenious Host-School model in Secondary Teacher training."
These photos show some of the 'behind the scenes' moments that were captured on the day.
BTI is developing a Master of Professional Practice (M Prof Prac) - an 18-month, full time equivalent, qualification designed for Christian professionals working in fields such as education sectors (ECE, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary) and social service, including Counselling.
We are delighted to confirm that the proposal has now been finalised and submitted to NZQA for approval. This can be a reasonably long process, but we hope to have approval by Term 4 of this year so that we can welcome the first cohort in 2015!
To find our more about our proposed Masters qualification, or to register your interest, CLICK HERE.
We are looking for an enthusiastic, creative and experienced ECE educator with an interest in e-learning and teaching.
We'd love to hear form you if you would enjoy using your expertise to teach and motivate others into this vital profession.
You would have online and face to face teaching responsibilities, a pastoral care role and you would assist with supporting students in their practicum locally and at a distance.
This position would suit someone who either holds, or wants to complete, a Master's degree. You will need to have a clear fit with the Christian special character of BTI.
The position would commence in January 2014.
Apply online: http://www.seek.co.nz/Job/25473254?cid=advfb
BTI is delighted to announce that we will be hosting author, Paul Young, and theologian, Baxter Kruger, in January 2014.
Experience this rare opportunity - come and linger in the love of God. Evening event and day retreat available, with prices starting at just $5!
Read more and to book online: http://www.bti.ac.nz/the-shack.html
"This simple story confirmed and validated the way in which I think and
relate to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This book was life altering and truly wonderful. My understanding is that the author originally wrote it for his children. Love God, Love The Shack!"
BTI celebrated 20 years this weekend with a celebratory dinner at Mills Reef, attended by students, alumni, staff, VIPs and other key stakeholders, including Hon Simon Bridges, MP for Tauranga, and the Mayor of Tauranga, Stuart Crosby.
The evening was full of laughter, recognition of service, student awards and an inspirational speech by well known journalist, Rob Harley. Read more...
Everyone knows there is something special about BTI, but trying to put your finger on exactly what it is can prove tricky. Kathryn Overall takes up the challenge of exploring the relational learning culture that makes the BTI study experience so unique.
In recently published Government league tables, highlighting student performance across the tertiary sector, local Tauranga provider Bethlehem Tertiary Institute has proven that it can punch above its weight by out-performing all 18 institutes of technology /polytechnics and holding its own against the university sector.
Locally, BTI topped both the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and the University of Waikato in two of the four categories measured; course completions (89%) and qualification completions (87%), and matched the course completion outcome of the best performing university, Otago.
BTI’s dean, Dr Andrew Smith, attributes the successful results to dedicated staff and the institute’s
commitment to quality education, “These results affirm our quality teaching, which is informed by recognised research and supported by a staff dedicated to student success. Over the past few years, BTI has seen an increasing number of students studying some or all of their papers at a distance, as they balance work and home commitments with study, and so we are particularly encouraged by our student retention results when compared to other providers of distance learning.”
The Tertiary Education Commission releases these figures each year to help students make informed
decisions when choosing a tertiary provider. Tertiary Education Minister, Steven Joyce, said the data showed that New Zealand tertiary institutes were performing well, with qualification completion rates improving across all sectors.
BTI offers qualifications in early childhood education, primary and secondary teaching, and counselling and
social work. A Master of Professional Practice qualification is currently under development for delivery
in 2014, subject to NZQA approval.
To read more about these results, visit the TEC website.
** Hot Off The Press **
We are delighted to bring you this year's Forward Magazine. Filled with a potpouri of articles, this third edition includes:
Hayden Reid: Bringing His Game To The Classroom
Charter Schools: Why Are They So Controversial?
How Do You Thrive As A New Secondary Teacher?
The DNA of BTI's Relational Learning Culture
Strengths Based Leadership
A Week In The Life Of A Third Year Counselling Student
2014 Programmes and Key Dates
Islay Goldsmith began a Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) at BTI in early February. Now six weeks into her study, Islay continues this month’s theme by reflecting on her foray into her unexpected new beginning as a teacher in training.
I am a Christian. I am a mother of two gorgeous and hilarious children. I have a degree in psychology and thought that would be a good ‘stay-at-home’ mum’s degree. But my life changed and I am now on my own with my two children, and need to bring home the bacon. For the past two years I have been studying accounting extramurally with Massey – because I thought I’d like to have nice bacon =D But in November of last year while studying for final exams I had a powerful epiphany that instead of being an accountant I could TEACH accounting. It’s more suited to my talents and my need for variety. I moved in faith and everything fell into place to bring me here, where I am now studying a Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) at BTI.
BTI Celebrates Graduation 2011
Downtown Tauranga shoppers paused to acknowledge a colourful procession as more than a 100 Bethlehem Tertiary Institute (BTI) students graduated on Saturday. Led by a local band of bagpipers, the celebratory procession commenced from the waterfront and proceeded up Devonport Road to Holy Trinity Anglican Church where the ceremony took place.
There were 110 graduates from BTI’s range of Teacher Education and Counsellor Education programmes, which include a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) in Primary or Early Childhood Education, Graduate Diploma of Secondary Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood) and a Bachelor of Counselling.
Around 600 people attended the Graduation Service, many of them friends and family of the graduates. There was a supportive atmosphere and strong sense of community evident, with a number of graduates being publicly honoured with tributes from family or represenstatives from local hapu.
BTI Alumni, Ed Nikora and Ali Crawford, addressed the graduates with stories and advice, drawing from their own professional experiences in their chosen fields
BTI’s Head of Academic Services, Richard Cook, commented that “Historically around 80% of our graduates are employed within 3 months of graduating, so by the time they come to the graduation ceremony the majority have already found work in their related fields. That is something which we are very pleased about, as it is our objective to graduate students who are highly sought after.”
There were some significant government initiated changes within the Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector in 2010. As part of this change, registered primary school teachers are now eligible to contribute towards ECE centre’s staff quotas for funding purposes. Kathryn Overall caught up with Lorraine Schou, Manager of Bethlehem Learning Centres Limited, to get her perspective on what these changes will mean for primary trained teachers considering a shift into the ECE sector.
Up until recently, primary trained teachers have had to undertake additional ECE training in order to count towards an ECE centres qualified teachers quota. As of November 1, 2010, registered primary school teachers will be recognised within the ECE sector for funding purposes. Do you consider this to be a step forwards or a step backwards for the sector?
I partially agree with what the government is doing with primary school teachers. I think in many respects this is a step forward for the ECE sector in that there is an acknowledgement that primary teachers have training to a particular level.
I understand that there are going to be some limits on what responsibilities a primary trained teacher can hold in a centre if they haven’t had any additional ECE training?
Yes, that’s right. They will not be able to move up the ladder, because they cannot be counted as the person responsible at any time at the centre. That basically means that I can have them working and I can count them for my funding, but they can’t be the person that opens or shuts at the end of the day; they can’t be the person who takes responsibility when you are on a trip or an outing; if a child has an accident and you need staff to take them to a specialist or to a doctor until you can get hold of a parent, they can’t be one of the staff that’s counted for that. They can’t become a team leader; they can’t become a head teacher, so their wages will be limited. So I think it’s really important that they continue to do one year of ECE training in order to be fully recognised as an ECE teacher.
At the same time, they need to realise that there is a huge difference between teaching primary and teaching in early childhood. Our teaching strategies are so different; we are so much more focussed on the emergent curriculum, but they need to learn how to work in that environment, and part of that learning comes from the study.
I would advise primary trained teachers to do ECE training for that one year. Firstly, because of what they will learn, secondly because of the value their study will add to the profession and third, because it will be reflected in their wages in the future.
There is a huge gap in the industry at the moment in the 35-45 age bracket. We have got a big gap in that sort of middle to later years of qualified, registered teachers to take over from people like me, because there are a lot of us who will be leaving the industry in the next ten years. So for any of these primary teachers that are coming through, particularly primary teachers who aren’t in their early twenties, there is a future for them, because they already have had the skill base of working in a school, working in the administration of a school and the experience of working with other staff. Some of them will be our future leaders because they have got that maturity.