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.