Bethlehem Tertiary Institute has been providing training and qualifications in a range of caring professions for over 25 years. Andrew Urquhart talks to the CEO and Dean of BTI about the vision behind the organisation as well as some opportunities ahead.
Listen to the interview on the Rhema website.
Congratulations to our most recent BTI graduates who received their awards on Saturday 18th May 2019. We are immensely proud of every single one of you!!
Over recent years Bethlehem Tertiary Institute has been growing a strong and dynamic research culture during which staff have been involved in conducting research in the fields of Teacher Education, Counselling and Social Work. The success of our work in research has been confirmed in the 2018 Quality Evaluation round with the highest quality evaluation outcomes since the PBRF Quality Evaluation programme commenced. This reflects the increased number of ‘research active’ educators at BTI, the quality and rigour of the research being undertaken at our institution and acknowledges our national influence.
Current research being undertaken by staff continues to influence professional fields of practice. Some of the research projects underway include; educating children with disabilities, resilience for adolescents, coping strategies when dealing with conflict, immigrants finding their place in Aotearoa, education for sustainability, service learning and the influence of digital identities on well-being. Some BTI ‘research active’ staff are also providing leadership with emerging Visual Research Methodologies such as Photo Elicitation.
With the impetus of our expanding research base, BTI continues to be effective in its mission to undertake research for influential service.
BTI Staff Research
At BTI, we are passionate about making a positive difference in the world. Our educators, students and graduates live out this commitment in many ways in their individual careers and personal lives - but from time to time, an opportunity comes along for BTI to serve offshore.
In 2012, BTI in partnership with the Australian organisation Effective Aid International (EAI) supported the commencement of a two year programme of preparation for teaching course on the Thai-Burmese border. Initially this programme was located in the Mae La Refugee Camp and then after one year it was re-established in a nearby village called Noh Boh. The student-teachers who have participated in the programme have come from Burma (also known as Myanmar) mainly because of economic hardships and the effects of the ethnic civil war between the Karen people and the Burmese army.
Over the past seven years this teaching programme has been led by Graeme and Kendal Cook (both BTI graduates). Their professional and compassionate commitment to their students has enabled the graduates to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to effectively teach in a range of primary schools, mainly across the border in Burma. Everyone has had to work through a range of challenges along the way. For example, engaging in cross cultural conversations with both parties having limited understanding of each other’s language, background and expectations.
In the e-book Graeme says, ‘All these challenges aside, if we allowed ourselves the delusion that we were doing any of this under our own strength or direction then the wheels would well and truly fall off in a short space of time. We are continually amazed how God structures and funds his ideas, and how He only funds His ideas! If you have no understanding of God the Father and what Jesus has done for you then life here looks like a fruitless endeavour. Indeed we are often asked by friends when are we coming ‘home’ or when are we going to be finished with those people over there. It is a life that brings joy but not always happiness, but it’s a life of purpose and adventure, ups and downs and we could not imagine doing anything else despite the hardships’ (p. 7).
This E-book not only provides an illustrated overview of the teacher training programme but also provides an authentic insight into some of the student-teachers’ lives who have graduated from the two-year course. It is hoped their experiences will encourage others who are facing similar challenges in their lives.
To view all BTI publications visit: https://www.bti.ac.nz/bti-publications.html
A message for our students.
We are all shocked and saddened by the terrorist attacks that took place in Christchurch on Friday 15 March. We feel the weight of the pain of all those involved, especially those in the Muslim communities.
We also feel the burden of care by professionals involved in the recovery. We know that one of our own graduates was one of the first on the scene of these horrific attacks. His courage and compassion is an example to us all and we stand with him going to the aid of those in distress.
It is hard, even impossible, to make sense of these events. How might we frame our response? The
question in the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37 provides a helpful framework: “who is my neighbour?” Our response, surely, is that all those impacted by these events, those of all faiths and of none, are our neighbours.
We might also find our own faith challenged by these evil events. Lament is, helpfully, part of our Scripture; it is part of the faith story of all the saints, across time and across the world. The plaintive cry “O Lord, O Lord, why have you forsaken me?” which we find in the Psalms (Psalm 22:1) and in the words of Christ himself (Matthew 27:46), echoes across the experiences of all those who have wondered where God is in the face of unbelievable suffering. And in our despair there is also a claim, a confession: “but this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)
It is my prayer that you might know this truth to be yours too. I pray that even, and perhaps especially, when we cannot feel the presence of God, or we wonder why he allows such suffering, we can hold onto His faithfulness. We can know, as his disciples found out, that He is in our boats in the storm (Mark 4:35-41). In that we find peace and hope, which sits at heart of the Christian message. We read in Revelation 21:3-4:
As a BTI community we want to support each of you in response to this tragedy. I will be visiting
Christchurch to visit our staff and students there and I will be in touch separately with those students about that. On our team here we have specialists who can help you, or recommend those who can. Please reach out to us if you want someone to talk to, pray with, and ask questions of. We will also continue to communicate with you about ways we want to further support you at this time.
Please know that as a BTI team we pray for each of you and are journeying with you.
Dr Andrew Butcher
CEO and Dean
In our team it’s all about ‘waking up’: waking up to who we are and our place in the world, waking up to what could be - we’re excited about new possibilities!
We coach learners who want to be social workers and counsellors, to wake up to who they are and explore ways they can make a difference. It’s about transformation.
Transformation starts with identifying personal beliefs and values and holding these with integrity. Being able to work out of who we are, allows us to move purposefully in some of the hard places in society. We seek to bring change.
Bringing change is about restoration of people and connections – connections in families, whānau, communities and systems. Sometimes systems that were designed to help, actually hinder and it’s hard to hold hope.
We explore ways to hold hope, speak truth to those in power and stand in the gap. We explore what we can do to make a difference, how we can become good helpers, and what might be holding us back. Learners grow and stretch, learn to recognise their motivation, they reach forward with purpose.
When I see learners ‘wake up’, I see their confidence, walking tall as their confidence grows through the connections they make with their own meaning. It’s dynamic. Not only do they wake up but they help those around them wake up too.
Our team invites learners into a space that is about development, challenge and change. It is relational and transparent, supported and guided. It is hard work and requires courage. Learners raise their personal benchmark, and become close with their fellow learners as they journey toward transformation. We can often be seen celebrating the joy that comes from choosing to ‘wake up’!
~ Helen Troughton
Helen Troughton is an Educator within the School of Social Practice. She is passionate about helping people explore their beliefs and direct these to action.
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.
Our Kahui Ako will focus on boys writing at years 7-9, Te Reo Maori development, oral language development at pre-school and Year 1 of school, and resilience, particularly at the senior end of school. This will be done within a framework of developing service-learning and culturally responsive pedagogies. For more info visit https://www.facebook.com/Ng%C4%81-Wh%C4%81nau-O-Karaiti-K%C4%81hui-Ako-1975472792473785/
“While the course is designed primarily to lead into the social work, counselling and teaching degrees at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute, we also have students who are using it as preparation for other disciplines such as psychology and physiotherapy,” Penny says. The programme consists of three courses, one of which includes a practical component. The first course covers the mechanics of tertiary study, essay writing, referencing, time management, reading smarter, note-taking, critical thinking and proof-reading.
The second course looks at the things that inﬂuence our thinking, such as identity, culture, beliefs and communication, and also gives a chance to further practice the skills learnt in the first course.
The third course is designed to give the student an opportunity to explore a people-helping career of their choice (teaching, social work or counselling) through a volunteer service-learning experience, and through interacting with professional individuals and academic readings from their chosen area.
“This Certificate programme provides a genuine experience of tertiary study without the financial commitment of a three or four year degree,” says Penny. “We designed it so that our students would complete it not only with the skills they need to succeed at tertiary level but also knowing more about themselves and their ‘fIt’ to a certain career.” BTI has a reputation for relational teaching not common at larger institutions, and “once we accept you into a programme, we are committed to your success,” Penny says.
NZQA has rated Bethlehem Tertiary Institute as a Category One provider of tertiary education (the highest grade possible), so students can be assured they are getting the very best in education that New Zealand has to offer.
The course is full-time (30 hours per week) and online, with an optional two or three day intensive just before the official start date. It is eligible for Student Allowances and Student Loans. The 18-week programme is run every semester, with the next iteration starting on February 11th 2019.
For more information visit www.bti.ac.nz/nz-certificate-in-study-and-career-preparation