Dates: 30 June — 2 July 2013
Conference theme: 'Ofa, Aroha, Alofa, Aro'a, Aloha in Education and Research.
Venue: AUT University Manukau Campus
Teaching is a highly stressful occupation and studies report that in New Zealand 37% of teachers resign by the end of their third year teaching.
A respected academic and practitioner in the field of mindfulness will gave a gave a public lecture on "Mindfulness in Everyday Life" on 6 March at the AUT Akoranga campus.
A decision to finally follow his mother's advice, more than a decade after leaving school and after several successful careers, has won AUT education graduate Peter Stewart the 2012 Prime Minister's Science Teacher prize.
The Papatoetoe High School Head of Chemistry rejected his mothers teaching recommendation and instead worked as a stock broker in London, trained as a chiropractor, running his own business for six years, and supervised a call centre to pay his way through university.
Peter studied a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching at AUT, completing the diploma in 2004.
He says his biggest reward as a teacher comes from witnessing the improvement in results for students at his decile three South Auckland school, where English is commonly a second language and its catchment has the biggest ESOL base in New Zealand.
Chemistry class numbers have increased, while the school roll has remained static. Chemistry achievements are outperforming other subject results within the school and students are now regularly studying and earning chemistry scholarships, which hadn’t happened for almost a decade.
Peter has produced workbooks and summaries to help prepare students, particularly ESOL students, for lessons.
He has created video tutorials for every Year 12 and 13 chemistry standard, more than 40 assignments and examples for other students and teachers to follow, established innovative uses of the Knowledgenet intranet system, and freely shares his resources and knowledge with other teachers.
"I enjoy thinking of ways to make science relevant, telling them stories, doing the unexpected and creating a sense of wonder. If they're excited, curious and engaged in science, they are open to learning.
"The highlight is the success of students. It is such a pivotal time, going through high school and making decisions that set their lives for many years to come. If you get them to see they can achieve, it helps them succeed."
Peter joined Papatoetoe in 2005 as a beginning teacher. Being awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize sees Peter receive $50,000 as reward and recognition for his outstanding teaching and a further $100,000 for his school
A new book edited by 2 prominent AUT School of Education academics lifts the lid on a wealth of research into early childhood education in New Zealand.
"Ata Kitea te Pae — Scanning the Horizon: Perspectives on Early Childhood Education" looks at diverse perspectives on early childhood teaching and learning while providing an overview of developmental theories. Teaching and learning are approached from a uniquely New Zealand perspective, which takes into account our multicultural environment.
Associate Head of the AUT School of Education Dr Beverley Clark teamed up with Anne Grey — Programme Leader in Early Years Education - to collate the research on aspects of the early childhood landscape and reflect on the perspectives of the various authors.
The book, launched at the School's recent celebration of AUT's first 10 years, is of relevance to students training to be teachers in early childhood education.
It's no secret that children who learn and engage with music from an early age grow up with an IQ and EQ above that of their non-music playing peers.
Children who have learned an instrument in particular are more confident, more sensitive and are usually better listeners research suggests. It also suggests they are often leaders in other areas and they almost universally do well in other subjects at school[i].
Lecturer in early childhood education (ECE), in the School of Education Te Kura Mātauranga, Nicky de Lautour, plans to expand on research like this and study a group of early childhood teacher students who she has been teaching the ukulele to.
"I'd like to see how the students integrate music in an early childhood setting during shared group times to engage children more meaningfully and study children’s interest, responses and contributions."
She says looking at how the ukulele as an instrument may help student teachers and children learn musical notation is an exciting concept.
Nicky's ukulele classes are an extension to the curriculum-based papers in the three-year early childhood degree she teaches on. Ukuleles are another resource students can add to the portfolio of teaching resources they assemble as part of their degree requirements.
The uptake of ukulele playing at AUT's North Shore campus has been nothing short of phenomenal. There are over 100 players now, since Nicky started teaching last year.
"Often students are reluctant when I first start to teach them but by the end of the first lesson nearly everyone is a convert and in just one lesson you can play the chords for a basic song. It's the perfect instrument to teach and to use in a classroom- it's easy to learn and use and is totally portable and accessible."
The fame of the group is catching on with players setting up their own groups that practice outside AUT. A group of dedicated players was also invited to play at the recent School of Education Research Conference.
"What's great about it is that even if you can't sing it doesn’t matter if you have an instrument to play, it’s an extension to your musical repertoire."
Using an instrument in an early childhood setting is a great way to capture children’s interest Nicky says.
"When you are facilitating a group of children on the mat it’s a great way to get their attention as they are naturally curious."
Nicky has integrated learning the ukulele into ECE years one, two and three at AUT’s School of Education in an informal manner and is building a cultural element into it with Pasifika songs and waiata.
The Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) has officially endorsed AUT’s Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Career Development as well as Master of Career Development.
The endorsement allows AUT graduates of these courses to become full professional members of the various Australian career professional associations and to be able to practice in Australia.
The council found that the courses met the requirements of the Professional Standards for Australian Career Development Practitioners and noted that the courses demonstrated considerable academic strength and was unanimous in its endorsement.
It also noted that while issues related to diversity were well developed within the New Zealand culture, that consideration be given to adapting material to reflect the culture and labour markets of international students undertaking the AUT courses.
Programme Leader for Career Development, Dr Dale Furbish says professional bodies in the US and UK had already endorsed our programmes.
"The Australian endorsement provides further options to our graduates as well as validating the quality of our programmes for meeting international standards."
AUT's qualifications are the first career qualifications outside Australia that have been endorsed by CICA and resulted from a rigorous review of our qualifications against the standards developed by CICA.