Swinburne and DET co-design innovative Diploma model to ensure work-ready grads
Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne) and the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) have co-designed an innovative early childhood education and care (ECEC) learning model ensuring graduates are ready for the workforce.
The new learning model covers Swinburne’s Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care course in Semester 2 2021, and will see emergent professionals working more closely with the ECEC sector as well as experiencing more student placement hours.
The pilot model was developed following consultations with ECEC sector partners to allow designers to better understand their expectations with the ultimate goal being to ensure students have the skills and experience to enter the workforce when they graduate.
These consultations, ECEC teacher Emma Freitas outlined, “pointed to an overwhelming need for graduates to be more confident and better prepared for the workforce”.
The pilot model will include significantly more placement hours over the duration of the course, with students completing their placements in long daycare settings which offer high quality educational programs for children up to the age of six.
“Where students would usually have blocks of classroom-based delivery followed by blocks of placement experience, they will now have on-campus classes two days a week combined with two days of placement for the duration of their course,” Ms Freitas explained.
The emphasis on placement experience is intended to strengthen opportunities for students to build effective relationships with families and children and to have a more authentic experience of the role of an early childhood educator. In addition, this model will allow students to engage with curriculum frameworks and reflect on their professional practice, leading to more confident work-ready graduates.
“Having an ongoing and consistent placement experience will provide continuous learning and support and allow students to put their learnings into practice immediately. Students will also be able to practice their leadership skills, so they are ready to take on a qualified role in the workplace when they graduate,” Ms Freitas added.
The model will offer consistency, the opportunity to give emerging professionals immediate feedback, and for the students to implement the feedback they are receiving on the job while building meaningful relationships with children and families.
As part of the application process for this course, a brief interview will be introduced so students can meet the teaching team and discuss the expectations of the pilot model.
These interviews will also allow lecturers to screen applicants and have a better understanding of their motivations and skillset to determine if they are suited for ECEC.
The trial is part of an ongoing collaboration between Swinburne and DET, and the outcomes of the pilot will inform DET’s approach around placement models within early childhood courses in the future.
For more information please see here.