Program code : BEd (Primary)
This program divides into two distinct elements. The first three years, leading to the award of the Diploma in Teaching, (Primary), will aim to achieve the highest possible standards, both in terms of academic study as well as professional classroom practice. The program is designed to produce well-educated graduates, who will be able to take their place as confident and competent beginning teachers in the primary education system in Papua New Guinea.
The curriculum covers all grades of basic education from Elementary to Grade 8 and all curriculum subjects. Given the widely perceived need to improve skills in English and Mathematics, special emphasis is given to developing the student teachers’ own skills in these two important areas. Extra curriculum time has been allocated for this purpose.
The new program covers all subject areas in the Primary curriculum and lays particular emphasis on encouraging student teachers to develop their subject knowledge, their understanding of how different subjects fit into the overall curriculum and their own skills in delivering the curriculum to students in the classroom.
The Professional Development strand will combine the study of theories of learning and child development with the acquisition of practical teaching skills through a combination of weekly collaboration with local demonstration schools and an annual, four-week long practicum in the second semester of each year. In addition to this, pedagogy will be taught as an integral part of all curriculum subject units.
Today’s world is changing rapidly and teachers have a vital role in preparing young people to take their place in that world. It is important, therefore, that new teachers are given the time and space to appreciate the significance of their role as educators in society and to develop a framework of firm ethical principles, which will govern their interactions with children, students, colleagues, parents, and the wider community. An awareness of ethical principles is an essential basis for instilling a sense of ‘professionalism’ in new teachers coming in to the profession. In Year 2 of the program, therefore, two units are devoted to the study of ethics. The first unit will examine ethics as a set of moral principles governing human behaviour and then, in the second unit, student teachers will consider how ethics should be applied specifically to the teaching profession.
Papua New Guinea is a Christian country in a world where different religions often find themselves in conflict with one another. It is therefore important that beginning teachers are given the opportunity to develop an understanding of, and tolerance for, other religions and faith systems around the world. The Religious Studies strand in Years 1, 2 and 3 will enable this to happen. Agencies will have the flexibility to design their own units as alternatives to EDRE 102, EDRE 310 and EDRE 302, depending on the specific requirements of the teacher training colleges for which they are responsible.
Year 4 of the program will enable student teachers, and those returning after a period of teaching in schools, to convert their Diploma in Teaching into a Bachelor of Education degree. Students will have the opportunity to develop specific subject specialisms which will be a useful preparation for assuming possible curriculum leadership roles at a later date.
Students will specialise in either English or Mathematics and will choose a second, subsidiary specialism in one of the remaining subject areas. In addition to this they will study compulsory units in Research Methods and School Leadership and Management, both of which are designed to equip them with more of the skills that they would need to assume leadership roles in their schools.
The program meets international standards in terms of breadth of subjects studied, assessment and academic rigour. It is designed to produce high-calibre, reflective teachers who are able to teach in any Primary school in the country, be it Government, Church or privately run.