A successful professional placement online
Students from JCU’s Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) program participated in a professional placement through an online home learning initiative.
Practical experience can really set you apart from your peers. This is why James Cook University (JCU) values practical learning and self-development, and provides a holistic environment where students can pick up real-world skills and experience to stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.
For aspiring early childhood teachers, this means planning, teaching and assessing young children’s learning in a classroom setting.
In the final trimester of the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) program at James Cook University in Singapore, students are tasked with completing a teaching placement in which they independently teach a class for 25 days.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive shift in the way education is delivered. When lockdown measures were in place, home-based learning and online delivery of education became the norm, and teachers connected with young children with the help of video conferencing tools. In response, the Queensland Council of Deans of Education and the Queensland Department of Education came up with the Learning@home professional placement, an initiative to support mid-year education graduates to still fulfil graduation requirements when schools have been closed (or visitors not permitted) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seven students from James Cook University in Singapore participated in the Learning@home professional placement, making them the first in Singapore to partake in professional placement through an online home learning programme. The experience involved producing a video that teaches a particular topic, for children at home, along with audio scripts to support parental access to the Queensland Department of Education Learning@home materials.
Charmaine Seah, one of the students from the Singapore campus of JCU who participated in the project, shared, “I had an opportunity to work with an Australian teacher professionally, where we would do weekly check-ups on our progress. We were also able to clarify questions that we had. It was an interesting experience as we were also able to communicate and interact with students from the JCU Australian campus (and share our woes and joys of this project)!”
Making the most out of a professional placement is imperative. The opportunity might even open the doors to some unexpectedly useful skills.
Charmaine said, “One important point that I learnt would be using various teaching strategies in video and audio to engage the audience, and then make the video and audio enjoyable when viewed and listened to respectively.”
“After all, the video is targeted at children, while the audio is targeted at parents! I used my knowledge from my course modules to portray myself professionally and to include ways to engage them, such as having clear and explicit teaching moments to teach new information.”
Check out some of the Learning@home videos from James Cook University in Singapore:
Find out more about our Early Childhood Education courses here.