Education (Primary) – course structure
Students who have questions about their own degree programs should, in the first instance, direct these to the administrator by email or telephone, or in person at the faculty's Student Administration Office, Level 3 of the Education Building. Full descriptions of units of study can be found in the Faculty handbook for entry for BEd (Primary).
Course structure information is available at the faculty enrolment website links below:
First year coordinator: Vilma Galstaun
The first year of the primary program is a foundation one in which, during the core Education unit, students encounter general concepts relating to education and teaching in contemporary society. Students consider such contested concepts as child protection, the nature of the curriculum, curriculum construction, teachers' knowledge, and the teacher as a professional.
The relevance of these concepts to classroom practice is explored in lectures and seminars. Similarly the Science Concepts 1 unit covers important work in the content of science itself, rather than how to teach science. Students will be told how children and adults understand (or fail to understand) scientific concepts. Creative Arts 1 allows students to begin exploring arts-enriched approach to teaching dance, drama, music and art.
Second year coordinator: Associate Professor Armstrong Osborne
During this year, students experience their first sustained period of teaching a class. This inducts them into the cycle of assessment, planning and teaching.
To prepare for this professional experience, students investigate teaching from the perspective of the learner in their second year units of study. This perspective will be informed by both sociological and psychological theory and include a unit of study focusing on the learning needs of indigenous students. As well, you students continue their curriculum study in English and begin to explore the pedagogy of both mathematics and PDHPE for the primary school.
Third year coordinator: Bill Spence
The focus of the third year of the BEd(Primary) program is to assist students to translate theory-based knowledge into their teaching practice. Each of the units of study contains multiple opportunities for students to analyse and reflect on their teaching experiences in different contexts.
Knowledge and understanding of teaching the key learning areas is enhanced. Students will be able to continue developing their expertise in teaching mathematics, English, PDHPE and creative arts. Studies are introduced that will instruct students in the teaching of two other key learning areas: Human Society and its Environments, and Science and Technology. Two units Teaching in Multilingual Classrooms and Positive Approaches to Special Education focus on catering for the diversity found in Australian classrooms. In these units, students gain a greater understanding of how to cater for students from diverse sociocultural and language backgrounds, as well as students with disabilities and special educational needs.
Fourth year coordinator: Catherine Smyth
The fourth year of the Bachelor of Education (Primary) program is the graduate stage of students' learning continuum as teachers. In this year, they synthesise what they know and apply this knowledge to new contexts. Students will be able to critically reflect on their level of attainment towards graduate teacher standards and understand professional learning strategies that will enable them to acquire new knowledge in a collaborative fashion.
During the year, students will deepen their knowledge of the key learning areas maths; science and technology; English; and human society and its environment (HSIE) and there will be an added focus on how to integrate these areas while maintaining the integrity of each.
A second unit of study devoted to how to teach children with special needs strengthens students' capacity to deal with diversity. The unit called Reading and Designing Research allows candidates to expand their knowledge of how to conduct action research in classrooms.
Professional Experiences in Year 4 enables students to implement strategies for planning key-learning-area integration, gathering evidence to support their application to the graduate level of the NSW Teaching Standards and critically reflecting on their strengths and areas for further professional development. In this way Year 4 provides the opportunity for each student to consolidate knowledge about their chosen future profession.