Early childhood degree at MIT snapped up by tomorrow’s teachers
The opportunity to study towards the new Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching) degree at Manukau Institute of
Technology, to be launched on Thursday, 7 December, will be snapped up by working mother of two and student, Aroha
Aroha Crosbie did her three-week teaching practice at the MIT Children’s Education Centre and “loved getting up in the
morning knowing I was fortunate enough to gain valuable work experience at a place I really enjoyed”. To thank MIT for
the experience, Aroha painted a mural on the fence with the enthusiastic support of the children. Two of her little
helpers were Makayla (left) and Nicole.
Having taught pre-school children for six years, Pakuranga resident Aroha decided to take her passion for teaching
children one step further by formalising her experience through tertiary study.
“I was studying towards the Diploma in Early Childhood Education (ECE), but now that we are able to study towards the
new ECE Degree I will definitely take advantage of that,” says Aroha.
“It was daunting for me entering into tertiary education as I hadn’t studied for such a long time, but the lecturers and
staff at MIT have been incredibly supportive and encouraging. One of the things I love about studying ECE full time at
MIT is that I only need to attend one day class and one evening class. Being a working mum with two children over five,
I find this course fits in with my lifestyle really well.”
As a passionate advocate for top childcare services and training in New Zealand, Aroha encourages childcare centres to
take a proactive approach towards promoting positive change – particularly around diversity within our communities.
“The education system relies heavily on teachers to take part in consultation processes. Not only is it our
responsibility as caregivers, but it is also in our best interest to take notice of the changes that are taking place.
“Teachers who work with children are in a better position to know what’s best for our children. How well the government
is able to support the diversity of services in the ECE sector depends on teachers who care enough to advocate for
children and take a proactive stance to encourage different sets of criteria for different service types.”
This diversity of service is something that both Government and providers must recognise and support, according to
Aroha, who stresses that parents select services based on what they want for their children as individuals. “We are
fortunate in New Zealand to have a wide range of services available that cater to diverse communities and their
respective needs. We cannot employ an ‘umbrella’ approach to childcare services, so it is absolutely vital that those
working in ECE have their say and ensure that any changes in legislation are workable and practical.”
MIT was given the go-ahead by the Ministry of Education to develop an early childhood teaching degree, after gaining an
exemption from the current moratorium on developing new teacher education programmes.
MIT’s early childhood education degree programme will replace the current diploma programme and will also be a
three-year, Level 7 qualification. More than 200 students are enrolled in MIT’s Early Childhood Education diploma and a
transition pathway will be provided for those already enrolled by the time the new degree programme is introduced. This
means students who started studying towards their diploma can complete their studies with a degree providing transition
requirements are met.
MIT offers a wide range of study options for those who wish to become a teacher or develop their teaching skills at all
levels from early childhood to tertiary and adult education. For more information on these programmes contact MIT on
0800 62 62 52 or visit www.manukau.ac.nz
Manukau Institute of Technology is one of New Zealand’s largest polytechnics. It offers 140 formal programmes at degree,
diploma and certificate level to 6891 equivalent full time students. Established in 1970 as the country’s first purpose
built polytechnic, MIT focuses on delivering vocational training. With a workforce of 900, MIT is one of the biggest
employers in the Counties Manukau region. Manukau City is New Zealand’s fastest growing metropolis.