Whitington, Victoria and Ebbeck, Marjory and Diamond, Alexandra and Yim, Hoi Yin Bonnie (2009) A pathway to enhancing professionalism: building a bridge between TAFE and university early childhood qualifications. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 34 (1). pp. 27-35. ISSN 0312-5033
It has been argued that a key strategy to improve developmental and educational outcomes for young children is to increase the number of childcare staff with early childhood university degrees (Saracho & Spodek, 2007). In order to upgrade the qualifications of staff, a number of Australian universities provide pathways that enable graduates of early childhood diploma programs to complete a degree. Several impediments, including institutional structures and individual contextual and personal factors, may affect these pathways. Although a range of organisations offer diploma programs, TAFE (Tertiary and Further Education) is a major provider. The aim of the present study was to investigate student transition between early childhood programs in TAFE and university. The research drew on several data sources, including a survey of the perceptions of students at various points of undertaking the transition. The current credit arrangement for TAFE Diploma graduates was found to be satisfactory; however, gaps were identified between the TAFE and university teaching and learning arrangements with regard to curriculum structures, teaching styles and assessment. Graduates of both programs considered that the completion of both awards would have a positive effect on their careers.
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