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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2015v40n8.10

Abstract

In Australia, growth in the demand of early childhood services for young children aged birth to three years has placed increased pressure on the early childhood education sector as new policy stipulates the need for qualified teachers. The new policy has resulted in a growth in Master of Early Childhood Education programs in Australian universities. These programs are designed as initial teacher education programs for people with a non-education Bachelor degree wanting to become a qualified early childhood teacher in 18 months.

Little is known about the structure as well as the content of these new programs in their ability to address infants and toddler education. This paper explores 18 postgraduate Master education programs that were approved by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and listed on their website as at January 2014. Our aim is to examine programs for the amount of content and assessment that focused on infants and toddlers. Utilising information from program websites and course guides, data was examined using content analysis to reveal the nature and extent of inclusion of learning, focused on infants and toddlers. Four interviews were also conducted with teacher educators. Findings are important for early childhood teacher education in Australia if the overall goal is to improve quality for all children, including the very youngest in education and care.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2015v40n8.10