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Abstract

Higher education in Australia attracts many international students. Universities are challenged to prepare them with the necessary understandings, knowledge and skills to effectively participate in their study. For international students, understanding Early Childhood contexts in Australia is a new way of viewing teaching and learning from their own cultural perspective. This paper situates itself as part of a wider study “Improving work placement for international students, their mentors and other stakeholders”. A pilot program was run at Deakin University for the Master of Teaching Early Childhood students to undertake play workshops before commencing placement. Questionnaires were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three themes emerged and are discussed. The findings show that while play workshops may provide a ‘place and space’ for international students to gain knowledge, skills and understandings before going out on placement, they do have some limitations. Generalisations to other institutions cannot be made.

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