A Peek Into Primary Education and History Study

Bernice Christella

Bernice adalah penyandang gelar Bachelor of Education (Honours) di bidang Primary Education dan Bachelor of Arts (History) dari Monash University, Melbourne. Ya, karena ia memiliki dua gelar tersebut, Bernice akan “buka-bukaan” mengenai keduanya. In english…  

Talking about dreams and goals, I imagine myself in the future as an educator in primary school and a literacy curriculum development specialist. As a history buff, I would always share how studying history harbors beauty, perhaps by partnering to create a history and heritage exhibitions for the purpose of education and enjoyment.

The Bachelor of Education (Honours) double degree course will prepare you for a career as a profound teacher and educator in the primary sector in a growing diverse and complex world. It will equip you with contemporary professional knowledge and teaching skills needed to foster the learning of young people with varied needs in every particular school subject. You will also be engaged in professional experience (school placements) throughout the course in urban, rural, remote or international locations. This broad experience will ensure you to become thoughtful, effective, and skilled educator and able to practically design meaningful learning experiences for you future students!

Within the Arts degree, there is an extensive choice of major and minors from politics, music, sociology, linguistic, film and screen and many more that will provide you a rich collection of study pathways – I myself, have taken the opportunity to study history. You can also pursue career in professions that draw on your major studies in arts which are complemented by your education studies; for example in my case, curating and advising public programs in educational museums or taking role in international development and humanitarian work in non-governmental organisations.

Teacher who Leads
The Education degree particularly interest me the most as it does not only offer deep theoretical foundations of education but also broader consideration of study in sociology, psychology, and diversity and inclusion. This helps me the most to understand the relationship between education and society at local, national and global levels – which is super important if you desire a lifelong teaching career. Other interesting component is its emphasis in building the foundation of pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment to move us into leadership roles as our career progress in the future.

The course structure is especially interesting to be considered. It develops through the three themes of education studies, curriculum studies, discipline studies. As the core of the Bachelor of Education (Honours) course, education studies focus on the discipline of education including a study of the learning and teaching relationship, fostering children positive behaviour and classroom practice. It will challenge me to think about global and local influences on education to make your that your teaching is relevant to all.

I also deeply learn about students, families, schools and communities as well as how to effectively engage with them following thee societal trends. In Curriculum studies, I explore the state’s curriculum and its discipline specific pedagogy – in my case, the Victorian curriculum. It is so much fun to actually design, plan and implement my own lessons in real world school settings with diverse learners. This process is also interesting as I much learn from my mistakes to find the ever-growing and flexible teaching and learning strategies and practices that are suitable for my students. The discipline studies are very enjoyable, but I would also say quite demanding to some extent because I have to understand how to teach all the subjects offered in schools such as mathematics, English, science, arts, and many more.

Why Monash?
First and foremost, I choose to study education at Monash University because of its stable outstanding reputation as the best university in Australia for Education and they are always ranked top 15th in the world for education. Monash also has many highly respected global leaders in Education who are teaching in campus and can easily be reached out in person – if you are lucky enough, you will even have them as your lecturers, tutors, or teaching consultants! Monash also offers wide ranges of double degrees across all major study fields, as like me, I can simply pursue two areas of interest in-depth and perhaps keep my options open in the future. My four-year specialist course also leads to an honours degree, this means I can complete an expert master’s degree in just one additional year.

There are few minimum entrance requirements for international students to be fulfilled for entry to this course. First, CASPer is a requirement for many of the initial teacher education courses in Victoria. It is a non-cognitive online tool designed to assess your personal and professional attributes. Second, you need to achieve the minimum scores for any of the English language test (TOEFL, IETLS, Pearson Test of English, etc.) for this course – please visit Monash website. Other extra requirements would be applying for a Working With Children Check and a Police Check.

Building Connection
As an international student, the most obvious challenges in the Education course is to understand and immerse in the culture of Australian education and its people. When observing and teaching in placement schools, I sometimes still find myself awkward interacting and socialising with my colleagues, mentors, or even people within the school community. But this process is very important, other than building connection, they will help you to understand your students more deeply and perhaps help you grow as a person.

Studying double degree also a big challenge to some extent, particularly if both degrees required heaps amount of times for readings. In history studies, I cannot just skim-read, frequently I need to engage deeply and critically with all of my readings – but if you were a bookworm, this would not be a problem at all! Juggling two degrees in the final weeks of semester can be overwhelming because sometimes I have to “switch brains” intensively and ensure that I can handle the academic rigour of both degree courses. 

Endless Joy!
As I’m inspired to be a teacher, the joy I found in pursuing education degree is endless! It starts from learning how to teach and develop student’s potential in daily university courses to being able to implement that knowledge in a placement school and witness those students grow up and flourish from my own efforts and practices. It is also fun to meet new students from different backgrounds, many of them even amazingly inspire me! Beyond school, sometimes I can be invited to joined in wider community; I have joined the school’s camp, festivals, tour to the museums/zoos, graduations and many more.

In my history degree, there is many opportunities where I can access and research original historical artefacts from ages ago. I can see, feel, touch and experience manuscripts/letters, vessels, metal objects from the ancient times. It is so interesting to understand the history behind it and learn how to reconnect them to today’s modern world. 

Read, Read, Read
If you are interested in pursuing similar degrees with me, I would highly recommend you make yourself comfortable reading ranges of books relating to both courses prior your study. This will help you to adapt better and excel both units as you have come fully prepared for double degree.

Having a proper time management also equally important! plan your readings weekly and have your assignment fully organised and listed beforehand. Familiarise yourself with the culture, habits, environment, and history of your surroundings – for me, I spent hours studying the AFL teams and games so I can easily get along with my students at the placement schools!

You can definitely study single degree in education, if so, focus yourself attending education conferences – many of them are free and open for public. Also, apply for volunteer in afterschool care or programs to let yourself regularly interact with children.  If you are more into history studies, as simple as several museum trips with your friends will open your eyes widely to the history fields. Afterall, in any of these courses, make sure you had a personal ambition/vision for what you want to pursue throughout and after the course by that you will come into the course with a purpose and perhaps will be more gladly and willingly to study! [IM]

Previous articleCara Mendapatkan Komunitas Indonesia Di Sydney
Next articleJeanette Tanasha – Membangun Impian Dengan Lumée