AJEC Vol. 42 No. 1 – The combined Bachelor of Education Early Childhood and Primary degree: Student perceptions of value
Sarah Heinrich Joerdens
Australian Catholic University
The field of early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Australia is a highly dynamic one. Increased government interest and funding during the years of the Labor Governments from 2008–2012 strengthened the sector in terms of increased funding, policy development, level of staff qualification and measures of quality. While this support resulted in increased numbers of children enrolled in ECEC settings and greater numbers of students enrolled in early childhood teacher education degrees, it also contributed to increased workforce pressures and a shortage of qualified early childhood teachers. In this paper we report on a quantitative study that investigated the nature of student experience in a combined Bachelor of Education Early Childhood and Primary degree, and student perceptions of value. The results of the study indicate positive responses to the inclusion of both early childhood and primary content and professional experience undertaken in both prior to school and school settings.