Results 1 to 7 of 7
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By wandless

Thread: In need of advice: Primary Education vs. Early Childhood Education

  1. #1
    New Member LadyArtemis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    HSC
    N/A
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    5
    Rep Power
    3

    In need of advice: Primary Education vs. Early Childhood Education

    Hello everyone

    I would love to become a teacher because I adore children and I am very passionate about teaching and about helping young children to improve, reach their full potential and become happy and healthy adults. I would really love it if one day I could look back and know that I have made a difference for the better in the lives of my students.

    I would love to work with younger students, thus, a degree in primary education and/or early childhood education would be more suitable for me. As of now, it is very difficult for me to determine which age group I would work better with: primary school children or preschool children. I like both and I am aware that there are pros and cons for each one. The only thing I know for sure is that I would not enjoy working with high-school students.

    I should perhaps mention that I live in Sydney and fully intend to remain here for the foreseeable future.

    I have been researching universities and education degrees and so far I have found that (please correct me if I am wrong):
    - University of Sydney is considered to be the best in terms of education degrees and everything they entitle
    - University of Sydney offers a bachelor degree in primary education and a bachelor degree in early childhood education; they are separated degrees; they each last for 4 years
    - Macquarie University offers a degree that encompasses both primary education and early childhood education; it is called: "Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) (Birth to 12); it lasts for 4 years; it clearly states that this degree enables you to teach in long day care, preschool and primary school settings
    - University of Sydney is considered more prestigious than Macquarie University

    These two universities would be my main choices.

    Like I wrote before, it is very difficult for me to choose one age group, primary versus preschool. But, I think that I would prefer to be a primary school teacher. However, at the same time I am aware that it might be difficult to find a permanent position as a primary school teacher so while I would be waiting for a position to open up I could work as a preschool teacher. Even after I would find a permanent position as a primary school teacher, it would be nice to know that, should I change my mind I could be a preschool teacher. Basically, I think that being able to be both a primary school teacher and a preschool teacher is a better and perhaps, safer option; being able to switch in-between them should something go wrong or change along the way just seems like a wiser plan.

    Given all of the above, I find myself in need of advice and I have several questions:
    1. Can a person who only has a bachelor of primary education also teach preschool students without also having any further specialisation in/a bachelor of early childhood education?
    2. Would the university you graduated from have any impact on your prospects of finding a job? As in, would someone who graduated from University of Sydney automatically be considered better/more desirable than someone who graduated from Macquarie University just because University of Sydney is seen as more prestigious?
    3. When you compare University of Sydney and Macquarie University, which one offers better and more/longer professional experience (practice teaching)?
    4. Is a person who only has a bachelor of primary education (thus focused on ages 5 to 12) necessarily better qualified and prepared to teach primary school children than a person who has a bachelor of early childhood education/birth to 12 (thus focused on ages 0 to 12)? Can both be qualified and prepared equally or very similarly?
    5. Do you know if University of Sydney offers the possibility of combining and specialising in both primary education and early childhood education at the same time/within the same degree?
    6. Do you think that it's better/wiser/more recommended to specialise in only one area of education such as either primary education or early childhood education or in both?
    7. When looking for a job, would an employer prefer to hire someone who specialised in only one area of education such as either primary education or early childhood education over someone who is specialised in both these areas?
    8. For those of you who are primary school teachers in Sydney and/or New South Wales, how hard has it been for you to find full-time employment?
    9. Is there anyone else who found it difficult to choose between teaching primary school children or preschool children? If yes, what and how did you decide?

    I am also waiting for the Open Days at universities to find out more information but I would think that each university would speak favourably of its own degrees and programmes making my choice that much harder. Thus, more objective opinions would be very helpful to me.

    Any advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!

  2. #2
    Cadet wandless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    HSC
    2008
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    8

    Re: In need of advice: Primary Education vs. Early Childhood Education

    Lucky you, I'm studying Primary Teaching and Early Childhood as a Masters at UWS. I'm nearly finished, one semester to go.

    I'm very happy to answer all your questions, if you see this please PM me. I see you posted quite a while ago, so I don't want to spend lots of time answering your questions if you won't ever read the response!

  3. #3
    Cadet wandless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    HSC
    2008
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    8

    Re: In need of advice: Primary Education vs. Early Childhood Education

    Not a problem! I’m very glad to help. Just so you know, I have a Bachelors of Architecture from UTS, and I’m currently doing a Masters in Teaching (Birth-12) at UWS - it’s a 2.5 year course. This degree means that I will be a 4 year trained Primary teacher and an Early Childhood Teacher. I have many friends studying education at USyd, and a friend doing the combined degree you mentioned at Macq.

    I have been researching universities and education degrees and so far I have found that (please correct me if I am wrong):
    - University of Sydney is considered to be the best in terms of education degrees and everything they entitle
    - University of Sydney offers a bachelor degree in primary education and a bachelor degree in early childhood education; they are separated degrees; they each last for 4 years
    - Macquarie University offers a degree that encompasses both primary education and early childhood education; it is called: "Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) (Birth to 12); it lasts for 4 years; it clearly states that this degree enables you to teach in long day care, preschool and primary school settings
    - University of Sydney is considered more prestigious than Macquarie University


    Yes, I’d say all your comments of the above are about right. Don’t assume that USyd will train you to be a better teacher, necessarily. They have a strong focus on theory and written things, more so than Macq.

    Also USyd has a reputation for being terrible with administration. They haven’t quite gotten a hang of doing admin online. The timetables for each semester are released only a week or two before you start - making it really hard for people who work. It may not seem like a big deal, but it has caused headaches for my friends who need to tell their workplaces when they are free for shifts.

    Given all of the above, I find myself in need of advice and I have several questions:
    1. Can a person who only has a bachelor of primary education also teach preschool students without also having any further specialisation in/a bachelor of early childhood education?


    Not 100% sure. I wouldn’t advise it. What you are asked to do in early childhood is different to primary teaching. The kids learn through play in EC. For example, if a child loves the sandpit, you’d sit with them in the sandpit - as they played with buckets in the sandpit, you might chat about about ‘empty’ and ‘full’ - helping them understand these mathematical concepts.

    You do need some training in early childhood - you need to learn how to document children’s learning. In early childhood, each child has a portfolio. Teachers will observe kids and write down transcripts and analyse the child’s learning. For e.g. the teacher will observe a child’s play and interaction with other children when they are 3, and analyse how they are going developmentally. Then do it again a few weeks later, and analyse any changes.

    2. Would the university you graduated from have any impact on your prospects of finding a job? As in, would someone who graduated from University of Sydney automatically be considered better/more desirable than someone who graduated from Macquarie University just because University of Sydney is seen as more prestigious?


    In Early Childhood, I doubt it will make much of a difference. Your ability to speak other languages and additional skills (e.g. music) - as well as previous experience - will be more important than which uni you graduated from. Not 100% sure about primary teaching. I’d still say that experience and skills will be much more important than which uni.

    3. When you compare University of Sydney and Macquarie University, which one offers better and more/longer professional experience (practice teaching)?

    Look through their subject handbooks and check.

    4. Is a person who only has a bachelor of primary education (thus focused on ages 5 to 12) necessarily better qualified and prepared to teach primary school children than a person who has a bachelor of early childhood education/birth to 12 (thus focused on ages 0 to 12)? Can both be qualified and prepared equally or very similarly?

    A person who has a birth-12 degree would be better qualified to teach primary. The early childhood pedagogy is all about project-based learning and learning through play. This is basically the way all education should be taught. All my early childhood lecturers don’t have a good opinion of the way school is done in the primary ages. When they speak of primary school, they speak as if it’s a shame things are done the way they are done.

    My Early Childhood teachers generally prefer Montessori or Steiner schools for primary kids, as they focus on learning through projects and play.

    If you want to learn the best way to teach, do early childhood. You can use what you have learnt and teach primary even better. My cohort who have birth-12 degrees say that their early childhood experience puts them ahead of the people who have done just primary. They have more tools for engaging kids and getting them excited about learning.

    5. Do you know if University of Sydney offers the possibility of combining and specialising in both primary education and early childhood education at the same time/within the same degree?

    They don’t. I looked into it. You have to get 2 separate degrees.

    6. Do you think that it's better/wiser/more recommended to specialise in only one area of education such as either primary education or early childhood education or in both?

    Don’t specialise, do both! Your skills will help you teach both fields better.

    It means I can easily find work in early childhood quickly. At the same time I can move to primary if I wish. It takes a long time - years - to find full time work as a female primary school teacher in Sydney. Being an ECT gives me an advantage over people with just a primary degree.

    7. When looking for a job, would an employer prefer to hire someone who specialised in only one area of education such as either primary education or early childhood education over someone who is specialised in both these areas?


    Someone with both is obviously more employable - they have more skills. Especially when it comes to early literacy skills. Imagine how much more skilled you’ll be when working with primary kids who are new to the country, or who have developmental delays!

    8. For those of you who are primary school teachers in Sydney and/or New South Wales, how hard has it been for you to find full-time employment?

    In Early Childhood it will be fairly easy, as the legislation is changing, meaning centres are requiring more early childhood teachers. Primary teaching in Sydney is hard. If you’re willing to go rural you can easily get a job.

    9. Is there anyone else who found it difficult to choose between teaching primary school children or preschool children? If yes, what and how did you decide?

    Do both! I highly recommend it.


    In conclusion - I strongly recommend you do a Birth-12 degree if you are having trouble deciding. Early childhood pedagogy (learning through play, project-based learning) is the way all education should be taught (in an ideal world). Early childhood has a really broad and vague learning framework (which was done on purpose - it’s definitely a good thing). It gives teachers so much more scope to have complete control over how and what they teach. There is so much more freedom in early childhood to follow children’s individual interests. You have more time to work one-on-one with kids. The ratios are smaller, about 1 teacher for 11-12 kids (or maybe it’s 1:14, I can’t remember).

    Still do primary teaching though. I really enjoy being able to have long conversations with kids, and to do more complex work with them.

    I know Mac has a Bachlors Birth-12 degree (and ACU). Also consider doing a separate bachelors degree and then doing a Birth-12 Masters. You can have any bachelors, so if you have any other passions you’d like to follow go for it …. I am very glad I did Architecture, I loved it, and it gave me a different way of seeing the world. It was the most challenging 3 years of my life, in a good way. It’s definitely going to influence how I teach.

    Some people do an Arts degree before going into teaching. I think that’s an excellent idea. You can study whatever you like deeply, and be really challenged intellectually. The critical thinking and essay writing skills you’ll learn will be a huge advantage when you go into teaching later.
    Revitalize likes this.

  4. #4
    New Member LadyArtemis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    HSC
    N/A
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    5
    Rep Power
    3

    Re: In need of advice: Primary Education vs. Early Childhood Education

    Wandless, thank you so much for your very detailed reply! It's priceless information!

    I love young kids of many ages, whether they're 2 or 10 so it's been hard to choose either primary or early childhood so I agree that doing both is the best way to go about it. It's really great to hear that your early childhood teachers generally prefer Montessori or Steiner. Hopefully, my future teachers will like them as well because I am extremely interested in them.

    Thank you again for your time and patience and help!

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    HSC
    2008
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Rawalpindi
    Posts
    12
    Rep Power
    3

    Re: In need of advice: Primary Education vs. Early Childhood Education

    Early childhood education (ECE) focuses on the academic, social and cognitive skills that develop in children from birth through preschool. Elementary education refers to the primary education that comes after preschool but before middle school.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kat92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    HSC
    2009
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    787
    Rep Power
    7

    Re: In need of advice: Primary Education vs. Early Childhood Education

    Quote Originally Posted by zara1200 View Post
    Early childhood education (ECE) focuses on the academic, social and cognitive skills that develop in children from birth through preschool. Elementary education refers to the primary education that comes after preschool but before middle school.
    This post was from 2014 lol . However, hopefully by reviving it helps someone out to choose between the two.

  7. #7
    Khan of Spam Kolmias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    HSC
    2018
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Gallifrey
    Posts
    1,373
    Rep Power
    2

    Re: In need of advice: Primary Education vs. Early Childhood Education

    Such a definitive answer.....
    Prelim 2017: 3U English | 2U Maths | Economics | Chemistry | Legal Studies | SOR1 | Modern History
    ATAR Aim: 85+
    Course Aim: Science/Education @MQ

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •