Meet Kate Hardinge

Current Master of Teaching candidate

Kate enrolled in the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) in 2014. After completing the first 150 points she is now undertaking the Research option to complete the final 50 points and is working on a larger project being conducted by the University involving vulnerable young Indigenous children in the Northern Territory. Kate also won the Suzanne and Geoffrey Dawson Scholarship earlier this year.

What about the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) appealed to you?

The clinical model that the uni uses.  I've always had an interest in teaching, but the traditional format of post-graduate teaching qualification didn't appeal.  I liked the interwoven nature of the practice and theory.  I really liked the way the course was separated into networks. I thought this would enable me to feel quite supported and develop some good professional relationships.

I was attracted to early childhood by research showing the importance of experiences between the ages of 0-5 years on children's long term outcomes therefore I see quality educational programs in early childhood as an issue of equity.  I think having worked in juvenile justice, homelessness and community rehabilitation for people with a psychiatric condition; I was attracted to the other end of the spectrum, where equitable outcomes can make a difference.

What's the best thing you've gained so far from doing the course?

  • The skills to involve children in critical reflection of the learning program.
  • The confidence in myself and my own abilities.  I am looking forward to gaining employment and feel very ready to teach.
  • Putting theory and research into practice: I feel as though I had the opportunity to develop and refine my pedagogy.

What aspect of the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) have you enjoyed the most?

That's a hard one! I think mostly the relationships I've developed when on placements and whilst at uni. I really enjoyed placement.  It was great to be able to see my practice and confidence improve over the course.  I learnt a lot from watching other educators and this helped me to understand and advocate for my own practice.  The network meeting we had whilst we were on placement provided a good forum to debrief with other teacher candidates, gain feedback from the clinical specialist and teaching fellow and consider other aspects of practice. I found my understanding of the theories and research we considered throughout the academic component really supported my practice.  Putting these into action as we were learning them helped me to understand them.

What research are you pursuing and why?

I am working on a larger project being conducted by the University involving vulnerable young Indigenous children in the Northern Territory.  Based on the data already collected, I'll be looking at how to further support children's social development. I am very interested in children's social and emotional development, so having the opportunity to contribute to the existing body of knowledge about this is quite exciting. Children's social and emotional development impacts upon all other facets of their development, so it's integral to their outcomes, both now and in the future.