Elementary education travels to New Zealand


    By Brooke McCoy

    After three years of collaborating with two New Zealand educators, BYU education majors will gain first-hand experience in elementary education.

    The experience will come as part of an introductory study abroad program in Auckland, New Zealand, said Janet Young, program director.

    Tired of the “one size fits all” education programs in the United States, BYU has integrated New Zealand’s approach to pre-service teacher education into its teacher preparation program, Young said.

    Young, who will direct the first elementary education study abroad semester in August, said they are working with New Zealand because of the nation’s high record in literacy education.

    “In New Zealand there is a tremendous emphasis on preparing knowledgeable teacher,” Young said.

    “New Zealand has high quality intervention available when young children have difficulty learning to read and write. Teachers work hard to see what each child needs on an individual basis,” she said.

    Fifteen BYU students will stay with LDS families while completing their coursework in New Zealand.

    James AuMu, an LDS director in Auckland, will also be teaching a course called history of the church in the south seas, Young said.

    “Will we change the world 15 at a time? Probably not,” Young said.

    “The students will complete the same coursework as they would if they stayed in Provo. The difference is that their practicum experience will occur in New Zealand classrooms,” she said.

    The study abroad programs help fulfill President Bateman’s goal of students and faculty becoming ambassadors of BYU and giving the BYU experience to more people, said Dr. Marie Tuttle, associate dean of the McKay School of Education.

    The New Zealand consultants, Sue Mooney and Allison Davis, who have been working with BYU for the past three years, will become adjunct BYU professors for the study abroad program, Young said.

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