Home' Teacher : August 2011 Contents feature – postgraduate study 45
Fostering kids’ creativity
Sarah Rakich is undertaking postgraduate
study to push her practice out of her comfort
zone – and to learn how to coax her students
out of theirs .
Sarah, a kindergarten teacher at Malvern
Early Learning and Childcare Centre in
Melbourne , is studying the Master of
Education at the University of Melbourne.
She is specialising her degree through early
childhood education subjects.
‘I really love my job, but I wanted to re-
connect with current trends and theories
in the field, in order to be a better Kinder
teacher,’ Sarah explains.
‘After working for eight years I felt I had
become very comfortable in my profession;
I was keen for the challenge of new learning
opportunities and I also wanted to broaden
my professional horizons,’ she says.
Aware that engaging, high-quality early
childhood education has ongoing positive
benefits for students, Sarah wanted to make
sure her classroom strategies were as effec-
tive as they could be.
‘I think the catalyst for me returning to
study was a particularly creative group of
children in my class, who really pushed me
to think of new ways to stimulate them. I
became increasingly interested in exploring
environments that foster kids’ c reativity,’
The early childhood education area of the
course explores a range of historical and con-
temporary theoretical perspectives and inter-
national research in the early childhood field,
as well as early childhood curriculum f rame-
works and pedagogy. The aim is for students
to understand theory, policy and practice.
‘I ’m really enjoying learning the social
theory behind my day-to-day practice – it’s
already having an impact on what I do in
my classroom,’ Sarah says.
‘The early childhood subject is particu-
larly fantastic. The class is a good size, and
the discussion is exciting. E xplori ng fresh
perspectives with other professionals is a
wonderful way to learn, and keep my job
The Master of Education is directed at
practising professionals in a broad ra nge of
fields related to education , i ncluding early
childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary,
vocational and adult.
The University of Melbourne offers post-
graduate certificates, masters a nd doctorate
degrees in education.
For more information, visit
Making the most of the middle years
Having almost completed her Master of
Educational Studies by coursework at The
University of Queensland, Shelly Dent
Alonso believes postgraduate study has
made her a more effective and knowledge-
Described by her colleagues as an
‘amazing maths and science teacher,’
Shelly has been employed by Education
Queensland for 18 years, teaching across
Years 8 to 12.
She has taught at Corinda State High
School in Brisbane for the past 15 years
and has been seconded by Education
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