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Wintec helping bring student-centred teaching and learning to the world

Students from Nantong College of Science and Technology in China embraced learning about student-centred teaching and learning from Wintec’s international professional development programmes, with facilitators Adie Haultain and Aidan Bigham (Front row, third and fourth from left).    

A powerful new combination of micro-credentials and blended learning environments is helping Wintec’s Centre for Education and Foundation Pathways bring student-centred teaching and learning to the world.

Wintec | Te Pūkenga Team Manager and Academic Lead Adie Haultain, along with Professional Development & Adult Learning Kaiako Aidan Bigham, have recently returned from Nantong in China, where they have been helping practicing teachers learn the concepts of student-centred teaching and learning.

The pair were teaching two newly developed micro-credentials, which were designed for experienced educators seeking to develop, improve and enhance their ability to apply student-centred teaching approaches in their classrooms, in combination with Wintec’s well-established train the trainer programme.

The pilot programme was made up of 30 practicing teachers, who were undertaking professional development at Nantong College of Science and Technology in China. It was the first time Wintec had packaged this combination of learning programmes together for offshore students and it was a real success.

What this powerful combination achieved was to not just train the teachers to design, plan and deliver student-centred learning, but to also equip them to effectively share their knowledge with their local academic colleagues, creating a sustainable way for learning institutions to build skills in student centred learning.

Team Manager Adie Haultain explained that it was not just the combination of courses that made this programme of learning unique, it was also the way it was delivered.

The groundwork for the programme was laid from New Zealand, with the pair first working with the group online for two weeks, to deliver some of the core principles and models that underpinned the learning. They then spent two weeks on the ground in China, building further on that knowledge base.

“Having the blend of delivery, with the online work prior to us going over, really set the students up so that when we got up there, we could hit the ground running with them as we had already formed a really good relationships,” said Haultain.

“It was a wonderful group of students who were open and really keen to build knowledge together. They were also well supported by their teachers and management, which made a big difference too.”

The new NZQA recognised micro-credentials in student-centred learning delivered as part of this programme, were developed by Wintec’s Professional Development and Adult Learning team. .

The pilot programme surpassed the expectations of Haultain and Bigham, who say they were ‘blown away’ by the impact the programme had on the students.

At the end of the programme all of the 30 students did micro teaching sessions, then following that, presented on the three key take-aways from the programme they would apply to their own teaching practice.

“It was so rewarding to see almost every aspect of the curriculum covered in these presentations, showing that all of the content of the programme was adding value to people’s practice,” beamed Haultain.

“I think what also helped,” said Haultain, “was that we modelled absolutely everything, including modelling that every activity could incorporate fun!”

At the end of the programme students fed back numerous ‘aha’ concepts and moments, including their realisation that they need to reverse their teaching focus from teachers to students, to give their students more ‘real-world’ situations, to never be too immersed in learning to not have fun, and to encourage their students to teach and learn from each other more.  

Fun was never off the table as the practicing teachers learned to adopt student centred practices.

Before saying goodbye, the duo were honoured to be presented with two year letters of appointment as visiting professors from Nantong College of Science and Technology, leaving the door open for them to travel there again soon as visiting scholars.

"We are grateful to Tony O'Brien, International Business Development Manager and Farrah Jin, International Short Course Manager, who made the connection with Nantong College of Science and Technology and established the relationship that made this collaboration possible,” said Haultain.

“The hospitality we received from the Nantong team was second to none. I was overwhelmed by their warmth and they just absolutely made sure that we were feeling welcomed and valued.”

The learning looks set to continue for the students, who formed a really strong community of practice.

“They're continuing to connect with each other through the channels we set up, celebrating and acknowledging each other’s successes and sharing pictures of what they've been applying in their class since completing the programme,” said Haultain.

After touching down in New Zealand from their successful pilot programme on Sunday, Haultain and Bigham were straight into another four week train the trainer programme in Hamilton on Monday, with another group of five academics from China.

Learn more about Wintec’s professional development programmes.

Wintec Team Manager and Academic Lead Adie Haultain with Professional Development & Adult Learning Kaiako Aidan Bigham


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