TAFE Western Child and Family Services Teacher Susan Bird has described delivering a five-day masterclass to more than 60 Chinese industry experts in Shanghai in July as a ‘life-changing and truly amazing’ experience.
“The whole experience was so much better than I ever could have imaged – I loved every minute of it,” she said. “It really was life-changing and such a positive experience – it’s something I’ll never forget.”
Ms Bird delivered the Early Childhood Education and Care (Babies and Toddlers) masterclass to industry experts including early childhood educators and officials from the Shanghai Early Childhood Commission and the Shanghai Maternal and Infant Integrity Union.
She said the focus of the masterclass was to demonstrate the high quality early childhood education and care that is available in Australia – and how participants can implement these methods in their own country.
“I was very impressed with the ability of the participants to interact with me and their colleagues and the thoughtful way they asked questions and began to reflect on the very different information I was presenting,” she said.
“I used lots of videos and photos to demonstrate best practice and also shared knowledge about the standards and frameworks that shape our sector.”
Once the masterclass was completed participants were encouraged to review the course, and much to Ms Bird’s delight, the positive feedback received was overwhelming.
Some of the superlatives used to describe the masterclass included, clear, well organised, helpful, enriching and comprehensive.
“This masterclass was a great introduction into the early childhood system and current practices in Australia,” one participant said.
“Another added: “There was lots of interaction and the content was practical. We learnt a lot and we hope to have many more training sessions to improve the quality we provide and therefore the outcome for our children.”
Ms Bird admitted she was thrilled with the response. “The participants were really eager and willing to participate and the fact that they shared my passion for high quality childhood education and care was really positive,” she said.