Being an early childhood educator is more than just telling stories and playing games. It is about shaping young minds, imparting knowledge and cultivating life skills through structured play and activities. Upon completing his undergraduate studies at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU, Singapore), Mr Viknesh S/O Subramaniam found his passion as an early childhood educator. An opportunity to start and lead a new pre-school branch gave him a chance to delve deeper into the complexity of curriculum development and assessment approaches in early childhood education. These experiences inspired him to seek an in-depth understanding of the trends and issues in early childhood education to better serve and support the children under his care. The desire to develop himself further in this industry led him to enroll in the Master of Education (Early Childhood) programme offered by the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NIE NTU, Singapore).
At NIE NTU, Singapore, the MEd (Early Childhood) programme focuses on knowledge and understanding of issues in the art of teaching children in their early years, appreciating their social contexts, early childhood curriculum and pedagogy, and meaning-making through linking related education theories and practices, enabling early childhood professionals to develop innovative teaching programmes for young children.
"NIE is an established institute that is reputable for its teacher education and academic rigour," quipped Viknesh. "I was confident that I would gain a deeper appreciation of the theories and issues in early childhood education that I could apply in my profession as an early childhood educator and leader." Viknesh further added that because of the wide range of courses offered by the MEd (Early Childhood) programme, he was able to explore relevant topics in diversity, curriculum design and assessment.
Reflecting on his time as a student at NIE, Viknesh shared that NIE has a supportive community of faculty and students. "The faculty was incredibly encouraging and generous in giving us regular feedback," recalled Viknesh. He also found it rewarding to be able to collaborate with and learn from his peers who brought with them diverse expertise and experiences. Viknesh felt that he has benefited both academically and personally from his decision to embark on the dissertation route. It not only gave him an opportunity to conduct a guided research project independently, but it also developed his confidence, allowing him to take on future challenges.
According to Viknesh, the experience he gleaned from NIE has prepared him in bringing forth changes in his workplace. "My NIE experience has led me to examine and redesign my childcare centre's assessment practices. It helped that at that time, my centre was also rethinking its curriculum and pedagogical methods to best meet the learning needs of our children. The concepts and theories I had learnt from the MEd (Early Childhood) programme increased the effectiveness of our programmes and services on the social-emotional and cognitive development of our children, while keeping our practices in line with our centre's values. I am more confident to be an advocate for our children, acting in their best interests."
When asked to sum up his thoughts about NIE and MEd (Early Childhood), Viknesh has this to say, "The programme and NIE's supportive community of faculty and students challenged us to tackle the complex issues in early childhood education with the shared goal of providing the best early childhood experiences possible for the next generation of learners."
Like Viknesh, are you interested to hone your skills and take your career to greater heights? Visit www.nie.edu.sg/ge, for more information on the range of graduate programmes offered by NIE.
Also, if you had missed the Postgraduate & Continuing Education Fair 2022, watch programme-related talks and videos here: www.nie.edu.sg/pgce.
The National Institute of Education (NIE) is an autonomous institute under the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU, Singapore). It has been consistently ranked amongst the top 20 education institutions in the world and top 3 in Asia by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking.