Name: Devika Rathore
Hometown: Udaipur (India)
Previous qualifications: Masters in Human Development and Family Studies
NZTC qualification: Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ECE)
A solid foundation
Devika Rathore has a strong background in development and education with a Masters qualification and experience teaching at primary and University levels. It’s young children though that hold a special place in her heart, and she loves seeing how they surprise her.
A different perspective
Devika was eager to gain a new perspective on early childhood theory by studying in a different country. New Zealand appealed because of the bicultural aspect. “It was also important that I chose a country that was beautiful,” Devika says, “and New Zealand’s so ethnically diverse, I knew I wouldn’t feel out of place.” NZTC was recommended to her by several people in her hometown.
A new way of learning
Devika had never studied online before, so she was pleased to receive a thorough orientation at the beginning of the course. She soon discovered that the way of learning in New Zealand was really different to what she experienced in India. “I wasn’t used to the idea of ‘learning via discussions’. But I’ve found it presents a lot of opportunities. In fact your whole course depends on being able to discuss your ideas.”
Face to face time
Her tutorial group had students from India, China, the Philippines and Korea. She loved getting into lively discussions with her classmates who often held worldviews different to her own. Many of them she had talked with on the online forums during the week. Tutorials were also a chance to sit with lecturers and let them know how her courses were going.
The paper Devika most enjoyed was Communities of Learning. “Because that’s how we as students were learning,” she explains. “It looked at how we develop as a community, learning with other people. It’s helped me develop my critical thinking skills too.”
A new insight
Devika now believes the most important thing Postgrad students can do is to keep an open mind. “We all come with our own ideas, but you need to get rid of the rigid ones and be open to others’ perspectives. And participate! Discussions, debates, whatever it is… active participation is so important.”
Devika and her husband will be heading back to India next week. She’s hoping to put what she’s learnt into action as soon as possible. She’s not sure if she’ll end up working as a trainer of early childhood educators or if she’ll be the one teaching the children. One thing’s for sure though: her passion for early childhood education has been strengthened.
Time well spent
Now graduated, Devika reflects fondly on her time as an NZTC Postgrad student. “I’ve loved meeting the fantastic lecturers. They’re all so experienced, with rich backgrounds in ECE. I’ve made friends from countries all around the world… some of them as animated as myself,” she laughs. “Truly, this year has been great for me.”
To apply for our Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ECE) program, or any one of our specialist early childhood qualifications, please click HERE.