Professional development workshops fulfil expectations
New Zealand Playcentre Federation training coordinator, Gillian Croad,has now attended six Ako Aotearoa professional development workshops. Ian Rowe, Central Hub Regional Manager, asked her what first drew her to our professional development workshops and what her experiences have been.
Gillian manages the curriculum for the Federation, is responsible for quality teaching, and provides training for parents in the Wellington Playcentre Association. A friend recommended she visit Ako Aotearoa’s website. She registered for “Effective assessment that supports learning”, found it valuable, and further registrations for relevant workshops followed.
Gillian found the workshops she has attended extremely useful for her continuing professional development and the contribution she can make to her organisation’s objectives. She rates them excellent value for money and says the resources handed out are practical, with extensive references.
She says all of the workshops she has attended have provided useful insights, tools for change and new ways of viewing topics.
“At a workshop on curriculum development, I found the ‘design a breakfast’ simulation gave deep understanding of the issues involved, enabled me to revise processes, and affirmed my thoughts about future work.”
Referring to the workshop on evaluative self-assessment, Gillian says it "enabled me to produce a useful model for the Federation’s purposes. Focusing on ‘outputs’ was a major leap forward and made the looming work with NZQA easier to conceive and document.”
She has valued her interaction with other tertiary practitioners and finds that facilitators share a wide range of additional adult teaching techniques with participants, such as a rapid-fire debate process she now uses in her training.
Gillian reports gaining more confidence in group processes and setting structured activities for learners and now makes effective use of Ako Aotearoa’s Signpost resources in her work with parents. In the newsletter she produces for Federation members, she has described her workshop experiences and associated resources, giving links to relevant material on Ako Aotearoa’s website.