CSU’s investment in early childhood education

1 JANUARY 2003

Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) commitment to high quality early childhood teaching has received a boost with the appointment of Dr Jennifer Sumsion, one of three new Professors in the Faculty of Education.

CSU Bathurst's new Professor, Dr Jennifer SumsionCharles Sturt University’s (CSU) commitment to high quality early childhood teaching has received a boost with the appointment of Dr Jennifer Sumsion, one of three new Professors in the Faculty of Education.
 
“The excitement of the University investing so much in early childhood education is behind my decision to come to CSU. I wanted to be in a place where the funding and resources actually match the rhetoric,” said Professor Sumsion.
 
Earlier this year, an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report found that Australia spends less on early childhood education than any other nation in the industrialised world. According to Professor Sumsion there are direct links between the funding of early childhood education, the quality of staff, and children’s well-being.
 
“The low salaries and the tough working conditions can turn people off. People tend to associate early childhood education with women’s work, which partly explains the comparatively low salary rates. My main interest is about ways we can make early childhood education a more attractive career path, especially for men.
 
“It can be particularly difficult for men. They sometimes have to deal with questions about their sexuality or motivations if they decide to take up teaching small children. Also, it can be particularly difficult for men who are breadwinners to make a long term career commitment to early childhood education.”
 
Professor Sumsion is on the editorial board of the Alberta Journal of Education. She is also co-editor of the international peer reviewed journal the Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education and is an editorial consultant for Teaching and Teacher Education.
 
She has been an invited co-guest editor on several publications and an invited peer reviewer for a number of international journals.
 
Dean of CSU’s Faculty of Education Professor Toni Downes said the Faculty is “really excited about having Jennifer join our early childhood team.  Her leadership should usher in a new era in our research, programmes and professional activities.
 
“Over the last few years, our Early Childhood staff have been very successful in engaging with regional and national issues and policy debates. Bringing in someone of Jennifer’s expertise and standing to lead the team will certainly take us to the national and international stage.”
 
Other projects Professor Sumsion is working towards include building up a research centre of excellence, discovering how some of the early childhood education issues play out in rural and regional communities, and Indigenous education. “And I am meeting with a group of colleagues across education and psychology. We are really interested in looking at how babies experience long day care and family day care, so I think that will be very exciting.”
 
Professor Sumsion says moving from Sydney to Bathurst is like coming home. “I spent my last two years of high school at Cowra High, and my mother still lives there, so there is a sense of returning.”

Share this article
share

Share on Facebook Share
Share on Twitter Tweet
Share by Email Email
Share on LinkedIn Share
Print this page Print

Albury-Wodonga Bathurst Canberra Dubbo Manly Goulburn Orange Wagga Wagga Charles Sturt University Teaching and Education Society and Community