FLORENCE – Francis Marion University elementary education students Denise Cramer of Florence and Morgan Oates and Dena Sharper of Darlington are participating in student teacher programs in New Zealand.
Oates and Sharper left in January and Cramer will be going later this summer.
Dr. Susannah M. McCuaig, FMU professor of education, founded and coordinates the program. The program was begun in 1998 and two FMU students have participated since that time. The FMU students will stay with host families.
“We may have something to learn from New Zealand, as it has one of the highest literacy rates in the world,” McCuaig said.
New Zealand grade classifications for students do not correspond precisely to the American grade system, McCuaig said. Children in New Zealand enter school on their fifth birthday, a “rite of passage,” and proceed through the earlier grades as they reach certain testable skills.
The program is in conjunction with Christchurch College of Education, established in 1877 to train teachers, which McCuaig believes is one of the more rigorous programs of study in New Zealand for teacher training.
For more information about the program, contact McCuaig at the FMU Department of Education at 843-661-1460.