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Up Education

NZMA launches programme to address neurodivergent learning needs

08 Mar 2024

One in five children in Aotearoa are neurodiverse

In a significant step towards promoting inclusivity in education, NZMA, recognised as one of New Zealand’s Category One tertiary providers, and a valued part of UP Education, proudly announces the launch of its Level 4 Certificate in Supporting Diverse Learners.

The NZQA-approved programme is positioned to address the pressing demand for educators with specialised knowledge in neurodivergent learners, catering to the unique needs of one in five children in Aotearoa that are neurodiverse, as revealed by a University of Auckland study.[1]

To underscore its commitment to inclusivity, NZMA is offering an unprecedented 40% discount for the April 2024 intake, making upskilling as an educator more accessible.

The programme is tailored to provide current and aspiring educators, parents, and caregivers with the necessary knowledge and skills to support neurodiverse children and students under their care. This encompasses specific intervention strategies for addressing the Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) associated with neurodiversity, such as dyslexia (difficulty with reading), dysgraphia (difficulty with writing), and dyscalculia (difficulty with math).

“Our goal is to bridge the gap of educators trained in catering to the diverse spectrum of neurological differences of learners in the classroom,” states Kirstin Brown, Head of Product and Innovation at NZMA.

“In order for educators to start addressing the needs of neurodivergent learners, they must understand the complexities of neurodiversity and how it presents itself in a variety of learners.”

“As our neurodivergent students often share with us, they can be perceived as lazy, oppositional, defiant, and bored. If an educator is aware of how neurodiversity presents itself, they would understand that these students get bored in class because they are not engaged enough. The key is to recognise the signs, talk to the student, and intervene from a point of understanding.”

To alleviate barriers to upskilling Aotearoa’s teaching workforce, NZMA offers flexible part-time (20 weeks) and full-time (40 weeks) study options, delivered fully online to enable students to easily fit their studies around their busy schedules.

Powered by the innovative learning platform, EDDY, online modules are logically structured, providing bite-sized learning with visuals, videos, online activities, and quizzes. This interactive approach ensures an effective learning experience for all participants.

Prospective students interested in the April 2024 intake are encouraged to visit the NZMA course web page for enrolment details.

[1] https://www.auckland.ac.nz/2023/11/06/neurodivergent-learning-inclusive-education