Challenging Aspects of Practice

Quality Area 1: Educational program and practice -

Standard 1.1 An approved learning framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child's learning and development.

Standard 1.2 Educators and coordinators are focused, active and reflective in designing and delivering the program for each child.

These activities have been designed to assist early childhood educators to explore their own perspectives and reflect on how these inform their educational program and practice from a more informed stance. The first activity will electronically summarise your responses to a number of stem sentences. These stem statements are related to Standard 1.1 (above), and cover important aspects of practice related to the implementation of the Standard. Educators' responses to these stem sentences can then be mapped across the different theoretical perspectives identified in the EYLF. This information will be finally displayed as a table - your 'profile'. By choosing the closest match to your practice and allocating that as your first choice (1), and then your next best match (2), on completion of the activity you will be able to see the perspectives from which you draw most frequently in your work with young children.

Activity Two assists with Standard 1.2 (above) and requires educators to consider their 'profiles', generated by completing the first activity, when responding to a set of guided reflection questions. These questions have been designed to assist educators to think more deeply about their practice from a more theoretical informed perspective.


Challenging Practice Self Assessment

Activity 1
Quality Area 1 Educational Program and Practice

1.1 An approved learning framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child's learning and development.



MY PHILOSOPHY

Choose a 1 in the dropdown box next to the statement that is closest to your practice and a 2 next to the second closest

1. The philosophy that underpins my work is about...

  The impact of children's behaviour on learning
  The importance of families and communities in children's learning
  Developmentally appropriate practice
  Respecting and representing differing views of knowledge and learning
  Inequities and social justice

MY PROGRAM

Choose a 1 in the dropdown box next to the statement that is closest to your practice and a 2 next to the second closest

2. I consider the following when making decisions about the curriculum...

  Remembering to think carefully about including particular bodies of knowledge and ways of learning
  The social and cultural experiences of the children
  What extrinsic motivation is needed in order for children to learn
  Each child's age and stage of development
  Children's social worlds and the influence of race, gender and class on their identity construction

3. The evidence I use to inform my programming focuses on...

  How the curriculum is socially constructed through children's language and conversations
  Observations of groups of children and individuals' social interactions, and learning processes
  Children's behaviour
  The culture, knowledge and conditions of learning the children have experienced
  Individual children's observed development based on a child's age

4. Diversity is considered in my programming through...

  Using extrinsic motivation directed at specific children
  Being mindful about my conversations and interactions and how they may position gender, race, class, ethnicity, ability
  Challenging assumptions about curriculum
  Considering different strategies for different children in different contexts
  Considering each child's age and stage of development

5. My program could be described as being...

  Emergent
  Planned based on individual developmental objectives
  Considerate of multiple perspectives
  Outcomes-based
  Based around exploring issues of fairness / unfairness

6. In my program I provide children with opportunities to...

  Consider, explore and critique a range of different ways of learning and being
  Create their worlds through interactions with more knowledgeable others
  Modify their behaviour and learn through motivation techniques
  Build knowledge independently in line with age and stage of development
  View the world and knowledge as complex and multifaceted

7. In relation to learning in my program I position children as...

  Able to learn a set body of knowledge if conditions are motivating for them
  Having agency in their own learning and the power to shape their own identities
  Enriching and expanding our ways of knowing
  Curious learners who learn by interacting / doing
  Learners in social contexts

MY ROLE

Choose a 1 in the dropdown box next to the statement that is closest to your practice and a 2 next to the second closest

8. My role in my program is to...

  Observe, assess and support children's development with reference to developmental milestones
  Be sensitive to the dynamics of relationships ( child to child, child to educator) in relation to power, knowledge/meaning and identity
  Work with and learn from the children helping them to think critically
  Scaffold and transform learning in response to children's prior understandings as a co-learner
  Reinforce desired behaviours towards set goals

9. Teaching strategies I mainly use include...

  Questioning my practice, and thinking of different ways to engage the children
  Non-interventionist strategies such as modelling, facilitating, supporting
  A variety of strategies for different children in different contexts
  Applying a set of practical procedures that combine reinforcement, modeling and the manipulation of situational cues to change behavior
  Raising questions with children related to equity and social justice

10. The evidence I make visible to families, children and others relates to...

  Children's learning processes within social contexts
  The roles of race, class, gender and disability in children's learning
  A child's progress within developmental milestones
  Individual children's achievement towards set goals and their motivation to learn
  There being no single, simple way to educate all children

11. Discussions with colleagues, families and children centre on...

  Children's interests and needs
  Children's social relationships and interactions
  Promoting inclusive practices
  Child outcomes against teacher-determined goals
  How external forces influence what we think about early childhood education and care

CHILDREN'S LEARNING

Choose a 1 in the dropdown box next to the statement that is closest to your practice and a 2 next to the second closest

12. I believe young children learn through...

  Inclusive practices
  Interacting with a learning environment that responds to children's interests and needs
  Extrinsic motivation - rewards or observing others
  Being exposed to environments that empower them as decision-makers and meaning makers
  Interactions with more knowledgeable others in local, social and cultural contexts

13. I view children as...

  Competent, capable, active and constructive beings
  Able to think critically and transform into engaged individuals
  'Becoming' adults
  Active agents in their own learning
  Motivated by external forces

INFLUENCES

Choose a 1 in the dropdown box next to the statement that is closest to your practice and a 2 next to the second closest

14. I am mainly influenced by...

  Developmental theories
  Socio-behaviourist theories
  Socio-cultural theories
  Post-structuralist theories
  Critical theories



Activity 2
Quality Area 1 Educational Program and Practice

1.2 Educators and co-ordinators are focused, active and reflective in designing and delivering the program for each child.

    Keeping the scores related to each theoretical perspective from Activity One in mind, your 'profile', reflect on the following questions:
  • How many of the five theoretical perspectives do you draw from?
  • Are some theoretical perspectives more dominant than others? Why do you think this is so?
  • What do you think you have learnt about the theories you draw from?
  • Does this help you understand the way you plan / document / evaluate?
  • What does this mean about the possible building blocks of your philosophy of working with young children and families?
  • What does this 'profile' make you think about in your interactions with children?
  • Do you think your 'profile' is a true indication of you as an educator at this point in time? Why / why not?
  • With this knowledge of the perspectives you draw on right now, is there anything you might like to reassess about your educational program and practice?

Happy reflecting!