EDU10007: Contemporary Perspectives of Learning and Development for Early Childhood Assessment 3: Philosophical statement Word limit: 2000 (+/- 10%) Weighting : 40% Due date : 9am AEST Monday 6 June 2016 (Week 12) Print Assessment overview For this assessment you will reflect on your personal values and beliefs about children and early childhood education and write a professional philosophy statement. A professional philosophy statement can be used as a guide for your future teaching practice and communicate your vision and beliefs to others including families, professionals and prospective employers. Assessment details Reflect on your professional understandings and learning to date and write a professional statement that articulates and aligns with your beliefs and values in relation to children, learning and development and early childhood education. A professional teaching philosophy should be written with consideration for potential stakeholders such as families, other professionals and employers. Additional resources The Study resources site has helpful guides on completing assessments, including guides on using Turnitin. Additionally, the Swinburne Library has resources to help you write APA-style citations and reference lists. Submission details This assessment will be submitted via Turnitin. See the Assessment 3 section of Blackboard for more detailed information. Assessment criteria Articulates personal values and beliefs in relation to children, learning and development and early childhood education identifying your personal image of the child beliefs about learning and development value of early childhood education. Aligns personal beliefs and values with relevant theories and perspectives critically reflects on the image of the child as competent and capable reflects on, and makes, explicit links between your beliefs and relevant ideas and theories from this unit. Assesses and discusses the implications of personal values and beliefs on your approach to teaching identifies and discusses your approach(es) to teaching, making relevant links between your values and beliefs. Academic expression spelling, grammar and expression professional standard of presentation presentation appropriate to selected audience adheres to APA referencing style. Your work will be assessed using the following marking guide: Criteria No Pass Pass 50-59% Credit 60-69% Distinction 70-79% High Distinction 80-100% Articulates personal values and beliefs (25%) Did not meet criterion. Shows developing skills in reflection. Some values and beliefs in relation to children, learning and development and early childhood education are articulated. Demonstrates good skills in self-reflection. Has identified and articulated personal values and beliefs in relation to children, learning and development and early childhood education. Demonstrates excellent skills in self-reflection. Clearly articulates personal values and beliefs in relation to children, learning and development and early childhood education. Exemplary skills in self-reflection. Clearly and succinctly articulates personal values and beliefs about children, learning and development and early childhood education. Aligns personal beliefs and values with relevant theories and perspectives (25%) Did not meet criterion. Basic connections between theories/ perspectives and personal beliefs and values. Good linkage between personal beliefs and values, and mostly relevant theories/ perspectives supported by research from unit readings. Excellent linkage between personal beliefs and values and relevant theories/ perspectives. Supported by strong examples and relevant research from unit and beyond. Outstanding linkage between personal beliefs and values, and relevant theories/ perspectives. Consistently supported by clear and strong examples and relevant research from unit and beyond. Assesses and discusses the implications of personal values and beliefs on your approach to teaching (25%) Did not meet criterion. Basic connections between personal beliefs and values and teaching practice throughout discussion. Good assessment of personal beliefs and values. Identifies and discusses some potential implications on teaching practice. Excellent assessment. Identifies and discusses the potential implications of personal beliefs and values on teaching practice. Supported with some examples of teaching approaches. Outstanding assessment. Identifies, discusses and assesses personal beliefs and values. The implications of those on teaching practice are clearly identified. Appropriate examples of intended teaching approaches support the discussion. Academic expression (25%) Did not meet criterion. Satisfactory standard of spelling, grammar and expression. Uses own words, APA referencing. Good standard of spelling, grammar and expression. Attempt made to address audience. High standard of spelling, grammar and expression. Clearly targets audience. Excellent standard throughout. Engaging and clearly targets audience. EDU10007: Contemporary Perspectives of Learning and Development for Early Childhood Week 9: Traditional philosophical perspectives in practice Learning Material Activities Introduction Welcome to Week 9, the first of two weeks that focus on approaches to education. This week we examine examples of traditional theoretical and philosophical perspectives in practice and explore the process for writing professional/personal philosophy statements. This process will be instrumental in your completion of Assessment 3, in which you are required to reflect on your beliefs and theoretical and philosophical perspectives to write a philosophy statement. By the end of this week, you will have: gained knowledge of theoretical and philosophical informants to early childhood education examined a brief overview of some of the traditional approaches to early childhood education including Froebel, Montessori and Steiner-Waldorf developed an understanding of what is a philosophy studied examples of personal and professional philosophies developed a process for writing your personal/professional philosophy. Consider: how will you be casting for the part? Or will you have some substance to bring to an early education setting/school? Watch Hugh Jackman's teacher interview (College Humor, 2012) and ponder: how will your interview compare? Hugh Jackman's teacher interview (2012), <http://youtu.be/fipSEmdj3i0> Approaches in the early childhood setting In earlier weeks, we examined some of the influential foundational and contemporary theories in early childhood education. Many of these are also mentioned in the readings over the next two weeks - with the addition of valuable and influential philosophical perspectives and approaches to early childhood education. These approaches and perspectives often align with a particular theory and may at times be referred to as theories even though they do not strictly meet all of the criteria of a formal theory. Reading Edwards introduces us to some of the most influential foundation theoretical and philosophical perspectives in Chapter 1 Theoretical and philosophical informants to early childhood education and care (2009), pp. 5-11. Montessori Education ... must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities. Maria Montessori as cited in Montessori Australia (n.d.) photograph - child playing with a washboard Practical life exercises (n.d.), <http://bit.ly/1ePhRUv> photograph - children playing with a numbers activity Mathematics (n.d.), <http://bit.ly/1ePhRUv> Maria Montessori was a physician and educator who studied children for over 50 years. Maria Montessori and her curriculum approach have been, and continue to be, influential on early childhood education in many countries around the world today. The Montessori approach to education places an emphasis on independence and seeks to provide children with an organised learning environment ideally suited to their stage of development. The following reading and video provide an overview of the approach. Reading Find out more about the Montessori method and examples from practice in Nutbrown (2006), pp. 89-93. See Montessori in action in the video Montessori (Tyne, 2013). Steiner-Waldorf Receive the children in reverance; educate them in love; let them go forth in freedom. Rudolf Steiner, as cited in Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School (2012) photograph - children and educators sitting in a circle for an activity Meaningful adult activity as examples for the child's imitation (n.d.), <http://bit.ly/1lDdycB> photograph of a finished project using animal toys and blankets Creative, artistic experience (n.d.), <http://bit.ly/1lDdycB> Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, scientist and artist, whose lectures for the German factories of Waldorf-Astoria led to the establishment of schools now known as Waldorf schools. According to Steiner, childhood is an important phase of life that should be protected and nurtured. Spiritual development, imagination and creativity are emphasised in the approach. Reading Find out more about Steiner-Waldorf kindergarten and pedagogical practice, based on the anthroposophical work of Rudolf Steiner in Nutbrown (2006), pp. 136-139. Learn about The oldest Steiner school in Australia (openhomeonline, 2009). You have now had a brief overview of foundational philosophical perspectives with a focus on Steiner and Montessori approaches to early childhood education. Have you found that you align with any of the perspectives? Which aspects do you agree or disagree with? Examining theoretical and philosophical perspectives and using reflective questions can help you to think about and articulate your own professional philosophy. Developing a philosophy Your professional philosophy should be underpinned by your beliefs and values about learning and teaching in relation to children, families, the community and colleagues. Beliefs and values arise from what you have experienced and what you have learned, and from knowledge and theory. Because of this beliefs and values can change and it is therefore important to reflect and on and update your philosophy regularly. There is no one right philosophy, theory or curriculum approach that is relevant and effective for all children in all contexts, so it is important to consider and be open to multiple understandings and perspectives. Reading In Chapter 5 Developing philosophies, pp. 161-194 of your eText, Arthur et al. investigate the process of developing a professional philosophy. Although much of the chapter relates to developing a philosophy for a setting such as an early childhood centre or school, there is some discussion specifically relating to personal philosophy, and many examples to guide the development of your philosophy statement. This week you have examined traditional perspectives and processes for writing philosophy statements. But what makes a 'good' philosophy statement? Is there such a thing? This week you work together in Activity 1: Philosophising to consider how we might convey our insights, approaches and philosophy of teaching by finding and sharing examples of philosophy statements and reviewing them against the criteria for your Assessment 3. Next week you will examine contemporary perspectives and you may find further inspiration to draw from or a sense of familiarity with many of the ideas and values from these. Summary of this week's readings, referenced in APA style The unit's APA-style reference list provides full details of the readings and resources cited in the learning materials. The correct APA style should be used as much as possible to promote your skills in academic citation. This skill is particularly important in each of your assessments. EDU10007: Contemporary Perspectives of Learning and Development for Early Childhood Week 10: Contemporary philosophical perspectives in practice Learning Material Activities Introduction Last week we examined traditional philosophical perspectives and developed a process for writing philosophy statements. This week we focus on some of the more contemporary approaches to early childhood education including the Reggio Emilia curriculum approach, which is underpinned by the image of the child as competent, capable and connected to others. By the end of the week, you will have: examined a range of influential contemporary philosophical perspectives, including Indigenous perspectives familiarised yourself with Reggio Emilia, Te WhÄÂriki, Howard Gardner and HighScope approaches and the implications for early childhood environments and teaching practice. In the video The hundred languages of children (rpnskids, 2012), multiple forms of expression of the child, the role of the educator and learning through play are demonstrated. As you watch the video, consider whether your personal beliefs and image of the child might align with the varied contexts and activities. What approaches might you take, and why? After watching the video, continue to begin your exploration of contemporary philosophies in practice. The hundred languages of children (2012), <http://youtu.be/mQtLOu99BfE> The child at the core of pedagogy Revisiting the 'image' of the child from your early weeks in this unit, your next reading discusses an approach to early childhood education in Italy, which has placed the social construction of the child at the core of policy and pedagogy. Reading We continue reading from Edwards (2009) this week, but with a focus on contemporary perspectives. Chapter 1 Contemporary theories and philosophies in early childhood education and care (Edwards, 2009, pp. 12-26) introduces us to the spectrum of theories explored this week. Reggio Emilia In your next reading, Carlina Rinaldi explains how the 'image of the child' lies at the core of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education The Reggio Emilia approach has been influential and adapted in many countries around the globe, including Australia. What are your thoughts on approaches such as Reggio Emila that are taken from a very specific cultural location? Can they be implemented in other contexts? Why or why not? And if so what factors or modifications need to be considered? photograph - a classroom with interactive decorations A Reggio Emilia educational setting (2009), <http://bit.ly/19xJ8J3> Reading In Chapter 4 Reggio Emilia – The image of the child and the child's environment as a fundamental principle (Rinaldi, 2001), pp. 49-54, Carlina Rinaldi explores the Reggio Emilia approach in light of the image of the child and renewal of pedagogical practice. Further exploration If you are interested in learning more about the Reggio Emilia approach, you may like to explore the website of the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE). Te WhÄÂriki Te WhÄÂriki is the New Zealand Ministry of Education's early childhood curriculum policy statement. Influenced by sociocultural perspectives, the curriculum emphasises the learning partnership between kaiako/teachers, parents, and whÄÂnau/families. Kaiako/teachers consider children's learning and development in the context of their families, educational setting and wider/global community to create a holistic curriculum. Watch the clip Essay 6: Enhancing ECE through Te WhÄÂriki (ECETaskforce, 2011) to gain a quick overview of the focus, intentions, challenges and review of the Te WhÄÂriki early childhood curriculum. Click the thumbnail to learn more about Te WhÄÂriki principles and strands from The Architecture of Early Childhood (2011) website. infographic of principles woven together. Te WhÄÂriki links social goals like like contribution and relationships with individual goals like development and wellbeing. Te WhÄÂriki principles and strands (2011), <http://bit.ly/1cDcfcN> Further exploration View the Te WhÄÂriki early childhood curriculum (New Zealand Ministry of Education, 1996) if you are interested in learning more about this approach. HighScope The HighScope approach developed from research in the USA takes an active and participatory approach to preschool settings. The most important segment of the daily routine is the 'plan-do-review sequence', in which children make choices about what they will do, carry out their ideas and then reflect upon their activities with adults and other children. circular chart with four quandrants - daily routine, learning experiences, adult-child interaction and assessment An example HighScope planning chart (n.d.), <http://bit.ly/19DfY8Q> Further exploration The HighScope: Inspiring educators to inspire children website (HighScope Educational Research Foundation, 2014) provides a range of information and resources that will introduce you to the HighScope preschool curriculum. Go to the HighScope Educational Research Foundation (2014) website, and click the Overview of HighScope link to watch a video overview of HighScope. The information provided in the video is particularly relevant as they provide insight into what the approach looks like in practice with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school children. Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences Do you believe that a talented musician has musical intelligence and an athlete has bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence? If so you may identify with Howard Gardner's ideas about multiple intelligences. Multiple intelligences have become very influential in education as they acknowledge strengths and intelligences in a wide range of culturally valued activities. But once we realize [sic] that people have very different kinds of minds, different kinds of strengths -- some people are good in thinking spatially, some in thinking language, others are very logical, other people need to be hands on and explore actively and try things out -- then education, which treats everybody the same way, is actually the most unfair education. Gardner, as cited in Edutopia (1997) Graphic - eight intelligences - nature smart, people smart, number smart, picture smart, self smart, body smart, music smart and word smart Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences (n.d.), <http://bit.ly/1d4pr73> Further exploration Watch Howard Gardner discuss the thinking and research behind the multiple intelligences and what this means for education and deep learning: Big thinkers: Howard Gardner on multiple intelligences (Edutopia, 1997). What are your strengths? How do you learn best? Do you agree that there are multiple intelligences and if so, how will you create a fair learning environment for diverse learners? This week, you have examined some of the most influential contemporary perspectives and approaches to early childhood curriculum. You should now have a solid understanding of many of these, and have a sense of which you feel you align with. Some of the ideas from different perspectives overlap where others are in contrast. You may feel that you identify with concepts from several theories and perspectives. Summary of this week's readings, referenced in APA style The unit's APA-style reference list provides full details of the readings and resources cited in the learning materials. The correct APA style should be used as much as possible to promote your skills in academic citation. This skill is particularly important in each of you EDU10007: Contemporary Perspectives of Learning and Development for Early Childhood Week 11: Reconceptualising the image of the child Learning Material Activities Introduction Throughout this unit, we have put forward the idea that constructions of childhood are productive: in other words, pedagogical work is the product of who we think the child is. The construction of the young child as an empty vessel and reproducer gives rise to an idea of pedagogy or education as a means of transmitting to, or depositing within, the child a predetermined and unquestionable body of knowledge with a prefabricated meaning. In contrast, the construction of the child as a powerful and competent learner brings about a vastly different mindset, approaches and educational outcomes. So how have theories and constructs of childhood influenced how we understand children's learning and development and enact early childhood education in Australia today? By the end of this week, you will have: engaged with national curriculum frameworks for early childhood education and identified influential concepts, theoretical and philosophical perspectives within this document drawn from your own personal philosophy of education. Many of the theories discussed throughout the unit have influenced the national curriculum frameworks for education in Australia. This week we explore the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), and reflect on the the child as a powerful and competent learners. Watch the video I can do it! Supporting babies' sense of agency – part 2 (Early Childhood Australia, 2012) to consider the developing child's sense of agency and some examples of how that may be supported in practice. When you have watched the video, continue on to 'Early childhood education in Australia today' to explore the EYLF in further detail. I can do it! Supporting babies' sense of agency (2014), <http://bit.ly/1d09Vsg> Early childhood education in Australia today So how have theories and constructs of childhood influenced how we understand children's learning and development and enact early childhood education in Australia today? In 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), a key element of the Australian Government's National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care. The EYLF describes principles, practice and outcomes with the aim of supporting and enhancing young children's learning and development from birth to five years of age, as well as for their transition to school. In this framework, children are respected as individuals and members of families and communities, who come to early childhood education settings with rich and diverse experiences, perspectives and skills. Click on the illustrative diagram of Belonging, Being and Becoming to view a larger version of the image. The EYLF communicates high expectations for children's learning through five learning outcomes. It is important to note that each of these outcomes acknowledges children's connection to family, community, culture and place. What do the practices, principles and learning outcomes tell us about the contemporary image of the child in Australia? What are the influential theories and underpinning philosophical beliefs? infographic - children's learning is built on practice, principles and learning outcomes, to support belonging, being and becoming Belonging, being and becoming – the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009), <http://bit.ly/1dXHXiZ> Throughout the EYLF, children are positioned with educators and families as co-constructors of knowledge. Educators are encouraged to draw from a range of theories to inform their approaches to early childhood teaching and learning. An overview of some of these theories are included in the following document from the City of Casey Early Childhood Research Collective. Reading The importance of developmental, socio-behaviourist, sociocultural, critical, and post-structural theories to early education are reflected upon in the introductory section of In practice and in theory: A booklet for thinking about the five learning outcomes and the Early Years Learning Framework (City of Casey Early Childhood Research Collective, 2012), pp. 4-5. Further exploration You may like to take a look at the Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority's (ACECQA) website section Introducing the National Quality Framework (ACECQA, 2013) to explore the relationship between the framework and the National Quality Standard, which are overarching drivers in Australia, being 'the result of an agreement between all Australian governments to work together to provide educational and developmental outcomes for children using education and care services' (ACECQA, 2013). Factors that impact Throughout the unit we have examined many factors that influence children's development including social and emotional development. Factors such as culture, family circumstances, relationships, experiences and community contexts are some examples of environmental or external influences. Biological factors include genetics, temperament and health. We have also considered the impact of the 'image' of the child: the way in which children and childhood are perceived within a community shapes the experiences and opportunities presented to them. Reading Planning environments and materials that respond to young children's lively minds (Curtis, Brown, Baird & Coughlin, 2013) invites you to consider the possibilities that can arise when we view the child as a powerful and competent learner. A reflection point on our own personal journey through this unit is appropriate again here. How has your image changed? And what information do you now have to understand your personal views and to explain those to others? Practice this in Activity 1: Independence this week, before broaching the discussion with your learning group about the journey's you have taken as early educators up to this point. Summary of this week's readings, referenced in APA style The unit's APA-style reference list provides full details of the readings and resources cited in the learning materials. The correct APA style should be used as much as possible to promote your skills in academic citation. This skill is particularly important in each of your assessments. EDU10007: Contemporary Perspectives of Learning and Development for Early Childhood Week 12: Factors that impact on learning and development Learning Material Activities Factors that impact on development Over the past weeks we have learned that children's development and learning occurs through a complex interplay of biological unfolding and contextual factors. For some children, there are biological and/or contextual factors in their lives that impact on growth and learning, resulting in children exceeding beyond or falling below expectations. This week we focus on factors that may interfere with children's development and learning. We look at what is meant by terms such as 'atypical' development and 'inclusive' practices. We also explore both biological (genetic) factors and environmental stressors, and risk factors such as poverty and war. As you watch the video What are child rights? (UNICEF Australia, 2013), consider what this means to you and to children in Australia and around the world. What are child rights? (2013), <http://youtu.be/V1BFLitBkco> Factors that impact on learning and development, such as poverty and disability, can have greatly detrimental impacts on a child. In our readings this week, such factors that may lead to atypical development are highlighted and linked to theory and practice. These readings also discuss the value of society supporting children's learning and development, and subsequent United Nations conventions. Reading Read Neaum's Chapter 6 Factors that affect children's learning and development (2010, pp. 73-92) to increase awareness about the varied factors that affect children's learning and development such as social, physical and emotional, including the importance of societal support and inclusive practices. Neaum further observes that 'there are patterns of underachievement for children from certain identifiable groups [and the] development of many of these children, in different ways, falls outside of expected parameters' (2010, p. 76). Note that you will have to choose Chapter 6 from the Table of Contents for this book. Neaum identified a 'human given approach' offering a way of understanding the connection between human needs and development. The approach argues that humans are born with physical and emotional needs that enable our survival and connection to others. When these needs are not met, we 'suffer distress' (2010, p. 75). There are many factors that impact on development, and a range of issues were listed in the reading. It is important to remember that children are individuals and will respond to similar circumstances in very different ways. Many highly successful adults have experienced difficult childhoods. Reading An overview of the main explanations for atypical development are provided in Chapter 7 Understanding atypical development in context (Empson & Nabuzoka, 2004), pp. 209-238. Social impacts and effects of disadvantage As you look through the following video and reading prompts, consider your personal beliefs, experiences and concerns and how they may intersect with the theories and perspectives you have learned about in this unit. Hear from children growing up in war-torn Gaza in the video Child's eye: 'My brothers think about weapons, not toys' (Bamforth & Nadeem, 2010). Read more about the effects of chronically elevated physiological stress and the achievement gap in the article Poverty goes straight to the brain (Keim, 2009). You may be interested to read the Executive Summary of Policy and Service Implications section of findings from this Australian study Families at risk: The effects of chronic and multiple disadvantage (Slee, 2006, pp. v-ix). It is important to be aware of how we define and use terms such as 'at risk' or 'atypical'. These terms should not be used to position the child as in deficit or needing to be 'fixed'. However, it is critical to ensure that we are aware of challenges that children may be facing, and adapt our teaching and learning environments to ensure that: children are free from harm children have access to and participation in learning, and the rights and dignity of each child is upheld. For children in an early childhood educational setting, the effect of disadvantage or advantage may be past and/or ongoing. Reflect and consider What systems are in place to identify children in the Australian early educational setting who may have experienced war, poverty or other chronic and/or multiple disadvantages? What would be a plan of action to reduce the impact of one of the identified factors? In the video you watched in the learning materials, What are child rights? (UNICEF Australia, 2013), the female child states that 'all the governments around the world have made a special agreement to protect children and they wrote it all down. It's called the Convention on the Rights of the Child. A convention is like a promise, it means that adults make sure that we are free to be happy, healthy and play and get to go to school'. As a global and local aspiration, where do you position your role as an early childhood educator in making this a reality? Consider this as you make your way to Activity 1: Philosophy as a promise.