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ECTPP202A-Framework Of The Early Childhood Learning

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Question:

Debate the range of Australian State and Territory approaches to early childhood documentation, planning and assessment methodologies and pedagogies. 

 

Answer:

Introduction

This following is a debate which will examine and compare the documentation, planning and assessment procedures and pedagogies and implemented of the five selected territories, while staying underlined by the national approved framework of the early childhood learning, The essay will help in the identification of the principle points that must be taken into consideration regarding each territory and state’s approaches. During 2009 The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed over a comprehensive reform agenda for the promotion of the early childhood education and care across Australia. This is based on the development of clear evidence by taking into consideration of both the national and international perspectives. The national and international perspective mainly highlights that early years of a child’s life have a significant influence over the future life like health, academic performance, professional growth and personal life (Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority [ACECQA], 2018). Examination of the findings of the research highlighted that Australia is experiencing increase in the poor outcomes for the children and the young adults under several principal area along with widening of the health and education related inequalities between different groups of children.

Thus the comparative analysis conducted in this essay will help to critically analyse the effectiveness of the nationally approved curriculum framework of early childhood learning services: Belonging, Being and Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR], 2009) in reducing the inequalities under the perspective of different Australian state and territories. 

 

Discussion

The Victorian Early Years and Development Framework (VEYLDF) adopt a comprehensive approach for the promotion of knowledge and development during early childhood. Health is an important parameter of the VEYLDF. The learning framework of the Victorian territory thus gives emphasis over the wellbeing of the child starting from when the child is born as a comprehensive wellbeing is prerequisite for achieving quality learning outcome. For the promotion of the children’s optimal wellbeing active skill building along with development of supportive relationship with the adults are given prominence. The VEYLDF projects the portrait of the child as the premium right holder as well as a competent leaner who has the capability to learn starting from birth by extracting experiences from the prevailing surroundings (Victorian Department of Education and Training [VDET], 2016).

VEYLDF give emphasis over the constant learning approach starting from birth. This learning approach expands gradually as the child moves through his early years of life like early experiences at home, going to school or preschool. VEYLDF also gives importance over proper understanding of the adults in the domain of science during the early years of learning of a child in order to understand the exact need of the child for comprehensive development. The major point of consideration of VEYLDF is it recognises contribution of the parents and the family members of the child in assisting the teaching professionals about developing learning plan (Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, 2009). The VEYLDF links the early childhood learning outcomes from the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia with the initial three levels of the Victorian Education Curriculum F-10. VEYLDF identifies eight different practice principles for the promotion of the learning and development. The Practice Principles are based on the pedagogy of the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia and evidence about the best possible ways in order to support learning, development and well-being of the children.

In contrast to Victoria, the Northern Territory preschool curriculum in the early childhood education mainly emphasize on five main outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework. It mainly supports increase in the level of literacy, intentional teaching of language and numeracy literacy done under the play-based learning approach (Northern Territory Government Department of Education, 2019). While Victorian learning curriculum given importance of the role of the family members of the child in designing the learning curriculum, the Northern Territory (NT) learning framework mainly given importance over the teachers of the educators. As per the framework of NT it is the duty of the teacher to determine what he or she is going to teach in the preschool based on his or her professional knowledge. One similarity between the learning framework of Victoria and NT is both gives emphasis on the interests of the child in designing the education environment and the surrounding background. After the preference of the teachers, and children, the preferences of the parent, family and community comes into consideration (Northern Territory Government Department of Education, 2019). The first outcome of this curriculum is giving importance to the identity of the children. An identity n which the child feels safe secured and supported. After identity development, there comes development of knowledge and self-confidence and communication. The second outcome is connectedness defined by the sense of belongings and social responsibility. The third outcome is promotion of well-being both emotional and physical. The fourth learning outcome promotion of learning and thinking to engage in creative thinking and the last or the fifth outcome is development of effective communication. Here comprehensive health and wellbeing of the child is considered as the third outcome unlike the Victorian learning model early year alerts and the promotion of education is measured based on the parameters of the health and wellbeing solely Northern Territory Government Department of Education. (2019). 

 


The Queensland Curriculum and the assessment Authority has introduced a range of pedagogies that possess some common features with the pedagogies of the other states, feedback, high quality of verbal interactions scaffolding and a sustained shared thinking State of Queensland (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority) (2014–2019). The Queensland curriculum mainly follows a constructivist learning method. The purpose of the Early Years Curriculum Guidelines (EYCG) is to provide the teachers with a guideline for the interaction  with the children. It also helps in the planning, assessing and reflecting on an effective elementary year curriculum (The State of Queensland ,Queensland Studies Authority) (2017).

Emphasis is put on the higher order of thinking, encouraging the children to explore, to question, to probe the new areas, ask for  clarity and to think critically and logically  and to consider the different outlooks.

The teachers plans for the learning opportunities which supports the higher order thinking, by the use of the hierarchal thinking taxonomy (Farquhar & White, 2014). The curriculum employs the pedagogical strategies such as the open ended higher- order questioning. The curriculum supports the use various types of modalities like the uses of the graphic organizers, such that the children can gather, organize and represent the information and the ideas from their higher order thinking (Farquhar & White 2014).

One of the key thing is to consider is that , the curriculum supports a sustained shared thinking, where the educators supports the development of the children’s complex thinking and the complex problem solving skills in an explanatory and open ended conversation. The curriculum mainly places the child in the foremost position and hence emphasizes in a sustained shared thinking with the child. This pedagogy or the curriculum also the complies with the ELYF framework of learning that emphasizes on the autonomy, interdependence and sense of agency and the resilience of a child.

The Pre-primary to Year 10 Western Australian curriculum, on the other hand provides a comprehensive and a coherent set of the prescribed standards that the school uses for planning the learning processes of the students, assessing the progress of the students and reporting to the parents. The main purpose of the guidelines is to facilitate an optimal learning and development of the children. The curriculum draws of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF, Commonwealth of Australia, 2009), to ensure that all the children experience a quality teaching and learning (THE EARLY YEARS LEARNING FRAMEWORK FOR AUSTRALIA, 2017). The guiding principle of the West Australian curriculum ensures that schooling contributes to a cohesive society, that appreciates social, cultural and the religious diversities. It also provides education for meeting the educational needs of the Western Australians. The Western Australian curriculum, follows certain principles of teaching and learning like the opportunity to learn, connection and challenge, action and reflection, inclusivity and difference, independence and collaboration and provision of a supportive environment. 

 


The processes of assessment and documentation of the early childhood activities are almost similar in all the states of Australia. Except, that the aboriginal population in the western Australian region is more, there is a lack of proper documentation. Reflecting on the assessment of the early childhood learning, the west Australian curriculum mainly follows formative assessment strategies, allowing the teachers to check the understanding of the student during the course of the lesson, exhibitions, the learning journals, portfolio as well as the teacher devised test and the standard assessment methods. The main aim is to ensure that the assessment provide a fine grained information about the student teaching (Davis & Elliott, 2014). One of the notable component of the West Australian pedagogy is the emphasis upon the cross curriculum priorities. The West Australian curriculum has been developed to equip the young Australian individuals with the knowledge and the skills that would help them to engage and thrive in a globalized world. One of the uniqueness of this curriculum is that the Western Australian curriculum addresses the contemporary issue, with considerations to the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, where the curriculum focuses on the priorities like the histories and the cultures of the aboriginal and the Torres strait Islander, Asia and the Australia ‘s collaboration with Asia  and the sustainability (WA, School curriculum and standards authority, 2017). 

The curriculum taught in South Australia also focuses on aboriginal cultural studies. Special programs has been meant where English has been considered as an additional language. The educators in South Australia, mainly used the Early Years Learning Framework for the learning and the development in children from birth to five years (South Australia, Department for Education, 2017). Many early childhood settings consisted of  family day care, preschools and the integrated centers use this framework for the development of a play based learning. The framework uses a holistic approach of learning. Different play based program are the part of the curriculum ensures that the creative juices of the child is flowing, helps to develop communication skills, creativity and imaginative power in the child. In stage 1, all the work of the students are assessed by the school using a performance standard provided in the subject outline of each of the students. SACE Board’s quality assessment cycle is again used by the school assessment to undergo moderation for confirming the application of the performance standards. One of the notable aspect that can be seen in a South Australian curriculum is emphasizing on the STEM approach to teaching. This STEM approach provides the students with the opportunities to work on challenging problems and the projects. The South Australian curriculum focuses on engagement of the family members in childhood learning, which is similar to the curriculum of Queensland and the other territories of Australia. Specific activities are designed by the curriculum maker in consultation with the families in various locations, for meeting the individual needs of the communities and the families. The interaction between the children and the parents is a major focus of the Learning Together playgroup. Furthermore, the Early Years Learning Framework Implementation Leadership Project has aimed to implement the Early years learning framework (EYLF) across South Australia with collaboration from a range of the early childhood services in each of the regions (Government of South Australia,2013). 

 

Conclusion

Thus from the above discussion, it can be concluded that different state and territory of Australia have certain distinct features in their early childhood learning framework. In Queensland, the early childhood learning is emphasizes over the higher order learning and here teacher plan for designing the learning opportunities that supports hierarchical thinking taxonomy. This resembles the educational framework of NT where preferences of the teachers are given prime importance before the requirement of the child and the family members. However, in Victoria, the child’s health and wellbeing is the first preference followed by the requirement of the child defined by their parents, family members and their community needs. In Western Australia collaborative teaching is given prominence and this highlights joint collaboration of both the teachers and the parents. Only in South Australia, aboriginal educational needs are given preferences. This approach will help in the reduction of the inequality prevalent among the groups of children which is main concern in Australia at present 

 

References

Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). (2018). Approved learning frameworks. Retrieved from: https://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf/national-law-regulations/approved-learning-frameworks

Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). (2018). Approved learning frameworks. Retrieved from

Davis, J., & Elliott, S. (Eds.). (2014). Research in early childhood education for sustainability: International perspectives and provocations. Routledge.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. [DEEWR]. (2009). Belonging, Being and Becoming. The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Canberra, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia.

Farquhar, S., & White, E. J. (2014). Philosophy and pedagogy of early childhood.

https://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf/national-law-regulations/approved-learning-frameworks

Northern Territory Government Department of Education. (2019). Northern Territory Preschool Curriculum. Access date: 09th March 2019. Retrieved from: https://education.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/359778/nt_preschool_curriculum_web-96dpi.pdf 

Northern Territory Government Department of Education. (2019). NT preschool curriculum. Access date: 09th March 2019. Retrieved from: https://education.nt.gov.au/education/support-for-teachers/nt-preschool-curriculum

South Australia, Department for Education, (2017).  Learning together. Access date: 9.3.2019. Retrieved from: https://www.education.sa.gov.au/teaching/curriculum-and-teaching/curriculum-early-years/learning-together

South Australia, Department for Education, (2017).Curriculum and teaching. Access date: 9.3.2019. Retrieved from: www.education.sa.gov.au/teaching/curriculum-and-teaching/primary-and-secondary-curriculum/curriculum-taught-south-australia

State of Queensland (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority) (2014–2019). Kindergarten. Access date: 9.3.2019. Retrieved from: https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au

State of Queensland (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority) 2014–2019. Features of early years pedagogies. Access date: 9.3.2019. Retrieved from: https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/p-10/transition-school/continuity-curriculum-pedagogies/resource-list

THE EARLY YEARS LEARNING FRAMEWORK FOR AUSTRALIA, (2017).Belonging, being and becoming .Access date: 9.3.2019. Retrieved from: https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/belonging_being_and_becoming_the_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia_0.pdf

The State of Queensland (Queensland Studies Authority) (2017).Early Years Curriculum Guidelines. Access date: 9.3.2019. Retrieved from: https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/downloads/p_10/ey_cg_06_quick_guide.pdf

Victorian Department of Education and Training (VDET). (2016). Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework - For All Children from Birth to Eight Years. Melbourne: Victorian Department of Education and Training.

WA, School curriculum and standards authority, (2017).Cross-curriculum priorities .Access date: 9.3.2019. Retrieved from: https://k10outline.scsa.wa.edu.au/home/teaching/cross-curriculum-priorities2/cross-curriculum-priorities

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