Assessment Practices and Principles of Early Years of Framework
The early years of framework is a learning framework that serve as a guide for educators and to be used in early childhood settings from birth to five years and their formal school transition. In Australia, this framework was approved by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in year 2009 (Theobald et al., 2011).
Thus, it presents a framework for early childhood curriculum to develop quality education program and enhance pedagogy practices. The framework explains principles and practice to certain consistent learning delivery through play-based learning across the country.
The principles reflect on contemporary theories and philosophies of early childhood pedagogy and children learning.
The principle underlines respectful, secure and shared relationship among the educator and child to support sense of wellbeing (Grieshaber and Graham, 2017). Educators are required to positive interact, adjust to thoughts and feelings, provide a secure environment for exploration and learning. This would be effective to develop trust relationship and make the child feel valued and respected which is needed to nurture relationship with educators. Educators who provide emotional support help the children to learn skills, team and collaborate.
The partnership principle emphasise on children families to collaborate with educators. This involves curriculum decisions to make the learning experiences of the children significant. The partnership values the role of families as influential teachers, to share perspectives about child, involve in shared decision-making and make contribution of educator and families in child development and learning. It promotes active learning of children in home and early childhood settings such as pre-school, kindergarten, playcenter, etc.
The principle related to equity and hope underlines the children capacity to do well in different situations when families and educators have high expectations (Grieshaber and Graham, 2017). The professional knowledge and skills in pedagogy helps the educators to find effective ways to overcome the children learning barrier to ensure all children gets equal chances of learning and participation.
The principle highlights respect for diversity as children belong to different culture beliefs and customs of their families and communities they grow and develop. Thus, respect for diversity signifies practices that respect the culture, language, history, etc. and similarities and difference to develop learning communities and also five significance to including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders in Australia. It also values the different ability, learning pace and capabilities of each child.
Another principle is ongoing learning through reflective practice by experiences and developing questions for particular areas such as child understanding, knowledge that affect work practices, benefit and weakness, etc. Thus, it involves developing professional knowledge and professional inquiry about early children pedagogy and related philosophies, practices and ethics that shape child learning (Somerville and Williams, 2015) and to develop new ideas for children wellbeing.
The practices of early childhood pedagogy support early childhood learning by being responsive, play based learning, planned teaching, developing social learning environment, integrating cultural values, adoption of more holistic approaches, evaluating learning outcomes to ensure successful transition to formal education. Intentional teaching holds relevance for social contexts and interactive learning (Macy et al., 2009).
This practice promotes children learning through challenging experiences and engages in development of high-level thinking. Learning through playing practice provides learning opportunities through discovery, formation, re-creation, improvements and imagination. This provides a supportive learning environment with other children to build new understandings and encourage constructive outlook towards learning.
There are diverse philosophies of teaching and learning reflecting on the teaching and learning process. Under the social constructivism, Montessori philosophy and educating method is based on natural desire of children to learn (Reid, 2013). This is enhanced in environments that are designed with specialised training or interactive material and experienced teacher.
This facilitates fast learning about self-care, language and simple math, colours, sizes and shapes, etc. The early childhood program philosophy of Waldorf is based on insights and pedagogical methods of philosopher and social innovator, Rudolf Steiner. The philosophical approach support development of self-direction, creativity and free thinking (Wright, 2013). Play based training is the central to early childhood program.
The practice influences problem-solving abilities, creative thinking, development of social skills and learning through imaginative activities. The learning environments involves blocks, material for imaginative play, art materials, manipulative toys, sensory play through sand and water, writing tool, etc.
Early childhood education has a strong impact on policy, practice and service provision for child further development and preparation for school. It has led to government funding and broadening the policy objectives for early childhood education (Somerville and Williams, 2015). It is seen as a public investment to help the young children develop strong base for school and better chances for a successful life (Roskos, 2017).
Many developing countries are in different stages of policy planning, development and implementation. The ECE had influence in the practices which have led to play based philosophy in the childhood programs and involved creative activities to support imagination to succeed in complex environment. It has also led to purposeful play owing to the important of playing in a child’s life for its social, intellectual, emotional as well as physical development.
ECE has also led to development of early childhood settings such as pre-school, kintergarden, etc. for the service provision. However, there are difference delivery models, policies, access and participation and expectations for child outcomes.
The reform directions are aimed for to give each child in Victoria, a happy, healthy and satisfying life by shaping their life from their early lives. The reform directions focus to provide support to high quilt service, offering more support to parents/parenting and reduce the challenge associated with early life education.
The philosophical directions of the current reform agenda also includes increasing accessibility and inclusiveness of early childhood services and promoting to develop a better childhood learning and development system (Grieshaber and Graham, 2017).
These reform directions bear a significant impact on the development of the early year’s framework as it stress to develop a unified system of early educations for children. It also emphasise the educators to offer children with opportunities to enhance their potential as a learners and develop a foundation for learning to success in future formal education.
The reform agenda in Australia has few implications for practise as it will restructure the role of the educators and teachers in early childhood education settings (Mercer and Jarvie, 2017). The teachers need to think and develop teaching strategies that help the children to remove learning barrier and difficulties and support learning in diverse situations.
This also calls for provision for resources and teaching aids to support early childhood learning. The reform agenda direction has proposition for the development of early childhood education professional as a learning continuum of activities to prepare teachers and educators professionally to provide learning and parenting to enhance learning at home and other settings.
However, there is a need to review the effectiveness of these directions in achieving the learning goals for the children and professional development and inquiry of educational practitioners who are engaged in early childhood reform agenda.
Thus, it can be wrapped that principles of early years of framework support the practice to achieve learning outcomes and relevance of communication, language, literacy and numeracy, social and emotional understanding and development in the early ages.
Grieshaber, S. and Graham, L.J., 2017. Equity and educators enacting the Australian early years learning framework. Critical Studies in Education, 58(1), pp.89-103.
Macy, M., Squires, J.K. and Barton, E.E., 2009. Providing optimal opportunities: Structuring practicum experiences in early intervention and early childhood special education preservice programs. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 28(4), pp.209-218.
Mercer, T. and Jarvie, W., 2017. Negotiating the Early Childhood Education Revolution: An Exercise in Multi-level Governance. Multi-Level Governance, p.161.
Reid, J., 2013. “The Ayn Rand School for Tots”: John Dewey, Maria Montessori, and Objectivist Educational Philosophy during the Postwar Years. Historical Studies in Education/Revue d’histoire de l’éducation, 25(1).
Roskos, K.A. ed., 2017. Play and literacy in early childhood: Research from multiple perspectives. UK: Routledge.
Somerville, M. and Williams, C., 2015. Sustainability education in early childhood: An updated review of research in the field. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 16(2), pp.102-117.
Theobald, M., Danby, S. and Ailwood, J., 2011. Child participation in the early years: Challenges for education. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 36(3), p.19.
Wright, P., 2013. Constructing ‘geo’-exploring the epistemological frameworks of Steiner-Waldorf and mainstream approaches to geography. RoSE–Research on Steiner Education, 3(2).