The Early years Learning Framework for Australia

 

As Aristar International School envisions to give quality education, this Australian framework was acquired to create an applicable curriculum to produce young individuals who embody the holistic aspects the school aspires them to have.  This framework revolves around three concepts: Belonging, Being and Becoming. These pillars hold the roof of this framework which is Children’s Learning. It consists of three concepts: Principles, Practices and Learning Outcomes. Together, they make the framework stand effective as a system to early education.

 

       Below is a diagram of these elements:

 

                   

Belonging

This concept is the core of human existence. It is crucial for children to acquire as sense of belongingness to certain groups especially family, cultural group and a wider community. This defines their identities as they gradually make relationships.  It is the foundation in shaping the individual and other individualistic possibilities.

 

Being

This concept recognizes the importance childhood. It recognizes that children are creating concepts they explore in the present time and engaging in day-to-day sensory stimulants. As children learn to prepare for the future, they also create skills built for the present.

 

Becoming

This concept reflects the rapid and ever changing circumstances of childhood. There are many factors that help children to learn and grow. This emphasizes children’s probable active participation in society.

 

    Children’s Learning

Children are diverse young individuals who experience stimulus very differently from each other. They bring these stimuli to their dynamic, complex and holistic learning process. Physical, emotional, personal, spiritual, creative, cognitive and linguistic aspects or learning are interrelated.

Play is a context for learning that:

·        allows for the expression of personality and uniqueness 

·          enhances dispositions such as curiosity and creativity

·            enables children to make connections between prior experiences and new learning 

·             assists children to develop relationships and concepts

·          stimulates a sense of wellbeing. 

   **The Learning Outcomes section provides elaborate examples of learning evidences.

 

            Early Childhood Pedagogy 

Teacher’s role is always a crucial part of the learning process. When the teachers establish a caring and respectful relationship with children and their families, they are able to work together to formulate relevant learning experiences.

·        An educator’s professional judgements are important to their active role in facilitating learning.

·        Intuition, imagination and creativity are needed to be drawn out of the educator to improve and adjust their practice to many factors.

 

·        The educator must also draw upon different perspectives and theories to guide them in teaching as well as learning.

   Principles

These five Principles formulated for this framework reflect various contemporary theories and research evidences concerning children’s learning and early childhood pedagogy. These Principles are focused on assisting children to make progress in relation to the Learning Outcomes.

1.           Secure, Respectful and Reciprocal Relationships

   Educators who are attuned to children’s thoughts and feelings support the development of a strong sense of        wellbeing. This is a positive interaction between teacher and learner. This principle highlights the positive and        effective emotional and social collaboration of the learner to the teacher and peers in order to make a healthy,        secure and confident learning experience.

2.             Partnerships

Educators recognize that parents are children’s most influential teacher. Therefore, creating a positive partnership is crucial in building a teaching environment. When respect and active collaboration take place, meaningful learning outcomes are most likely to be achieved.

3.            High Expectations and Equity

Educators recognize that all children have the capacity to learn despite of many differences. High expectations for learning are given equally to each child and should barriers arise, educators respond adequately.  Collaboration between educators and parents ensure that all children have equal opportunities in achieving meaningful learning outcomes.

4.   Respect for Diversity

Children are born belonging to a culture which is influenced by many factors. Educators recognize that this diversity contributes to richness of society and provides a valid evidence base about ways of knowing. For Australia, it is about promoting understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being. When educators respect diversity, they are able to foster children’s motivation to have a sense of themselves as competent learners.

5.   Ongoing Learning and Reflective practice

Educators continually seek professional development. They learn together with children and the community within. Reflective practice is a form of ongoing learning which lets educators challenge philosophy, ethics and practice. It lets them examine what happens in their setting and reflect on what can be changed.

 

Practice

The principles of early childhood pedagogy underpin practice. Educators draw on a rich bank of pedagogical practices to promote learning through many components:

·        Holistic approaches

When early childhood educators take into consideration holistic approaches to learning, they recognise the social, personal emotional and spiritual development of the child. They acknowledge that the mind, body and spirit are connected and all three are integral aspects to focus on when planning for learning outcomes.

·        Responsiveness to children

Educators respond to children in many aspects of their growth. They use children’s strengths, skills and knowledge as a motivation and engagement for creative learning. This responsive learning relationship between teacher and learner creates a strong learning environment with respect and trust.

·        Learning through play

Play gives children a world full of stimuli. Through this, they socialise experiment, discover, challenge pre-determined concepts and create new ones. Educators use play to approach children with      spontaneous learning moments and evoke authentic experiences. Inclusion, respect and fairness in play is a crucial practice educators consider.

·        Intentional teaching

Educators who engage in intentional teaching which is deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful see that interaction is a vital aspect for learning. They promote the active learning of children through meaningful experiences that can foster high-level thinking. These are planned learning opportunities that are documented accordingly.

 

·        Learning environments

Educators create a welcoming learning environment where children can learn and respond positively. These vibrant spaces help foster different learning styles. Outdoor learning spaces are a feature of Australian learning environments that can offer many possibilities not available indoors.

·        Cultural competence

Cultural competence means that educators respect, honor and celebrate diversity of children. This awareness of diversity allows educators to promote children’s own cultural competence in ways of understanding and effectively interacting with multi-cultural individuals.

·        Continuity of learning and transitions

Transitioning from home to school in early years of learning can be challenging. Educators build children’s prior and current experiences to help them cope with this transition. Children, families and educators all contribute to the successful transition and the continuity of learning.

·        Assessment for Learning

Assessment for learning refers to the process of gathering and analysing information to evidently see learning. It is an ongoing cycle of planning, documenting and evaluating. It enables collaboration with families, educators and other professionals to seek appropriate planning, approaches, references and strategies for assessment.

 

 Learning Outcomes

 

These five Learning Outcomes capture the integrated and complex learning of children from birth to five years old. These outcomes are broad and observable with key components that provide example of evidences for learning. These optimize learning in all ages in ways that are appropriate for each child and their setting.

 

 

·        Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity

 

Belonging, Being and Becoming are the core concepts of identity. Children will learn about themselves and discover their own individuality through their family, teachers and community. Shaped by complex experiences they encounter, children’s self-identity are developed significantly. Therefore, it is vital that these experiences are positive and holistic. When children are exposed to positive experiences, they will feel secure and accepted which help develop their sense of Belonging. Also, when their cultural competence is considered, their concept of Being is developed. Finally, as these experiences evolve, children’s sense of Becoming also evolves.

 

          * Children feel safe, secure and supported

 

* Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency

 

          * Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities

 

* Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect  

 

 

 

·        Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to the world

 

Participation in relationships and communities contribute to children’s Belonging, Being and Becoming. Experiencing positive interactions with respect and trust enables children to have a strong sense of connection to social elements and become active contributors. When educators build environments that help children respond accordingly, they learn to live interdependently and participate collaboratively.

 

* Children develop a sense of belongingness to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation

 

* Children respond to diversity with respect

 

* Children become aware of fairness

 

* Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

 

 

 

·        Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing

 

Both physical and psychological wellbeing are central aspects to Belonging, Being and Becoming. Holistic wellbeing influences how children interact to their environment. A strong wellbeing helps children to become confident and optimistic which maximizes their learning potential. Through having this trait, children can grow to become independent and have the satisfaction of being able to do things on their own.

 

* Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing

 

 * Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing  

 

 

 

·        Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners

 

A sense of security and a sound wellbeing give children the confidence to explore ideas that develop their competence and responsiveness.  Children explore, collaborate and solve problems across all aspects of the curriculum so as to develop dispositions such as curiosity, persistence and creativity. Active involvement in learning builds children’s understanding creatively and critically which is vital for lifelong learning.

 

* Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, cooperation, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

 

* Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating  

 

 

 

·        Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators

 

Children are social beings and natural communicators who are motivated to exchange thought and feelings. They use varied tools to make connections and extend learning to others. A native language is used by learners primarily to feel a sense of belongingness and their right to use this is highly valued. Also, competency in Standard Australian English is crucial to achieve learning across the curriculum. Literacy and Numeracy are capacities that help children communicate linguistic and mathematical concepts confidently.

     * Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes

 

* Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts

 

* Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media

 

* Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work

   * Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking

 

 

© 2020 aristar.ac.th