Transcript of The Early Years Learning Framework in early intervention
Jeanie Bedwell – Thank you, and welcome to the Early Years Framework in early intervention e-learning. To actively participate in this professional learning, you might like to download the learner journal and have a copy of the Early Years Framework, as we will be referring to it. Your presenters today are Natasha Churchill, Relieving Transition Advisor from Early Learning, based at Paramatta, and myself, Jeanine Bedwell, P-2 Initiative Officer from Teaching Quality and Impact Directorate, based at Glenfield Educational Office.
Let us start with the acknowledgement of country. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land in all areas that this professional learning is reaching. We pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal people joining us today. We recognise that Aboriginal people have been nurturing and teaching their children on this land for thousands of years.
Learning objectives: Participants will review current best practice in early intervention, know and understand how the Early Years Framework forms a foundation for quality teaching and learning for the education and care of all children, reflect on their own current role in early intervention to identify strengths and areas for improvement in applying quality teaching and learning in early intervention.
The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers that we have identified is, 6.2.2, participating in learning to update knowledge and practice targeted to professional needs and schools and/or system priorities.
This professional learning supports the implementation of the new 2021 Early Intervention Operational Guidelines. Here are some important features of the new guidelines. It highlights the Early Years Learning Framework as the basis for early intervention curriculum, strong focus on supporting meaningful inclusions, opportunities for stronger collaborative planning for all children in early intervention, allow for early intervention to continue to operate as before or to consider other operating options that may better suit the community. All options included in the guidelines are able to be adopted without any additional staff required beyond the staffing resources already available in early intervention support classes.
This module is step two in a suggested three-step professional learning process. Step one would be to complete the Early Years Learning Framework Modules, as it is crucial that you have an in-depth understanding of the Early Years Learning Framework and how it guides early childhood pedagogy and curriculum. Step two: Complete the Early Years Learning Framework in early intervention. And step three: Complete the preschool programming and planning modules, learn more about the planning cycle in early childhood curriculum, focus on knowing children, curriculum content, and making pedagogical decisions.
Natasha Churchill – Best practice in Early Intervention. There is increased recognition that children with a disability or developmental delay have the same needs as all children: needs for attachment, nurturance, emotional responsiveness, care, safety, and security. These crucial relationship qualities have the same impact on their development as they do on other children. We will hear what a young person with disability has to say about this in a video we will watch in a few minutes. There has been a convergence of values and practices of early childhood education and early childhood intervention. We will explore these links more fully later in the program. A big implication here is the absolute relevance of the Early Years Learning Framework in our early intervention programs. There is a strong shift in focus from the traditional developmental approach to helping children develop the functional skills to participate in all their early learning environments: the family, early childhood education settings, and community settings. Outcomes for children with a disability or learning support needs have traditionally been framed developmentally along the lines of children reaching their full potential. Current thinking says outcomes being framed around developing children's capabilities for meaningful participation in early childhood education, in the family and community, in all aspects of their life. A move from segregated service models to integrated and inclusive services, and the recognition that all children stand to benefit from inclusive early childhood services. This involves much more than just being there. We must ensure that all children are able to participate meaningfully in their early childhood education service, and indeed, in their everyday environments where appropriate. How do we do this in our early intervention programs? Can we go further? Ideas include more time to work closely with mainstream early childhood services that children are attending. There are 16 early intervention units on the same sites as department preschools. What opportunities does this offer? An increased awareness of the important role early intervention plays in supporting parents and other key caregivers provide experience and opportunities that promote the children's competencies to participate meaningfully in the key environments in their lives. The time we spend with our children in early intervention is limited. The real impact is in the key environments that children spend most of their time. Building secure, respectful, and reciprocal relationships supports our partnership with parents. Supporting families to support children is an important aspect of early intervention. Well-supported families support children well. Take some time to consider, how do we do this in our early intervention programs? Can we go further? What might a supportive playgroup look like at your early intervention? The introduction of NDIS has had a profound effect on how services outside the department are provided. The NDIS has seen many changes in the early intervention landscape, and it is crucial, now more than ever, that we are facilitating collaboration with families, early childhood services, and allied health therapists, in this way, supporting families to navigate a new and evolving system.
The first quote is a direct quote from the All-Department of Education Operational Guidelines for Early Intervention, published in the year 2000. Early Intervention promotes learning through educational programs for children with disabilities who are below school age. The second quote is from the ECIA National Guidelines, Best practice in Early Childhood Intervention. Early Intervention, ECI, provides specialised support and services for infants and young children with disability and/or developmental delay and their families to help their development, wellbeing, and participation in family and community life. The third quote comes from Dr. Tim Moore, a leading expert in early intervention. Providing children with experiences and opportunities that promote their acquisition and use of competencies that enable them to participate meaningfully with others and with their environment. The focus has moved to the development of functional capabilities, so that children can participate meaningfully and be included in all aspects of their life. Meaningful inclusion and participation is a priority focus of the New South Wales Department of Education, and this commitment to making inclusive education real for all students is outlined in the department's Inclusive Education Statement.
The New South Wales Department of Education is committed to building a more inclusive education system. This statement marks the next stage of our work to further embed inclusive practice in New South Wales public schools, including New South Wales government preschools. This inclusive education statement is informed by the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of People with Disability. Best practice in early intervention will have a strong focus on participation and inclusion. This is reflected in the New South Wales Department of Education Inclusive Education Statement, and we see this in the ECIA National Guidelines for Best practice in Early Intervention.
Reimagine Australia, formerly known as Early Childhood Intervention Australia, ECIA, is the peak body for early childhood intervention in Australia, representing professionals and organisations that provide services for young children with disability and/or developmental delays and their families. Their national guidelines describe current research-based best practice in early intervention. Quality area 1 is the family. Family-centred and strengths-based practice, what is it about? It recognises the central role of families in children's lives. Professionals and families work in partnership. It builds on family strengths, and assists families to develop their own networks of resources, both informal and formal. It's culturally responsive practice, responsive to the family's cultural, ethnic, racial, language, and socioeconomic characteristics. Quality area 2, inclusion: inclusive and participatory practice. Children with a disability and/or developmental delay may require additional support to enable them to participate meaningfully in their families, community, and early childhood settings. As early intervention teachers, we have an important role to play here. Engaging the child in natural environments. What natural environments are we talking about? Early childhood settings, the home and the community, everyday situations. Natural learning environments contain many opportunities for all children to engage, participate, learn, and practice skills, thus strengthening their sense of belonging. Quality area 3, teamwork: collaborative teamwork practice. Who is in the team? The family and professionals that work together as a collaborative and integrated team around the child, communicating and sharing information, knowledge, and skills. One team member is usually nominated as the key worker and main person working with the family. Does this happen in our early intervention programs? Capacity-building practice. Whose capacity are we building? We're building the capacity of the child, but also the family, professionals, and community through coaching and collaborative teamwork. Quality area 4, universal principles: evidence base, standards, accountability, and practice. What is this about? Bringing the appropriate expertise and qualifications to the role, and using intervention strategies that are grounded in research and sound clinical reasoning. Outcome-based approach. How can we determine which outcomes to focus on? Outcomes focus on functional skills To promote meaningful participation, working with families to focus on outcomes that parents want for their child and family, and on identifying the skills needed to achieve these outcomes, and how to teach these.
A learner journal is available to download with this professional learning. The learner journal can be used as evidence of your active participation in this professional development, importantly, as an assessment for learning resource. It can be used in collegial conversations with your school supervisor, principal, and P-2 initiatives officer. Reflect on the ECIA National Guidelines Best practice in Early Childhood Intervention document, and comment on each quality area in relation to your context. How is best practice evident in your service? How could it be improved?
Jeanie Bedwell – We have looked at current best practice in early intervention and the focus on children's meaningful participation and inclusion in key aspect of their life. Now we will look at quality teaching and learning in early childhood education. That means we need to look at the Early Years Learning Framework, the framework that supports curriculum decision-making in early childhood. Recent developments in best practice in early intervention aligned strong with the EYLF, particularly in relation to how young children learn, all young children, including children with disability. It is interesting to note that the word disability does not appear once in the EYLF. The document simply applies to and includes all children. The EYLF recognises early childhood as a vital period in learning and development for all children. It is a specific emphasis on play-base learning and recognises the importance of communication and language, early literacy and numeracy, social and emotional development. It emphasises the importance of working in partnership with families.
The recently released Early Intervention Operational Guidelines emphasises the importance of the EYLF in early intervention. The Early Years Learning Framework provides the basis for early intervention curriculum in accordance with the Disability Standards for Education, 2005. The standards state that education providers have a legal obligation to ensure that every student can participate in curriculum on the same basis as their peers.
Belonging, Being and Becoming The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia describes the principles, practices, and outcomes that support and enhances children's earning from birth to five years of age. It is relevant for all children, including children with disability or support needs. Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia was launched in 2009. In 2012, with the introduction of the National Quality Framework, it became the mandated curriculum document for all early childhood services. Teachers in early intervention have a range of qualifications and experience around the EYLF. Many early intervention teachers are trained special educators. Some have qualifications in early childhood education. Many are implementing the framework, or at least aspects of the framework in their programs. many early intervention staff ask for professional learning about the EYLF in early intervention. It is probably fair to say that commitment to the principles, practices, and outcomes of the EYLF also vary. Before we go any further, let's take just a quick reminder tour of what the Early Years Learning Framework is about.
What is the Early Years Learning Framework? The Early Years Learning Framework is a guide for early childhood educators, three simple words that sum up what we as early childhood educators do in our work with children and families belonging, being, becoming, three interwoven ideas that are all about children in the here and now, and in the future. All Australian children have the right to participate in an educational program that is based on the big ideas, principles, practices, and the EYLF.
Experiencing belonging, knowing where and with whom you belong, is integral to human existence. That's a quote from the Early Years Learning Framework on page seven. The idea of belonging is central and underpins everything we do in early childhood education. Belonging is central in that it shapes who children are and who they can become. We asked, "What does it mean to belong?" Dong says, "You belong in your house with your family." Joy Goodfellow, an early childhood educator and researcher, and a member of the consortium responsible for the development and trialling of the Early Years Learning Framework says, To belong is to have a feeling of comfort and ease in your environment. It is about being part of a group community, developing deep connections in relationship with others. How do you promote a sense of belonging? After discussing this with my colleague Natasha, we thought some of the things that would make us belong in an early intervention setting would be the building and trust and security that the children feel within their environment. It could also be that it allows the children time to engage with the activities that you provide. Being. The early childhood years are not solely about preparation for the future, but also about the present. Being is about children having the chance to be themselves, allowing children time to grow at their own pace. Childhood does not have to be hurried. Being is about being in the present and enabling children to be themselves. What is being about? If you want to be a mermaid, you can imagine, says Jazmine. How do you promote being? My colleague and I thought we could promote being by appreciating skills that children come with, accepting children uniqueness and individuality, listening to what children say, and maybe even focusing on being flexible with our interactions.
Being needs to be balanced against becoming. Preparation for the future is part of our role as early childhood educators, but it is not the only thing we focus on. Joy Goodfellow says, Becoming is about children who are growing up to be, and referred to the support they are given to realise their potential. Becoming is about experiencing changes through different events and circumstances. When we ask, "What does it mean, becoming?" Olivia says, when you keep planting plants, you become a gardener. How do you promote becoming in your early intervention setting? Natasha and I discussed this, and we thought we promote becoming by expanding on skills, reflecting on individual growth, encouraging independence in our children, and even focusing on children's positivises.
Being needs to be balanced against becoming. Preparation for the future is part of our role as early childhood educators, but it is not the only thing we focus on. Joy Goodfellow says, Becoming is about who children are growing up to be, and referred to the support they are given to realise their potential. Becoming is about experiencing changes through different events and circumstances. When we ask, "What does it mean, becoming?" Olivia says, when you keep planting plants, you become a gardener. How do you promote becoming in your setting? Natasha and I discussed this, and we thought that it could be through encouraging independence and developing the independent skills that our children in early intervention requires, by supporting active community participations and engaging our families, focusing on the positives that our children bring to our settings, and maybe even expanding on skills and reflecting on individual growth.
The Early Years Learning Framework identifies eight practices that are based on the principles. All are based on research about what makes early childhood education most effective. Could I please ask you once again to open up your EYLF to the Principles page? It should be approximately on page 14. Holistic approaches, this means that we pay attention to children's physical, personal, social, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, as well as cognitive aspects of learning. Responsiveness to children. This is about knowing and valuing children's strengths, skills, and knowledge, and being responsive to their ideas, interest, and their play. Learning through play. Teachers take on many roles in play and use a range of strategies and deep understanding of each child's strength and needs to build learning. It is a balance between child-led, child-initiated, and educator-supported learning. We will explore this a little bit further later on. Intentional teaching. Teaching that is deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful. It is about planning opportunities for intentional teaching and documenting and monitoring each child's learning. Learning environments. We need them to be welcoming, stimulating spaces, and we refer to this indoors and outdoors. Continuing of learning and transition is to assist children to feel secure, building on prior experiences. Transitions reflects the transition between home and early childhood setting, or specialised setting from specialised setting or early childhood setting to school.
Cultural competence. This is about educators on cultural competence, and about building children's cultural competence. Assessment for learning is about the process of gathering, analysing information about what children know, can do, and understand.
The Early Years Learning Framework has five learning outcomes. One, children have a strong sense of identity. Two, children are connected with and contribute to their world. Three, children have a strong sense of wellbeing. Four, children are confident and involved learners. Five, children are effective communicators. The five learning outcomes are designed to capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children across the birth-to-five age range. The outcomes include disposition towards learning that underpin engagement, and the knowledge, skills, and understanding that are essential foundation and support a smooth transition into school. The outcomes are broad and observable.
As we unpack the Early Years Learning Framework, we acknowledge that there are a range of understanding across early intervention professionals. Some have worked within early childhood settings using the EYLF. Some have completed studies where the EYLF was part of the core training. For others, however, the EYLF may be something that you are yet to explore fully and embed in your programs. We'd like to bring your attention to a suite of six self-paced online professional learning modules. The modules support teachers in preschools, early intervention, and early years of school. The module will assist you to know and understand how the Early Years Learning Framework informs educator curriculum and pedagogy, understand the EYLF themes, principles, practices, and outcomes in the context of the teaching and learning cycle, to analyse and synthesise their own practice in relation to making learning and teaching effective and visible, apply concepts underpinning the EYLF as part of their practice, and reflect on how to implement high-quality early learning in their own setting.
Being professional. To be a professional in any field mean being able to draw on a body of specialised knowledge to make decisions about what to do in a given situation. The principles, practices, and learning outcomes in the EYLF are based on what we know about high-quality early childhood education. The framework is deliberately open-ended and flexible because it is important that we make our own decisions, but it is also quite clear that the key ideas it sets out should underpin everything that we do. The value of the EYLF is not that it provides all the answers. It can't. The value of the EYLF is that it gives us the key ideas that underpin successful early childhood education so that we can make our own decision in the best interest of the children and families that we work with. Early childhood pedagogy is the way we work. It is about what we do, how we do it, and how we think about what we do. Our pedagogy is usually based on our beliefs, our expertise, and our professional knowledge about how children learn. The Early Years Learning Framework challenges educators to move beyond simply doing something because we have always done it that way, and to reflect on our pedagogy to make sure it is as effective as possible.
So, think about the Early Years Learning Framework in the early intervention setting. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like?
Could I ask you to open your learning journal to Task 2? Take a moment to reflect on your work in early intervention. If you don't work in early intervention at the moment, be like Jazmine and imagine. Think about the Early Years Learning Framework in early intervention, and complete the Y chart in the learner journal in consultation with your colleague where possible.
Natasha Churchill – It is now clear that you have a good understanding of the Early Years Learning Framework. Many of your words in your Y chart will be about the look, sound, and feel of a play-based learning environment. Play is a fundamental right of all children. Play is easy to recognise, but sometimes difficult to define. Take a moment to write down five words that describe play to you. Maybe think about what play looks like, sounds like, feels like. Think, "Play is."
Think about those five words that you chose and where each word might fit in the characteristics of play listed here. For example, if you wrote "noisy," it might fit under active. Exciting could go under intrinsically motivated, and one of the most common responses, fun, could go under pleasurable. There will be an overlap as to where your words could fit across the different characteristics, and that is ok. Play is easy to recognise, but can be difficult to define. We have statements like "Play is children's work," but what does that mean? If we say children wandering aimlessly from space to space, superficially engaging with pieces of equipment, does that play have the characteristics described above? Just because children are in charge of play doesn't mean educators just let children play. Educators have to be knowledgeable and professionally active in children's play. There is so much to learn about play with children. We need to know about play, the types of play, what children bring to play, their cultural background and life experiences, what strategies work to support all children, including children with disability, to gain the most from play-based learning. While there will be many ways of providing for play-based learning, that doesn't mean anything goes. The Early Years Learning Framework will, and should, look different in every service. Early childhood education is complex, far more complex than it usually appears from the outside. Special education is complex. Early intervention is complex. There is rarely one-size-fits-all solutions to the challenges of providing the best learning experience for each child. Play is good for children with disability, just as it is good for all children. Play is voluntary, something children choose to do, pleasurable, a deep sense of enjoyment, symbolic, some type of make-believe or pretend, and objects that assume new meaning, meaningful to the players, but not always be clear to an observer, active, mental, verbal communication, physical activity with other people or objects or ideas, process orientated, enjoyed for the activity itself, not connected with an end product, intrinsically motivated. Play is its own reward. Play is good for children with support needs. Children learn best when they are interested in something. They develop social, communication, and physical skills. Play feels good, and it is fun, and it makes you feel good about yourself. It is a great way to learn real-life functional skills like listening, taking turns, and interacting with others.
A play-based approach for children with support needs, based on recognition that play is one of the most important ways all children learn. Educators use a variety of play experiences rather than a lot of formal teaching lessons, base the play experience on the child's interests, strengths, abilities, and culture, are highly involved in children's play, extending learning and modelling new skills without taking over, observe and record information and data, plan play experiences based on children's assessed needs and in collaboration with families, use a range of specialised strategies to support play and learning, focus on skills that will help the child participate and be included.
Specialised strategies to support play and learning. There are many, many specialist strategies that can be used to support children with additional support needs to be included meaningfully in play. Some will work with some children and not with others. Some work with children without any disability. Ali has an intellectual disability and autism. He loves a particular Thomas the Tank Engine puzzle. He gets very upset and frustrated that he can't finish the puzzle. A possible strategy is backward chaining: reinforcing a part response to successfully complete the puzzle. Introduce the puzzle to Ali with just some of the last pieces out, and have him put them in to complete the puzzle. You may even just leave out one piece and celebrate the completion of the puzzle. Then try with two missing, and so on. George has a severe intellectual disability and autism. He loves the big red truck, and he knows it is in the outside storeroom. George is non-verbal. He screams and bangs on the storeroom door. A replacement behaviour, functional communication training, is a good strategy here. You have high motivation. George really wants that truck. Create a visual of the truck, probably a photo. Teach George to point to the picture of the truck. You may need to use physical prompts to help George point. As soon as he points, open the storeroom and give him the truck. You can build on this gradually by adding visuals of more favourite things for George to choose from. Later, you might add a first-then visual sequence to George to play with something else and then get the truck. Evelyn loves the balloon colour game, and is just starting to name the colours that face up when she rolls the dice. A possible strategy here is to prompt fading and constant time delay. The educator waits for at least two seconds for Evelyn to name the colour before saying the name of the colour. This could also be described as the speech therapist expectant wait strategy. In the case of Scarlett, other educators complain that Scarlett is being very disruptive in the outdoor play environment. A possible strategy is observation using an observational tool, such as Antecedent-Behaviour-Consequence, or ABC chart. Clarify the exact behaviour that is an issue. What does very disruptive actually mean? For example, is Scarlett grabbing materials. That other children are using? The aim of the ABC chart is to better understand what the behaviour is communicating. What is the function of the behaviour? Behaviour is always communication.
Using specialist strategies to support play and learning. In the learner journal, add in a scenario of your own to complete the table. Work with as many colleagues as you can to gain the benefit of sharing scenarios, strategies, and possible solutions.
The educator's role in children's learning through play. Play-based learning. Through play, children make sense of their world. They develop and explore their own interests and ideas, develop curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving skills, and build relationships, social skills, and language. Educators play a vital role in supporting play and learning. Children's play is enriched when educators are directly involved. By engaging in play, educators are able to support, guide, and extend children's play and learning as it happens. Consider how educators participate in play without taking over.
The framework is deliberately open-ended and flexible because it is important that we make our own decisions, but it is also quite clear that the key ideas it sets out should underpin everything that we do in early childhood education. Learning through play is one of the key ideas of the Early Years Learning Framework. Some other key ideas of the Early Years Learning Framework are on the slide here. There are many more, but we can't focus on them all today. A lot to think about, and a whole shared language used across early childhood education and care services. We're going to ask you to think about, how are you supporting sustained shared thinking, developing a child's sense of agency? In what way is your teaching intentional? Have you embedded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives? How does your program and planning reflect cultural competence of the children that attend your class? In what way is your practice inclusive? How are you developing children's dispositions for learning, and what frameworks do you have for your reflective practice?
Agency. Having agency means being able to make choices and decisions to influence events and to have an impact on one's world. As children develop a sense of agency, they realise that they have an ability to make their own decisions and to control their own lives. A sense of agency is an important part of a strong sense of identity. Play is closely linked to agency. Allowing children to make choices for themselves is an important, yet relatively easy step towards encouraging independence and agency. When we make materials and resources easily accessible without the need for adult assistance, we promote children's ability to resource their own learning independently and successfully. Providing children with a range of materials and resources from which they can freely choose allows them to exercise their independence and make their own decisions about what they will do. Strategies such as visual choice boards may support some children with disability to make choices. Cooking, gardening, and woodwork are all examples of experiences that provide opportunities to use real tools or utensils to complete real adult work. Thing to agency is the importance of risk-taking and challenge for children, such as participating in woodwork experiences where they're able to, under careful supervision, use real tools and materials to make their own constructions. When children have a chance to investigate and solve problems with each other and with supportive adults, their thinking and learning becomes deeper and more complex. This process of working together is sustained shared thinking. Research on sustained shared thinking shows that learning is more effective when it is a shared experience, educators become involved in children's play to scaffold or support learning, and children have long periods of time in which they can get deeply involved in play and problem solving. A really important point here is about children having long periods of time to get deeply involved in play. It is important to stress the equal importance of both indoor and outdoor play.
Inclusion. Inclusion aims to make everyone feel welcome, valued, and accepted, regardless of their age, culture, background, or ability. Being inclusive means making sure that everyone is treated fairly, and that no one is left out. Sometimes the practice of inclusion is used to refer specifically to how we work with children with additional needs. In the Early Years Learning Framework, it is used in relation to how we work with all children, and is closely linked to the idea of belonging. Inclusion in the Early Years Learning Framework is not just about disability. Actually, the Early Years Learning Framework does not refer to children with disability, as we mentioned before. It simply refers to all children. The concept of inclusion itself and what that actually means varies among professionals. The New South Wales Department of Education is committed to making inclusive education real for all students with disability. The department statement on inclusion defines what we mean by inclusion. All students can access and fully participate in learning alongside their similar-aged peers, supported by reasonable adjustments and teaching strategies tailored to meet their individual needs.
Intentional teaching. Having an intention means having a purpose or reason for what we do. Intentional teaching is about having a purpose or a reason for what we do in our work with children. When we are intentional, we have an idea in mind about why we are doing something, and about what we hope to achieve. Being intentional is important because when we have a purpose in mind, we are more likely to achieve what we set out to do. Sometimes a learning activity is child-initiated. Sometimes it's led by an educator. Sometimes we follow a child's lead, but extend on the learning beyond where the child might go alone. Intentional teaching includes all of the professional decisions and judgments we make every day. It's kind of artistry as we creatively improvise, adapt, and respond to things that happen and children's changing needs. Does it mean we plan everything and children just go along with it, or that we have goals and we seize the teachable moment to promote particular learning for children, or is it a combination of both?
Cultural competence. Cultural competence is about understanding our own culture and background as well as being open and respectful to other cultures. Being culturally competent helps us recognise how important culture is to our beliefs and way of doing things. It also helps us to understand the importance of culture to others. Culture is central to the feeling of being and belonging, and also to our sense of identity. If children are to feel welcome and are to develop a sense of identity, then we need to think about how each of their cultures is visible in what we do. The Early Years Learning Framework talks about cultural competence as being about respecting the multiple ways that our children and our families, and indeed ourselves, have of knowing, saying, and living, and about celebrating the benefits of diversity Cultural competence is much more than an awareness of cultural differences. It is the ability to understand, communicate with, and interact with people across cultures.
Task 4: Choose one of the key ideas from the presentation. In your learner journal, reflect on the questions posed. Choose one key area and write down some thoughts. Work with a colleague or colleagues if you have the opportunity.
Quality Teaching and Learning in Early Intervention: Bringing it All Together. We have looked at current best practice in early intervention and the focus on children's functioning in key aspects of their life. We have looked at quality teaching and learning in early childhood education, and the Early Years Learning Framework as a guide to quality teaching and learning in the early years. How do these line up with each other to guide quality teaching and learning in early intervention?
There has been a convergence of principles and practices in early childhood education and in early intervention. Read the content in the table for Task 5 and draw lines where you see linked ideas between the Early Years Learning Framework principles and practices and the quality areas in the National Guidelines, Best Practice in Early Intervention.
The Early Years Learning Framework learning outcomes provide a sense of direction for early childhood educators. The five learning outcomes are designed to capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children across the birth-to-five age range. The outcomes are children have a strong sense of identity, children are connected with and contribute to their world, children have a strong sense of wellbeing, children are confident and involved learners, children are effective communicators.
Working in partnership with families, educators use learning outcomes to guide their planning for children's learning. In order to engage children actively in learning, educators need to identify children's strengths and interests, choose appropriate teaching strategies, and design the learning environment. The five Early Years Learning Framework outcomes are broad and observable, able to be demonstrated and recognised. The outcomes acknowledge that children vary in their capabilities and pace of learning. This is particularly relevant for children we teach in early intervention. Children's learning is ongoing, and each child will progress towards the outcomes in different and equally meaningful ways. It is important that teachers ensure that all children are engaging in a range of experiences across all the learning outcomes. Implementing a program based on the Early Years Learning Framework supports this process. Learning is not always predictable and linear. Outcomes for children with a disability or learning support needs have traditionally been framed developmentally along the lines of children reaching their full potential. Current thinking says outcomes being framed around developing capabilities for meaningful participation in early childhood education, in the family and in the community, in all aspects of the child's life, and for a better quality of life. A sound understanding of developmental milestones is still crucial, however, when effectively assessing children's learning.
Open to page 32 of the Early Years Learning Framework to see an example of these for Outcome 3, children have a strong sense of wellbeing. A copy of this page is shown on the slide. The outcomes are structured in the Early Years Learning Framework as shown with the arrows on the slide. At the top, we see the outcome, with the key components of the outcome below. We see in the left column examples of evidence that educators may observe in children as they learn, and on the right, we see ideas of how to promote learning. The learning outcomes demonstrate how the three elements of the framework, principles, practices, and outcomes, combine to guide curriculum decision-making and assessment to promote children's learning. Key components of learning in each outcome are expanded to provide examples of evidence that educators may observe in children as they learn. Developmental milestones and the Early Years Learning Framework. Knowledge of developmental milestones supports intentional teaching, planning, and evaluation. A sound understanding of developmental milestones is crucial when effectively assessing children's play and learning. The Early Years Learning Framework practice-based resource
Developmental Milestones gives examples of links between the Early Years Learning Framework outcomes and developmental milestones. Early Years Learning Framework and Learning Outcomes: Rethinking outcomes in early intervention: developmental goals or a functional approach? The importance of a functional approach is reflected in the work of Robin McWilliam, Tim Moore, and many others, and also reflected in current thinking around best practice in early intervention. "Two broad approaches to writing children's goals "are the developmental and functional approach." The former approach is based on a model of typical development and goals selected for those skills in a development hierarchy, checklist, or curriculum that a child has not mastered. It therefore consists of identifying and correcting deficits. The latter approach, functional, in contrast, is based on promoting child success in current environments: the home, early intervention, early childhood education settings, and the community. So where does this fit in the individual education plan?
Early Years Learning Framework and Learning Outcomes: Individual Education Plans, IEPs. Individual education plans are an important part of planning for children in early intervention. Some important considerations are, is the goal necessary and functional for the child and family's life, based on the family's priorities and concerns, reflective of real-life contextualised settings, jargon-free, clear and simple? Does the IEP allow for recording of the child's strengths and needs based on information from observations, the initial evaluation, consultation with families and other professionals and ongoing assessments? Does it include goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, known as SMART goals?
Task 6, Individual Education Plans. Choose a sample goal from an individual education plan. Take a moment to consider whether the goal is necessary and functional for the child's and family's life, based on the family's priorities and concerns, reflective of real-life contextualised settings, jargon-free, clear and simple. Use your copy of the Early Years Learning Framework to find where your chosen goal sits in the expanded outcomes in the Early Years Learning Framework. Record your responses in the learner journal.
More professional learning on IEPs: Individualised planning for young children with disability. More detailed professional learning on individual planning for young children with a disability is available through the early learning website. This professional learning supports educators to use family-centered and strengths-based practice to provide individual education plans, IEPs, for young children with a disability and their families while working face to face and/or working remotely. Explore step-by-step processes for the development of individual education plans for young children with disability. Apply these processes to support ongoing learning for young children with a disability, including when children are learning from home.
Reflection: Building Quality in Early Intervention. What does this all mean, and where to from here? We ask you to consider, what does this mean for your educational program? What does this mean for your teaching? What is working? Where are the gaps? What action will you take?
We would love to hear your feedback about this professional learning. Please use the QR code or link below to access the evaluation. Thank you for participating in this professional learning session. Feel free to contact us should you require any advice or support.
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