The Early Years Learning Framework and the Planning Cycle
The program is designed to reflect and allow engagement with the Early Years Learning Framework Planning Cycle (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR], 2010). Educators are involved in ongoing reflective practice, documenting and analyzing children’s learning and contributing to formative and summative assessments. The program is carefully designed for educator’s to actively and thoughtfully engage with each section of the planning cycle as they reflect question, plan, and act and then reflect again (DEEWR, 2010). The program is designed to record what individual and small groups of children are currently interested in and allows the educators to respond and to engage collaboratively with children by means of listening, observing and following ideas, emerging interests and events that occur throughout the week(Kearns,2017).Responding to a child’s sudden interest or idea creates opportunities for asking questions, seeking new information and working with others as children share their ideas and engage in meaningful conversations. It also provides a platform for children to construct their own knowledge and understandings about the world (Kearns,2017).The overall curriculum views documentation as a vital component of the ongoing planning cycle as educator’s develop an understanding of the child and the journey travelled regarding their learning and development (DEEWR,2009).This connects with contemporary perspectives regarding documentation with a focus on involving children and families while recognising the social cultural history of the child (Arthur, Beecher, Death, Dockett, & Farmer, 2018 ). Furthermore, while educator’s document, plan and assess a child’s learning the Early Years Learning Framework [EYLF] document guides and directs educators as they develop a curriculum and educational program which draws on a range of theoretical perspectives and is socio-culturally contextualized (DEEWR,2009).
Theoretical and Curriculum Approaches
The educational program draws on a number of theoretical perspectives regarding child development, documentation, planning and assessment. These perspectives help to inform curriculum decision making and guide the program for ongoing learning and reflective practice (Arthur, Beecher, Death, Dockett &Farmer, 2018; Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR],2009). The program design adopts a play-based approach, which focuses on a child’s developmental skills, needs, strengths, learning styles and cultural background. The play environments provide a rich and varied play experiences that promote learning and development (Kearns, 2017). A range of curriculum approaches are also used across the continuum to provide a program that is holistic and multifaceted. The curriculum approaches used with the program design are founded and impacted by contemporary perspectives such as postmodernism which acknowledges children as unique individuals who actively engage in a culturally diverse world. Therefore, the program design elements include sections relating to children’s voices, group learning, family input, emerging interests and community (Arthur et al.,2018)