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EDEC 109 Programming And Planning Early Childhood Setting Assessment 1 Answer

EDEC 109 S1 2020

Assessment 1: Critical analysis of one relevant curriculum approach or model

Curriculum approaches reflect ideas about how stakeholders (partners) in early childhood education partner with each other. Whatever approach is chosen, this will determine characteristics of the education setting.

All curriculum approaches 

  1. are underpinned by theoretical perspectives and,
  2. require appropriate pedagogies and learning environments.

Chapter 7 from Arthur et al. (2018) introduces 11 approaches to curriculum as continuums (see pages 233 – 251). 


Choose one curriculum approach (continuum) from the list on page 233 and critically evaluate how this approach promotes belonging, being and becoming in early learners in Australia. (You may refer to one other approach to compare your chosen approach).

Answer these questions specifically:

  • What pedagogical choices or choices might be used to support this approach?
  • How should the learning environment be organised to support this choice?
  • How could this approach support the promotion of being, belonging or becoming?

Suggested structure:    

You can use the following as sub-headings in your essay

  • Introduction (250 words) 
  • Outline the chosen curriculum approach (400 words)
  • Explain 
    • Justify which pedagogical choice or choices support your chosen curriculum approach (600 words)
    • How the learning environment might be organised to support your chosen approach (600 words)
    • Comment on how your chosen approach might help to promote being, belonging and becoming as defined by the EYLF (400 words)
  • Conclusion (250 words)




The Early Childhood learning framework determines how the children develop a strong relationship with the learning environment, classmates, educators, and the learning process. The method and practice of teaching adopted by the teachers establish their pedagogical choice. The aim of the essay is to initiate a comprehensive evaluation of the selected pedagogy which highlights the characteristics of the educational setting for the children and justifies the choice of selecting the appropriate one according to the learning environment.  The pedagogical decision is designed on the basis of some significant factors comprising the habits of the teacher, the motivational elements used by the teacher, security of the philosophy of teaching, using of appropriate routines, specification of place and time. 

The pedagogies used by the teachers for early childhood learning environment relates to the trend of delivering holistic system-thinking, profound obligation to social justice while correspondence is instituted with the policies, practices and research in the curricula of the children (Haslip & Gullo, 2018). The selected pedagogical approach in this essay is the Constructivist Approach. It is perceived by the educators that the nature of education is influenced by the pedagogical choice comprising of the selection of the content and emphasizing on it, adoption of appropriate teaching style and the types of opportunities created by the educators in the learning process for the students (Youmans et al. 2018). The instance taken in learning Mathematics involves Mathematics Worksheets, play-based learning, read aloud, and including Mathematics games, recorded by the educators through observation or photo-video documentary in the class. 

Synopsis of the chosen curriculum approach

The extensive focus of the EYLF has been on the cognitive development and socialization of the children from its initiation. The transition period of the children witnessed from their home to school involves the encouraging activities like singing, dancing, playing, dressing up and engaging activities like story session, building blocks and interaction with each other (Chambers et al. 2016). The idea of social and cognitive development in early childhood has been proposed by Piaget and Vygotsky, which reinforced the apt goals of experiencing construction, art and music enhancing the social skills in the children. This kind of approaches is now known as constructivist approaches

The constructivist approach model has started to appear in the childhood learning framework since 1990. The educators started to balance the social and cognitive learning with the literary skills while developing language, including awareness in phonemic, alphabets, phonics, mathematics, writing skills and contemporary activities of music, play and drama. As informed by Arthur et al. (2017), play-based activities included in this approach facilitate the children to expand their character while transferring their current comprehensiveness to the innovative context of learning. Significantly, the constructivist approach supports the children in building relationships while developing a sense of wellness which becomes essential in the process of learning.

 The comprehensive programs are promoted in the constructivist developmental approach, which emphasizes on the activity stations installed in the childcare centre, choice of children's music, drawing and stationeries, and organizing colourful themes. These activities provide a wider scope of experimentation in the classroom setting and help in developing role play for the children (Fenech, 2013). The lesson plan and its timing is vital for the children to get accustomed to the activities which need repetition and at the same time be exciting to attract their attention. The theme wise division of a month can bring effectual change in the behaviour and conduct of the children. As discussed by Hidyati (2020), trials and research have been conducted with this approach which analyzed the sub-theme set for the children as the introduction of their family in the main theme of My Environment in a daycare setting. The children were assessed on the basis of incorporating science skills of collaborating with the classmates, neatness and precision in colouring the sketches of the members of the family and introducing them to their classmates with an abstract story. The findings share the results that each child has a different learning perspective which needs to be collaborated with constructivism-based learning science to enhance their mastery of character values.


Justification of the pedagogical choice

The learning mechanism in the early childhood education is driven by learning of the environment, developing of the language and learning symbols, and constructive learning which comprises experimentation with ideas and thoughts, mental imagery, self-explanation and mental simulation of ideas. The children being the active learner from their childhood do not only act as a passive recipient of information from the environment (Xu, 2019).  Rather the children are curious and play a critical role in motivating themselves to initiate a learning process. It has been already emphasized that Vygotsky’s theory of socio-development establishes the connection between the learning process of the children and the context of socio-culture activities that are planned by the educators for the enhancement of their skills. 

 A research was conducted with the conversational interview of teachers engaged in the daycare setting where the researcher used Transformative Teaching in Early Years Mathematics (TTYM) model to assess the development of the children and compare play-based teaching with intentional teaching. One of the interviews highlights the significant focus of the teacher in play-based teaching where she uses the words like "most importantly", "I allow", "help in planning with their play" (Thomas et al. 2011).  This helps in justifying the position of the children where they enjoy the control of their play without much intervention from the teacher, thus allowing a great experience of having their agency and expectation satisfied from a set of learning.  

 The rationale for selecting the constructivist approach highlights another experiment carried out in the kindergarten. The teachers were active to engage the children in constructing a tent area which signifies the high quality of play embedded with profound and momentous experiences. The children can enjoy and learn something meaningful when they are allowed spaces to gain repetition of the activities. The outdoor area was covered with sandpit, tent, hut, craft area, swing, green field and area dedicated to physical activity. The experience for the children with so many elements together was perceived rich and progressive (Rahardjo, 2016). The children incorporated various activities like a treasure hunt, collecting natural elements, engaged in physical activity, learned numbers and language in the experience created by the teachers.

 The pedagogical benefit that is experienced in the application of the constructivist approach in early childhood learning improves the thinking skills of the children. The problem-solving skills are enhanced when a child is presented with block games or puzzles which need attention and determination of the child to solve it while the process does not seem boring for the children. The teachers need to be active while allowing the children to play with self-help materials in the classroom setting while recording the developmental signs exhibited by the children 9Umam et al. 2019).  The teachers need to monitor every one individually so that no child lacks the experience of cognitive and social development. This method of learning is applied in all learning process which does not saturate the learning process or reduce the enthusiasm among the children. 

 The children get the experience of flexibility which enhances their reasoning ability through the application of this approach of teaching. They get the scope to recall their previous experiences and knowledge from similar activities which support them in problem-solving activities (Abdul-Majied et al. 2017).   They learn how to draw a conclusion and opine their views on the content learnt through the application of this approach. This approach also helps them to develop a sense of right and wrong while developing their confidence and self-esteem.  

Organization of the learning environment supporting the approach

 The constructivist approach incorporates play-based learning which becomes significant in measuring the social and academic outcomes of the children. The early years are considered vital for cognitive growth prior to the induction of formal education in schools. Time, space and independence become essential for the children to be incorporated to help them grow spontaneously.  The role of the teacher in this scenario must of support and not creating any intervention unless necessary. The classroom set up in the daycare must be carefully planned to eliminate any harm caused to the children (Jay & Knaus, 2018). The teachers must be active in choosing the props and materials required for the activity area, which must be made of soft materials. The toxic or sharp objects must be carefully removed from the play area so that no harm is caused to the children. The play area must be spacious and lighted to reduce the darkness or other elements to become an obstacle for the children.

  Time is the vital aspect that becomes an obstacle in the path of application of the constructivist approach in early childhood learning. The routines set by the educators have limitations of timing. This lack of timing is criticized by the experts in the field of education where the children must be exercised with repetitive lessons for their remembrance of the content taught in the classroom setting (Servant-Miklos & Noordegraaf, 2019). Recall and memorizing the content becomes important, which can be carried out through repetition in the activities. The lack of structure and timing to afford the repetition becomes adverse for the learning process of the children. 

 The teachers in a classroom setting handle several children at a time. The increasing population and the awareness of daycare facilities in education create an expectation of the parents to admit their children in the pre-school setting. The limitations which are faced here is the ratio of the teacher to the children, which makes it difficult to observe all of them individually at a time. Hence the learning outcome of the children varies as they mostly tote their contents and experience it much later through cognitive development. The method of assessing the children, in this case, becomes vague as they rote from their content without actually understanding the content and experiencing it as required (Brau, 2020). Similarly, the method of constructivism is also criticized in its implementation as the teachers are less engaged with the children at the individual level to understand the progress of each learner.  

Another approach of pedagogy which can be compared with the constructivist method is the emergent approach. As the name suggests, the educators do not always pre-plans the curricula; rather, the learning is based on the demonstration of the documentation that occurs in the daily routine. The emergent curriculum differs from the constructivist approach as the method is mostly focused on the ideas and interests revolving around different elements that the children witness in their surroundings (Neaum, 2018). This method is more related to the community of learners approach as it cultivates the interest of the learners like colours in the surroundings, insects, birds and numbers, which they see regularly. The developmental activities followed in this method incorporates the families and relationships more to highlight the context of sustainability in the environment, human rights and the relationship with the community. However, this approach may narrow the development of the children, which is based on the particular interest of the children while cumulative interest to include several topics becomes redundant in this approach.  

Analyzing the promotion of being, belonging and becoming as defined by the ELYF

 A constructivist approach is an accommodating approach which focuses on significant principles. The application of this approach results in the children becoming strong with their sense of identity in society. The play-based approach helps in developing their cognitive knowledge where they enjoy the experience in reaching out and communicating with their elders, relatives and the community for the assurance of gaining comfort, companionship and assistance in their activities (EYLF Australia, 2019). The educators instil the feelings of care and empathy through the individual concern of the children. The educators are experienced to understand and acknowledge the complicated relationships shared by the children in some cases and intervene as and when required by following the ethical code of conduct in the workplace.

 The sense of being is developed with the contribution the children make towards their community. They participate in social causes and groups where their small contribution seems effective to bring change in the mindset of society. They are aware of their rights which help them incorporate the decisions regarding them, which may affect them; hence they participate in the decision-making process (Grieshaber & Graham, 2017). They emerge out as confident learners and contribute constructively towards the development and cultivation of Mathematics, Linguistics and Science. The sense of becoming effectual communicators is learnt by the children in their early stages. Initially, they learn to respond to touches, feelings, sounds and taste. The educators play a vital role in teaching them how to respond to good and bad touch at their earlier stage to determine the right and wrong conduct in society.  

The teachers at daycare setting are effectual decision-makers to introduce the children to mild challenges appropriate to their age,  intrigue them with situations and surprise them with objects of their interests while supporting their cognitive learning and sharing their enjoyment. The teachers become the role model of the children and enact different roles which help them understand the reflection of the role (Sumsion et al. 2018). The teachers stimulate the hypothesis of the children, which helps them expand their thought process through conversation. The answers provided to the children are open-ended ones which help them think more on the content. The incorporation of the digital medium of teaching may be considered with restriction or under the supervision of the teachers to empower the children at their young age since the world is moving towards a high-tech generation with most possibilities encompassing the growth in detail environment. However, the natural environment must not be neglected in this process where the teachers must stimulate the connection between the children and nature at regular intervals. 


 In conclusion, it may be summarized that every approach will be presented with its benefits and limitations applied in the early childhood education perspective. However, the success of the application of the approach depends on the time, space and independence offered by the educators keeping in mind the different needs of the children to develop with cognitive and social skills. The primary responsibility of the caregivers is to secure the classroom settings to promote the sense of being, belonging and becoming for the children. The stress-free environment provided to the children will help them grow with nutritional awareness that will promote pedagogical engagement with peace and calm. Different programs may be initiated by the educators to facilitate the partnership of the families and community to take part actively in the growth of the children.  

 Even the management must support the working conditions of the childcare setting, which will promote better recognition of the teachers and reduce the turnovers. The better pedagogical approach will be promoted by the educators when they have security and peace in their job. To enhance the pedagogical outcomes, the management must promote an equal ratio of children and teachers in the setting, which will help in creating a better experience. The curriculum must be spontaneously developed for the children to get attracted and keep that attraction ongoing. Repetition of activities can be considered to promote the remembering capacity of the children.

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