I have developed a format where services can move from linking to the EYLF to embedding it into their documentation. The reason behind this is I find that when linking educators do not learn the Learning Outcomes, Practices and Principles. They learn to match key words with the same outcome every time, or cut and paste excerpts into observations. However when we start to look at the learning outcomes there are some complex ideas in there that need to be understood. So I thought I would do a series of posts on the Learning Outcomes to help explain some of these concepts. Hopefully they are helpful, and I developed a helpful PDF glossary version. More details below.
Children feel safe, secure, and supported
This can be seen in different ways through the different developmental stages of childhood. A lot of this outcome has to do with the role of the educator. If the environment is not safe, secure and supportive the children cannot engage in activities because they will be anxious and uncertain.
- Safe: This means children are not feeling any sort of threat while in care. This can be from the environment, the other children, or the staff. It is the role of the educator to ensure the children have a safe environment and are protected while in care. Educators can make children feel safe by ensuring their environment is protective.
- Secure: Security can be represented by children feeling comfortable in their environment, able to experiment with new activities, and especially through children being able to transition in and out of care comfortably. This requires a primary attachment to be formed between the child and at least one educator, to allow them to feel secure.
- Supported: Once a child is feeling secure, and has developed a strong attachment, they will feel supported through that relationship to attempt new tasks. Whether it be playing with new toys, engaging in social activities, engaging with other educators. Educators can support children by challenging them, role modelling for them, or simply engaging with them.
Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency
This outcome relates to the ability of children, once they feel safe secure and supported, to challenge themselves and their skills in an environment where they now feel comfortable. By challenging their skills and abilities children start to become more dependent and less reliant on adults or older peers. It is up to the educator to recognise this need in children and support them by allowing opportunities for them to develop these skills.
- Autonomy: This relates to a child’s willingness to have control over their own world. As a child develops physically, cognitively and emotionally they are more capable of being autonomous. This could be an infant starting to gesture what they want, or becoming mobile; a toddler starting to feed itself or begin to show signs of readiness for toilet training; a preschooler starting to want to dress themselves or have some control over the routine such as sleep times.
- Inter-dependence: This is a collaborative effort between children and adults, or peers. It is a recognition that children have specific goals and need help to achieve them. This could be bringing an adult to a puzzle table before starting the puzzle, reaching for a hand when about to attempt a balance beam, or an infant using the skills of an adult to recognise their gestures and get them a specific toy/activity for them.
- Resilience: This is where children start to try new things, and as with anything new we try, they do not succeed at first but they do not give up. If you think of an infant starting to walk, they pull themselves up, hold onto items, wobble, fall, but they get back up. If children weren’t developed for resilience none of us would be walking. It is up to the educators to support resilience in children by providing challenges that are not too difficult and providing support and guidance to allow them to succeed.
- Sense of Agency: Children with a sense of agency are those who seek control over their environment and their movements within this environment. This is something that educators can support children with by providing them opportunities to present that control. Whether it be dressing themselves, choosing activities, setting up environments, mealtimes, there are many opportunities in a day that children can have control over.
Children develop knowledgeable and confident self identities
These outcomes go in order, so once children have developed some control over themselves and their environment in routine tasks, they start to feel more confident in their own abilities. Educators need to be there to support children through this by providing information and support, whether it be labeling items for infants. They may also provide environments that allow for space and time where children can repeat tasks until they feel confident and capable.
- Knowledgeable and confident self identities: This is where children have developed an understanding of their interests, skills and abilities. They have developed an understanding of how their world works through gaining more control in this. We often see children repeat tasks again and again. Through doing this they are cementing their knowledge and gaining confidence in their abilities.
Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect
Once children have confidence in themselves and their abilities, they start to look outwards to others. It then makes sense that this would be the next stage in the outcome. This stage needs a lot of support from educators who role model and guide children through these interactions.
- Care: This is visible when children see another child upset and get them a tissue, or hold their hand. Perhaps they might get an educator to help with a hurt child. They recognise the need for care in a situation.
- Empathy: This is where children not only recognise someone is feeling a certain way, but can relate to it. This can be taught by asking simple questions like “would you like it if they took your truck?” to help children acknowledge the feelings in others.
- Respect: This is where children treat others in a way that protects them, and their feelings. They move from bringing a child a tissue when they are sad, to acknowledging a child would be sad if they took their truck, to not taking the truck and respecting that they are playing with it at the moment.
Hopefully this has been helpful and don’t forget if you would like a copy of these please go to my website and they are on the shop page. The others will be uploaded as the blog posts come out.
Don’t forget I can also provide training for you on any area you need, or I can help you move from linking to embedding the EYLF with my complete package. Get in touch if you would like to know more.
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