Institute of Early Childhood

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					        Early Childhood Teacher Education:
        The current landscape in Australia
              A/Professor Manjula Waniganayake
    International Symposium on Early Childhood Education
                  University of Tallinn, Estonia
                         (6 April 2011)

Institute of Early Childhood
                               My story

      • Born in Sri Lanka
      • Immigrated to Australia in 1974
      • 1982 - Graduated with a Bachelor of Early
        Childhood: 4 year university degree; qualified to
        teach children birth to eight years
      • Drivers = family/heritage
         • Fourth generation teacher
         • Love of learning
         • Respect/honour teachers and teaching
         • ‘make a difference in the life of a child or more’

Institute of Early Childhood
                               Why teaching?

          “Because I love children”

         (Early Childhood Teachers)                Why did
                                                  become a
        “Because I love the subject.”
                (School Teachers)

Institute of Early Childhood          (adapted from De Jean, 2011)
         Teacher Identity and being and becoming

       According to Mats Alvesson:

       How one answers:
       ‘who am I (or we) and -by
       implication -
       how should I (we) act
       who might I (we) become?’

                 (Adapted from Carroll, 2010 )

Institute of Early Childhood
                               Key policy changes
       Single national system of
      •Licensing standards – ALL service types included, especially preschools
      •Quality assessment – 5 levels including Excellent
      •Development of an annual Quality Improvement Plan
               Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (national law) and
               Regulatory Authority in each state/territory
      •Implementation of the Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009)

      Universal access = 15 hours of preschool education by qualified EC teacher
      Staff : Child ratios: 1:4 babies and 1: 5 toddlers
      Minimum EC staff qualification = Certificate III in early childhood

Institute of Early Childhood
                         Early Childhood Initiatives
 Improving Quality and Accessibility of Early Childhood Education and Care
 Services : Early Childhood Development Strategy

                                            Support for                                 Early
  Quality         Workforce    Data                       Infrastructure   Childhood
                                            Parents                                     Childhood
  National                                                                 Access to    Indigenous
                  University               interaction
  standards                    AEDI                                        Early        Early
                  places                    program
  and                          National                   38 early         Childhood    Childhood
                  HECS                     Increased
  rating system                Performance                learning         education    Developme
                  remission                CCTR
  Early Years                  Information                & care           Early        nt National
                  No TAFE                  Integrated
  Learning                     Framework &                centres          learning     Partnership
                  fees                     services
  Framework                    Data                                        programs     & children
                  National                 Better
  Streamlined                  Agreement                                   for remote   & family
                  strategy                 information
  regulation                                                               Indigenous   centres
                                           For parents

Institute of Early Childhood
                          National Qualifty Standard
           Seven quality areas:
           1.Educational program and practice
           2.Children’s health and safety
           3.Physical environment
           4.Staffing arrangements
           5.Relationships with children
           6.Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
           7.Leadership and service management

Institute of Early Childhood
Proposed Assessment and rating process development
   Regular update on
   progress to services

   FAQ website updated

                                                                     Support materials available for review
                          Stakeholder forums                         via website to those not involved in
                                                                     direct consultation

                      SRG               SRG            SRG            SRG                           Further consultation with SRG

                     X                  X              X              X
Dec        March     April      May      June      July                   Nov               March                     July                          Jan
2009       2010      2010       2010     2010      2010                   2010              2011                      2011                          2012

COAG             Development of draft          Field      Begin assessment of Review            Training and support         Training and               New
Decision         process with expert           test       services starting with Refine         material developed           development of             System
                 consultants                              LDC and gradually      Finalise                                    assessors and services     in place
                                                          including FDC,                                                     provided with
                                                          OSHC and                                                           information and support
                                                          Preschool – 200 to                                                 to ensure fully aware of
                                                          300 services                                                       obligations and
                                                                                                                             assistance available
                                                          arrangements for
                                                          regulation/rating of
                                                          preschools in
Institute of Early Childhood
                                                                                                         New National Body gradually in place
                                                                                                         ready for commencement of system
                               Which programs?

          • Long day care ( birth to 5 year olds)
          • Family day care (home based) ( birth to 12
            year olds)
          • Out of school hours care : before and after
            school, and vacation care programs ( 5- 12
            year olds)
          • Preschool/kindergarten( 3-5 year olds)
          • Occasional care (birth to 5 year olds)
          • Integrated child & family services (before
            birth to ??)
Institute of Early Childhood
                               NEW QUALIFICATIONS
   FOR FAMILY DAY CARE (birth to 12 year olds)
   •Family Day Care coordinators will need to have at least a Diploma-
   level early childhood education and care qualification

   •All family day care workers will need (or be working towards), a
   Certificate III level early childhood education and care qualification
   or equivalent.

   FOR OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE (5 – 12 year olds)
   •No staff qualifications have been set.

Institute of Early Childhood
                   NEW QUALIFICATIONS continued

    FOR LONG DAY CARE & PRESCHOOLS (Birth to 5 year olds)
    • an early childhood teacher must attend when there are more
      than 25 children
    • an early childhood teacher must attend when there are less
      than 25 children some of the time

    By 1 January 2020, a second early childhood teacher (or qualified
    leader) must attend:
    • whenever the service is provided to more than 80 children
    • for at least half the time when the service is provided to 60 or
    more children.

Institute of Early Childhood
    • Outside
                           Who works in EC services?

          • Early childhood teachers and leaders
          • Family day carers who work from their own homes
          • Outside school hours care staff who may have sports and
            recreation backgrounds
          • Integration support and early intervention staff who may
            have ‘special education’ qualifications/experience
          • Other Assistants who have little or no specific early
            childhood qualifications
          • Allied health staff including speech therapists, psychologists
            and physiotherapists and nurses
          • Non-contact staff who do not work directly with children
            such as office/administrative staff and kitchen staff

Institute of Early Childhood
           Key issues impacting on the EC workforce
        Supply and demand for Early Childhood Staff
        - More than 80,000 staff are employed in the sector
        - High annual staff turnover “approaching 50%” in some cases

        Professionalisation of the sector
        • Increasing the cost of services to families
        • Demand for qualified staff but poor pay and conditions
        • Alienation of experienced (unqualified) workers
        • ECTs continue to be outside school teacher registration & pay

        Accountability and monitoring requirements
        • Increasing administrative work and less time to play with
Institute of Early Childhood
                       Pathways into early childhood

         Technical and Further
       Education (TAFE) Colleges
        or Other private training                         Universities
                                                 Degrees – Bachelors & Masters
         Certificates & Diplomas                         - Doctorates

                               •   Traditional divisions are blurring
                               •   Private providers are increasing
                               •   Program duration changing
                               •   Quality of programs diminishing
Institute of Early Childhood
            EC Courses Available in TAFEs and Universities Across Australia.

                                                                             Universities offering
                                                                             EC courses (either
                                                                             UG or PG or both)
                                   1                                            (30/38 = 79%)
                                                    12                       TAFE institutes
          10                                                 6
                     5                                                       offering EC courses
                                                                                  (52/63 = 82%)
                               5            2
                                                         7       9

                                                6                    1   1

Institute of Early Childhood
               Number of Universities Per State Offering Early Childhood Courses

                                                                                 Type 5:
                                     NT =1
                                                                                 Masters of EC

                                                  QUEENSLAND = 9                 Type 4: Early
                   WA = 5                                                        Childhood
                                         SA = 3                                  and Masters
                                                           NSW =10               with EC units

                                                                                 Type 3: Only
                                                    VICTORIA =8
  All universities = 38                                                          EC courses
                                                                  TASMANIA = 1

Institute of Early Childhood
                     Reimagining EC course design
          Common core essentials of ECE
          - Age specific? : 0-8 years; 0-5 years, 0-12 years; other?
          - Specific strands? Pedagogy/Curriculum; Child development;
            Management/Leadership; Practicum; research preparation

          - Curriculum areas; leadership; child development;
            babies/toddlers; preschoolers; languages; integrated

          Structure and Duration:
          - 2 years; 3 years; 4 years or
          - 2 years general + 2 years specialisation;
          - 3 years undergraduate + 2 years postgraduate specialisation
Institute of Early Childhood
             Researching EC teachers and teaching

          • Demand and supply of EC workforce
             • Teacher education pathways
          • Becoming teachers
             • motivations and aspirations
             • induction and mentoring
             • Teacher identities
          • Roles and responsibilities of EC professionals
             • teaching, leading, community development, advocacy,
               change management etc etc
          • Professional development and support
             • Required – mandated
             • Inspired/aspired – self motivated

Institute of Early Childhood
            Other challenges for teacher education

        Teacher preparation for
        •Managing child outcomes – health monitoring and
        assessment of learning capacities
        •Working with computer mediated technology
        •Responding to government accountability and
        quality control
        •Engaging with the complexities of social inclusion
        within a multi-cultural society
        •Leading learning with multi-professional teams

Institute of Early Childhood
         Are teacher educators ready for the 21st century?
          “Complicate yourself if you want to understand complicated
            environments”      (Weick 1995, 57)

                                    (adapted from Carroll, 2010)

Institute of Early Childhood
              Three ways of working with complexity

           1. Be the                   not the

           2. Work with projects

           3. Move from ARGUMENT to STORY

                                       (adapted from Martin, 2010)
Institute of Early Childhood
   EC Graduate attributes - new and old (OECD, 2006: p. 167)
        “In the English speaking world, a strong emphasis is
           laid on the educational role of services with a
           focus on the teaching role.”
        “Working with diversity in particular milieus is a
           feature of ECE professional work, to which
           traditional teacher training has responded
           insufficiently. In the future, practitioners will be
           required to play an enhanced role in developing
           social cohesion, for which new skills and
           understandings about community and society will
           be critical.”

Institute of Early Childhood
                     Some changes are visible; some are subtle …

       Liverpool St Froebel School (1907)
                                                 What can you say about
                                                 early childhood
                                                 education in the 1900s
                                                 from this picture?

               How does this
               image of a modern
               day care centre
               compare with the
               1900s playroom?

Institute of Early Childhood
     Reimagining the future of EC teacher Education

             DOUBT                                    CONFIDENCE
                                                  (adapted from Carroll, 2010)

          “Examine the structures, systems and strategies …..” (Walker, 2005: 4)

Institute of Early Childhood
      Love the complexity not the conformity.

      Liberation come from acknowledging

      Excitement comes when the
      thinking shifts.

Institute of Early Childhood

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