What if compulsory schooling was a 21st Century invention?

There are many long-running debates in Australia around the schooling our children. Often the battle lines are drawn between traditional approaches to education versus new designs for schooling. There is often a huge divide over concepts such as quality, equity, mastery, assessment and the case for what some call future-focused skills. There is even debate ...

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Taken-for-granted beliefs about babies’ capabilities

DR ANDI SALAMON shares findings from her research with babies and toddlers. Salamon’s research includes close observations of babies’ social behaviour and capacity for independently managing themselves. She investigated the beliefs educators have of babies’ capabilities how they shape educators’ practices, and, ultimately, babies’ experiences. As an early childhood teacher, toddlers first and then babies became […]

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The importance of outdoor play in winter

Montessori Academy shares how important it is for children to continue outdoor play in the months of winter. It is common for adults to restrict children to indoor play, and only permit play outdoors when it is warm and sunny. The benefits explained in this article could lead you to reconsider children’s play outside in […]

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Education for sustainability in practice

If we all take the time to care for our environment, we will make a difference together. DR SUE ELLIOTT and Australia-Aotearoa Alliance for Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (The Alliance) share how to implement sustainable ways into child care services, from workshops to wiser consumption and what we should consider when purchasing goods. This […]

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Healthy habits start early

With the brunt of winter hitting, it can be hard to continue a healthy and active lifestyle in a cold climate. LARA HERNANDEZ and JOE XU from the NSW Office of Preventive Health share various resources and facts for educators and families; they also mention a new program developed by NSW Office of Preventive Health called ‘Time […]

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Sharing in Australia’s culture

‘Deadly not dead’ was what came to mind for Rebecca Rechichi after attending her first Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Reconciliation Symposium in May held in Melbourne. Rebecca is an early childhood teacher from Western Australia and after attending the Symposium she approached ECA to discuss and reflect on her experience. This is her story. ECA: […]

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Observing children deepens our understanding of their behaviour (BETLS tool)

Observing children is a great way of getting to know them. It’s also how we can gather information about their mental health and wellbeing, including noticing their strengths and behaviours that may cause concern or present possible signs of mental health issues. Read more about the behaviour, emotions, thoughts, learning and social relationships (BETLS) observation […]

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The image of the child re-imagined on Instagram

Many children around the world now have a digital footprint before they can even walk! Their pictures and videos are featured on their families’ social media channels or even their own dedicated pages managed by their families. But what are the risks involved? At what point does it become ‘sharenting’? And do educators have a […]

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How the parties compare on key early childhood policies

Since the beginning of the election year, Early Childhood Australia (ECA) along with other early childhood peak bodies, research organisations, service providers and community groups has been promoting seven key policy areas as the Election Priorities for the Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign. The three major political parties—Australian Labor Party, Liberal-National Coalition, and The Australian […]

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The wage rates are too low and turnover is too high

The Australian Labor Party’s election promise to work out with the early childhood sector how they can facilitate a 20 percent wage increase over eight years is a bold and very welcome move that will generate far more economic benefits than the temporary adjustment costs, writes Early Childhood Australia CEO SAMANTHA PAGE. The early childhood profession […]

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Education for sustainability

DR SUE ELLIOTT explains sustainability, the key concepts, the research and what changes we can make to the environment in early childhood settings through sustainable practice. This piece is an extension of the ECA e-newsletter, ‘Spend a minute … on education for sustainability with guest author Dr Sue Elliott’. Education for sustainability is about change, […]

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Make it personal and meaningful: educators and reconciliation in 2019

How can early childhood settings incorporate reconciliation through everyday learning? ECA caught up with preschool teacher and educational leader, ADAM DUNCAN, to hear his views on reconciliation. In the lead up to the 2019 ECA Reconciliation Symposium (9–10 May in Melbourne) Adam shares his thoughts with ECA on how educators can achieve change towards reconciliation. […]

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My reflections on reconciliation

Cultural competence and reconciliation are recurrent topics in our line of work. But when it comes to putting these into practice, we’re often faced with more questions than answers. I’d like to put forth my perspective and hopefully it might help my colleagues in taking the first step towards their reconciliation journey. As the director […]

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Teacher targeted bullying in Australian schools

The problem of teachers being bullied and harassed by students and parents has been heavily canvased in mainstream media recently. Yet, many remain sceptical, often dismissing what teachers perceive as bullying and harassment as just parents looking after their children, and probably the result of a teacher’s inability to manage a classroom anyway. Parents claim ...

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Re-imagining education for democracy in these politically troubled times

Everywhere one cares to look, democracy is in trouble—from the catastrophic social and economic collapse in Venezuela, through the paralysing politics of Brexit, to the racist misogyny of Trump’s USA and the violence of Erdoğan’s Turkey. It seems nowhere is immune to the effects of the collapsing systems that held together the twentieth century—liberalism, capitalism ...

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What makes schools say Yes or No to participating in research projects?

One of the great headaches for education researchers is gaining access to schools to conduct research. Even after the necessary ethics approvals and jurisdiction permissions, that is permissions from school authorities, have been gained, researchers will often encounter problems with recruiting sufficient schools.    But what is this process like for schools? When school leaders receive ...

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Effective teaching methods that work for Indigenous students: latest research

What does effective teaching of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students look like? Thousands of research studies have been dedicated to finding answers to this question. But much of what we think we know, or hear, about Indigenous education remains mired in myths and legends. Governments have been surprisingly frank about the failure of their ...

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Put professional judgement of teachers first or we’ll never get the systemic education improvements we all want. Let’s talk about it

In this blog I’d like to bring together three different lines of educational analysis to show how our contemporary discussions of policy are really not going to lead to any significant change or educationally defensible reforms.  I realise that is a very big call, but I’m pretty confident in saying it, and I hope to ...

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Five qualities of teachers who form close relationships with disruptive students

It is now well known to teachers and researchers alike that student-teacher relationships are powerfully predictive of social, behavioural, and academic success. Students who have positive relationships with their teachers are much more likely to enjoy school, to engage in academic work, and to be well behaved. Positive relationships with teachers can also protect students ...

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The GDPR: one year on

25 May 2019 marks the one year anniversary since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation came into force. This blog laments the EU’s missed opportunity to get the fundamental right to data protection right for all.

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Fun on the Farm: Learning About Farm Animals

These farm animal activities will make learning about farm animals fun and engaging! This unit is packed full of close reading activities, directed drawings, writing, a craft, and more! Farm Animal Activities Learning about farm animals is so much fun! Students learn about the different animals they may find on a farm with these farm […]

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10 End of the Year Read Alouds

10 end of the year books for kindergarten and first grade. These sweet picture books make great read alouds to help you say goodbye to your students. End of the Year Books The end of the school year is almost here! I always loved reading sweet stories at the end of the year to help […]

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It’s Shark Week! Freebies for Comparing Informational & Narrative Texts

FREEBIES Shark style! Clark the Shark is a perfect book for back to school, but it is also great as you round out the end of the year.  Energy is high and patience is low and helping kids understand the importance of self-control, following the rules and thinking before they act. Clark the shark has […]

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Zoo Animals | Chit Chat Messages & Close Reading

Zoo Animals unit packed full of resources! Engaging and fun activities. Chit Chat messages, close reading passages, crafts, and more! Zoo Animals Teaching about zoo animals is seriously one of the best times EVER! The littles get super excited and stay so engaged in learning. It can be hard to keep their attention at this […]

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