Death by TEEL: Are formulas for writing harmful?

Teachers in Australia currently experience extraordinary pressures to teach to the test. In this post we want to take a closer look at how that pressure is affecting the teaching of writing.  Tickbox template writing is now sought by external assessors in Australia where the focus is on basic skills and imitation of standardised practices. ...

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Viral talk with children

What do we say to children about coronavirus and COVID-19? For this sensitive topic, we don’t believe that any one generic resource can work for all children. Instead, we encourage careful, child-led conversations. Below we share information to guide age and context-appropriate conversations. We encourage you to share this information and resources with families in […]

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Writing and reading links

At the moment the news is changing hour by hour, day by day. In this environment stories change and we don’t always have the time to catch up. And knowledge brokering is not the same as advocacy. So when ECA shared a mainstream media article a few weeks ago, about a new study, our Facebook […]

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Gender respect: how can we better engage boys and men?

It is September 2016 and I have been invited to speak on a panel with Rosie Batty, former Australian of the Year. We are speaking about the role of education in preventing violence against women and children. The conference title is pertinent: Prevalent and Preventable. The panel is mostly education leaders. One by one, they ...

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Early action key in prevention of family violence

Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has received strong responses to our wellbeing messages during a difficult time for children, families and educators. ‘Early Signals. First Responses—ECA’s project for educators who are working with children experiencing domestic and family violence—offers resources you might find useful to support educator teams and families during this difficult time.  During crisis […]

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Preserving Indigenous languages

Though there are still 13 Indigenous languages spoken by children around Australia, they are slowly fading as older generations pass on. Queensland educator, JULIE LEE DAVIDSON takes us through the importance of preserving Indigenous languages and suggests ways to incorporate them into early childhood curriculums. Exploring ways for children to learn Indigenous languages helps build awareness of different identities […]

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Early childhood help for children of deployed military personnel

One parent shared with me that she was told ‘You’re just on your own until they go to school. There’s nothing out there’. She was part of my research project to find out what 2-5-year old children understand and experience when their parent worked away due to military deployment and training. During the project many ...

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Video-based educational research: Remembering David Clarke

Video has been used as a method for researching teaching and learning for decades. It offers significant and creative ways of seeing, hearing, capturing, collecting and curating the processes of teaching and learning in classrooms. As digital technologies and data production have evolved so has the way this mode of research is used by educational ...

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Living life ‘lagom’

After the 2019 Early Childhood Australia (ECA) National Conference in Hobart, an attendee reached out with an inspiring reflection and we hope it inspires you to join us in Brisbane for 2020. Ballarat Grammar’s Centre for Early Education (CEEd) Director KOREN NAYLOR details an encounter with internationally renowned education Professor Gunilla Dahlberg that was ‘just right‘. […]

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Supporting children in complex families

Developing and delivering an innovative approach for supporting children in complex families to attend an early childhood education program PROFESSOR LINDA HARRISON and researcher CATHERINE JONES write about their upcoming RoundTable discussion at the 2020 AJEC Research Symposium, February 14, titled Nurturing children and families through staff professional development. They are working on a project across […]

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Disengagement from learning

Why are so many young children disengaged from learning? How do we know if children are, or are not, engaged in learning? GILLIAN KIRK and MARIANNE KNAUS explore this through research and share findings from a case study examining classroom interactions. Gillian and Marianne interviewed teachers and asked children to draw how they felt about being […]

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Stop all government funding for private schools. (Why and how we could do it)

Along with many fellow Australians I was momentarily heartened last year by the United Kingdom’s Labour party announcing that it would scrap elitist private schools in the UK (which are confusingly called “public schools”) if it won the UK election. Had it happened, those UK private schools would have been nationalised, their charitable status removed ...

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That ‘research’ word…

We caught up with DR MELINDA MILLER who will be presenting at ECA’s 2020 AJEC Research Symposium next week, sharing outcomes from a collaborative research project with G8 Education and Phoenix Support for Educators. In this piece, Dr Miller explains how everyday curriculum practices, when mapped to research processes are central to action-research that involves […]

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The Play-Doh ‘cookie’

In WebWatch we often report on new research relevant for our sector. Last week a post focussing on new research out of the USA generated a great deal of discussion. The research relayed in WebWatch issue 323 focussed on a USA study analysing the use of Play-Doh containing gluten for children who have coeliac disease or […]

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Disrupting school readiness

School readiness—what’s the problem with it? and how can this commonly used phrase be disrupted? DR KATHRYN HOPPS delves into these questions and shares tips for educators to implement in their services. This is part one to a two blog series, the next one will explore Schoolification: What is it and why resist it?—stay tuned […]

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Bushfire smoke and young children: what to do

The devastating result of the bushfires has left many early childhood services across Australia experiencing hazardous air pollution levels in the last couple of months. As smoke continues to blanket much of the country, we reached out to a number of departments and other services to put together a list of helpful links and resources […]

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Supporting our most vulnerable and victimised children

Early Childhood Australia is deeply troubled by the devastating impact of the bushfires burning across Australia. Our sympathies are with those who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods as well as those who have been displaced and/or experienced the destruction of precious environments and wildlife. Recovery from these fires will take many years and […]

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2019 REPORT CARD for Australia’s national efforts in education

It’s the end of the school year and school reports are being sent home. Let’s imagine every Australian household received a report on Australia’s national efforts in education. This is what it might look like based on the latest  OECD Education at a Glance 2019  (which covers data between 2010 and 2016 and compares statistics ...

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Play at Christmas

We all celebrate the end of the year differently, but it usually involves a break and quality family time. DR JANE WEBB-WILLIAMS shares practical tips for children to get the best out of play over this summer break. Jane also takes us through the value of play, how ‘must have gifts’  (that fill retails shelves) aren’t necessarily […]

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Tech wise: what’s the plan?

How are you going to face the long summer? You may have food and drinks in the fridge or plans to visit people who do. You probably have your fire survival and evacuation plan organised. But what about your ‘children and technology’ plan? Have you activated a plan for relaxing and avoiding conflict over children’s […]

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Help refugee students transition to tertiary ed and everyone wins

Young people from refugee backgrounds face a raft of complex challenges when entering the Australian education system, stemming from common experiences of disrupted prior education and trauma. Due to a range of factors including limited social and cultural capital, students from refugee backgrounds in most cases need additional guidance and encouragement to attend university. The ...

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Three school spaces where children feel they can belong and learn

Schooling is not always a pleasant experience for children and young people. School experiences can be alienating for some and can lead to marginalisation, disengagement and risk of dropping out of school completely. Almost one in five young people are affected this way. For disenfranchised children such as these, alternative schooling can offer a second ...

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Girls ask friends for help first: a need to redesign online safety protocols

“put on some clothes and stop posting slutty photos” Year 7 girl commenting about other girls her age on social media Being a girl aged 12 to 14 is a risk factor for cyberbullying and sexting, however gender and age-specific protocols are not being explicitly promoted in online safety programs or anti-bullying campaigns. Instead, for ...

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