Advertisement

Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 191–200 | Cite as

Group Time Experiences: Belonging, Being and Becoming Through Active Participation Within Early Childhood Communities

  • Nicole LeggettEmail author
  • Margot Ford
Article

Abstract

The National Quality Standards (NQS) as part of the Australian National Quality Framework were developed in 2011 and included several references to the organisation of small and large groups within early childhood settings (ACECQA 2013). The NQS act in tandem with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (DEEWR 2009) and are the basis by which early childhood centres are assessed for accreditation in Australia. This paper draws upon current research with early childhood educators as they struggle to understand the new concept of ‘intentional teachers’ within this new regime. There also appears to have been a dramatic shift in the understanding about how large and small groups operate within centres. As the accreditation process unfolds, some early childhood centres have been advised to abandon large or whole group work. At the core of the EYLF are the notions of ‘being, belonging, becoming’, locating young children as part of a community of learners within a democratic society. It therefore appears that tensions and contradictions are emerging between the fundamental principles of the EYLF as they are juxtaposed against the requirement of the NQS. Critical Pedagogy of Place provides a theoretical framework in which to interrogate the ways some early childhood educators interpret intentional teaching both in terms of the organisation of spaces in early childhood centres and the organisation of the children as they inhabit those spaces (Gruenewald 2008). This paper argues that the possible abandonment of large group experiences runs the risk of disconnecting children from their communities and the relationships they form as social participants. Furthermore, it is argued that whole group experiences are crucial elements that facilitate a child’s identity and active citizenry.

Keywords

Group time Intentional teaching Community Belonging Standards Early Years Learning Framework 

References

  1. ACECQA. (2013). Guide to the National Quality Standard. NSW: Retrieved from http://files.acecqa.gov.au/files/National-Quality-Framework-Resources-Kit/NQF03-Guide-to-NQS-130902.pdf. Accessed February 9, 2015.
  2. Anagnostopolous, D., Rutledge, S., & Jacobsen, R. (Eds.). (2013). The infrastructure of accountability: Data use and the transformation of American education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ball, S. (2013). The education debate (2nd ed.). Bristol: The Policy Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bartel, V. B. (2005). Learning communities: Beliefs embedded in content-based rituals. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(3), 151–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bennett, J. (2004). Curriculum issues in national policy making: Keynote address to the ECCERA Conference, Malta, September 2, 2004, Paris.Google Scholar
  6. Bobis, J., Clarke, B. C. D., Thomas, G., Wright, R., Young-Loveridge, J., & Gould, P. (2005). Supporting teachers in the development of young children’s mathematical thinking: Three large scale cases. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 16(3), 27–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Comer, J. P., & Ben-Avie, M. (2010). Promoting community in early childhood programs: A comparison of two programs (Publication no.  10.1007/s10643-010-0391-3). Retrieved January 5, 2015, from Springer.
  8. Corsaro, W. (1985). Friendship and peer culture in the early years. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  9. Dahlberg, G., Moss, P., & Pence, A. (2007). Beyond quality in early childhood education and care: Languages of evaluation. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. DEEWR. (2009). Belonging, being and becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. ACT: Council of Australian Governments: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  11. Department of Education UK. (2014). Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335504/EYFS_framework_from_1_September_2014__with_clarification_note.pdf. Accessed 9th February 2015.
  12. Dewey, J. (1990/1902). The school and society and the child and the curriculum. Combined edition (Vol. Original work published 1902). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  13. Epstein, A. (2007). The intentional teacher: Choosing the best strategies for young children’s learning. Washington DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.Google Scholar
  14. Fernie, D., Kantor, R., & Whaley, K. (1995). Learning from classroom ethnographies: Same places, different times. In A. Hatch (Ed.), Qualitative research in early childhood settings (pp. 155–172). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Gruenewald, D. (2008). Place-based education: Grounding culturally responsive teaching in geographical diversity. In D. Gruenewald & G. Smith (Eds.), Place-based education in the global age. New York, London: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  16. Gustafson, P. (2001). Meanings of place: Everyday experiences and theoretical conceptualisations. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21, 5–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hedegaard, M. (2004). A cultural-historical approach to learning in classrooms. Paper presented at the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research, Regional Conference.Google Scholar
  18. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Legitimate peripheral participation: Situated learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Leggett, N., & Ford, M. (2013). A fine balance: Understanding the roles educators and children play as intentional teachers and intentional learners within the Early Years Learning Framework. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(4), 42–50.Google Scholar
  20. Macmillan, A. (2001). Deconstructing social and cultural meanings: A model for educational research using postmodern constructs. Melbourne: Common Ground Publishing.Google Scholar
  21. Macmillan, A. (2009). Numeracy in early childhood: Shared contexts for teaching and learning. Victoria: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Moss, P. (2007). Bringing politics into the nursery: Early childhood education as a democratic practice. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 15(1), 5–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2014). NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria and Guidance for Assessment. Retrieved: http://www.naeyc.org/files/academy/file/AllCriteriaDocument.pdf. Accessed February 9, 2015.
  24. Osgood, J. (2006). Deconstructing professionalism in early childhood education: Resisting the regulatory gaze. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood., 7(1), 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Palmer, P. J. (1998). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  26. Peterson, R. (1992). Life in a crowded place. Managing a learning community. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  27. Power, M. (1997). The audit society: Rituals of verification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Rankin, B. (2004). The importance of intentional socialisation among children in small groups: A conversation with Loris Malaguzzi. Early Childhood Education Journal, 32(2), 81–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Read, M. (2007). Sense of place in child care environments. Early Childhood Education Journal, 34(6), 387–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rinaldi, C. (1994). The emergent curriculum and social constructivism: An interview with Lella Gandini. In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.), The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  31. Rogoff, B. (2003). The cultural nature of human development. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Sharpe, E., & Breunig, M. (2009). Sustaining environmental pedagogy in times of educational conservatism: A case of integrated curriculum programs. Environmental Education Research, 15(3), 299–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Siraj-Blatchford, I. (2010). A focus on pedagogy. In K. Sylva, E. Melhuish, P. Sammons, I. Siraj-Blatchford, & B. Taggart (Eds.), Early childhood matters: Evidence from the effective pre-school and primary education project. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Stevenson, R. B. (2008). A critical pedagogy of place and the critical place(s) of pedagogy. Environmental Education Research, 14(3), 353–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

Personalised recommendations