1.3.2 Critical reflection

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Critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, drives program planning and implementation.

We need to identify what it is we are reflecting upon before proceeding. The element says critical reflection drives the program, but what exactly is a program. We need to interchange the word program with curriculum and use the description in the EYLF.

Curriculum:
in the early childhood setting curriculum means ‘all the interactions, experiences, activities, routines and events, planned and unplanned, that occur in an environment designed to foster children’s learning and development’.

EYLF Page 9

Let’s pull this apart into individual words and add the critical reflection to see what we need to do to drive the program’s planning and implementation.

  • Critically reflect upon our interactions to drive program planning and implementation
  • Critically reflect upon experiences, to drive program planning and implementation
  • Critically reflect upon activities, to drive program planning and implementation
  • Critically reflect upon routines to drive program planning and implementation
  • Critically reflect upon planned events to drive program planning and implementation
  • Critically reflect upon unplanned events to drive program planning and implementation
  • Critically reflect upon our environment to drive program planning and implementation   

 What is a critical reflection?

The good news is most people are reflecting most of the time. You probably never write down all your reflections or thoughts about what you do as a critical reflection or know it is a reflective process.

The EYLF says ‘Critical reflection involves closely examining all aspects of events and experiences from different perspectives. Educators often frame their reflective practice within a set of overarching questions, developing more specific questions for particular areas of enquiry.’

To create a ‘different perspective’ we need to imagine ourselves looking at things through different people’s eyes.

What do you see if you look from a child’s perspective (critical reflection) and how has that driven program planning and implementation?

What do you see if you look from a parent’s perspective (critical reflection) and how has that driven program planning and implementation?

What do you see if you look from another educator’s perspective (critical reflection) and how has that driven program planning and implementation?

What do you see if you look from a child’s perspective (critical reflection) and how has that driven program planning and implementation?

Critically reflect upon our interactions from a child’s perspective. What do you see?

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How has this driven program planning and implementation? 

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What do you see if you look from a parent’s perspective (critical reflection) and how has that driven program planning and implementation?

 Critically reflect upon our unplanned events from a parent’s perspective. What do you see?

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How has this driven program planning and implementation? 

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Exceeding Theme Core
All educators regularly engage in planned and spontaneous critical reflection on children’s learning and development, as individuals and in groups, and make identified changes to the design and implementation of the program. Critical reflection includes social justice and equity considerations, theoretical and philosophical influence, and how well all educators include the views and input of children, families and the community.

Where is your practice compared to the above statement?

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