6.1.2 The expertise, culture, values and beliefs of families

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The expertise, culture, values and beliefs of families are respected and families share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.

Exceeding theme 1: Practice is embedded and Exceeding theme 3: Family and community engagement

Case Study – Great practice identified and embedded.
This morning Kayla gathered the children to welcome Ili back from her Fiji holiday visiting her grandparents. Kayla incorporated family input provided by Ili’s mum LO 5.2 as she read and shared a book with the children LO 5.2 to allow them to have a better understanding of Fiji.

Kayla called Ili up to show and explain to the children where Fiji is located on the map. ‘Can you say Fiji’ Kayla asked? Ili, Grace and Krishna repeated ‘Fiji’. ‘Did you have fun Ili’ ‘Yep’ she replied. ‘How did you get to Fiji’ Kayla asked. Ili said ‘plane’. The children were curious about the visual images in the book and responded with questions and interests as they pointed and engaged with Kayla. LO 5.2

Kayla provided a range of resources and integrated technology for the children to investigate and take part. Together they researched how long the plane ride took. ‘It took Ili 4 hours to get to Fiji’ Kayla told the children. ‘Oooh’ Molly responded. Kayla played a short clip that showed the children how planes work and how they made it to Fiji from Australia. ‘Does anyone know what sound a plane makes?’ ‘Yep’ Ili replied. Kayla demonstrated while the children repeated it. Kayla spent time conversing with the children as the children participated in a variety of activities to expand their curiosity LO 4.1

Reflection – After talking to Ili’s mother at drop off, I thought we would be able to talk and learn more about Ili’s grandparents and Fijian culture, but Ili was more fascinated with the plane ride there, so that is the direction we took today. The culture and grandparents haven’t been forgotten and will be explored in the future.

In your curriculum you should be able to identify learning stories like the one above to show how this element is embedded.

Case Study – What happens if an educator doesn’t do something that is required in the NQS element?

The Koala room identified that conversation between educators and parents was basic. Educators were saying “they had a great day”. Upon further investigation and reflection educators said they didn’t always feel comfortable talking to the parents and didn’t know all parents’ names. The Room Leader with the help of the Educational Leader created a lesson plan for the educators to better know their parents which in turn will assist educators to obtain parent’s views, their expertise, culture, values and beliefs to help make better decisions about children’s learning and wellbeing.

Exceeding theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection

The EYLF/MTOP 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’ and critically reflect we need to imagine ourselves looking at things through different people’s eyes. Questions to reflect upon through different perspectives. Remember reflection should cause a change in practice and you need to identify how and why you made these changes to the assessor.

Educators looking through the eyes of children
Looking through the eyes of children, explain how ongoing engagement with families influences the design and delivery of the educational program.

Ili was very involved in the learning. She jumped up and helped me read the book, pointed to pictures and explained in detail features of Fiji, which has made me think about how much young children really know and more importantly how much we could be holding them back. I felt she had more of a sense of belonging wanting to show and teach the other children about her life.

Her capabilities have changed our practice in the way we ask for family input from all families to ensure their culture is known to us and we involve the children in the teaching process

Educators looking through the eyes of parents
Looking through the eyes of parents. Do they feel supported and are they able to engage and participate in the curriculum?

I don’t think parents know they can participate in the curriculum. I’m now wondering if parents are seeing it as our job alone when their child is here. We encourage family input by having daily conversations with families and posting Facebook, but now we are going to point out how important this information is and how it allows us to have a better understanding of their culture, values and beliefs.

Educators looking through the eyes of the Nominated Supervisor
Looking through the eyes of the Nominated Supervisor and admin people. How are they consistently tailoring their approaches to communicating with and engaging with each family to seek out families’ views?

I don’t think the Nominated Supervisor and front office staff know to pass on all the little bits of information they get from families to us. This is important because the room at drop off is sometimes stressful, and we don’t always get the relaxed version of families lives like the front office. They may think families tell us, or we just hear and know it. We need to remind them to pass on information.

Exceeding theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection
The EYLF/MTOP 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’ and critically reflect we need to imagine ourselves looking at things through different people’s eyes. Questions to reflect upon through different perspectives. Remember reflection should cause a change in practice and you need to identify how and why you made these changes to the assessor.

Educators looking through the eyes of children
Looking through the eyes of children, explain how ongoing engagement with families influences the design and delivery of the educational program.

Educators looking through the eyes of parents
Looking through the eyes of parents. Do they feel supported and are they able to engage and participate in the curriculum?

Educators looking through the eyes of the Nominated Supervisor
Looking through the eyes of the Nominated Supervisor and admin people. How are they consistently tailoring their approaches to communicating with and engaging with each family to seek out families’ views?

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