Curriculum – What does it mean to be an Educational Leader?
Under the regulations, the Approved Provider is required to appoint an Educational Leader to “guide other educators in their planning and reflection and mentor colleagues in their implementation practices” (Guide to the National Law and Regulations 2011, p.85).
Why do we need to have an Educational Leader?
Recent research demonstrates that having an effective educational leader has positive learning outcomes for children. A designated leader with a clear vision on education and curriculum can:
- Lead the development and implementation of the educational curriculum
- Create a shared vision for children’s learning
- Provide the best educational outcomes for children based on “Belonging, Being & Becoming”
- Develop understanding in fellow educators on how each of the EYLF/MTOP principles and practices contribute to high quality learning experiences
- Motivate and mentor educators to effectively unite as a team to work towards a consistent approach to curriculum.
What does an Educational Leader’s role look like?
What does the Educational Leader do?
The Educational Leader continually reflects and implements strategies to improve the educational program in the service. Strategies might include:
Leading and being a part of reflective practice discussions about implementing the learning framework
- Assisting educators to regularly reflect on their principles and practices and how these affect the principles and practices underlying EYLF/MTOP.
- Holding regular team meetings to discuss reflections.
- Compiling resources to help guide leadership and review practices.
Mentoring other educators by leading quality practice
- Always showing PASSION. Role modelling and leading by example.
- Conducting regular staff appraisals to discuss their teaching practices and curriculum development.
- Providing information on pedagogical practice and theories of learning.
Discussing routines and how to make them more effective learning experiences
- Driving the concept that learning can occur anytime of the day – even at 5:50pm.
- Identifying how to transform routine experiences into valuable learning.
- Create an environment where children’s ideas and opinions count and we don’t have to stick to rigid rules and routines.
Observing child and educator interactions and make suggestions on how to improve interactions and intentional teaching
- Showing educators how to engage in shared, sustained conversation.
- Providing professional development on how to be more thoughtful, informed and intentional in our interactions with children.
- Driving home the importance of joining children’s play and “tuning in” and responding to children’s views and ideas.
- Demonstrating the importance of ALL educators “connecting” with children.
Talking to parents about the educational program
- Mentoring educators on the importance of “driving” the family input sheets.
- Establishing “real” connections with families and building solid, trusting relationships.
- Hosting family events based on family interests.
Working with other early childhood professionals and early childhood intervention specialists
- Creating the opportunities to meet with families and specialists.
- Developing funding plans. e.g. – Support Plans.
- Being the “connection” between information obtained from specialists and communicating this through to all stakeholders.
Assisting with documenting children’s learning and how these assessments can inform decision making
- Regularly reviewing children’s learning documentation.
- Regularly reading curriculum planning sheets and reflections to see the curriculum decision-making process is fully and appropriately implemented.
- Regularly reviewing strength trees to update your knowledge of children and to ensure they are up to date.
- Daily reading of the family input sheets. This information is vital for making connections with educators and families.
- Constantly reflecting to ensure practices are meeting Learning Outcomes for children and that assessment for learning is taking place.