The essence of EYLF and MTOP

I had an inteboy thinkingresting chat with my car mechanic the other day. He was telling me some funny stories about some of the things people thought were wrong with their car, only to find that they’d accidentally changed some feature of the car or didn’t fully understand what the feature did. I put myself in the last category because I didn’t understand that the wonderful ‘stop start’ technology doesn’t always work even when the feature is activated. Apparently the car works out whether there is enough power to operate the feature given everything else it is doing. I would have thought putting a feature like that in the car, and promoting it as a clever piece of technology, would have meant the ‘stop start’ feature worked optimally in all situations. However, apart from that, it got me thinking that it would be really good when you buy a car if the salespeople provided a one page list of dot jots or things to remember. After all, who has time to read the whole manual to glean the important details?

And then I thought, this would be a great idea for educators too. What are the EYLF and MTOP all about – what do you need to know and remember?  So here are some key points:

  • Learning comes from social relationships and interactions
  • Learning from equipment is secondary – by a long way
  • Make sure your service is not filled with plastic, commercial toys
  • Include lots of loose parts from nature – inside and outside
  • Think about children’s learning and your teaching from different viewpoints and use the things you discover to improve what you do – this is called critical reflection
  • Let children lead the activities – they should be involved in most of the decision making
  • Get rid of rigid daily timetables and pace activities around children’s thoughts and feelings – this is being attuned to children
  • Make sure your program mainly reflects children’s interests, strengths, culture and knowledge – make learning meaningful and connected to children’s lives
  • Engage with children – don’t stand around and observe them
  • Use every opportunity to extend children’s learning – plan and act in the moment
  • Follow up activities must be related to children’s interests, and not just to particular domains for the sake of building a skill which most children will develop when ready
  • Extension activities can last for weeks
  • When documenting learning, write exactly what you do. There is so much wonderful learning that is often ignored
  • Assessment means looking for evidence that a child can meet or is progressing towards a Learning Outcome – you can use the examples given in the Framework documents under the Learning Outcome headings to help
  • Use routines to connect with children and to intentionally teach skills and knowledge
  • Develop great relationships with families – the more you know about a child’s life the easier it is to do your job

What do you think? What other points could be added to the list?

Robyn Parnell

This entry was posted in Family day care, Long Day Care, OSHC, Preschool and kindergarten . Bookmark the permalink.
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