EVENT: UWA Education Researcher Seminar
|UWA Education Researcher Seminar : What Can Australia learn from Parish Pedagogies? An Analysis of Irish Pre-school Practice using the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scales
In 2008, UNICEF published The Childcare Transition - A league table of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Economically Advanced Countries, which evaluated and compared 25 OECD countries on ten quality pre-school standards. Ireland ranked last at 25th and Australia only two places ahead, at 23rd.
Since the publication of this work, both Ireland and Australia introduced three new ECEC policies: universal access to one year free Pre-school/Kindergarten; mandatory increased qualifications for those working in the ECEC sector; and new ECEC curriculum frameworks and standards agreed in 2009.
My presentation is based on the third priority. The new frameworks and standards in question are embedded in contemporary Constructive Relational Pedagogy and in the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) where children are seen as bearers of rights, and are protagonists in their own learning. The role of family and community is also seen as vital to learning.
In my analysis, I used quality observation scales developed in the US, which provided an opportunity to examine both structure and process in 26 pre-school settings in Ireland. The scales were selected as they have come to be accepted as a Global rating scale and have become synonymous with quality.
In my presentation, I will discuss elements of quality and speak to the challenges implementing new pedagogies onto existing practice, including children’s role in curriculum development, documentation and family’s involvement in the process. I believe that we can learn from the Irish experience to inform how we meet these challenges today in Australia.
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