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International Early Childhood Curricula Lessons for Canada Monica Lysack Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada.

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Presentation on theme: "International Early Childhood Curricula Lessons for Canada Monica Lysack Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Early Childhood Curricula Lessons for Canada Monica Lysack Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada

2 Objectives To provide a theoretical perspective of ELCC curricular frameworks To identify Canadian ELCC curriculum issues, challenges, and conundrums To provide a brief overview of examples of international curriculum frameworks To stimulate thought and discussion on how this applies to Canada

3 Language and Assumptions Curriculum: a four letter word in ELCC? Borrowed from the education sector Assumptions attached to traditional education for older children Is there another word or is it possible to promote understanding?

4 What does curriculum mean? Curriculum is what we do with children Planned or unplanned Are children learners from birth? OR are we getting them ready to learn?

5 What does curriculum mean? To borrow from New Zealands Te Whariki: The term curriculum is used…to describe the sum total of the experiences, activities, and events, whether direct or indirect, which occur within an environment designed to foster childrens learning and development.

6 The OECD on Curriculum Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Concerned with economic growth and employment and therefore education Starting Strong: Thematic reviews of ELCC

7 The OECD on Curriculum John Bennett (2004) defines curriculum: A short, general framework that includes: A statement of principles… A summary of programme standards… An outline of goals for children… Pedagogical principles and guidelines ations/John%20Bennett-paper.pdf

8 The OECD on Curriculum John Bennetts Continuum (2004): Broad developmental goalsFocused cognitive goals

9 The OECD on Curriculum John Bennett (2004) Two main approaches to ELCC curriculum: 1. The Social Pedagogy Approach 2. The Infant School Approach

10 The OECD on Curriculum John Bennett (2004) The Social Pedagogy Approach A focus on the whole child; education in the broad sense Strong inter-generational and community outreach A short core curriculum to guide early education practice, local interpretation encouraged

11 The OECD on Curriculum John Bennett (2004) The Social Pedagogy Approach Curricula are generally developed in the centres, based on the objectives and content of the core curriculum A Play-based, active and experiential pedagogy… with an emphasis on the outdoors Little system monitoring of child outcomes or measures (the centres responsibility…)

12 The OECD on Curriculum John Bennett (2004) The Infant School Approach Focus on readiness for school Parent/community dimension is underplayed except in at-risk situations A detailed curriculum by a curriculum authority for 3-6 year olds, central specification

13 The OECD on Curriculum John Bennett (2004) The Infant School Approach Structural quality is less A restrained, teacher-directed play- based pedagogy Attention is given to achieving curricular aims and to measuring individual performance

14 The OECD on Curriculum John Bennett (2004) Similarities and differences: a blend of approaches Based on the tradition of ELCC in the country – the view of childhood Availability of resources Training of teachers and the conditions in which they work

15 Historical Perspective What is Early Learning and Child Care? What is the goal? – to care for children so parents can work? – to educate children? – to compensate children who are deemed to be vulnerable or at risk?

16 Multiple Goals Multiple goals = multiple challenges Competing priorities and tensions Canadians need to wrestle with some challenging questions around the multiplicity of goals for child care, the answers to which will shape the answer to the curriculum question.

17 Does Canada need a national early childhood curriculum framework? Why we need to determine the purpose of Canadas system of Early Learning and Child Care: Impacts training Impacts resources Impacts planning Impacts outcomes

18 Jurisdictional Issues Education is a provincial / territorial responsibility Federal Government role: National Childrens Agenda, National Childrens Benefit, ECD Agreement, Multilateral Framework Agreement on ELCC, Bilateral Agreements Social Union Framework Agreement (SUFA)

19 Jurisdictional Issues National Framework Province / Territory Municipal / School District Program Level

20 What do other countries do? The Social Pedagogy Approach: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Eastern European countries The Infant School Approach: USA, Belgium, France, Ireland, Korea, UK, Mexico, Netherlands

21 Sweden Twin aims: 1. To support parents to combine parenthood with employment or studies 2. To support and encourage childrens development and learning Dual purpose was established in 1970s.

22 Sweden Child care is the cornerstone of Swedish family welfare policy Responsibility transferred to Ministry of Education in 1996 Curriculum is based on a division of responsibility where the state determines overall guidelines and municipalities oversee implementation

23 Sweden National Agency for Education is the supervisory authority Legislation incorporated into the Education Act Act stipulates that municipalities are obliged to provide preschool activity of high quality without unreasonable delay

24 Sweden Based on an overall view of the child's development and learning needs bringing together health care, social care, fostering and teaching. Proper care is seen as a prerequisite if the child is to feel happy and content, which in turn is a prerequisite for its ability to absorb knowledge and to progress in life.

25 Sweden Fundamental Values Democracy forms the foundation Help children acquire the values on which Swedish society is based Care, consideration, justice, equality, rights of the individual Lay the foundations for lifelong learning

26 Sweden Goals and Guidelines Goals specify the orientation of the work of the preschool and thus the desired quality targets Guidelines for the staff in the preschool state the responsibility the work team has in ensuring that work is directed towards the goals of the curriculum

27 Sweden Goals and Guidelines The national curriculum lists goals and guidelines for the following : norms and values (example to follow) development and learning children's own influence cooperation between preschool and home interaction with the preschool class, compulsory school and the leisure-time centre

28 Sweden Example of Norms and Values Goals: The preschool should strive to ensure that each child develops: Openness, respect, solidarity, responsibility Ability to empathise and help others Ability to discover, reflect on… different ethical dilemmas and fundamental questions of life in daily reality Understanding that all persons have equal value independent of gender, social, or ethnic background Respect for all forms of life… care for the surrounding environment

29 Sweden Guidelines: All who work in the preschool should: Show respect for the individual and help in creating a democratic climate in the preschool where a feeling of belonging and responsibility can develop and where children have the opportunity of showing solidarity and Stimulate interaction between children and help them to resolve conflicts, work out misunderstandings, compromise, respect each other

30 Sweden Guidelines: The work team: responsible for ensuring that each childs needs are respected and satisfied and that they are able to experience their own unique value responsible for ensuring that the preschool applies democratic working methods in which the children actively participate Should emphasise and approach the problems involved in ethical dilemmas and questions of life

31 Sweden Guidelines: The work team: should make children aware that people may have different attitudes and values that determine their views and actions Should be responsible for developing norms for the work and their participation in activities for the group of children Should cooperate with the home concerning the childs upbringing and discuss with the parents the rules and attitudes of the preschool

32 Finland u.pdf

33 Australia Similar to Canada in political structure (a federation) Similar in diversity of population and history (Indigenous population / immigration) Government policies support pluralism (multiculturalism)

34 Australia Federal government has a role Early childhood curriculum is determined by each state Example to follow: New South Wales

35 Australia New South Wales Curriculum Framework for Childrens Services The Practice of Relationships: Essential Provisions for Childrens Services dcare_framework.pdf

36 Australia New South Wales Curriculum Framework for Childrens Services This curriculum framework for a childrens service is a foundation out of which come the daily experiences of children, their families and the professionals who work with them. It is not mainly about what professionals in childrens services do or how they go about their practice; rather, most importantly, this curriculum framework is about why: a rationale for practice.

37 Australia New South Wales Curriculum Framework for Childrens Services Structure and Format Consists of four major sections: information about the Framework and the document the Framework itself, the application and implementation of the Framework (the Framework in Practice), and the Rationale paper.

38 Australia New South Wales Curriculum Framework for Childrens Services Explanation of the components: The Framework is a collection of statements which forms a foundation for practice, a rationale for what professionals do in a childrens service.

39 Australia It consists of four core concepts, or overarching understandings that inform desirable practice four major obligations of professionals, which are the aims of practice four essential qualities that professionals must bring to their practice.


41 Australia New South Wales Curriculum Framework for Childrens Services Developed through a long process of community consultation Commitment to working with professionals in existing services to facilitate buy-in and understanding Ongoing professional development Recognition of diversity at program level

42 New Zealand document&documentid=3567&indexid=3612 &indexparentid=1095 Te Whāriki is the Ministry of Education's early childhood curriculum policy statement. Woven Mat

43 New Zealand Te Whāriki is a framework for providing for tamariki/children's early learning and development within a socio-cultural context. Emphasises the learning partnership between kaiako/teachers, parents, whānau/families.

44 New Zealand Kaiako/teachers weave an holistic curriculum in response to tamariki/children's learning and development in the early childhood setting and the wider context of the child's world.

45 New Zealand Bicultural curriculum statement Contains curriculum specifically for Màori immersion services and establishes, throughout the document as a whole, the bicultural nature of curriculum for all early childhood services.

46 New Zealand This curriculum is founded on the following aspirations for children: to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.

47 New Zealand Four broad principles: 1. Empowerment The early childhood curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow. 2. Holistic Development The early childhood curriculum reflects the holistic way children learn and grow.

48 New Zealand 3. Family and Community The wider world of family and community is an integral part of the early childhood curriculum. 4. Relationships Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places, and things.

49 New Zealand Strands and Goals The five strands – and the corresponding goals – arise out of the principles: 1. Well-being 2. Belonging 3. Contribution 4. Communication 5. Exploration

50 New Zealand Goals for Contribution strand: Children experience an environment where: there are equitable opportunities for learning, irrespective of gender, ability, age, ethnicity, or background; they are affirmed as individuals; they are encouraged to learn with and alongside others.


52 Building a Framework for Canada Who should be responsible for developing a framework (what level of government if any)? Of the two main approaches on the continuum (social pedagogy / infant school), where would you like to see a Canadian curriculum framework fall? What are the values of Canadian society that you would like imbedded in an ELCC curriculum? (Reference Swedish goals) How would we promote those values through an ELCC framework? (Reference Swedish guidelines)

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