EDEC110: An essay describing and reflecting on the diversity of families and the characteristics of effective partnerships, and discussing the challenges: The Young Child, Family and Community Partnerships Essay, ACU, Australia

University Australian Catholic University ACU
Subject EDEC110:The Young Child Family and Community Partnerships

Essay

An essay describing and reflecting on the diversity of families and the characteristics of effective partnerships, and discussing the challenges and rewards and strategies when developing and maintaining partnerships with families, communities, and professionals. The essay will also reflect on the benefits of forming these partnerships.

Annotated resource folio (2000-word equivalent; weighting: 40%)

Create a resource collection of considered and varied resources that you would use to support families in relation to daily issues that impact parenting and the child’s wellbeing, including where a child may be at risk of harm.

Write a brief report referring to relevant literature and explaining how the resources will be used in your role as an advocate for child

wellbeing, development, and learning and for parenting support and family wellbeing.

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What does quality teaching look like in an early childhood classroom? Twenty-five years ago, it was providing a safe place for children to play, with stimulating materials and books to read. Today, we have provided those basics in most early childhood classrooms, and our focus has shifted to the hows of quality— how teachers interact with children, how they use time and materials to get the most out of every moment, and how they ensure that children are engaged and stimulated.

Our focus has shifted to the HOWs of quality

Imagine two classrooms down the hall from each other, both with high-quality resources and materials. In the classroom with more effective interactions, the teachers are actively engaged with the children—being a “challenging customer” in the children’s pretend restaurant, encouraging children in the paint area to experiment with mixing colors, and helping a child brainstorm what to do while waiting for his turn on the computer.

The children respond with deep engagement and eagerness to contribute their own ideas, and these everyday activities challenge them to engage in social problem solving, create and test hypotheses about the physical world, and learn to

regulate their behavior. In the less effective classroom, the teachers sit close to the children but take a less active role. Children are comfortable involving them in play, but the teachers miss opportunities to take interactions deeper. Some children pull basket after basket off the shelves, playing with each activity for a minute or two before moving on to the next. Others hover at the edges, not sure what to do. In between brief conversations with children,
the teachers discuss their plans for the rest of the school day. The children are safe and comfortable but do not stay engaged with activities for long and seem to wander from one thing to the next.

Teachers face enormous distractions with paperwork, routine care, and packed schedules. But some teachers manage to cut through these distractions to truly connect with children, and research shows that these teachers have significant and lasting effects on outcomes

Early Childhood: Ages 3 through 8

The conceptual and theoretical bases for the CLASS framework were initially developed as part of the landmark NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD),

which followed over 1,300 children born in 1991 from birth through high school. The Classroom Observation Record, a precursor to the CLASS tool that was used in the SECCYD study, demonstrated that:

• In first grade, more effective emotional and instructional support were associated with students’ higher engagement in academic activities, more positive behavior with peers, and less negative behavior with teachers and peers. 2

• First-grade children identified as at risk for school failure had similar achievement to their not-at-risk peers when their first-grade classrooms provided high levels of emotional and instructional support. 3

• From kindergarten to fifth grade, students who made more rapid progress in reading and math was more likely to be in classes with emotionally supportive teacher-child interactions.

The CLASS tool in its current form was developed and validated in a large-scale study of state-funded preschool programs that was conducted in 11 states, involving 671 classrooms with over 2,400 children who were followed into kindergarten. This study demonstrated that effective Instructional Support was associated with greater preschool gains in receptive vocabulary,
expressive vocabulary, rhyming skills, letter naming, and math skills. Effective Emotional Support was associated with gains in social competence and decreases in problem behaviors.

The Early Years: Birth to Age Three

Although more and more infants and toddlers spend time in nonparental care, access to high-quality care environments is limited. 7 Effective teacher-child interactions that are warm and stimulating are a key component of quality in early care settings. Research suggests that these types of interactions provide a foundation for young children’s cognitive and social-emotional development. 8

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