Practice

The principles of the EYLF inform the way in which teachers draw on a repertoire of pedagogical practices to extend and enrich children's learning. Each practice can be found in the EYLF (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009, pp. 14-18).

The eight Practices are:

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Holistic approaches pay attention to children's physical, personal, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well as cognitive aspects of learning. Learning is seen as a social endeavour that is integrated and interconnected.

Educators are attuned and responsive to children in their setting. They build trust, share decisions and learn together with children. Learning relationships are strengthened when educators include children's ideas, interests and capabilities.

Play shapes the architecture of the brain and provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, experiment, theorise, predict, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play can motivate and enhance a child's desire to know and to learn. Play-based learning is a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations.

Intentional teaching is purposeful, deliberate and thoughtful. It is planned and emergent. It promotes children's learning through worthwhile and challenging experiences and interactions that foster high-level thinking skills. Educators plan opportunities to teach, document, monitor, assess and reflect on children's learning.

The learning environment, both indoor and outdoor, plays a crucial role in the way young children develop and learn. Environments for learning are flexible spaces that are inviting and nurturing, and foster children's sense of belonging, being and becoming.

Educators who are culturally competent respect multiple cultural ways of knowing, seeing and doing. They understand that cultural competence is more than being culturally aware and seek to build cultural competence in all that they do.

Educators understand the importance of continuity in learning as they build on children's prior and current experiences. They work with families and colleagues to assist children in making successful transitions within and across early learning contexts, the school and beyond.

Assessment for learning processes gather information about what children know, can do and understand. Educators use this information in the cycle of curriculum decisions. Educators plan, teach, enact, monitor, evaluate and reflect on children's individual and group/shared learning.