Monash University, Australia
La Trobe University, Australia
Griffith University, Australia
A unique and innovative project undertaken by academics at three Australian tertiary institutions- Griffith University, La Trobe University and Deakin University is explored in this presentation. Each institution delivers early childhood pre-service teacher education programs that are approved by state teacher registration bodies (Queensland and Victoria) and the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), providing a context for the study. The project was funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching and aimed to explicitly use purpose-made digital vignette created to capture authentic and real life learning situations of infants and toddlers in learning environments. The digital artifacts along with scaffolded theoretical and practical pedagogical text and activities are presented on a secure website which is accessible to pre-service teachers. In addressing concerns about the minimal quantam of Australian resources in this area and needs within teacher education as well as the national Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (DEEWR, 2009), the project has been generated to assist early childhood pre-service teachers to engage with and critically reflect on key pedagogical understandings associated with teaching of this age range of children. In order to gain insight into the benefits or areas of improvement of the resource, a survey was conducted to explore the impacts of the resource on personal understanding of children aged birth to three years and the role of educators with very young children. This presentation shares findings from the year-long study along with future recommendations for encouraging pre-service teachers to consider future pathways of employment in the birth to three year old age range.
This showcase aligns with the theme of preparing graduates for a globalized world and the specific question of "How to work with students to build an inclusive and culturally diverse learning environment to maximize students' development?" The presentation will share the use of video to develop a community of learners online and discuss how videos and appropriate reflective activities can allow students to enhance and improve their understanding of early childhood teacher education. The students have a better understanding of the working context and are able to relate the real world contexts. The project offers an alternative reflective practice model where by video scaffolds metacognitive thinking connected to being an early childhood teacher.