Category Archives: Opinion pieces

Needs and rights

The concept of needs is no longer part of the early childhood discourse. The EYLF (Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009) focuses on a strengths-based perspective, positioning children as active participants who are entitled to respect and agency. In the latest Every Child Julie Rutups (2015) argued that in building on children’s strengths […]

Babies and bathwater

Some educational authorities have taken the word ‘needs’ out of planning and assessment guidelines, at least in headings, focusing only on strengths and abilities. Clearly it is important for educators to plan and work with children’s strengths and abilities. The question for me is whether it helps children to do this at the expense of […]

Needs to know

Where do ‘children’s needs’ fit into current thinking about planning and assessment for young children? In a conversation with a colleague recently, the discussion focused on children’s needs and how they fit into the current perspective of early childhood education, viewing children as capable and having rights. For my colleague, the concern was that ‘children’s […]

Can inclusive education do more harm than good?

Recently, a teacher expressed his misgivings about the “inclusion at all costs” ideology of modern education. Despite being well supported by his school and hugely in favour of inclusive practice, he outlined his difficulties in managing a young fellow with Down Syndrome whose behaviour in the classroom was extremely difficult, and increasingly dangerous. This resulted […]

Educators of change

Child care is a topic at the forefront of much discussion. From politicians to internet commentators, seemingly everyone has an opinion on child care in Australia at the moment. This media of late should have been an excellent opportunity to share information with parents and the wider community on the advances made in the early […]

‘Gentle parenting’ explainer: no rewards, no punishments, no misbehaving kids

In a piece in The Conversation, Bernadette Saunders described positive discipline. Parents who practise positive discipline or gentle parenting use neither rewards nor punishments to encourage their children to behave. By “no rewards” I mean they don’t use charts or “bribes” such as lollies or toys. Many don’t even say “good girl/boy” or “good job”. […]

Educators are feeling time poor

Educators are feeling time poor, overworked and stressed.  This is the finding of repeated studies in Australia and overseas. Workload intensification is motivating many educators to make a career change or take early retirement. A Monash University study claimed even early career educators are at risk of burnout. Headlines in various media sources have described the current state […]

Blokes can do it as well

It is essential for children to have both men and women working together in their care and education. Men have something to offer that is different to what females have to offer. Both men and women together can make fundamental contributions to the care and education of young children. However, there is still a long […]

Celtic Country

A lesson on seeing something through the eyes of another. I had travelled past the Celtic Country sign many times as I returned from TAFE residential in Armidale. I had looked at the sign with interest; it is spectacular as it stands proudly on massive stone pillars on the rise of a hill as you enter […]

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