Category Archives: ECA Year of Play

Playwork at Forrest Out of School Hours Care

In this article, the FOOSHC team discusses the Playwork Principles, which the service has embedded in its practice, resulting in strong developmental outcomes for children and awards for excellence. Image: supplied, FOOSHC Forrest Out of School Hours Care (FOOSHC), rated ‘Excellent’ under the National Quality Standard, is a community-based, not-for-profit service in Canberra run by […]

Intentional teaching leads to purposeful play-based learning

Evidence-based intentional teaching, write Anna Razak and Dr Jen Jackson from the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO), can help educators and teachers progress and support children’s learning. It is also important for educators and teachers to incorporate the intentionality of children and their families into their planning for children’s learning. Intentional teaching is an important […]

Play in the Home: Why it’s essential for early childhood development

This article appeared in Every Child magazine Vol. 28, No.2, 2022  The home offers rich and authentic opportunities for play-based learning, Joanne Grimmond observes. Children’s formative experiences of play in the home lay the foundation for their later learning, and digital platforms, such as the new Play and Learn Together web-based resource, can be used to […]

Block play as an enduring, powerful toy  

Associate Professor Kym Simoncini shares research and findings ahead of her masterclass ‘STEM in the early years: We can all do STEM’ at the ECA National Conference from 5-8 October 2022.  If you’re interested in seeing Kym present as part of the conference program, you can purchase a virtual ticket.   The image was sourced from iStock. […]

Music education and play-based learning

Image provided by author, Amy Rothe. Australian early learning settings follow a play-based pedagogy, in line with the emphasis placed on play in the national frameworks. Music is not a core part of this pedagogy, perhaps because of the perception that music education is about rote instruction, practising scales and reading notation—compared to play-based learning, […]

Leading play-based pedagogies

In this article, Lennie Barblett, Sandra Cheeseman and Catharine Hydon emphasise children’s right to learn through play no matter the age. Additionally, they suggest that all educators lead and be articulate in their advocacy of play-based pedagogies for children’s learning, development and wellbeing. At the 2021 Early Childhood Australia National Conference, we spoke about leading […]

Using evidence to improve children’s outcomes

Written by Zid Mancenido, Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation and Amie Fabry, Senior Researcher at the Australian Education Research Organisation. Hensman Street Elementary in Perth is looking into research on play and inquiry. ‘Our observations, videos, photographs and records tell us how our children are engaging in learning and interacting with peers, the environment and our […]

Finding the balance: Play-based learning and intentional teaching

A play-framework for play-based learning and intentional teaching in early childhood education Balancing open-ended play and intentional teaching in early childhood education can be difficult. Open-ended play can appear to be at odds with intentional teaching. Open-ended play provides children with important opportunities for exploring materials and experimenting with ideas. Intentional teaching considers the role […]

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