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Transcript of Ethical Scenario
The centre at which I am the director, is currently
reviewing our outdoor area
as we have recently
received a grant
from our local council to be used to upgrade play equipment or some other aspect of the outdoor play space.
Two members of staff are passionate about
and very keen that we try to create
connections with the real world
–engaging with nature, mud, dirt, with living creatures, and opportunity to use real tools in gardening and woodwork.
Other staff members who voiced opinions were
; they felt the indoor environment was a much more important “learning space” and felt those sorts of ideas were “asking for trouble” –
too many risks involved.
Meanwhile, the executive group of our
have their eye on two large climbing structures and consider that would be much better use of the available funds.
When I suggested that it would be worth consulting the
about plans, there was a very
Have you ever been is this situation or a similar one?
Using the grant to renovate and update the outdoor
environment to meet NQS & EYLF
Managing risk before it becomes a hazard
Raising money to buy resources to improve the indoor environment
4. Involving the community in gaining resources
Using outdoor resources for indoor learning experiences
Designing outdoor environment from sustainable resources
. Using observations to gain children's interests
Using the ethical response cycle
Maintaining informed opinion between staff parents and
families on the benefits of outdoor play
Courtney, Rebecca, Ashlie, Sarah & Sheri
ECA Code of Ethics
Early Years Learning Framework
Guiding Principles of Best Practice
Creating and sustaining a culture of inquiry
Developing a meaningful curriculum
Linking beliefs and theoretical perspectives with practice
Partnerships with families and the community
Learning through play
- An approved learning framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child’s learning and development.
Each child is protected
Received the grant from local council
Role is to
amongst other stakeholders and implement best practice within the center
of all stakeholders
Aware that the resources available within the outdoor area is not meeting the NQS.
Centers philosophy has strong links with the EYLF where they believe in
"encouraging children to explore, problem solve, create and construct".
Must also consider the needs and opinions of staff working with younger children in the center
They believe resources for indoor play are not up to standard
Parent committee is advocating for 2 large climbing structures - but may be too risky
In order to make an ethical decision the director must look at current research and principles of best practice.
Two members of the staff
passionate about sustainability
& believe its important to make connections with the real world
Other members of staff are not supportive of this type of learning and are disappointing with this position. They feel that a rich indoor learning environment is much more important
If the money goes towards the indoor environment this would mean that the outdoor environment would remain below the NQS. This resulting in disadvantaging both staff and children as thy will not be able to access rich learning experiences in the outdoor environment
Families & Community
Within the center there is an
established parent committee
Want 2 large climbing structures
for the outdoor environment - whilst this will enhance children's gross motor and coordination skills, it will not cater for children's holistic development
centers philosophy reflects on elements of sustainability
where children are able to discover, create, improvise and imagine
The local community is an important stakeholder in this position - stakeholders within the community
hold rich knowledge, skills and potential resources
The benefit of involving the community in decision making for the center allows children to develop connections and sense of belonging
They are a clear stakeholder in this decision as the outcome has the potential to impact on their growth and development in;
social, emotional, physical, cognitive and spiritual domains
The EYLF educators guide highlights that play begins with reflexive action and exploration of their immediate world using their senses
Through sensory and embodiment play children's development of body, self, their risk taking and their confidence to explore and make choices is strengthened
This emphasises the importance of access to a range of sustainable resources to encourage experimentation and problem solving
Staffing arrangements enhance children’s learning and development and ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Each child is supported to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships with other children and adults.
Respectful and supportive relationships with families are developed and maintained.
Families are supported in their parenting role and their values and beliefs about child rearing are respected.
There is a commitment to continuous improvement.
National Quality Standards
I. In relation to children, I will:
Act in the best interests of all children.
Create and maintain safe, healthy environments, spaces and places, which enhance children’s learning, development, engagement, initiative, self-worth, dignity and show respect for their contributions.
Honour children’s right to play, as both a process and context for learning.
II. In relation to families, I will:
Listen to and learn from families, in order to acknowledge and build upon their strengths and competencies, and support them in their role of nurturing children.
Assist each family to develop a sense of belonging and inclusion.
Develop partnerships with families and engage in shared decision making where appropriate.
IV. In relation to communities, I will:
Utilise knowledge and research to advocate for universal access to a range of high-quality early childhood programs for all children
The environment is inclusive, promotes competence, independent exploration and learning through play.
The service takes an active role in caring for its environment and contributes to a sustainable future.
Recognise children as
from birth, full of curiosity and imagination, and having the potential and desire to
find connections and meaning in all they experience.
Ability to reflect upon and contribute to their own learning through their many languages of expression and communication.
ll children have a right to be heard, to be respected, and to feel a sense of belonging to their family, school and community
Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (2011)
Learning as a social process & a major influence in childrens cognitive development
Social interaction guides learning with the Zone of Proximal Development as children engage to co-construct learning
The environment in which children are surrounded in will influence how children think and what they think about
White, Hayes & Livesey (2010)
White, F., Hayes, B. & Livesey D. (2010).
Developmental psychology from infancy to adulthood
. (2nd ed.) Frenchs forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia
Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (2011). Our vision and mission. Retrieved November 6th, 2014 from http://www.reaie.org.au/our-vision-and-mission
Outdoor play - Does avoiding the risks reduce the benefits?
Outdoor play provides open-ended, dynamic, varied opportunities which are unpredictable and at times risky.
Risks and challenges of being outdoors provide rich opportunities for learning, problem-solving and developing social competence.
Children are more likely to develop responsible attitudes toward risk if they have experience dealing with risky situations
Little & Wyver, 2008
Little, H., & Wyver, S. (2008). Outdoor play does avoiding the risks reduce the benefits?
Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 33
(2), 33-40. Retrieved from http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/AJEC0802.pdf
Children have a strong sense of identity
Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Children are confident and involved learners
Children are effective communicators
Brainstorm possible implications for you solutions!
Making an ethical decision
What needs to be considered:
Providing children with the best opportunities
Building and maintaining respectful relationships with all stakeholders
Encouraging different perspectives and views to be implemented within the philosophy and throughout practices of the centre
Involving the children in the decision making process
National Quality Standard 3.3
requires the service to take an active role in caring for its environment and contribute to a sustainable future.
What will provide the children with the best learning opportunities?
Support the needs of children by providing:
Within an early childhood setting include:
Rarely cater for all age groups
Promotes physical development
Involves risky play
Children develop skills such as:
The ability to recognise risks
Skills to manage risks
They begin to use their own initiative
Allows them to continually test the limits of their physical, intellectual and emotional development
Protecting the relationships with all stakeholders
The director need to ensure:
Decision making is based on policies, procedures and professional knowledge
Provide reasoning for the decision
Positives of parent and familiy teacher relationship
Improved academic achievement
Children have increased motivation to learn, positive behaviors, and attitude towards the centre.
Allows educators to gain knowledge about children's home life and the opportunity to implement and cater for the children's needs.
Negatives of involving all stakeholders:
To many opinions
They are not educated in children's services
They only have the best interest for their child not the centre or other children
If not listened to may resent the centre, creating a negative environment.
Reflection on and gathering information from:
Relevant regulations, legislation and standards
Changes in the philosophy, program and practices to cater for different views.
Different views and opinions on improving the centre
Involving the preschoolers in decision making
• Consideration to the affect on the relationship with staff and parents
• The EYLF states that's children need to be involved within the decision making process and educators need to value their decisions.
Provides children with opportunity to have a say and be listened to
Understanding the issues that affect them
Learn new skills
Develop a closer connection with their community
The centre will better reflect the children's needs
Their decisions will more likely support a larger amount of EYLF outcomes
It could affect the relationship with parents and staff
They could feel like they were not listened to if their ideas where not the final decision.
Ultimately affecting their confidence and their connection with their world and feeling like they do not have a say.
Provides hands on experiences for children
Children's learning is connected to the real world
Code of Conduct
states that our decisions and actions have regard for the wellbeing of people and the environment, both now and for the future.
- Outcome 2 refers to children becoming socially responsible and showing respect for the environment.
Incorporating aspects of the community within the decision making process to:
Ensure all programs and services are in consultation with the Aboriginal community
Respecting cultural protocols
Collaboration between a centre and community services also enables them to release and share information about a child in order to develop a comprehensive view on a particular situation and to make informed decisions.
Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (2009). Belonging, being and becoming - The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Canberra, Australia: Author.
Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) National Quality Framework. Retrieved from http://www.acecqa.gov.au/
National Quality Standards
(Sustainability Education for Childcare Centres
In Your Childcare Centre, 2009)
New South Wales Goverment (2009)Sustainability Education for Childcare Centres
In Your Childcare Centre. Retrieved from http://www2.canterbury.nsw.gov.au/LittleGreenSteps/little-green-steps-report.pdf
Editorial. (2008). The concept of risky play. Retrieved from http://www.earlyyears.sa.edu.au/files/links/Children_s_Risky_Play.pdf
Kids Matter: Australian Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative. (2010). Building relationships with families and early childhood staff. Retrieved from http://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/sites/default/files/public/KMEC_C4_201205_03_building-partnerships.pdf
(Kids Matter, 2010)
(Commissioner For Children Tasmania, 2013)
Commissioner for Children Tasmania. (2013). Involving children in decision making. Retreived from http://www.childcomm.tas.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Guide-to-making-decisions-booklet.pdf