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Assignment 2

2221 words - 9 pages

1) Identify and describe the influences and discourses surrounding the development of each curriculum statement.

• Australia – the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014) and EYLF (DEEWR, 2009)
In 2008, Australia saw its educational framework altered and transformed by the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA, 2008). With its two underpinning goals (MCEETYA, 2008): 1) “Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence” and 2) “All young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens” - the declaration’s aesthetically pleasing language and presentation seemingly promised a more personalised ...view middle of the document...

Despite some improvement, early childhood education is still largely viewed as ‘babysitting’ where educators simply attend to children’s basic needs and supervise ‘play’ – a concept that many still believe has no academic value, but is rather a fun past-time of being a child (Keeley, 2007; Nutbrown, Clough & Selbie, 2008; Sumsion et al, 2009) . This is reiterated by the fact that under 30% of Australian children participated in the preschool sector in 2008, as well as educators low pay rates, lack of funding to the sector and the constant barrage of academic articles consistently reaffirming early childhood education’s worth (Albon, 2011; Keeley, 2007; Zajda, Davies & Majhanovich 2008). In spite of consistent beliefs that the EYLF (DEEWR, 2009) learning outcomes and Australian Curriculum general capabilities (ACARA, 2014) complement one another, the emphasis on meeting and recognising children’s individual and diverse learning needs have become neglected in exchange for the popularity of standardised testing (NAPLAN) (ACARA, 2014; Connor, 2011; Klenowski & Wyatt-Smith, 2011; Reid, 2009). Consequently, the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014) has mirrored British education models by placing utmost importance on assessing the ‘essential twenty-first century skills’ of literacy and numeracy, ultimately, adopting a ‘social efficiency’ approach with its focus on producing ‘socially ideal’ ‘active and informed’ members of society as opposed to promoting the personal growth of individual citizens (ACARA, 2014; Klenowski & Wyatt-Smith, 2011; Lingard, 2010; MCEETYA, 2008; Reid, 2009; Schiro 2013).

• Sweden - Läroplan för Förskolan [Curriculum for Preschool] (Skolverket, 2010)
Similarly to Australia’s child care and kindergarten history, Swedish preschools were set up due to mothers having to work during the Industrialisation period, meaning children were left unattended at home (Engdahl, 2004; Nutbrown, Clough & Selbie, 2008). The first preschools were established in the mid-19th century in Stockholm and other large cities by philanthropists and representatives from religious associations (Engdahl, 2004). In terms of theoretical underpinnings, the preschools gained inspiration from theorists such as Friedrich Froebel, Rudolf Steiner and Maria Montessori – all of whose influence can be seen in the contemporary preschool framework today (Engdahl, 2004; Nutbrown, Clough & Selbie, 2008). During this period two types of preschool formed, 1) full-time day care - children from three months to seven years were cared for whilst their mothers worked, whilst educators combined both caring and nurturing with play and learning and 2) part-time kindergarten – for children from three to seven years of age, which provided care that had a focal point on education and children’s need to learn through play (Engdahl, 2004). In 1975 the Preschool Act was introduced, defining the overall concept of preschool and the notion of ‘EDUCARE’ – combining education and care by...

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