Impact Of An Educator On Sustaining And Enhancing A Child’s Learning And Development

2941 words - 12 pages

Educators have long been accountable for their student’s ongoing learning and development. The way in which an educator views both their students and their profession, will determine the way they perceive their pedagogical role in sustaining children’s learning and development. Given Australia’s focus on standardised testing in recent years, educators and society have become consumed by these results rather focusing on the process and personal needs of children’s development (Lingard 2010). In exploring the child-centred, constructive approach evident throughout Finnish educational frameworks, Australian educators can adapt these facilitative methods within their own pedagogy to ensure that the child, and society, equally benefit from the child’s overall development throughout their early childhood years.

Education as a vocation is ever changing and evolving. There are no cases where a situation surrounding the learning or development of a child can be viewed in black and white or any teaching methods or techniques that can be immediately regarded as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, rather educators need to be prepared “for different learners within the framework of research-based learning” (Tryggvason 2009). Given the vocation’s fluidity, world-wide value and perceived necessity, many educators in the field come from a variety of backgrounds. Whether they vary by cultural, socioeconomic, or personal philosophies the factors that contribute to an individual’s perspective surrounding the field are endless (Tryggvason 2009; Dockett & Fleer 1998). This idea has been represented in a variety of ways across the academic field, whether they are specific, such as an educator’s attitude towards a particular subject based on the way in which they were taught as a student (Holm & Kajander 2012) or more holistic, such as the seemingly simple idea of how educators view children (Woodrow & Press 2007; Woodrow 1999).

Leading back to Woodrow’s (1999) idea of the ‘three dominate perceptions’ of children as ‘the innocent’, ‘the threat/monster’ and the ‘embryo adult’, we can see that these expressions are in fact still a large influence on our perception of children in both past and present societies, today. Consequently, it cannot be ignored that the way an educator perceives their role, not only within the classroom but through the entirety of their vocation, is influenced and dependent on their personal beliefs and perceptions of children (Woodrow & Press 2007; Tryggvason 2009). Although all three of these views still contribute, in varying ways, to society’s perceptions of children today, the most dominant and prevalent as indicated by the Australian education frameworks (DEEWR 2009; ACARA 2013), is the child as ‘the embryo adult’ (Woodrow 1999). Despite the emphasis on play and child-initiated learning, the key ideas of ‘belonging, being and becoming’ within the Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR 2009) have often been interpreted through the mindset and view...

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