Illustrations of Early Childhood Teacher Practice
Our newest group of VIT registrants are teachers in early childhood services. For the first time early childhood teachers will be required to reference the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) when they complete their registration requirements. The APST articulate teacher practice and make explicit what teachers should know and are able to do at all stages of their teaching career.
As with other registered teachers, VIT assists early childhood teachers (ECTs) to understand the standard of practice that meets or maintains the APST. Visiting learning environments and observing ECTs at work is a great way to see what meeting the standards looks like. However, such opportunities are often not available to ECTs. This is why VIT has expanded the number of Illustrations of Practice in early childhood settings that can be viewed on the AITSL website.
Six Illustrations of Practice referencing kindergarten teaching in early childhood services have been produced through a partnership between VIT and the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).
Together, we would like to thank Selandra Kindergarten, Warracknabeal Memorial Kindergarten, Clarendon Children’s Centre and Denzil Don Kindergarten for allowing us to film in their setting and the early childhood teachers who consented to having their practice filmed. Not all are recorded in the final illustrations, but their generosity is gratefully acknowledged.
What are ‘Illustrations of Practice’?
Illustrations of Practice are designed to capture authentic teaching practice aligned to the APST at the Proficient Teacher level. They are aligned to relevant standards and are accompanied by information about the learning and school context. Discussion questions are also provided for each Illustration.
Six Illustrations of Practice
The six Illustrations of Practice developed can be found on the AITSL website.
Dinosaurs Roar! APST 2.1
In this Illustration, Hebba describes her process for expanding and exploring children's interests using the ongoing cycle of planning. Drawing on the children's interest in the topic, she plans activities to engage them in understanding key concepts related to their interest areas and guided by children's questions. She describes strategies around how she uses a variety of questioning styles to understand what the children already knew and what else they wanted to know about the topic. She engages individual children and groups in active discussion to understand, explore and extend learning.
Ongoing informal assessment APST 5.1, 5.5
One of a team of teachers, Debbie works with an individual child to review his understanding of the life cycle of butterflies and to identify his learning needs. She describes a range of assessment strategies she uses with her colleagues including discussions with children, observation, and photographing children's work. She also explains how the teachers document each child's 'learning journey', as an example of one of their approaches used to report to children's families or carers.
How many syllables in hippopotamus? APST 2.5, 2.1
In this Illustration, Glenda explains her process for developing a love of literacy in her kindergarten classroom. She shares examples of ways that she builds upon children's learning to advance literacy skills over the course of the year. Glenda uses multiple strategies to help young learners make connections between the written word, oral language and pictures. She highlights the importance of a child's voice as a fundamental element in developing their literacy foundation
Looking for ways to improve literacy outcomes in the local rural community, Glenda identified an opportunity for increased community engagement. In this Illustration, Glenda explains a training program that has been implemented with the local secondary school to engage secondary students in the kindergarten classroom. Glenda shares the guidance that is provided to the secondary students to enhance their work interaction with the children. The secondary students engage the young learners through reading and play to encourage a positive literacy experience.
Setting expectations for using ICT APST 2.6, 4.5
The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) requires a well-thought approach and in this Illustration, Mel, the four year old kindergarten teacher, explains how she effectively integrates ICT into her program. Mel demonstrates a practical approach to introduce young learners to using a shared iPad, setting clear and shared expectations that help to manage the children's behaviour.
In this Illustration, four year old kindergarten teacher Mel, works closely with one child with a hearing device to support her literacy achievement. Mel describes her approach to support the success of children with disability in her program and shares examples of strategies to establish a work space in which the children with disability can be successful. She also describes how she works with the parents of children with disability to ensure their well-being and development.
How can I use the Illustrations of Practice?
You can use them as an individual, a team, or a leader to:
- Become familiar with or to better understand the APST.
- See examples of practice aligned to each of the seven standards.
- Understand how individual standards might be demonstrated or evidenced through practice.
- Locate your own practice within the standards.
- Discuss and debate teaching practice within your teaching context.
- Inform discussions on professional learning and development.
The Illustrations can be used to support the development of registered ECTs as well as to support provisionally registered ECTs and their mentors to unpack and discuss the Standards. They are not prescriptive or exhaustive.
More Illustrations of Practice for early childhood teachers can be found on the AITSL website.