The Educators’ Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework recommends that educators use the cycle of planning to support children’s continual learning and introduce meaningful learning opportunities. The following article provides the steps in the planning cycle.
Information Gathering – Since teachers create learning opportunities by challenging and extending a child’s current learning, an educator must first gather evidence of the child’s present level of development. Thus this phase of the planning cycle involves observing and meaningfully documenting knowledge of the child’s current learning.
Questioning - Going over all the evidence gathered helps teachers to examine which parts of the pedagogy or practice can be refined, changed or introduced in future lessons or learner groups. This is best done through reflective questions like:
- How does this documentation demonstrate what each child has been learning over this period of time?
- In what ways does the documentation depict the assessment of each child’s learning progress?
- How is each child’s participation in the program recorded in the documentation?
- How does documentation support quality outcomes for families?
- In what ways am I using the documentation to shape the educational program?
- How does the documentation identify children who may need additional support?
Additionally, educators should also reflect on documentation processes like taking photos or video recordings to see if they are hindering the daily positive interactions between learners and teachers or if such processes are impinging on the privacy rights of the child.
Planning – once reflective questions have helped educators to get clarity on the purpose, use and processes of documentation, it is time to plan how the curriculum content, strategies or environment can be changed, refined or extended. Planning also covers thinking up effective ways to monitor and assess children’s learning as well as to providing necessary support to children with additional needs or assisting families to access specialist help. In all these educators are best guided by the practices, principles and learning outcomes listed in the approved frameworks.
Acting – this phase involves putting plans of the previous phase into action by setting goals and facilitating experiences, interactions and environments to meet the learning outcomes of the children.
Reflecting – the planning cycle closes with a critical examining whether the recently implemented teaching strategies were able to meet the new or updated goals – if no, then why not and if yes, then how they can extend further based on the principles of approved learning frameworks.
The Planning Cycle To Document Children's Learning - The following article provides information on the Role Of Documentation In The Planning Cycle, The Purpose Of The Panning Cycle, What Should Inform The Planning Cycle and more.
Unpacking The Cycle Of Planning, ACECQA
Cycle Of Planning, We Hear You, ACECQA