Listening and negotiation


Planned learning

Educators focus on the following aspects of children’s learning:

  • Ways to respond positively and show respect for the connections, similarities and differences among people.
  • Awareness of their own and other cultures, including their right to belong to many communities.
  • An understanding of the diversity of cultures, heritages, family structures, capabilities, backgrounds and traditions of the world they live in.
  • Respect and value for the ideas, feelings, needs and opinions of others.
  • Active engagement with a range of people, groups and communities.
  • An ability to recognise fairness and the capacity to show concern for others.
  • Awareness of bias and stereotypes and the ways in which people are included or excluded.


Educators intentionally promote this learning, for example, when they:

  • Use conversation, role play, puppets, music, dance and stories to explore feelings and different perspectives and ideas with children.
  • Encourage children to listen to others and to respect diverse perspectives, for example, when engaging children in planning and decision-making about group experiences and their learning environment.
  • Plan for enjoyable small group experiences and supporting children when they work together, for example, ‘let’s pack this up together’.
  • Model language to support children’s attempts at listening and negotiating, for example, ‘it’s time to listen now’.
  • Provide many opportunities for children to assume different social roles in group activities, for example, as initiators, facilitators, negotiators, organisers, observers and listeners.
  • Investigate different communities and cultural groups using books, stories, music, special events and technology as stimulation.
  • Expose children to resources that broaden their appreciation of diversity, for example, artefacts, dance, music, languages and dialects, stories, art and craft of other cultures.
  • Initiate discussions with children about being fair and equitable.
  • Model ways to challenge representations of people in stereotypical ways.
  • Draw children’s attention to diverse ways of doing and being, including family structures, roles in communities, religions, practices, capabilities and talents.

Documenting and reflecting

In the familiar contexts of family and community when children:

  • spend significant amounts of time with a range of people other than the immediate family
  • show they have a strong sense of community and understanding of extended family
  • willingly share food, toys and other possessions and demonstrate a strong understanding of togetherness and a sense of fairness
  • implement some gender-specific roles and show awareness that there are cultural differences in activities according to sex
  • provide assistance to peers and affection and nurturing to those younger than themselves.

In new and unfamiliar contexts of an early learning program when children:

  • prefer to take on the role of observer and listener
  • watch and listen as others share examples of different communities and cultural groups, for example, music, dance, stories, languages
  • watch and listen as educators use conversation, puppets, music, dance and stories to explore feelings and different perspectives
  • seek encouragement to engage with the artefacts, arts and crafts, languages, stories, dance, food of their own and other cultures
  • prefer to listen in group discussions about ‘being fair’.

In the familiar contexts of a culturally secure early learning program when children:

  • cooperate and negotiate with others during play and group experiences
  • notice and respond positively to similarities and differences among people, for example, family structures, gender, talents and abilities
  • demonstrate a broadening understanding of the diversity of culture, heritage, background and tradition
  • listen to others’ ideas and respect different viewpoints
  • demonstrate an awareness of inclusiveness by supporting others to participate in play and group experiences
  • express their own ideas and opinions about ‘being fair’
  • notice and respond to unfairness and bias in positive ways, for example, ‘we can all play here’.


Last updated 01 June 2022