Educators focus on the following aspects of children’s learning:
- Pride and confidence in their competence and capability.
- Confidence in making choices and decisions.
- Confidence to share experiences, feelings and ideas.
- Confidence in approaching tasks, people and situations.
- Courage and resilience to cope with challenge and manage change.
- Confidence to try new and challenging tasks.
- Motivation and readiness to persevere when faced with the new and unfamiliar.
- Enjoyment in sharing successes and achievements.
Educators intentionally promote this learning, for example, when they:
- engage actively with children in their play, allowing the time and space to complete tasks, and supporting and extending their attempts to make choices
- acknowledge children’s achievements and make suggestions that build on their ideas
- ensure all children experience daily and frequent opportunities for success
- encourage children to persevere at challenging tasks, for example, ‘let’s try it this way’, 'we can do it together’, ‘would you like me to help?’, ‘let’s see if we can find someone to help’
- model strategies for success, for example, how to plan tasks to completion or how to seek assistance from others
- make connections with prior, present and future learning, for example, ‘can you remember when ...?’, ‘we could finish this tomorrow’, ‘I wonder if we could do this in another way?’
- share the decision-making process with children, for example, ‘can you think of another way?’, ‘that’s a great idea’, ‘how would you like me to help?’
- value each child’s attempts at personal decision-making, for example, ‘wow, look how hard you tried’
- celebrate and share children’s successes with peers and families, for example, respectful display of children’s artwork and constructions
- respond sensitively to children’s emotional states, for example, ‘it’s OK, we can try again later’, ‘let’s go slowly’, ‘would you like me to hold your hand while you try?’
- design an environment that enables children to make choices and decisions about their play and resources.
Documenting and reflecting
Educators look for evidence of children’s learning. Examples are listed below.
In the familiar contexts of family and community when children:
- show self-reliance and the ability to make decisions for themselves
- regulate certain aspects of their own lives, including when to eat, what to wear, and about when and where to sleep
- show that they are naturally observant and practically competent
- adapt readily to new circumstances
- seek help from peers as much as from adults
- show caution in tackling new tasks
- confidently explore their environment, take considered risks and accept challenges.
In new and unfamiliar contexts of an early learning program when children:
- seek close proximity to parent and familiar educators
- spend a long time on activities that relate to prior knowledge
- prefer to watch before gradually having a go in their own time
- prefer to remain in familiar play areas, to be by themselves or play with familiar equipment and resources
- locate, select and manage resources for play, with assistance
- appear cautious when the room is rearranged or unfamiliar adults are in the room
- seek reassurance and support from a familiar adult when entering or leaving the kindergarten environment.
In the familiar contexts of a culturally secure early learning program when children:
- confidently explore the environment and engage with others across a range of learning contexts
- approach tasks with curiosity, confidence and motivation
- carry out tasks, or help others to do so, by planning, gathering resources and persevering
- repeat, revisit and add to projects or experiences they have initiated
- persist when faced with a challenge
- manage change and cope with frustrations and the unexpected
- attempt to complete new or challenging experiences before seeking help
- share with others how they completed tasks and respond positively to encouragement from others.