Brave New World (1)
Today is the day. January 1 2012.
All those new regulations and frameworks and systems of inspection and fines and ratios come into effect today. Australia is undergoing a revolution in the regulation of early childhood education, and this is a watershed date.
We have the EYLF – the Early Childhood Learning Framework – which describes our goals for children’s learning in terms of the three strands of being, belonging and becoming. We have a new national Quality Framework. We have an Act and Regulations that are being brought into harmony across all states. Ratios are going down. Qualifications are going up.
The EYLF is rooted in the notion that a well-prepared, reflective educator workforce is the best way to ensure we deliver high quality early childhood education for all. Educators are to be given high levels of responsibility, and high levels of autonomy.
There is a massive amount of change. There is a massive amount for early childhood educators to get their heads around. There is a massive amount of new jargon.
All of this upheaval has sparked a tidal wave of conversation. Educators are reaching out to each other like never before. They are hungry to understand, and determined to do it well.
It is marvellous to see.
During 2011, I have emerged from my own teaching cocoon and started to pay attention to what others are doing and saying, here and around the globe.
I have found a world of rich conversations and inspiring examples. I have found so many eloquent people. People who keep finding inspiration in children. People who are determined to protect childhood. People who are creative in their work. People who think deeply about what they are doing.
I feel part of a community in a way I never did before.
“O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world, That has such people in’t!”
William Shakespeare, The Tempest