Month: January 2014

Educators as Researchers

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role of research in early educational practice, about how the research others have done impacts on our practice. What I’ve come to is this; most of what we do as early childhood educators is research. We observe closely, collect data, make changes, track results, evaluate outcomes, assess for impact. We think and reflect, we study, we learn, we grow. What we don’t do is refer to our work as research, we call it programming and planning. We call it assessment for learning. But what would be the impact if we did call it research? To what extent would this help us, and the communities we work within, validate our work? In search of an answer to this question, we are exploring the role of practitioner research at Flinders this year. A number of educators are involved in a number of projects exploring a number of areas within early education. Elusive, I know, but more details will come to light in due course… When educators engage in practitioner research (also called practitioner inquiry) they begin to unpack and explore concepts that have meaning to them and to their context. Unlike drawing on the work of others, practitioner research is entirely relevant to the educator who is undertaking it, drawing deeply on their own context, ideas and knowledge. This enables educators to develop programs and practices that have a deeply positive impact on the children with whom they are working as the research is aboutRead more

Dealing with the Heat

Well, well, well…according the the United Nations, today Adelaide is the hottest city in the world, predicted to reach a top of 46 degrees! The week as a whole has been a very hot one and the educators at Flinders have been using all their tips and tricks to ensure the children (and educators!) are cool and well during this heat wave. Children often don’t realise how hot they have become and need keen eyed educators to help them maintain a healthy body temperature. For this reason, children are considered a vulnerable population group during extreme weather events such as we have had this week. At Flinders, we keep a regular eye on the daily temperature and forecast for the coming week in order to plan effectively and adjust our routines as needed. This week we implemented a range of “keep cool” strategies across the Houses; only going into the gardens in the early mornings and late evenings moving any outdoor meals indoors having water play and using the heat as an opportunity to explore ice making frozen fruit and yoghurt pops respecting that our bodies might need an extra rest drinking lots and lots of water In order to support the children to maintain high levels of involvement when inside, educators have been complementing these approaches with lots of special, educator supported play experiences. This multifaceted approach has enabled children to stay as cool and involved as possible. We are so proud of all the children, who have adaptedRead more