D. O'Connor, C. McGunnigle, H. Wildy, G. Neylon (2015) LOOKING WITHIN TO BUILD STRONG FOUNDATIONS OF PERSONHOOD: THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY YEARS TEACHER’S REFLECTIVE PRACTICE IN THE FORMATION OF A POSITIVE SENSE OF IDENTITY IN THE CHILDREN THEY WORK WITH, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 643-649.
A collaborative research project between the Schools of Education at the University of Notre Dame Australia and the University of Western Australia has produced data that looks at how the Australian Early Years Framework is experienced in practice within Schools that deliver programmes for two year old children in the Perth Metropolitan area of Western Australia.
The data of this project was analysed and prepared for academic journal publication using the very themes upon which the AEYLF is built; Identity, Connection to the world, Wellbeing, Confident Learning and Effective Communication. Papers presenting the data within these themes are a central outcome of the collaboration and are currently in progress.
The paper which deals with the issue of identity formation within the two year old participants leaves the question of the importance of reflective practice wide open for debate and analysis. As such, this additional paper examines the relationship between a teacher’s reflective practice and the formation of a positive sense of self-identity in the toddlers they work with.
The concept of identity formation and the pertinent role of the teacher are examined. The importance of reflective practice in establishing both the teacher’s awareness of identity formation, and their attentiveness to their own role within the very nuanced variations of it that can unfold for children, as they develop a sense of self in partnership with the influential adults in their lives. The teacher’s role is critical within this exchange and their engagement with reflective practice is essential to ensure the most positive outcomes for the children they work with.
identity, reflective practice, early childhood education, Australian, Early Year’s Learning Framework