Topics:  children, coolum kindy, education, kindergarten

Steering developing minds

Coolum Kindy parent committee president Lorelle Rickard and son Phoenix.
Coolum Kindy parent committee president Lorelle Rickard and son Phoenix. Contributed

FORGET nurture versus nature - the hot button topic to hit early child development has arrived at a kindergarten near you.

It is a behind-the-scenes program change that is engaging professional educators and challenging them as to how they approach the development of our most important resource - young, developing minds.

The new way is intentional teaching as opposed to incidental learning.

And Coolum Kindy in Jones Pde is part of this reassessment of early teaching designed around the three "core" concepts.

These are: Belonging, Being and Becoming. At this stage in a child's learning life, the 3Bs take precedence over the 3Rs.

According to an Early Childhood Australia 2010 newsletter, intentional teaching is integral to the Early Years Learning Framework that is part of the reform agenda of the Australian Council of Governments.

It is a key plank, so ECA says, of the National Quality Framework to improve our children's overall education.

As the local primary and secondary school teachers grapple with the extra demands of the new national curriculum, Coolum's kindergarten and pre-prep centre is embarking on the new wave of learning methods.

To most mums and dads the term "intentional teaching" is a no-brainer.

Teaching should not be a random process dictated by whims. The accepted definition for intentional teaching is the opposite of teaching by rote or continuing with traditions simply because things have always been done that way.

Cooloon Children's Service director in Tweed Heads, Judy Radich, said it was not about saying at a particular part of the day, "I will intentionally teach children something".

"It is about being intentional about what we provide across the day."

For Coolum Kindy director Lorelle Frost this latest approach is the wheel turning full circle to how she started out in the early education many years ago, but now the whole process has to be fully documented.

A new parent committee is in place with a former strong kindy supporter, Lorelle Rickard, as president and Katherine MacDonald as secretary.

And Lorelle said the fact that her fellow Lorelle is studying to be an early childhood educator is an added bonus when it comes to understanding the kindy, and most importantly the children's needs.



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