Intentional Teaching… understanding one of the EYLF’s practices

The Early Years Learning Framework talks a lot about “Intentional Teaching” and for educators to be meaningful and purposeful in their interactions, documentation and how they set up their environments. However, what does this all mean?  What could this possibly look like?

In the context of the EYLF and the early childhood environment it is about us, as educators offering children challenges and opportunities to extend their skills and ideas. We can extend children’s thinking through provocation and reflection, through questioning and building upon their existing knowledge.

Through investigations and exploring ideas and concepts with children, children can predict and hypothesise and collaborate with us about the course of an investigation. However, it is up to us as educators to provide intriguing and enticing resources and experiences, meaningful, deliberate and thought provoking questions to continue to extend children’s interest, thinking and knowledge of an investigation topic.

As intentional educators, we need to support and encourage children to persist with a task, experience mastery and success and hence a confident self-identity. Reflecting on the experiences we provide is an important part of our job. We need to think about how experiences will build upon existing knowledge and skill, how will this extend and /or challenge children’s thinking and development further? What questions can I ask to gain a better understanding of their knowledge and to engage in sustained, shared and
thoughtful conversations?

This also involves us taking the time, with children to re-visit ideas and investigations, reflect on thinking and consolidate their learning. The ability to do this regularly demonstrates to children the importance of the learning process and reflection. It also provides a great opportunity for children to continually build upon past knowledge and perspectives and that our learning is continually evolving.

So, as an intentional educator, your role is to be more reflective and purposeful in the way you communicate with and your ideas about how you will teach children. It is about being more reflective about the types of resources you use, how you set up your learning environment, build upon children’s knowledge and how you become engaged with each child….

It is about being intentional!