Clever Kids were lucky enough to be chosen to be a part of the pilot program for a teacher tool in 2020. Christine has set off on this journey this week with an online introduction session into the program.
What is the Teaching Tool for Kindergartens project?
As part of the Three-Year-Old Kindergarten reform, the Victorian Government is investing $22 million to support early childhood teachers to plan and deliver quality education programs. This funding includes the development of a Teaching Tool for Kindergartens (the Tool) to support best practice in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) Practice Principle, Assessment for Learning and Development. The Tool will enable teachers to observe and assess children’s learning and development and support the identification of suitable next steps for program planning.
Please refer to the Tool summary attached at the end of this document for an overview of the Tool.
The Department of Education and Training (the Department) has engaged the University of Melbourne to deliver two key phases in the project:
• testing phase to develop the Tool completed in 2020 with input from around 120 early childhood teachers in Victoria
• pilot phase (current phase you are participating in) to understand the experiences of around 50 kindergarten services using the new Tool throughout 2021.
The Department has also engaged ARTD Consultants to evaluate the pilot to determine how easy the Tool is for teachers to use, what professional learning and support is required and the Tool’s impact on intentional teaching practices.
What is the Tool?
The Tool is an online assessment for learning tool for use by teachers with all children in kindergarten programs. It is an observation-based tool designed to enable teachers to make meaningful observations of individual children. The information generated by the Tool supports teachers to be intentional in their teaching and identify suitable next steps for program planning. Teachers are encouraged to discuss their observations with other teachers and educators who also support the children’s learning and development at the service.
There are eight modules in the Tool that align to the five Learning and Development Outcomes in the VEYLDF and map to the Victorian Curriculum F-10. The eight modules are:
• Identity and Community - Social
• Wellbeing - Emotion
• Communication – Interactions
• Communication - Symbols & Text
• Learning Dispositions
• Learning and Communication - Numeracy
• Wellbeing - Movement
• Learning and Identity - Thinking Skills