Debra has been working in the ECEC for over 35 years as Consultant, Facilitator, Adviser, Lecturer, Director, Manager and Publisher.
She holds a degree in Education, Diploma of Management, Graduate Certificate in Research and is currently completing a PhD exploring educator perspectives in implementation of critical reflection in the Commonwealth compliance system for Education and Care, the National Quality Standard, in a an Early Education and Care Centre in Australia.
A Model for Implementation of Critical Reflection in Early Childhood Education and Care (Poster)
The NQS is the benchmark for quality in ECEC with reflective practice positioned to raise standards and inform future planning and decision making and identified as foundational to good practice with educators expected to engage in a ‘lively culture of professional inquiry.’
This qualitative study, using the tools of grounded theory, within the context of one centre, explored critical reflection as a legislative requirement, unique to each service with no set way or approach, with educators finding it challenging to do, with limited understanding of its purpose and a lack of understanding at a conceptual level with the result that it is ‘tagged on, rather than consulting as a way of working and learning’, with the concept of, and practices associated with, critical reflection not defined well operationally.
A ‘SCHEMED’ model emerged developed on the interrelationships and components, flows and actions within the system compiled from the data to evidence the culture and theory that emerged. The process of reflection shifts the NQS and reveals personal and professional identities, exposes the ‘feeling’ within a service and shifts the identity of the site itself.
Findings provide conceptual understanding of the process of critical reflection within ECEC, a pictorial strategy for understanding the variables and relationships amongst each other, a tool to visualise knowledge of how the process of critical reflection works in ECEC, a benchmark for quality and consistency of reflective practice, guidance of educators’ reflective practices, support for professional learning and improvement and evaluation of individual performance.