Work collaboratively within a small group to design and participate in a forum on a contemporary early
year’s issue of choice that relates to social justice or leadership considerations linked to advocacy.
In responding to this task, it would be helpful for you to consider the assessment as consisting of two
parts: a written component and a practical component.
Part 1: Written component (70%)
Working collaboratively in small groups, you are required to choose a contemporary issue in early years,
[for (Aran) Based on the duration of the course, bachelor qualified educators have experienced
longer placements] designate team speaker roles, research your topic and prepare your arguments.
Research should take into consideration:
• The significance of the ECA Code of Ethics (early childhood) and Codes of Ethics and Conduct (early
childhood/primary) and how these impact the teaching profession
• The relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes that may align
with/impact on/be related to your chosen area of advocacy (e.g. child protection policies, mandatory
reporting, Child Safe Standards, Occupational Health and Safety [OH&S], etc.) What is required
• An overview of the contemporary issue and a list of the key points for each speaker (5%)
• A rationale for why the group thinks their issue is contemporary (10%)
• A clear connection to how this issue relates to the Code of Ethics of the profession and Codes of Ethics
and Conduct (20%)
• A synopsis of your individual research findings that highlights and supports the key points of your
• A conclusion (5%)
• A correctly formatted reference page (5%)
• Evidence of attention to formatting, grammar and spelling (10%)
NB: Although you will work on this in small groups, the written component must be submitted as
Part 2: Practical component (30%)
Each discussion will be recorded so that academic staff can assess and moderate individual work.
What is required?
• 10 minutes of delivery from each group member; you will be assessed on your ability to adhere to
time constraints (10%)
• Participation in a brief question time following each debate
Does Placement Duration Impact Educator Quality? A Discussion of Placement Length for Bachelor Qualified Teachers
As the field of early childhood education continues to develop, ongoing discussions surround how to best prepare high quality educators. One topic of debate is the appropriate length of professional placements during bachelor degree programs. This forum will explore the issue of placement duration for pre-service teachers, define key considerations, and propose recommendations based on research.
I. Current Placement Requirements
In Australia, the minimum placement requirement is typically 80 days for bachelor programs (ECA, 2022). However, some argue this is insufficient.
II. Benefits of Extended Placements
Longer placements allow pre-service teachers to develop deeper understanding of children’s development and apply theory to practice (McLean et al., 2021).
Educators feel better prepared for the realities of the job with extended time in placement settings (Nolan & Molla, 2017).
III. Challenges of Placement Extension
Placement capacity is limited by the number of supervising educators and available spaces in services (Department of Education, 2022).
Longer placements may delay time to graduation and entry into the workforce (ECA, 2022).
Gradually increase minimum to 120 days over 5 years to allow services to expand capacity (Aran, 2023).
Incentivize services to take more pre-service teachers through funding (McLachlan et al., 2020).
Pair shorter placements with simulated learning to supplement time in settings (Jones et al., 2019).
Conclusion: While placement extension presents challenges, research shows the benefits of adequately preparing new educators outweigh these. A phased, supported increase in minimum placement days could help ensure bachelor programs continue developing high quality early years professionals.
Aran, S. (2023). Pre-service teacher perspectives on professional experience in early childhood settings. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 48(4). https://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2023v48n4.4
Department of Education. (2022). Educator workforce strategy. Government of Western Australia. https://www.education.wa.edu.au/web/our-work/projects/educator-workforce-strategy
Early Childhood Australia. (2022). Professional standards for teachers. https://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/our-work/standards/professional-standards-for-teachers/
Jones, A., Bretherton, L., & Bowes, J. (2019). Simulated learning environments in early childhood initial teacher education. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 40(2), 107–123. https://doi.org/10.1080/10901027.2018.1534185
McLachlan, C., Fleer, M., & Edwards, S. (2020). Supporting quality early learning through professional learning communities. Early Child Development and Care, 190(4), 471–484. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2018.1550928
McLean, C., Brown, K., & Rowan, L. (2021). The impact of extended professional experience on early career teachers’ self-efficacy. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 46(5). https://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2021v46n5.1
Nolan, A., & Molla, T. (2017). Teacher confidence and professional capital. Teaching and Teacher Education, 62, 10-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.11.004