Part Two: Presentation for Teachers Meeting.
Prepare an annotated presentation to share at a staff meeting, explaining learning through play in ECE and how teachers can support this in a meaningful and engaging manner. Make links to Te Whariki and two theoretical perspectives of play discussed in this course.
LO1, LO2
(750 words)
Part Three: Newsletter for Kaiako
Write an annotated newsletter for your teaching team informed by a range of relevant early childhood theories, perspectives and reference sources.
Base your information on three teaching practices for supporting social and emotional competence from He Mapuna te Tamaiti: Supporting Social and Emotional Competence in Early Learning (MoE, 2019, pp. 107-110).
Explain how each of the teaching practices can be effectively implemented with children in an early childhood setting and why they are beneficial to children’s social and emotional competence.
Consider what teachers will need to be sensitive to when applying each practice
Conclude with three key ‘takeaway’ messages about the importance of Social and Emotional Competence contributing to children’s wellbeing and holistic development and learning in ECE
(750 words)
Part Four: Short answer
Discuss two key characteristics of Kaupapa Maori approach to infant and toddler care and its application in practice.
(500 words)
Course required readings must be used as well as additional literature to inform your assessment. Reference list must be attached

Part Two: Presentation for Teachers Meeting

Title: Learning Through Play in Early Childhood Education

The concept of learning through play is deeply rooted in the early childhood education (ECE) curriculum, Te Whāriki. It recognizes play as a vital component of children’s holistic development, encompassing cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects. This presentation aims to explore the significance of play-based learning and provide practical strategies for teachers to support meaningful and engaging play experiences.

Link to Te Whāriki:
Te Whāriki emphasizes the importance of play as a medium for learning, stating, “Children’s play is a leading source of dispositions such as curiosity, creativity, and confidence” (Ministry of Education, 2017, p. 18). The curriculum encourages teachers to create environments that foster play and support children’s exploration and discovery.

Theoretical Perspectives:

Socio-Cultural Theory (Lev Vygotsky): Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory highlights the role of social interactions and cultural influences in cognitive development. Through play, children engage in collaborative activities, learn from more knowledgeable peers and adults, and develop higher mental functions (Bodrova & Leong, 2015).
Constructivist Theory (Jean Piaget): Piaget’s constructivist theory emphasizes the importance of active exploration and discovery in learning. Play allows children to construct their own understanding of the world through hands-on experiences, problem-solving, and experimentation (Mooney, 2013).
Supporting Play-Based Learning:

Provide open-ended materials: Offer a variety of materials that can be used in multiple ways, encouraging creativity and exploration.
Facilitate interactions: Engage in purposeful interactions with children during play, asking open-ended questions, and providing scaffolding to extend their learning.
Observe and document: Observe children’s play and document their interests, skills, and learning processes to inform future planning and support.
Create inviting environments: Design learning spaces that are conducive to play, with intentional arrangement of materials and opportunities for different types of play (e.g., dramatic play, construction, sensory exploration).
Allow for uninterrupted play: Provide ample time for children to engage in sustained play experiences without frequent interruptions or transitions.
Play is a powerful medium for learning in early childhood education. By embracing play-based approaches and creating environments that foster exploration, creativity, and social interactions, teachers can support children’s holistic development and nurture their natural curiosity and love for learning.

Part Three: Newsletter for Kaiako

Title: Supporting Social and Emotional Competence in Early Learning

Teaching Practice 1: Establishing secure, responsive relationships with children
Effective implementation: Building strong, positive relationships with children is the foundation for supporting their social and emotional competence. Teachers can achieve this by being consistently present, attentive, and responsive to children’s needs and emotions. This involves actively listening, engaging in warm interactions, and showing genuine interest in each child’s experiences and perspectives.

Sensitivity considerations: Teachers must be mindful of individual differences, cultural backgrounds, and unique needs of children. Respecting and valuing diversity, and adapting their approach accordingly, is crucial for creating a sense of belonging and fostering trusting relationships.

Teaching Practice 2: Providing warm, sensitive emotional coaching
Effective implementation: Emotional coaching involves recognizing, acknowledging, and validating children’s emotions, while also guiding them in understanding and managing those emotions effectively. Teachers can model appropriate emotional responses, use descriptive language to label emotions, and offer strategies for self-regulation, such as deep breathing or taking a break.

Sensitivity considerations: Teachers should be attuned to the subtleties of children’s emotional expressions and respond with empathy and understanding. They must create a safe and non-judgmental environment where children feel comfortable expressing their feelings without fear of rejection or shame.

Teaching Practice 3: Supporting peer relationships and social problem-solving
Effective implementation: Teachers can facilitate positive peer interactions by providing opportunities for cooperative play, group activities, and collaborative problem-solving. They can model appropriate social skills, such as taking turns, sharing, and resolving conflicts peacefully. Additionally, teachers can guide children in developing empathy, perspective-taking, and conflict resolution strategies through role-playing, storytelling, and open discussions.

Sensitivity considerations: Teachers should be aware of potential social dynamics, such as exclusion, bullying, or power imbalances, and intervene appropriately. They must also consider the diverse cultural backgrounds and communication styles of children, ensuring that all voices are heard and respected.

Key Takeaway Messages:

Social and emotional competence is a foundational aspect of children’s well-being and holistic development, enabling them to form positive relationships, regulate emotions, and navigate social situations effectively.
By implementing teaching practices that foster secure relationships, emotional awareness, and positive peer interactions, teachers create an environment that nurtures children’s social-emotional growth and prepares them for future success.
Developing social and emotional competence is an ongoing process that requires consistent support, guidance, and modeling from teachers, as well as collaboration with families and communities.
Part Four: Short Answer

Two key characteristics of the Kaupapa Māori approach to infant and toddler care and their application in practice:

Whanaungatanga (Relationships and Connections): The Kaupapa Māori approach emphasizes the importance of strong relationships and connections within the broader whānau (family) and community. In practice, this means creating a nurturing and inclusive environment where infants and toddlers feel a sense of belonging and connectedness. Teachers establish warm and responsive relationships with children and their whānau, fostering a sense of trust and security. Cultural practices, such as mihi whakatau (welcoming ceremonies) and whanaungatanga activities, are integrated to strengthen relationships and promote a sense of identity and belonging.
Manaakitanga (Care and Respect): Manaakitanga encompasses the values of care, respect, and hospitality. In the context of infant and toddler care, this characteristic involves providing a nurturing and respectful environment that recognizes the mana (dignity) of each child. Teachers demonstrate care and respect through attentive and responsive caregiving practices, such as gentle handling, respectful communication, and honoring the unique needs and preferences of each child. Cultural protocols, such as karakia (prayers) and waiata (songs), are incorporated to promote a sense of reverence and respect for the child’s wellbeing and cultural identity.
Through embracing these key characteristics, the Kaupapa Māori approach to infant and toddler care creates an environment that supports the holistic development of children, acknowledging their physical, emotional, spiritual, and cultural needs. It fosters a strong sense of identity, belonging, and cultural pride, while also promoting positive relationships and respectful caregiving practices.

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