Rating Observation Scale forInspiring Environments (ROSIE) ROSIE helps to evaluate the environment usingthree stages, sprouting (beginning to understand the basic principles of makingan environment attractive), budding (becoming aware and skilled as theenvironment continues to grow), and blooming (where educators have reachedtheir fullest potential). The assessment believes nature inspires beauty,colour generates interest, furnishings define space, texture adds depth,displays enhance environment, elements heighten ambiance, and focal pointsattract attention. The goal of ROSIE is to reach the next stage of growth andsupport quality child care environments.
ROSIE encourages teachers to examinetheir classroom through an observation scale, evaluating the environment ofyoung children, as well as, inspire teachers to create their classrooms to beaesthetically beautiful. ROSIE provides examples of textures, naturalisticcolours, displays, furnishings, and lighting that may be integrated intoclassrooms of all ages to create a variety of stimulating and uniqueenvironments. These environments are aimed at inspiring and promoting learningin young children.
The quality of the physical environment strongly correlatesto the quality of the learning taken place in an Early Childhood Education(ECE) facility (UNICEF, 2012). The physical environment consists of theenvironment both inside and outside an ECE facility. Key characteristics of physicalenvironment of an education setting are location, accessibility, safety,flexibility, scale, and visibility (UNICEF, 2012). The role of the physicalenvironment is to support the activities and needs of the users. Buildingsshould enable the teachers and caregivers to carry out their work with aslittle stress placed on them by the environment as possible. Therefore, aquality early physical learning environment is: a physical space that supportsmultiple and diverse teaching and learning programs and pedagogies, includingcurrent technologies; one that respects and is in harmony with the environment;and one that encourages social participation, providing a healthy, comfortable,safe, secure and stimulating setting for its occupants (UNICEF, 2012). Ontario’spedagogy for the early years describes the environment as the third teacher.
Therefore, in using this scale with HowDoes Learning Happen? the environment is able to communicate and contributeto shaping the actions of children that can be taken within it.When compared to other child care qualityassurance programs, it is evident that ROSIE focuses solely on the environment.The ChildcareResource and Research Unit (n.
d.) states that high quality early learning andchild care programs are systems made up of a series of linked elements. Theseelements include infrastructure, curriculum, governance, physical environment, planningand policy development, and data research and evaluation. Despite this, ROSIE addresses aesthetic concepts of the environment that mostquality rating scales do not, such as colour, texture, lighting, displays andthe use of space.
In order to ensure early learning child care facilities arereaching the highest qualities, ROSIE may be useful if incorporated with keyaspects of other quality assurance programs however, it is not sufficient on itsown.EarlyChildhood Environmental Rating Scale Revised (ECERS-R) ECERS-R is the revised edition ofthe original ECERS. It is currently being used in several major studies,including the Early Head Start Study, and Welfare, Children and Families: AThree City Study.
The preliminary results in all these studies show that theECERS and the ECERS-R are performing very well.ECERS-Ris derived from an ecological perspective that states that the child and thechild’s context mutually influence each other in a bi-directional method;therefore they cannot be studied in isolation. It is believed that the physicalenvironment is composed of two aspects; behavior setting and standing patterns.ECERS-R is designed to measure quality of preschool environments for researchand program improvement. The assessment consists of a seven point scale rangingfrom inadequate to excellent. The assessment focuses on children ages two and ahalf to five years, and consists of two to three hours of direct observationsof environment, including a 20 minute interview with teaching staff regardingcurriculum, special needs and any other topics observers may see fit. ECEcurriculum is the foundation on which pedagogy is developed, and accomplishesmultiple functions. It clarifies the development and education objectives;provides organized and commonly agreed answers to children needs; supports thework of educators; and secures a minimum level of quality for various ECEservices.
ECE Curriculum is also a key determinant of quality of ECE services(UNICEF, 2012). ECERS-R consists of seven subscales; space and furnishings,personal care routines, language-reasoning stimulation, activities, socialinteractions, program structure, and parents and staff. Parent involvement islinked to children’s school readiness. Research shows that greater parent involvementin children’s learning positively affects the child’s school performance,including higher academic achievement (UNICEF, 2012). There is no universalagreement on what parental involvement is, as the concept of participationvaries widely by context. However there are two broad strands; parents’involvement in the life of the school, and their involvement in support of theindividual child at home and at school (UNICEF, 2012). ECERS-R placessignificant emphasis on important and emerging issues in early childhoodchildcare such as the inclusion of children with disabilities, family concerns,and cultural diversity. Measures of child-care quality can becategorized as either structural or process indicators.
Structural characteristicsinclude the child to staff ratio, the group size, and the education andspecialized training of teachers. The features of structural quality can beregulated, and most provinces set minimum standards for at least some aspectsof structural quality. Studies that assess structural quality are most usefulin evaluating the impact of features that can be regulated. Although understanding the links betweenstructural indicators of quality and children’s development is important, wealso need to understand the mechanisms by which structural quality affectschildren’s development, which requires examining what actually happens in theearly-care setting. How do adults and children interact? What materials areavailable for the children, and how do adults support children’s use of thosematerials? Process quality refers to the nature of the care that childrenexperience—the warmth, sensitivity, and responsiveness of the caregivers; theemotional tone of the setting; the activities available to children; thedevelopmental appropriateness of activities; and the learning opportunitiesavailable to children. Unlike the features of structural quality, processquality is not subject to provincial or local regulations, and is moredifficult to measure.
ECERS-R assesses multiple aspects of process quality.Such multidimensional process measures tell us much more about the quality ofcare that children receive than do structural measures alone. Among studiespublished in the past 15 years, those that employed an ecological modelconsistently found that higher process quality is related to greater languageand cognitive competence, fewer behavior problems, and more social skills,particularly when multidimensional measures of quality, such as ECERS-R, areused.Early Learning and Care Assessmentfor Quality Improvement (ELCAQI) The ELCAQI was developed by thecity of Toronto and serves as a self-evaluation and planning tool for childcare operators and educators.
ELCAQI is based on research in the area of earlylearning that indicates there are six key elements essential for high-qualitychild care programs. These include; sound management, training, group size,family involvement, health and safety, and program content and development. Thisassessment measure uses the program, environment and interactionscollaboratively to advance quality in child care. Six unique assessmentsincluding infant, toddler, preschool, before and after school, nutrition, andplayground assessments, are available for evaluating the early learning ofchildren. Each assessment includes a five-point scale ranging from does notmeet expectations to, exceeds expectations. According to UNICEF (2012), researchersand practitioners have wide-varying perspectives on the most appropriatepedagogical processes for child development. Some experts promote the developmentally appropriate practices,and others promote academic approacheswith direct instruction and a strong focus on basic language andcognitive skills, relating to initial reading, writing and math, but notnecessarily direct instruction. ECE researchers underline that essential topedagogical approaches should include: a positive socio-emotional climate:emotionally safe and stable relationships, with sensitive-responsive, teachersand practice aimed at emerging learning skills through authentic activities inwhich teachers participate.
In comparison to other quality assurance programs, the ELCAQIdeveloped by the City of Toronto proves to be a strong tool. The ELCAQIaddresses several elements of a child care environment, creating amultidimensional assessment. When compared to ECERS, another multidimensionalquality assurance program, ELCAQI appears to be advantageous as it may beapplied across a broad spectrum of ages.Kei Tua o te Pae Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars is abest practice guide that will help teachers continue to improve the quality oftheir teaching. The Ministry of Education is currentlysupporting the implementation of the early childhood assessmentexemplars, Kei Tua o te Pae. The exemplars are a series of books that will helpteachers to understand and strengthen children’s learning.
It also shows howchildren, parents and wh?nau (extended family) can contribute to this assessmentand ongoing learning. This best practiceassessment is widely used in New Zealand early childhood centres. The frameworkfor the development of the exemplars emerged from the philosophy of Te Wh?riki. The philosophysets out four broad principles, a set of strands, and goals for each strand(MyECE, 2017). The principles include empowerment, holistic development, familyand community, and relationships. The four principles of Te Wh?riki are alsoprinciples for assessment. The exemplars strongly reflect the principles of TeWh?riki and socio-cultural approaches to learning and teaching.
The coreframework of noticing, recognizing and responding is at the heart of effectiveassessment and quality teaching practice. Research and evaluation of Kei Tua ote Pae has found that the professional development had a positive impact onassessment practices over the timed period of the professional development andbeyond. There is evidence from the evaluation that the assessment hadstrengthened sociocultural practices in early childhood services andsignificant steps were taken in building an assessment community of practiceinclusive educators, children and parents. Educators had established processesfor linking assessment to curriculum planning, and there was extensivecollaboration between educators in the noticing, recognizing and respondingaspects of formative assessment practice.
KeiTua o te Pae is a quality assurance program that may be comparable to ECERS-Rand ELCAQI. It is a multidimensional program consisted of 20 individual books rangingfrom inclusion, to academics, to community and culture. Similar to ELCAQI, KeiTua o te Pae provides guidelines for a range of ages, specifically birththrough six, and provides additional details regarding infants and toddlers. Additionally,Kei Tua o te Pae is unique from the previously mentioned programs as it doesnot provide a checklist but rather guidelines and recommendations with examplesfor educators to follow in order to ensure the highest quality care. Whenconsidering How Does Learning Happen? in correlation with Kei Tua o te Pae, theassessment directly covers two of the four principles of How Does LearningHappen?; belonging and well-being.
The assessment also focuses oncommunication, exploration, and contribution which are all in line with theremaining principles of engagement and expression.EarlyLearning Programs When considering the above quality assuranceprograms, many are applicable, and the procedures are typically transferable toearly learning problems. As previously mentioned, ROSIE focuses on developingan inspiring environment for young children. Therefore, ROSIE may be applied toearly learning programs in order to ensure that the environment isaesthetically appealing and optimal for learning and growth. ECERS-R is a quality assuranceprogram that may also be applied to early learning programs. Because ECERS-Rfocuses on a variety of items it is easy to apply to many early learningscenarios and environments, including early learning programs. Space andfurnishings, activities, and interaction are several subscales of ECERS-R thatdirectly relate to early learning programs. As stated by The City of Toronto (2017),the ELCAQI prescribes clear expectations, service standards and guidelines forearly learning programs in addition to child care facilities.
As previouslymentioned, the assessment includes specific subsections for infants, toddlers,preschool, and school age programs, therefore ensuring that it is alsoapplicable for the early learning programs. Unlike other quality assuranceprograms, Kei Tua o te Paeconsists of guidelines, exemplars and possible contributions to promote ongoinglearning, rather than a checklist. This unique method ensures that the programmay be used across a variety of child care and early learning experiences. Thebroad subcategories also provide opportunities for the assessment guidelines tobe applied in various ways including early learning programs.Child Careand Early Learning Comparison These scales are designed to assessprocess quality in an early childhood or school age care group. Many of theassessments are designed in ways that allows application across a variety ofsettings. As a result, it is typical for child care facilities and earlylearning programs to see overlap between quality assurance programs. Both childcare facilities and early learning programs provide opportunities for childrenfrom birth to 6 years of age to participate in play and inquiry-based programsand support parents and caregivers in their roles (EARLTY ON YEAR).
Child Careand Early learning centres in Ontario aim to offer safe and welcomingenvironments open to families, with qualified professionals and qualifiedprograms. These parallel aspirations ensure that many early childhood qualityassurance programs are transferable between child care facilities and earlylearning programs (Table 1). How DoesLearning HappenSummary How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’sPedagogy for the Early Years, 2014 demonstrates the Ministry of Education’svision for early years and demonstrates the commitment to strengthen thequality of early years programs by ensuring the programs are centred on thechild and family. The term pedagogy refers to the process of understanding andsupporting learning. Pedagogical approaches that support quality programs arethose that: build positive and responsive relationships; focus on children’ssocial, emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive development in a holisticway; provide environments in which children learn through exploration, play,and inquiry; encourage self-reflection, discussion, and ongoing collaborationand learning among educators; engage with families, and value their strengths,contributions, and unique perspectives; and use pedagogical documentation tostudy, interpret, make visible, and help inform children’s learning anddevelopment. Key elements of How Does Learning Happen? includegoals for children, expectations for programs and questions to encouragereflection among educators and administrators. How Does Learning Happen? Isorganized around four foundational conditions that are important for childrento grow and flourish: belonging, well-being, engagement, and expression. Thesefoundations are a vision for all children’s future potential and a view of whatthey should experience every day.
These four foundations apply regardless ofage, ability, culture, language, geography, or setting. In early years settings, itsupports pedagogy and program development that is shaped by views aboutchildren, the role of educators and families, and the relationships among them.It builds on foundational knowledge of children and is grounded in new researchand leading-edge practice from around the world. How DoesLearning Happen? is not a checklist of tasks to complete or a template for a”one-size-fits-all” approach, and it is not a rating scale for measuringquality.
Rather, How Does LearningHappen? describes effective practices and emphasizes positive relationshipsas critical for quality early years programs. It is meant to promote deeperreflection on how to create places and experiences where children, families,and educators explore, question, and learn together.Quality Assurance Document In order to ensure How Does Learning Happen? is applied to all children it isnecessary that a quality assurance program incorporates infants, toddlers,preschoolers and before and after programs. Ensuring this allows the assessmentto be applied to both child care facilities and early learning programs. Thefour foundations: belonging, healthy development, engagement, and expressionare the key to how does learning happen and therefore are necessary for everyage and aspect of early learning.
HowDoes Learning Happen? provides clear goals for children and programexpectations for each of the foundations. These may be useful when developing aquality assurance document as they include ways in which children maydemonstrate the foundation, ways in which programs can create a sense of thefoundation, and additional considerations for educators. It is typical of quality assurance programsto consist of subscales, and five to seven point rating scales. In order toensure that the quality assurance document for How Does Learning Happen? remains thorough yet simple for educatorsto carry out, a five point rating scale ranging from does not meet expectationsto meets expectations, has been used. The document consists of four categories;belonging, well-being, engagement, and expression. These categories referencethe four major principles of How DoesLearning Happen? The categories are further divided into subcategoriesderived directly from the goals and expectations of How Does Learning Happen?HowDoes Learning Happen Comparison When comparing How DoesLearning Happen? with quality assurance programs in child care and earlylearning programs, it is evident that the common goal is the needs of thechild.
How Does Learning Happen? consists of subcategories based onprinciples of foundations for learning while child care and early learningprograms base subcategories on ministry guidelines and provincial standardssuch as the child care early years act.