Children, Educational Settings and Society

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Children, Educational Settings and Society Assessment 2

Discussion of sociocultural concepts underpinning the curriculum

Australian early childhood national curriculum is underpinned by the Australian sociocultural concepts which can be taken into account like children as individual, as a social being and as a part of environment. Smidt (2006) contends that childhood itself cannot be seen as a single simple concept but one that has to take on the diversity of the reality of childhoods across the world. The development of children, which can be seen as intellectual, physical and emotional, is overwhelmingly influenced through their own learning behavior, their interaction with educational settings and local communities as well as the development of society. It is concerned with individuals achieving their maximal competencies intellectually, physically and emotionally as a result of interactions within a positive social environment and avoidance of poor health, educational, behavioral and criminal outcomes and the resulting huge social and economic cost to society (The Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, 2001).

Sociocultural are influenced by participants' race, ethnicity, home language, school, health service, cultural organization, child care policy, social norms, attitudes, shared values and history ( Rogoff, 2003). Due to the specific situation in Australia, which the population is consisted of local Australians and immigrants with different cultural backgrounds as well as aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders, Australian early childhood curriculum can be divided into two main dimensions as Australian curriculum frameworks for local Australians and immigrants and indigenous documents for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders. For example, in Victoria there are Belonging, Being and Becoming, and Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework are frequently implemented. Baleert Boorron’s documents and State of Victoria’s children report are two main indigenous documents used for guiding the indigenous early childhood education. Being respectful of different values and beliefs not only can be demonstrated in Australian national curriculum framework for immigrants but also was elaborated within the indigenous documents for the Aboriginal people. Therefore, the most important sociocultural factor in Australian is the diversity of different cultural background. As a result, Sociocultural theories have become increasingly important in associated with early childhood education and curriculum at a theoretical level since the early 1990s (Ewards, 2006), Almost every Australian early childhood framework contain the information that respect of diversity of different cultural background. It can be proved as according to Belonging, Being and Becoming (2009), educators honor the histories, cultures, languages, traditions, child rearing practices and lifestyle choices of families. They value children’s different capacities and abilities and respect differences in families’ home lives. And in Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (2009), Children learn when early childhood professionals respect their diversity and provide them with the best support, opportunities and experiences. As well as in State of Victoria’s children 2009 report (2009), to identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and be proud of their history, cultural beliefs and practices without fear of discrimination and/or retribution. After Kevin Rudd’s ‘Sorry’ speech to Aboriginal people, the educational right of Aboriginal people has been drawn attention, which Aboriginal people have the same equity as Australian white people to access the opportunities of being educated. Equity as a fundamental factor of education has been written within Australian early childhood learning framework. According to Baleert Boorron, supporting aboriginal children and family and respect unique culture and...
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