RESEARCH PAPER

Topics: Early childhood education, Childhood, Indigenous Australians Pages: 10 (2042 words) Published: February 11, 2015


Australia’s Curriculum

Beginning In the late 1890’s the influence of educational thinkers as well as the associated development of kindergarten movements were making their mark in Australia. Women such as Maybanke Anderson and Lilian de Lissa and others, led the movement to pioneer ECEC in Australia. Up until this time, Australia has had some fee-charging kindergartens, mostly attached to the private schools for the daughters of wealthy families, while children in the working class and the poor communities had limited options this leaving many children to look after themselves while their parents worked and they became spending time wandering the streets. As response to these conditions a philanthropic kindergarten movement emerged with the formation of the Kindergarten union. The kindergarten movement advocated for the introduction of kindergarten principles into schools and the establishment of free kindergartens in poor suburbs. Soon afterwards the Days nurseries act also came to Australia. As more places for children increased more children spent greater amount of times in ECEC and attention shifted to the quality of children’s experiences in these settings. (Hayes & Press, 2001) “Diversity, distances and divides characterize Australia as a country and a nation these characteristics apply to its peoples and histories, environment and populations, economy and social systems, as well as to its governance and politics.” (Hayes & Press, 2001, p.8) All of these things have an impact on the policy frameworks of ECEC in Australia. “Australia has a federal system of government with power and responsibilities shared between the Commonwealth and State Territory Governments. Prior to the federation each State was self-governing, today, the assertion of State rights is still a strong theme in Australian Politics.” (Hayes & Press, 2001, p.11) Australia has approximately 750 local government councils, and not all but many of them are involved in the provision of ECEC. Most of Australia’s population is concentrated urban areas. “The discrepancies in population density are marked with half of the total land area of the continent as home to only 0.3% of the population. As higher population densities tend to allow for better service provision the question of how best to provide ECEC to families in rural and remote areas is an issue throughout Australia” (Hayes, & Press, 2001, p.13) Rural and remote areas in Australia are experiencing a number of difficulties. The fastest decline of population have occurred in the rural areas, reflecting the impact of social, economic, technological and industrial changes that have had significant local impacts. In addition to the decline of population many rural areas are facing levels of high unemployment and higher poverty. “Usually such communities are reliant upon private transport and have limited public transport both within and between communities. Although free school buses are provided to transport children to school, children often have to travel long distances, and parents may have a long distance to travel if they wish their children to attend an ECEC setting other then a school” (Hayes, & Press, 2001, p.14). Differences in the provision of ECEC services arise from the specific circumstances of diverse communities. For example, The northern Territory has the highest amount of Indigenous Children in Australia and is less urbanized, it also has a highly scattered population. Where Tasmania faces difficulties with high unemployment and declining population. Therefore, the provision of ECEC is different in the different communities. “The Indigenous population of Australia was approximately 352, 970 or about 2% of the total population” (Hayes, & Press, 2001, p.15) Indigenous people are more likely to live in the rural areas of Australia. They are less likely to be attending school full time. Many of the Indigenous children experience hearing...

References: Hayes, A., & Press, F. (2001) OECD Thematic Review of Early Childhood
Education and Care Policy. Retrieved November 1st, 2014, from http://www.oecd.org/education/school/1900259.pdf
OECD Country Note: Early Childhood Education and Care Policy. (2001).
Retrieved November 1st, 2014, from http: www.oecd.org/education/school l/26735 43.pdf
Khan, N. (2014, October). Module 2 Unit 4: International
perspectives/curriculum. PowerPoint presented at EDUC 25436, Sheridan College, Oakville.
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