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Reflect Respect Relate resource for assessing learning and development in the early years

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Reflect Respect Relate is a hard copy and digital resource for assessing learning and development in the early years. It supports educators of children from birth to age 8 to critically reflect on:

  • interactions between adults and children
  • educators' pedagogy
  • children's wellbeing
  • children's involvement.

The resource is made up of 4 variables, which are presented as a set of scales to help educators reflect on and assess their current practice. Based on this reflection, educators will identify actions to improve pedagogical and learning objectives.

Contents of the package

The complete Reflect Respect Relate package includes the following resources.

Hard copy resources

A box of 6 printed books:

  • introduction
  • relationships
  • active learning environment
  • wellbeing
  • involvement
  • supporting information resources.

Digital resources

The password protected Reflect Respect Relate portal (login required) provides:

  • example videos for practising the scales
  • observation scoring sheets.

Login details are provided inside the cover of each book.

Purchase the package

You can purchase the whole package by completing the online order form.

Once we have processed your payment, you will be sent the hard copy resources. Information and a password about how to access the digital resources online can be found inside the front cover of the printed resource.

Reflect Respect Relate video

Watch this video to find out more about Reflect Respect Relate.

Video transcript

What is Reflect, Respect, Relate? How can it help educators with their practice?

There is an increasing amount of compelling contemporary research, that educators; practice and relationships with children have the greatest effect on engagement and success in learning.

Reflect, Respect, Relate highlights the 2 most critical variables for teachers to make a difference, as being relationships with children and establishing an active learning environment. Quality learning outcomes arise when children experience a secure state of wellbeing and an intense state of involvement.

So, the question is: why focus on these variables?

Relationships: educators relationships with children
Why is this scale important? a. Relationships are of fundamental importance to young children’s learning. b. A child requires progressively more joint activity with one or more adults who have an emotional relationship with them. Somebody’s got to be crazy about that kid. That's number one. First, last and always. (Bronfenbrenner in National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2004)

Active learning environment: the environments that educators’ establish Why is this scale important? a. This scale gives higher ratings for the establishment of the environment which respects young children as competent learners. b. By giving due respect and freedom to young children, our education system are more likely to have self-directed students with a strong desire to continue learning. (Bennett, 2007) c. If the curriculum is too formal and teacher directed, children may learn particular skills and knowledge but they may do so at the expense of the disposition to use them.

Wellbeing: children's wellbeing in the learning environment Why is this scale important? a. A sound sense of wellbeing helps us to feel connected – the cornerstone of concern for self and others and ultimately the unity of the entire eco-system. (Laevers, 2005)
Involvement: children's engagement in their learning Why is this scale important? a. A totally involved person activates deep level learning (Vygotsky, 1978) b. Deep level of involvement is a state of flow (Csikszentmihayli, 1979) But how do we measure the impact that educators are having?

A set of scales - with indicators; for the variables has been developed, which step-by-step allows educators’ to score their effectiveness. Formal assessment using Reflect, Respect, Relate gives much desired data to assess curriculum quality which is real. This either gives an impetus for exploring change, or can validate that quality practice is evident. As an evidence based and calibrated instrument, each observation scale – when used professionally – delivers a rating which closely indicates the level of quality achieved. Reflect, Respect, Relate is an authentic lever for change.

How to get started with RRR
a. There are example films with information about the signals and how those films have been scaled.
b. Share a 5 minute video of children’s play at a staff meeting and discuss your observations using the domains and signals as a focus.
This helps with developing a shared understanding and consistency.

Studies of effective early childhood teaching show that reflection about practice is important to bring about change and improvement.

A process for using Reflect, Respect, Relate is to develop a wondering or niggle. [Example on screen] New niggle: a staff member notices low level involvement in children’s socio-dramatic play.

Decide which scale or scales most closely relate to your wondering or niggle [Example on screen]
Pan over the Involvement scale rating sheet Use the scale or scales to gather data and determine a rating [Example on screen]
Marking low, medium or high for a series of observations Analyse and reflect on the data [Example on screen]
Group of educators in a discussion What questions does this raise? Begin to frame an inquiry question to be explored [Example on screen] Staff note that there are low level verbal exchanges.

Staff decide to explore: how might children's language be enriched in play?
Decide on changes in your educational setting [Example on screen] Staff decide to sensitively enter socio-dramatic play and model verbal communication to scaffold the children’s involvement and literacy.

Evaluate the change by re-doing the scale [Example on screen] Marking low, medium or high for a series of observations.

Stage the cycle again!

Government of South Australia.

Department for Education.

End of transcript.

Curriculum Support - Curriculum and Learning

EmailEducation.CurriculumSupport [at] sa.gov.au