As a RECE and a resource consultant who has worked in the ECE field for more than 30 years, I initially was uninspired by the Ministry of Education’s publication How Does Learning Happen? (HDLH). Weren’t the 4 Foundations (Belonging, Engagement, Well-Being and Expression) just common sense? It was only when I took a second look at the document and the questions it posed that I realized how valuable it could be as the impetus for ongoing reflective practice and discussion among teaching team members in ECE communities.
A long time ago, one of my college teachers posed a simple question: “So what?” In other words, she was asking, “Why do you do what you do as an early childhood resource teacher?” Until asked that provocative question, I had taken little time to reflect on how I was teaching, what I was teaching and why I was making the choices I was making.
The HDLH pedagogy takes this initial question much further. The intention is to help educators understand the importance of their role in setting the stage to support each child in their ongoing development. It supports educators to reflect on why they are choosing the activities they do and to understand the significance of their words, actions and the long-term impact they have on the children and families.
As a resource consultant, part of my job is to support directors and educators to do their best to create accepting early learning environments where everyone belongs and is supported with ongoing learning opportunities using a variety of ways to elicit active engagement with children and their families.
The HDLH pedagogy supports me with my own reflective practice and gives me a valuable tool to support and inspire teaching teams to begin to make slight changes in how they are approaching children and families.
CISS has created concrete tools that further support the HDLH pedagogy such as the behavioral tips and strategies sheets, the inclusion profile, the module training series and in-service training.
“So what?” you might ask… Now there’s a good question! Let’s embrace this opportunity to individually and collectively pose and answer questions and to come up with better solutions for creating the kind of early learning communities where everyone belongs and has a voice.
Resource Consultant Team Leader
Children’s Integration Support Services