At the end of this chapter, you will:
have explored the EYLF
recognise how the framework sits historically with international research and understandings
be able to describe the principles and outcomes within the EYLF, with reference to pedagogy, play and embedded values
recognise how the EYLF provides for teaching and learning in science in early childhood settings
describe ways that educators can enhance science learning through attending to the EYLF.
This chapter provides an overview of Australia's first national curriculum framework for early childhood educators – Belonging, Being and Becoming: the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (DEEWR, 2009). It traces the development of the framework, situating it alongside existing national and international frameworks and curriculum documents. It discusses the rationale for the new structure, the underpinning philosophies and the implications these have for educators' practices and children's learning. The Belonging, Being and Becoming motifs are explained in light of teaching and learning in the early years, along with the eight practice elements, five principle elements and five designated learning outcomes. The relevance of these in relation to teaching science in the early years is made clear, concluding with the identification of the science outcomes for children within the framework. This chapter firmly establishes the purpose of the national framework and its ramifications for the teaching of science in the early years.