Respectful Relationships Professional Learning for Early Childhood Educators

Project: Consultancy

Project Details

Project Description

The Faculty of Education was contracted by the Victorian Department of Education and Training in 2018 to deliver a professional learning package designed for early childhood educators across the State. Implemented over three years, the program increased educator knowledge about the role of gender equality in the prevention of family violence, the drivers and causes of family violence; and increased the capacity of educators to model and build respectful relationships with children and with each other.

This latest project is the 2021-2023 iteration of this initiative and will involve the refinement and delivery of the original professional learning, as well as the design, development, and delivery of a train the trainer package. In addition to the original objective of the project, the train the trainer aims to build the capacity of the Respectful Relationships workforce and early childhood professionals within the Department to deliver the professional learning and support early childhood educators to promote Respectful Relationships and gender equality at their centres.


The Monash team will also contribute to the research and evaluation components of the project. We will utilise a range of developed process indicators to measure the reach, quality, and effectiveness of the professional learning; and provide a report to the Department on our findings.

On the basis of the data and evolving knowledge development through the life of the project the Monash team is proposing the following as research tools for collecting feedback and measuring program effectiveness:


A Qualtrics survey post-workshop is proposed for its efficiency of gathering data onsite from educators. Attendees will be asked about their personal and professional engagement with the workshop activities, the curriculum material, knowledge and understanding of gender and violence, implications for teaching, including perceived areas of challenge. Findings will be compiled into professional publications that guide the future development and effectiveness of professional training programs. Key to these is the opportunities to develop new evidence-based structures that inform future professional training activities.


Focus groups conducted approx. 3 months after attendance will enable educators to discuss with each other and the delivery team how they used activities and the barriers and enablers they experienced. Transcriptions from interviews will be analysed for similarities, differences and inconsistencies then coded on the basis of educator experience, qualifications, gender, and centre context. The outcome of this will be the basis for more targeted publications and dissemination to the field via conferences and seminars that identify the key triggers for effective professional development programs in the future.

Both these research activities go beyond the reporting of the program to a deeper analysis, contributing towards a more sophisticated and targeted model of professional training in the Early Childhood field - providing insight into learning impact and sustainability over the longer term. Significant to the sustainability of the training program is the capacity to research and analyse the longevity of the program through the innovative, dual-edged approach of delivery directly to service providers and the capacity to create a new level of trainers for the ongoing viability of this training given the sensitive and vital nature of the content. This dual focus is a unique emphasis for research that will be worthy of broader dissemination.

Effective start/end date22/02/2130/06/23