Intentional teaching: can early-childhood educators create the conditions for children’s conceptual development when following a child-centred programme?

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This study investigated the practice of two early-childhood educators and their interactions with 24 children (mean age 5.2 years) in an inner-suburban Australian preschool setting. The study specifically examined the nature of how educators ‘intentionally teach’ concepts to young children in a child-centred programme. Six hours of educator–child digital video observations and three hours of educator interviews were gathered and analysed using Kravtsova’s (2009) concept of ‘subject positioning’. The findings suggest that it was challenging to teach intentionally in a child-centred programme based on children’s interests. This research is the first phase of a larger study. It is argued that the tensions between educators’ beliefs about child learning and their role in relation to fostering children’s conceptual development in child-centred programmes could make it difficult for educators to implement intentional teaching as presented in the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-18
Number of pages13
JournalAustralasian Journal of Early Childhood
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • concept development
  • Intentional teaching
  • subject positioning

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