Intentional Teaching in Early Childhood Education: A Critical Literature Review

Year: 2019

Author: Grieshaber, Susan, Krieg, Susan, Sumsion, Jennifer, McArdle, Felicity, Shield, Paul

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This critical literature review (Grant & Booth, 2009) examines the development of the concept of Intentional Teaching (IT) in the early years and evaluates research undertaken relating to IT between 2000-2019. The concept is relevant in Australia because IT is used in Belonging being and becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia(EYLF) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009). The EYLF is the mandated document for all early settings in Australia catering for children from birth to the age of five. In this document Intentional Teaching is described as: “… educators being deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in their decisions and actions” (p. 48). This presentation discusses the aims of the critical literature review, the methodological approach adopted, and some preliminary findings.

The methodology is consistent with the process outlined by Grant and Booth (2009) and involved Searching, AppraisaL Synthesis and Analysis (SALSA). As outlined by these authors, the purpose of the initial scoping searchwas to identify the most significant items in the international field related to IT in early childhood education. The appraisal of items sourced in this type of review utilises less formal quality assessment than found in other types of reviews, and instead, attempts to evaluate each item according to its contribution. The synthesis of the literature follows a narrative style and the analysisseeks to identify the conceptual contribution of the items included to the topic of IT in the early years. The aim of the analytic process is to elaborate and expand current conceptualisations of IT in the early years.Methodologically, four broad analytic categories informed both the synthesis and analysis of the literature. These categories emerged from the review of the literature and are: Conceptual; General pedagogical strategies; Learning Area; and Micro analytical research. The synthesis and analysis focus on four key features of the research into IT in the early years: changes over time; country of origin; theoretical perspective, research intent and methodology used.