‘Time for Being’: Why the Australian Early Years Learning Framework opens up new possibilities
SAGE Publications Inc.
School of Education
Many Western countries around the world have been reviewing policy and practice aimed at enhancing the quality and professional practice of early childhood education. The response has been to establish government-sanctioned curriculum frameworks based on current research and the dominant discourses of educational provision. The successful implementation of a curriculum framework relies not simply on the policy or regulatory practice, but on educators; their interpretation, knowledge and understanding of the framework; and their ability to apply it to their pedagogical practices. Australia too has introduced a new national learning framework, the Early Years Learning Framework, titled Belonging, Being and Becoming. ‘Being’ is central to the framework but what does it really mean? Our Being is part of who we are and yet is difficult to describe. This article aims to provide insights into the meaning and importance of Being in the context of early childhood education and care settings. It draws on Heidegger’s ontological explanation of the concept of Being and offers clarification on what it means to Be and why it is significant for early childhood educators and children.