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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


A Report of a Research Study in Long Day Care in South Australia

Prof. Marjory Ebbeck.

A curriculum framework was developed in South Australia by the Department of Education, Training and Employment as part of a state wide single cohesive birth to Year 12 curriculum initiative. The framework was introduced in 2001. A research grant from the Commonwealth Government allowed for a 3 year study to evaluate the difference that the use of the curriculum framework made to the quality of young children's curriculum in child care. The sample comprised 10 long day care centres in South Australia from which 60 children and 40 educators of the children were selected using a stratified representative sample. The research questions were investigated to identify the prime learning experiences of the children using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies of assessment. Extensive gathering of data occurred over a 10 month period and the curriculum quality was assessed using four variables. The results showed that in each of the four variables significant improvements were found after the introduction of the curriculum framework The connections between variables showed that the curriculum quality had improved significantly as a result of implementing the curriculum framework.

The research used a case study approach which involved direct observation of teacher and children. Research instruments were specifically designed for the study and consisted of identified indicators against which behaviour was measured. The findings are significant and given the quality debate in care and education of young children have wide interest.


Prof. Marjory Ebbeck  (Australia)
Professor of Early Childhood Education
Division of Arts, Education & Social Sciences
University of South Australia

Professor of early childhood, director of an off-shore program in Singapore, research degree coordinator.

  • Curriculum framework
  • Long day care
  • 0-3 aged children
  • Observation research study
  • Case studies of 10 sites

(30 min Conference Paper, English)