Expansion of Early Abilities Based Learning and Educational Support (for the Victorian Department of Education and Training)

Dr Nives Nibali
T: +61 3 8344 8207
E: nives.nibali@unimelb.edu.au

Project Details

Children develop and learn in different ways. Some young children require additional support to develop skills and continue a pathway of positive learning. The previous Early Abilities Based Learning and Educational Support (Early ABLES) Project provided practical resources for early childhood professionals as they assess, plan, facilitate, and report on the learning of foundational skills for children aged two to five years with disabilities and additional learning needs. That project created new resources that are useful for early childhood professionals and that support the learning experiences of young children with additional learning needs, so their potential can be fully realised.

In partnership with the Department of Education and Training, the work of the Expansion of Early Abilities Based Learning and Educational Support (Early ABLES) Project is to adapt and validate the ABLES resources for use with a two to five-year old cohort of children with additional learning needs. These materials include assessment and reporting tools for Numeracy, Physical Movement and Thinking Skills. The adapted ABLES materials will be used to bridge understanding of early childhood capacity framed in the structure of the Victorian Early Years Learning Development Framework (VEYLDF), with that underpinning the Victorian Curriculum. The adapted ABLES and supporting materials will be constructed with the goal of optimising the learning potential of young children with additional learning needs. It is expected that the adapted ABLES resources will support early childhood educators in their efforts to assess, plan, teach, and report the learning of foundational skills for young children with additional learning needs.

This research, funded by the The Department of Education and Training (DET) Victoria, will seek to validate the adapted version of the ABLES resources to:

  • Support early childhood educators’ assessment of children’s learning and development
  • Enable early childhood educators to better meet the needs of children with additional learning needs through improved curriculum planning using adapted and validated ABLES assessment tools
  • Support children’s transition to school by improving the transfer of information between early childhood professionals, families, and school professionals, enabling foundation teachers to better adapt and plan their curriculum for incoming students with additional learning needs and enabling school staff to improve student learning experiences
  • Contribute to a more consistent approach to learning, assessment, and reporting for children from early childhood through primary

The research includes close consultation with early years educators and early years experts. To this end, consultation workshops and pilots were conducted to gather feedback throughout the adaptation process. Trial of the adapted tools were initially conducted at the University of Melbourne, where 90 educators of 2-5-year-old children attended one of three all day workshops. The workshops included professional development about the Early ABLES suite of tools and time to complete the assessments and review the most recent draft of the tools. The research team then followed up with site visits for those with larger number of eligible children who could not attend the workshops. In addition, access to the trial was extended to participants via a webinar, in which information about both the project and the Early ABLES suite of tools was made available.

screen-grab of ABLES application landing page

screen-grab of ABLES application

Researchers

  • Enterprise Professor Sandra Milligan
  • Dr Nives Nibali
  • Dr Kerry Woods
  • Toshiko Kamei
  • Nafisa Awwal

Funding

Department of Education and Training, Victoria

Research Centre

Assessment Research Centre