Element 1.2.1: Intentional teaching

Educators are deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful in their decisions and actions.

What Element 1.2.1 aims to achieve


Intentional teaching in the early childhood context (and intentionality in the middle childhood context) is being deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in decisions and actions (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 15; Framework for School Age Care, p. 41).

In the middle childhood context, intentionality includes actively promoting children’s learning through challenging experiences and interactions that foster high-level critical thinking skills. Intentionality includes engaging with children in meaningful ways that support and extend their thinking and learning (Framework for School Age Care, p. 14).

Intentional teaching utilises professional knowledge and strategies that reflect contemporary theories and research concerning children’s play, leisure and learning (Framework for School Age Care, p. 14). Intentional educators are able to explain what they are doing and why they are doing it.

Intentional educators:

  • recognise that learning occurs in social contexts and that interactions and communication are vitally important for learning
  • use strategies (such as modelling and demonstrating, open-ended questioning, speculating, explaining and engaging in sustained shared conversations) to extend children’s thinking and learning
  • move flexibly in and out of different roles and draw on different strategies as the context of children’s play changes
  • use their professional knowledge to plan programs that support children’s knowledge building (adapted from the Early Years Learning Framework, p. 15; and the Framework for School Age Care, p. 14).

Assessment guide for meeting Element 1.2.1 (for all services)

Intentional teaching practice


Assessors may observe:

  • educators:
    • providing time, space and learning experiences that facilitate thoughtful and challenging conversations with children
    • engaging with children by listening, showing interest and asking open-ended questions to encourage thinking and conversation
    • using a range of communication strategies that involve explanations, speculation and problem solving
    • collaborating with children to develop further knowledge and skills
    • using teaching strategies that complement the goals they have for children’s learning
    • providing instructional/intentional support to children during play, routines and transitions
    • who are fully present and mindful of opportunities to provide children time and space to ‘be’.

Assessors may discuss:

  • the plans and strategies educators use to promote learning across all aspects of the program
  • how intentional teaching strategies are used to extend children’s play, including spontaneous experiences
  • any changes in practices that have been implemented to support a child requiring additional assistance, and how those changes have been adapted and sustained over time to benefit the learning of other children and build respect for diversity
  • how educators:
    • decide when to use particular intentional teaching strategies, including the intentional positioning of resources or structuring of the learning environment
School age children
  • make conscious decisions in a leisure based program to promote learning and wellbeing.

Assessors may sight:


  • the written program
  • team meeting minutes when intentional teaching strategies have been discussed
  • documented examples of reflective practice
  • planning documentation that identifies resources to support ongoing learning
  • documentation that monitors children’s learning, wellbeing and engagement.