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Early years team work and leadership
Early years team work and leadership

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1.2 Evidence of practice

In Activity 3 you identified potential instances of leadership from your observations of Caroline and her colleagues. In the following activity you are asked to think about possible sources of evidence of practice and/or knowledge and understanding of practice, first in relation to Caroline’s practice and then in relation to your own practice.

Activity 4 What might constitute evidence of practice?

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

The objectives of this activity are for you to understand what constitutes evidence of practice, identify what a piece of evidence might ‘say’ about your practice, and become more aware of the importance of documenting your day-to-day practice.

Table 1 Instances of leadership and potential evidence
Instances of leadershipPrimary evidenceSecondary evidence
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In the table above, type into the left-hand column each of the instances of leadership you identified in Activity 3 from viewing the video sequence ‘Parents’ evening’. Now note in the relevant columns examples of primary and/or secondary evidence that Caroline, or the other practitioners in the sequence, might provide as evidence to demonstrate their practice and/or knowledge and understanding.

The example below lists a couple of instances of leadership that might be identified, together with possible sources of primary and secondary evidence.

Example of Table 1 entries
Instances of leadershipPrimary evidenceSecondary evidence
Giving children responsibilityAn observation noting what the practitioners said/did and how the children respondedReflective journal entry discussing activity
Responding to parent over future changes to the parents’ eveningAgenda for evening showing ‘opportunities for questions’ Jotted notes from the meeting outlining parents’ suggestionsA witness testimony from staff member in attendance outlining how the request was handled

Comment

You could probably identify both primary and secondary evidence against each instance of leadership, although you may have identified only primary, or only secondary evidence. You may have realised, however, that unless you think about the need to gather evidence of your practice, some primary evidence could easily be overlooked or destroyed before you are ready to use it. The jotted notes from the parents’ meeting, for instance, are normally recycled after the action points have been addressed. Thinking ahead and gathering potential evidence in a folder is one way to ensure that it is not lost. Equally, you may need to think ahead to ensure that evidence of your practice is recorded. For instance, if you had brought the parents’ suggestions to a staff meeting to discuss plans for the next parents’ evening, you may have needed to ask the minute taker to take care to record your input in the minutes of the meeting.

You should aim for primary evidence sources wherever possible, but sometimes this can be difficult. You may have identified a number of instances where it is not easy to provide evidence that has come directly from practice – for example, where Caroline is talking to the parents as they are walking round the setting. Asking a parent, or colleague, to write a statement that outlines what you did is acceptable secondary evidence in this case. Clearly you need to be careful to ensure confidentiality when dealing with all evidence sources.