It's been a while since I have written. It'd take me a while to remember what I have learnt in the past one year since I have been in Toowoomba.
The reason I am reflecting now is because an acquaintance, (technically my financial sponsor) asked me specific questions about the education system in Australia. I can only share my experiences of those that in Toowoomba, since I was only there all this while.
After experiencing both the Montessori and the Play-based pedagogies educational settings, without looking at it from a biased perspective, I must admit that the implementation of a play-based curriculum is actually much harder than of a Montessori one.
Many of the centres in Toowoomba (as far as I know) employ a play-based curriculum in the setting. But as far as the implementation goes, that is about as far as similarity goes. In a private based centre, the staff are very particular and rigid about the keeping and following of rules and regulations. This is to maintain the image of the school as funding comes from the patronage of the parents.
In a government & public funded centre, there is also an emphasis on following the rules and regulations. However, the following of these rules & regulations are done on a voluntary basis from the staff's own initiative and behalf, as not so much as to follow rules & regulations blindly, but that to maintain that the centre keeps its standards.
A play-based curriculum employs much observation skills and initiative on behalf of the group leader/teacher of the class-room. Materials that are provided in the classroom are the normal standard materials that are found in the classroom, but it is the teacher's skills of observations, planning, implementation and evaluation that makes the difference to the programme that is being employed. The children is given free-choice and access to materials which are set at the children's eye level..
*to be continued later, if I do that is...*