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Gowrie NSW Educator Glacy Burgess wins ECA 'Innovation in Pedagogy and Practice Award'

We are beyond proud to announce that Glacy Burgess from Discovery House ACT has won a prestigious ECA ‘Innovation in Pedagogy and Practice’ Award at this week’s Education and Care Awards Gala held in Canberra.

This important award showcases the commitment, innovation and achievement of individuals and services within the Early Education and Care sector.


Glacy Burgess has been with Discovery House since its opening in 2019 and has recently been appointed Educational Leader in the Toddler Room, as well as Service Educational Leader.

Glacy uses her knowledge of attachment theory and child development to understand children and build secure relationships with them. The children settle in care quite quickly under her care because she is sensitive and responsive to them, thus the trusting relationships had with her families. Families adore Glacy and respect her for her professionalism and great work ethic.

Service Philosophy and advocacy

GlacyGlacy successfully championed children by including their voices in the service philosophy and her advocacy against schoolification in the ECEC. Glacy encourages educators to reflect on their practice against the ECA Code of Ethics, the NQF and EYLF. Glacy wants all educators to be professionals who see education and care of young children as art and science.

Glacy’s innovation is in her practice of respect for children, evident in the programme she creates including;

• Routines
• Rituals
• Transitions
• Interactions
• use of language

She also helped establish and champion the Primary Educator Relationships practice within the service, a caregiving model based on attachment theory by John Bowlby.

A guide on respectful pedagogy

Rather than a prescribed list of activities, the educational programme Glacy uses is a guide on respectful pedagogy.

For example, instead of the educator leading an experience, Glacy teaches the educators to trust children to direct their learning by stepping back and observing children sensitively.

Glacy also demonstrates respect to educators and children by allowing them enough time and space to learn and discover through uninterrupted playtime as part of daily routines and rituals. Children are happy and cooperate during caregiving moments such as nappy changes, sleep, or mealtimes because they aren’t rushed and forced into compliance; instead, Glacy practices involving children in all aspects of their caregiving. Glacy has highlighted how

“It is important to be present and responsive to children during caregiving moments and not treating this time as a task that needs to be done as quickly as possible” Glacy says

“I involve the children in caregiving - so I let them know what’s about to happen. For example, I would tell a child that I was about pick them up to change their nappies. I would continue to involve them by letting them know what is happening every step of the way. You can see a difference in our peaceful infant’s room, with content children content, and content educators”.

One of Glacy’s many strengths is in mentoring other educators to advocate for children's right to autonomy and a sense of agency. Glacy continues to encourage a simultaneous indoor and outdoor programme to support children's capacity to direct their learning while at the same time teaching educators to be responsive and attuned to children’s needs. Glacy also believes that providing children with simultaneous indoor-outdoor experiences encourages educators to design environments that are cognitively challenging while freeing up educators from teacher-led activities and being more present with the children in their care.


“Having Glacy part of our Gowrie Discovery House team has proven priceless. Glacy is a regular highlight at our team meetings, holding short sessions on how we as a team can remain at the forefront of our practice and pedagogy. Glacy’s passion and dedication as an advocate for children’s rights and best practice has seen her travel overseas to participate in a RIE Foundations program which has proven invaluable to our Infants space and right through the service". says Cindy, Centre Director Discovery House.

“Glacy has also had the opportunity to be mentored by Elena Marouchos a RIE Associate and one of her main focus has been to highlight the importance of educators slowing down within their practice to be present within the moment in turn allowing for more sensitive observation".

Glacy has published numerous articles for Gowrie NSW, including “The Importance of Showing Up” to be used as a useful resource for all educators.

“Glacy’s strong relationships with our families have made her one of the most approachable, trusted members of our team.” Cindy Van Der Voet, Centre Director, Discovery House

Congratulations on your well-deserved award Glacy!