EYFS Early Years General articles
I am currently working towards Early Years Teacher Status as an Early Childhood Studies graduate. I am sharing my academic journey hoping to inspire those considering academic studies of their own.
In Part 1 we saw how Emotion Coaching offers a relational model for supporting children’s behaviour. We compared Emotion Coaching to traditional behaviourist approaches and also to other styles of managing children’s behavior, such as a disapproving or dismissing approach. We saw how Emotion Coaching offers a powerful way to connect with young children’s emotional state and helps them to manage their own feelings and desires – to learn to self-regulate their behaviour internally rather than relying on extrinsic rewards or sanctions to modify their behavior.
This article, by Dr Janet Rose from Bath Spa University, draws attention to a growing base of research evidence which suggests that a ‘relational’ rather than a ‘behavioural’ approach to supporting young children’s learning and behaviour is likely to facilitate the development of better self-regulation and social functioning. Such an approach operates to create ‘internal’ mechanisms within the brain. An approach that encapsulates this more affective and effective way of managing behaviour is called ‘Emotion Coaching’. It reflects the evidence that the most successful programmes, in terms of improving behaviour for learning, are those that focus on the emotional and social causes of difficult to manage behaviour and proactively teach social and emotional competencies. It is also supported by recent findings from neuroscience.
Part 2 continues the journey of exploring our role in supporting young children’s learning and development. It outlines the five remaining ‘selves’ of the ‘plural practitioner’ framework that encompass this role. The ‘plural practitioner’ framework is offered as a useful vehicle for enabling us to clarify our role in the day to day interactions with children that occur throughout our practice. It offers a way forward in helping us to minimize any uncertainty about whether ‘to intervene’ or ‘not to intervene’ in children’s play.
Janet Rose, Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Bath Spa University, explores the many different ways in which adults interact with young children in early years settings. Research demonstrates that the heart of quality practice lies within the interactions that take place between adults and young children and reveals how, in a typical day, early years practitioners might have over 1000 ‘interpersonal interactions’ with children. The process of this interactive engagement between adults and children is explored through a framework known as the ‘plural practitioner’.
Our aim as professionals is to achieve better outcomes for children, families and the community. We want to provide effective learning experiences for the children in our care, and strive for continuous quality improvement, but also want to ensure personal and professional development. With this shared understanding and vision of the early years, reflection, through adopting certain thinking approaches, is the tool that supports us to achieve this. Ruksana Mohammed, Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at the University of East London identifies some effective processes we can adopt to develop our skills of reflection.
Exploring practitioners' understanding of quality (available to visitors)
Michelle Cottle is a senior lecturer in early childhood studies at the University of Roehampton. Her article discusses some of the issues that may shape early years practitioners’ understandings of ‘quality’ within the context of their particular settings. It draws on data from a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (2009). Michelle discusses the two distinct ways of understanding 'quality': as a locally-determined, changing and dynamic process for each individual setting, or as a static 'target', externally defined and imposed by statutory frameworks and regulations.
How do we give effective feedback to children about what they have learned and what they might do next? Here, Sue Ridgway discusses how to involve children in evaluating their learning and planning future experiences.
Have you heard of the phrase ‘Nature deficit disorder’? Just recently there have been lots of reports, book releases, news articles, and interviews on TV and radio about the need to reconnect children to nature. Many of our children’s lives are well organised by well intentioned parents going from one adult led activity to the next e.g. school to football to drama class to ballet where they often don’t need to do much creative thinking for themselves. They live an over-scheduled, over-organised childhood. Here, Helen Irving shares with us a summary of recent reports on the subject of children's lack of engagement with nature.
In the last few years the use of social media has grown rapidly. It is now estimated that 65% of all adult Internet users access some form of social networking site. The most well known of the social networking sites are Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Written by Kathy Brodie, this article gives a brief explanation of the uses for each of the different sites and their unique qualities. There is a discussion about the benefits of using social media for nurseries and practitioners, and also the pitfalls we should be mindful of. It is concluded with some recommendations for good practice.
Persona Dolls (available to visitors)
How can we use Persona Dolls to support children's understanding of equality and to celebrate diversity? Here, Juliet Mickelburgh gives us ideas on how to introduce the dolls to children and their families, and explains the benefits of including them in your setting.
What do we mean by "good behaviour"? We are often quite clear about the behaviour that we don't want to see in our settings! Can we be proactive about this and plan consistent positive behaviour strategies where all children feel happy and secure and want to demonstrate that "good behaviour", however we define it?
A common perception among the general public is that it is easy to teach young children mathematics. In this article, Professor Anne Cockburn, from the School of Education & Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia, discusses some of the potential pitfalls one may encounter in such an undertaking thus illustrating why early years' mathematics education is a rather more complex process than it might first appear.
Working in partnership with parents is now considered to be one of the key areas of good early years practice, illustrated by the focussing of four Standards in the EYPS on this subject. In the first of two articles we look at why partnership with parents is so important, with the following article exploring how to establish successful partnership.
Getting through interviews successfully is all about preparation. This article guides the interviewee through the process, recommending strategies for impressing your interviewer.
Following her first well received first article on Foundation Stage Units, Anne discusses in more depth her experiences and the lessons learned of the set up of her unit.
Foundation Stage Units Part 1: developing integrated provision for nursery and reception age children
An overview of the differing types of FSU from an experienced early years professional and author, giving pros, cons and issues around the subject.
It's Good to get Global! Global citizenship in the Early Years (available to visitors)
A well-referenced article, with resources and activity suggestions for introducing young children to the wider world of global citizenship.
Men in Early Childhood Education: Why we are where we are- perhaps? (available to visitors)
Richard Harty outlines the current issues concerning men in the early years workforce and describes the outcome of the first "Men in Early Childhood" summit in New Zealand.
Signing with Children (available to visitors)
In April 2009, Milkshake Montessori Nursery School introduced signing into the setting following
the "Signing with Babies and Young Children" accredited CPD course. The achievements made by children, parents/carers and early years practitioners have been impressive, rewarding and inspiring. Here, Geraldine Hill describes the theory behind the methodology.
Joy Chalke, principal lecturer in the School of Education and Continuing Studies at the University of Portsmouth, demonstrates and analyses some of the critical thinking skills required of students engaged in higher education courses.
A commissioned piece of research into the factors which help or hinder early years graduates in successfully undertaking EYPS.
This article examines the role of risk taking in child development and how practitioners can foster a positive attitude to risk in the early years.
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