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Articles Teaching and Learning

Cross-phase articles about teaching and learning
Quality Early Years practice comes from an understanding of child development and also a belief that children should play the principle role in leading their learning. What we do and how we do it is built on centuries of theory, research and succes…
A brief history and summary of the theories and practical aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach. Malaguzzi had a deep sense of respect for children's ability to be partners in their own learning, and this is at the heart of the Reggio approach to edu…
Isaacs had a passionate belief in the place of nursery education in society. She felt that attending a nursery school should be a natural part of a child’s early life: the early years setting was a place that should both mirror the family through l…
In her lifetime, Maria Montessori was regarded as one of the foremost female educationalists and her legacy continues today in many Montessori schools worldwide.
Dewey partitioned childhood into different stages of development, the first stage being from the ages of four to eight years. He believed that during this period the key factors for successful learning were play, conversation, physical activity and s…
Like other educational theorists before him, Steiner divided childhood up into distinct phases. They fall in seven year cycles and are marked by physical changes in the child. He explained that the early years of childhood are a time of learning by b…
As the name of his system of schooling suggests, the 'kindergarten' or 'children's garden' allowed time for outside play and experiencing nature. Froebel felt that play should have a purpose if the child was to learn from it. He devised specific pl…
Pestalozzi realised that children feel safe and secure at home and that it was this atmosphere that was most conducive to learning. However, he founded a number of educational establishments as he was aware that not all children could spend time lear…
Rousseau's understanding of the early years of child development as being a profound time in our lives is still relevant today. His appreciation of how much a child learns through finding things out for themselves, and of the role of observation and …
Belle Wallace, creator of the TASC framework for developing children's thinking and problem-solving skills, explains how significant the relationship is between the acquisition of language and the development of thought.
Mary E. Maunder presents musical activities to support young children's development and learning across the six areas
Sara Knight, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Anglia Ruskin University, discusses the historical meanings of "schooling" and their relevance to today's young children. She outlines four ways in which we learn, and explains her concerns …
Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is the Jewish Festival of Lights. The word Hanukkah means ‘rededication’, and it is a time for celebrating a great miracle in Jewish history and for showing hope and dedication against all the odds. The festival lasts for eight…
Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL) are a revived element in the current Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). CoEL advocate that in planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that …
This article will focus on the need for early years practitioners to develop their knowledge of reflective thinking. It will focus on some of the history and theory of reflective practice considering and discussing how theory can help develop practi…
Many of the FSF members follow Alistair Bryce-Clegg's blog and have attended his very popular presentations. Following a discussion here about his innovative 'objective-led planning', we invited Alistair to explain this approach.
What children need in settings is a chance to spend quality time with an adult, with reading material that excites the children’s interests, in a space that is inviting.  
This article is the third and final in our series on the Characteristics of Effective Learning, following on from Play and Exploration in Action and Active Learning in Action.
This article is about young children playing with digital technologies at home and in their educational settings. It draws on a series of research studies conducted at the University of Stirling over a period of 10 years with my colleagues Professor …
It is not always clear  how observations should be used to inform planning, assessments and evaluation of children's progress. Sometimes the huge array of choices can make choosing a next step a really confusing task.
In this article, Kathy Brodie focuses on how sustained shared thinking can support each of the Prime areas of learning and development, as defined by the EYFS – Communication and Language; Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Devel…
Kathy Brodie examines how Sustained Shared Thinking can be used to enhance the four areas of learning and development in the EYFS known as the Specific Areas: Mathematics, Expressive Arts and Design, Literacy and Understanding the World.
The use of milestones in the form of development checklists do not take on the individuality of each child. They are generic and imply that all children go through the sequential process. This article aims to introduce the concept of individuality of…
The provision of mark making opportunities can help children develop imaginatively, creatively and physically. Mark making is important for many reasons. It is a visible way for children to tell stories and express feelings, record what they have to …
It is often noted in literature that planning and teaching should be based around children’s interests. Through doing so, practitioners can enhance development and progress in each area of learning. The National Strategies for Early Years suggest tha…