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Tapestry

The FSF Bookshelf

Beginning Teaching, Beginning Learning

In Bookshelf Early Years Practice

Summary

Those engaging in teacher training, or embarking on their first teaching positions, would do well to read this book and use the reflective questions to develop their own professional skills, approaches and pedagogies.

Review

The original publication, the editors state, grew out of the realisation that teacher training courses, especially the PGCE, offered little to no time to explore underlying issues in early years and primary education. Still hugely important, we naturally want all teachers and practitioners to be as widely read as possible in the field of education, keeping up to date with latest thinking and research and reflecting on their practice in order to provide the highest quality education for the children in their care.

Covering a very wide range of topics, there is something here for everyone. Part 1 covers policy (although published in 2011 some issues are not current, they still hold interest in the wider context), cognitive neuroscience, attachment and safeguarding. Part 2 looks at the nitty gritty of the teacher’s day- organising the classroom, planning, assessment and behaviour management.

Part 3 examines the ways in which children learn and develop. Of particular note is David Whitebread and Penny Coltman’s chapter on self-regulation, which details the excellent Cambridgeshire Independent Learning research by Whitebread’s team. Still an extremely hot topic in today’s early years and primary settings!

Carrie Weston and Elizabeth Marsden’s chapter on the relationship between physical development and learning is also highly relevant in the current climate, with Ofsted focussing on the importance of physical development in the early years.

Part 4 explores the influences on children’s learning, for example social class, diversity, and health and well-being. Finally, Part 5 looks at the cooperative aspect of working in education; developing effective relationships with parents; working with health professionals to support children with long-term health issues, and working with outside agencies.

Although now 7 years since publication, and with mention of EYPS and Key Stage 1 SATS clearly no longer a part of the early years and primary scene, this book still offers an interesting and stimulating way to engage with the issues important to the teaching profession. Those engaging in teacher training, or embarking on their first teaching positions, would do well to read this book and use the reflective questions to develop their own professional skills, approaches and pedagogies.

 




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