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Child-centredness And The Eyfs


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Hi all

This is my first time on here so I am new to this. I am currently conducting a small research project looking into child-centerdness within EYFS practice within my setting. I was curious to seek some opinions on the subject from outside the setting. There are so many defintions of child-centred practice it is hard for all to work towards a common defintion and with conflicting mesaages from the EYFS document and local government targets stressing accountbaility I was woundering how other practioners were managing what could be a dificult yet worthwhile task of remaing child-centred in pratcie.

I will look forward to the comments made thanks, C

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well that is one of te things i wish to find out child centredness or childcentred practice - what does it actually mean? there are so many differeing views and phrases associated i would be greatful of your interpretation thanks

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What an interesting question. xD I think one of my bugbears is that sometimes people misunderstand (to my mind!!) what being child centred is about. They think that it means we have to let the children do what they want, when they want to and how they want to. This is not the case though! Children are not capable of making all of these decisions for themselves and need caring and sensitive adults to guide them in their choices. Our job is to recognise what a child needs and respond to this.

 

I also think that many adults have very rigid views about what they need to 'teach' children and often impose quite ridiculous rules and routines which have more to do with the views and convenience of the adults, than the children. We need to be able to sort out the really important issues and let go of those things which, in the greater scheme of things, are not so important. :o

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In my opinion Child centred practice is about promoting the natural desire to learn based on the needs, abilities and interests of the child, educating and engaging the whole child.

Fab Marion - summing it all up in one sentence! Your definition is as apt for a classroom as it is for a childminder or pre-school setting, although clearly my own musings on child centred practice is based on my own practice in pre-school.

 

The problem with the whole child-centredness thing is that it is (or rather can be) such a challenge on so many levels. For practitioners it can require a complete mindshift away from the need to 'teach' children all we know as if they are merely a repository for our knowledge. I've seen well trained practitioners really struggle to move out of their own comfort zone when planning - concentrating on the "cut this out, stick it on here, fold here" approach rather than providing resources, time and space and seeing what children make of it.

 

For me, child-centredness is about keeping the child in mind whatever we do, and asking ourselves "what are the children getting out of this?" when planning our provision. It is a particularly useful question to ask when someone suggests a change in procedure because it will make things easier for the adults - and does concentrate the mind wonderfully.

 

I shall be watching this discussion with interest!

 

Maz

 

PS Welcome to the Forum ceeceestar - congratultions on your first post!

Edited by HappyMaz
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I agree with Beau.

"They think that it means we have to let the children do what they want, when they want to and how they want to. "

 

I am currently agency working in a variety of settings from and the perception of what is meant by child centred, is perceived in VERY different ways.

 

Some see it as Beau described - basically let then children do exactly what they want, when and how they want to do it. On occassions there is VERY little adult support or interaction. The most shocking thing to me is that some of these settings are being led by EYPS or degree level staff. The activities and resources available are immense but with minimal support and interaction are wasted.

 

:oxD

 

Net

x

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Hi all

thanks for welcoming me to the forum, and wow what intersting and valid comments... I too feel it is about keeping the child at the 'centre' if you like and working with their interst but with guidance and support where approriate it is very intersting to hear the varrying opinions and wounderful to hear such passion from fellow supporters of early years pratcice. :oxD

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Hi ceeceestar, A warm welcome from me too. :o

 

Good valid points already, I define child centreredness as 'from the child's perspective'. I don't think it's just about learning, it's about 'being', the uniqueness of the individual, and yes, the whole child. Quite an abstract concept as many have found.

 

I think it's a balance of what we can teach and what we can learn from the child. To be able to learn from the child we need to be able to view the world as near as possible to how the child does, to understand the child's thinking, perception, and how the child engages within his/her world. We also need to understand the limits to a childs thinking skills and to support and enable this development, but in a way that suits the individual child, what is the childs learning style.

Then to consider what are our aims for a child within the time period we are given with him/her, do we value 'just being' today as much as 'what K.S.A (knowledge, skills attitudes) do they need to develop for their future?

 

 

I think childrens lifes are so full of adult expectations of them ( some over estimated, some underestimated). To me child centreredness is making the time to stop and see (observe fully) what expectations they have of themselves, what is important to them, what interests them (which may be different to what is important to them), how do they choose to engage, interact, experience life, and from this insight plan ways to value, support, enable, motivate, and enjoy lifes experiences. I think that is why it is good that the ECM heading is 'enjoying and achieveing' when looking at learning.

I think we need to have more 'trust' in childrens capacity to learn.

 

Going off on a tangent now, I think. Great topic for discussion, I too look forward to reading others replies.

 

Peggy

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for all the replies... all posts have very valid points and and helped me gain an insight into others perspectives on child-centredness, so how do people feel about this in relation to the EYFS is it compatible with a child centred approch? :o

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Also does anyone have a good reference or defintion of child-centred practice from theory? xD

 

 

Vygotsky

 

Reggio

 

EPPE Study

 

 

Have a look at EYFS bibliography (if there is one :o )

 

Peggy

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Guest pamgreen

The following book is absolutely brilliant, it discusses this topic in detail. Like Bees, Not Butterflies: Child-initiated Learning in the Early Years (Paperback) I got it from amazon

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