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Rea
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A parent at nursery expressed concern that her daughter may end up being diagnosed with 'ADHD or something' because of the child's tendency to put toys and equipment into lines and to fold drawings and paintings. I explained that her daughter was merely working through what were called 'schemas' and that far from there being something wrong she was demonstrating normal development. Mom wasnt convinced so I said I would find her something which would help to explain what her daughter was doing. Problem is there are so many pages on schemas and Piaget and none seem very reader friendly. Has anyone got a simplified version of what a schema is? :D

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Does this help - from the introduction to a set of booklets, one for each of the 4 main schemas, that we made on an OCN schema course last year?

 

WHAT ARE SCHEMAS?

 

A SCHEMA is simply a PATTERN OF BEHAVIOUR

When you watch children’s natural actions and investigations you notice that their behaviour is not random. There is a pattern to each individual child’s behaviour. We call this pattern in behaviour “schemas”

Parents / carers and teachers can often identify these patterns of behaviour or schemas by looking closely at what children are doing.

 

Parents often comment or ask questions about the “odd” and sometimes annoying things that their children do. For example:

 

• Why push a pram around with nothing in?

• Why post objects into video recorders etc?

• Why tip toys out of boxes or scatter things off tables?

• Why is their child tying toys / people together?

• Why do children prefer to play inside cardboard boxes, want to hide under their beds or make dens under tables?

• Why do they want to wrap everything up, sometimes even themselves?

• Why does their child continually climb onto things and jump off again?

• Why do some children have a fascination with running water and flood the bathroom?

• Why do some children line objects up in a row when others make towers with everything?

 

By understanding a child’s schema/s we can begin to make sense of these “odd” and sometimes annoying behaviours

 

CHILDREN’S INTERESTS

 

Some children have one very clear schema; other children may have a number of schemas called “clusters”

 

By knowing which schema your child is interested in you can begin to make sense of what your child is doing. It can help you to understand:

 

• Why your child is more interested in the cardboard box than the toy it contained (enclosure schema)

• Why a ball of wool worth £1.00 is better to spend your money on than a £100 toy (connection schema)

• Why you can never find your car keys because your child has posted them somewhere (enclosure schema)

• Why your child is always in the bathroom causing a flood (trajectory schema)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Why your child always wants to sweep or Hoover the carpet (trajectory schema)

• Why your child is more interested in watching the washing machine than watching the television. (rotational schema)

• Why your child runs around being a superhero (transporting schema)

• Why your child moves things from one place to another for no apparent reason (transporting schema)

 

At Pre School we use schemas as an observation tool. We can plan activities to meet children’s needs.

 

To support children’s schemas we prioritise the use of recycled and natural materials.

 

Curtailing a child’s schema may inhibit his / her foundation for learning

Inhibiting a child’s schema may also impair their ability to reach a goal.

 

Oh, sorry, forgot to take the graphics out. Anyway, if it helps I can pm you the full booklet/s. Sounds like it's the trajectory one you'd be looking at.

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I've got a question on schema's, Where do they fit in with the six areas of learning?

 

The reason I ask is that I've often wondered where to record them in the childrens achievement files, which are laid out like our transfer records as PSE, CLL, Maths, KUW, PHYS, and CREA.

I assume they are cross curricular.

 

Maybe I need a few pages for cross curricular records. I know most achievements can be cross referenced to more than one area, but a schema, to me doesn't fall into any particular one, or can it?

please enlighten me anyone. :D

I asked my EYAT where I should record a schema of a child who lined everything up, from cars, to compare bears to even the pumpkin seeds he glued to paper just yesterday. :o She didn't know, just said it was cognitive development. xD

 

 

Peggy

 

p.s. weightman your description is very useful, thank you.

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Wow! A couple of really good sites there, Marion and ASPK! If I had known about those a few months ago I could have done my assignments much more quickly!

 

Peggy, I think the site ASPK mentions gives some of the answers to your very pertinent question. I also think it can be difficult to say exactly how a particular schema relates to the FS because it depends very much on the way any particular child is exploring that schema. Connection, for instance, can be about tying things together with string or having 'Eureka' moments when you suddenly understand why something happens. I think it's an area that deserves a lot more research!

 

I'm trying to attach one of the documents we did to help us plan for children with multiple schemas, to see if that helps anyone in linking to FS. I have a similar one for BTTM.

unit_2_assignment_1_Foundation_Stage_1.doc

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What I find interesting about schema's such as the lining up one, is that that is typical of an ASD child, but the schema lasts for a much longer time than in a 'normal' child. Schemas are thought to be where the learning of a particular child is, but also seem to be prolonged where there is a learning problem, or the child is using them to help make sense of the world and feel secure and in control as in ASD people.

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Thanks Weightman for your insight, I haven't had time to look at the links yet but look forward to it (thanks Marion and ASPK)

 

I do love it when my questions are followed by " there is more than one answer" answers :D:o

 

I also recognise the traits that JackieL has described too.

Isn't our work fascinating or what? :D

 

Peggy

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Isn't our work fascinating or what? :D

 

I'll second that Peggy :D:D

 

Not enough people stand back and watch. I think in some settings there is a tendancy for staff to be always engaging when really how many children have an adult shadowing them all day? At home they would have chance to lollop on the sofa, stare at the TV, engage with an adult, play alone in quite. If we sit back and watch and allow the children to be truely self directed, even if they just want to lie on a bean bag, then we could learn so much more about them. Nurseries are busy places but the routines of breakfast, snack, nappy changing, lunch, outdoors, snack, nappy changing, tea, home, dont really leave much time for the children to chill out, learn about themselves, stare at the wall, watch the other children, listen to their own breathing. It seems to me that it can be hard work being a child in a nursery :)

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Isn't our work fascinating or what? :D

 

I'll second that Peggy :D:D

 

Not enough people stand back and watch. I think in some settings there is a tendancy for staff to be always engaging when really how many children have an adult shadowing them all day? At home they would have chance to lollop on the sofa, stare at the TV, engage with an adult, play alone in quite. If we sit back and watch and allow the children to be truely self directed, even if they just want to lie on a bean bag, then we could learn so much more about them. Nurseries are busy places but the routines of breakfast, snack, nappy changing, lunch, outdoors, snack, nappy changing, tea, home, dont really leave much time for the children to chill out, learn about themselves, stare at the wall, watch the other children, listen to their own breathing. It seems to me that it can be hard work being a child in a nursery :)

 

We know how important observing is but dont we feel guilty being 'caught' just watching as if we should be doing something else :o

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I must admit I really enjoy our afternoon sessions best, basically because they don't come under the FSC funded planning requirements and the children do 'chill out' much more. Their pace has slowed down and they really become more engrossed in their play, especially role play. It is a real pleasure to observe the children who are sometimes 'lost' in the business of the mornings, really coming out of their shells, leading the others in role play, the conversations are more complex and even the very young ones stay at a particular area longer, less like their morning sessions when they flit between activities. :D (prize for longest sentence :o )

The children also access the book area better, taking their time to share books with each other.

Just the other day I observed a just 3 yr old boy, reading to a girl who has downs syndrome, he talked very slowly to her, emphasising and sounding out a particular word for her to repeat, he showed that he has an awareness of her developing speech. How fantastic is that. :D

 

 

Peggy

 

sorry off the topic abit but just shows the holistic nature of our work too.

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This one should have quite a bit of detail on for BTTM, as I concentrated on that one & my colleague did FS in more depth. I think this document also has the FS bit on that I posted earlier - sorry about that.

 

I should have said, you just add in any other schemas and plan for what children interested in them are likely to get out of the activity. I hope that makes sense.

unit_2_assignment_1_Documentation_and_analysis.doc

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Thankyou so much ladies for this information about schemas, I have been studying them for college and these links are fantastic, you never cease to amaze me with your knowlede, thankyou for sharing.

My son has a trajectory schema and has had it for a while it is brilliant to be able to extend his learning with his interest/preferred way of learning it really works for him to be attentive to his schema, still trying to convince my husband that his son doesn't just like throwing everything!!!

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:( Marion, I was once told, in front of a parent, to 'get some work done', I was sitting in the home corner with a table cloth round my shoulders and having my hair done with a fork and a chop stick while listening to the chat of 3 small girls. Completely know what you mean about being made to feel guilty :o

 

Yes Sue, the short time I spent in your toddler room with the floor covered in an aray of objects was just what I was thinking of. I'm moving things around at nursery xD:D

 

I was going to ask if asnyone knew the poem about standing and staring, but after a google I found it...

 

W. H. Davies

Leisure

 

WHAT is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,

And stare as long as sheep and cows:

 

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

 

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

 

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance:

 

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began?

 

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

 

 

Oops, forgot to thank all the efforts to find stuff on schemas, now if someone could virtually send me some ink, we'd be cooking.. :D

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I am fascinated by schemas and would like to find out even more! Are there any publications about them, or texts other than the ones attached on this thread? Alternatively, will anyone come to my setting and do a staff meeting for me?!!?!!

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Hi Shelley,

 

I have a few resources bookmarked, including one complete book that I found online! Hope I can attach it successfully.

 

Books by Tina Bruce and Cathy Nutbrown cover schemas, as do the Pen Green people - Cath Arnold in particular, I think, without looking it up.

 

I'll also try to attach some graphics that may be useful.

Thinking_Children_by_Meade___Cubey.pdf

Schemas_Powerpoint_slides_in_Word.doc

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This has been a fascinating topic to read and I have certainly learnt a lot and refreshed bits that I already knew. What I'm interested in is how much of this is taught to students on NVQs or NNEBs (as was?) I did the DPP and only knew about schemas through my 'previous life' as a trainee teacher. This is vital information for staff to know and should be a major part of child development studies. It would certainly empower staff when talking to concerned parents or when planning for individual needs. Can anyone tell me if this is taught?

 

Nurseries are busy places but the routines of breakfast, snack, nappy changing, lunch, outdoors, snack, nappy changing, tea, home, dont really leave much time for the children to chill out, learn about themselves, stare at the wall, watch the other children, listen to their own breathing. It seems to me that it can be hard work being a child in a nursery :)

 

I couldn't agree more with you Rea, but as practitioners we have the ability to allow the children to be able to do this by not imposing the routines on them (not saying for one moment that you do, but thinking of the nurseries I support) I offer practice support to private day nurseries and so often I get 'we can't possbily do that because of the routine' - well, DITCH THE ROUTINE! Snacks can be set up as self service snack bars, water can be self-service, outdoor play can be open access, nappy changing is done on demand and not at 10.30 and 2.30 for an hour at a time etc.... okay, so I've got my rose-tinted glasses on again and I know that in the real world, this is not always achievable, but in the day of Every Child Matters, we CAN make the changes and make a difference to the child's day. Oops, should have put an 'off topic rant warning' on that - sorry all!

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We are looking at it for the Foundation Degree course, I have to do a 10minute powerpoint presentation based on a child I have identified with a schema, may be if I am brave enough I will attach it when it is finished.

 

It seems there is a lot of new research that is going to highlight this aspect of promoting development in early years so I think we will all soon be hearing more and more about schemas, I think it is a brilliant concept to home in on a child's way of thniking and their interest - it's a recipe for a good working relationship with adult and child.

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