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A Book Review: Reflective Teaching in Early Education

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Reflective Teaching in Early Education

Jennifer Colwell and Amanda Ince et al.    

 

This book on reflective practice is aimed at early education students and professionals. It covers all aspects of practice, from the individual educator, their team, the children and families in their community, and their impact on the wider society.  It is written by a variety of contributors, but every chapter is linked, and references are made back and forth between sections. The connectedness across the book is also maintained by the inclusion of the Teaching and Learning Research Programme Principles (TLRP) (2000-12) in each chapter, and which are examined in detail in Chapter 4.

This book is not passive read! It is active and engaging, with reflective activities, expert questions, research summaries and case studies to prompt and encourage participation in reflection. The book doesn’t just give you information, it requires something from you, whether you are reading it as an individual or sharing it as part of becoming a reflective team.

An example of one reflective activity early on in the book, included in the section on Identity, is as follows:

First, without referring to the register or any lists, write down the names of the children you work with. Note which order you listed them in and if you found any children’s names hard to remember. What does the order tell you about which children are more memorable than others, and for what reason? P. 22

Reflective Teaching in Early Education covers all aspects of early years practice, from becoming a reflective professional, to the conditions for learning, pedagogy, theory and curriculum, inclusion, and expertise. It demonstrates that early years educators do not exist outside their cultural, political, economic, historical and social backgrounds, and that we need to be mindful of what shapes our approaches and opinions, and the impact we have on children and families.

It celebrates the complexity of the role of the early years professional, and explores how every part of our practice is linked. While we can’t reflect on everything at the same time, we do need to understand why we are doing what we do, with children at the heart of that understanding.  

The task of the early years practitioner is not just about meeting standards – ‘this role is much more about attitude, ideology and passion.’ P. 389

 

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Helen Edwards, Jules Mickelburgh and Rebecca Swindells contributed to a chapter of this book.

You can find out more here.

You can also visit the website reflectiveteaching.co.uk for more information about reflective teaching and these related books.  

 

 

Edited by Jules




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