Transitions in the Early Years: Debating Continuity and Progression for Young Children in Early Education

Transitions in the Early Years: Debating Continuity and Progression for Young Children in Early Education

Transitions in the Early Years: Debating Continuity and Progression for Young Children in Early Education

Transitions in the Early Years: Debating Continuity and Progression for Young Children in Early Education

Synopsis

By the time young children enter statutory education, they may have already attended a number of different educational settings, from entry to group settings outside home, to joining playgroup or nursery school. Each of these experiences is likely to affect children's capacity to adjust and to learn. This book focuses on children's experiences of personal and curricular transitions in early childhood. The authors are all academics with international reputations in the field of early childhood education. They draw on their research in Europe, Australasia and the USA to consider issues such as: *the optimum environment and appropriate pedagogy for young children's learning *how children, parents and educators cope with the transition from home to the first educational settings *the ways in which professionals can better support and empower children in transition The perspectives of children, parents and early years educators are all considered and case study examples are used throughout. This book will be essential reading for anyone involved in working with young children and their families, including students on early years courses, early years practitioners and early years policy makers.

Excerpt

This book appears at a significant time for those who work in early childhood education. Many governments are seeking to expand the availability of services for young children. One result of these initiatives is that across the world children are entering institutionalised care and education at an ever earlier age and for an increasingly extended period of their young lives. The evidence suggests that the experiences of children in their early years are critical determinants of future progress and attainment educationally, economically and as a member of their social community. These changing contexts place a burden of responsibility on those who provide early childhood services to ensure that they benefit rather than damage children’s potential. This means paying serious attention to ensuring the quality of experience for the child as they transfer across an increasing number of settings in their early years.

Alongside this refocusing of attention on the development of coherent, high quality services for children from birth has been a growing acknowledgement of Children’s Rights. This adds weight to the current emphasis on developing children’s autonomy and ability to act as an agent of their own destiny. Despite the lack of serious study of the politics of childhood, the requirement that services empower children by viewing them as competent and powerful actors in their own narratives of life is a welcome theme in more recent developments of educational provision.

These changes in political and social thinking are part of the dynamic of change that is a dominant characteristic of modern life. The pace and number of changes that we all have to manage has increased phenomenally over recent years. These changes are both structural and qualitative and affect almost every domain of daily life. Young children, from birth, are living in an unpredictable world where change and discontinuity may be all that they can be sure of, and in which the transitions they are having to make, are numerous. Until recently there has been hardly any acknowledgement of the professional and personal challenges that this context of continuous transitions provides for those concerned with the quality of experience for the child. The intervention programmes available for practitioners to help young children cope with transitions and capitalise on the opportunities they bring have been rare and underdeveloped. This book is important because it demonstrates an . . .

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