Teaching and Learning in the Early Years

Teaching and Learning in the Early Years

Teaching and Learning in the Early Years

Teaching and Learning in the Early Years

Synopsis

This book provides a review of current thinking and best practice within nursery and infant education. The authors include an analysis of current research into how children learn and discussions of issues such as classroom organization, curriculum management, and assessment. In addition, the text covers individual curriculum areas, including new chapters on children's art, ICT and PSHE.

Excerpt

When I wrote the preface for the first edition of this book six years ago, I commented that we found ourselves publishing at a time of critical importance for early years education in the UK and maybe in other parts of the world as well. At long last the crucial importance of good quality early years education was finally being recognised, research evidence that children's success in school and other aspects of their life can be significantly enhanced by quality educational experiences when they are very young was finally being taken seriously.

As a consequence, in 1996 a number of changes in the educational provision for young children were beginning to emerge and there have certainly been very significant developments in the UK in the intervening period. Through the creation of Early Years Care and Education Partnerships, educational provision has, for the first time, been provided for all 3- and 4-year-olds. There have, of course, been considerable battles about an appropriate curriculum for this age range. However, the establishment of a distinct Foundation Stage, covering the nursery and reception years, with its own Early Learning Goals and curriculum guidance, has been a huge step forward. The emphases on play, on personal, social and health education and on children's self-initiated activities have been widely welcomed.

However, the situation for 5-7-year-olds is not nearly so promising. There has been mounting concern about the effects of the introduction of the literacy and numeracy strategies at Key Stage 1. While both these strategies are bristling with ideas for good practice, the overall effect of the introduction of literacy and numeracy 'hours' into many Key Stage 1 classrooms has resulted in an unrelieved diet of seat-based, teacher-directed tasks throughout the morning that does not meet the needs of many 5-7-year-olds. Imaginative

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