Quality Education in the Early Years

Quality Education in the Early Years

Quality Education in the Early Years

Quality Education in the Early Years

Excerpt

‘Quality’ is a key word at the present time, with phrases such as quality assurance, quality control and quality time assuming different meanings depending upon our experience and the context in which we work. The liberal use of the word, however, does not mean that quality is easily defined. For as Harvey and Green (1993: 28) remind us, ‘definitions of quality vary and to some extent reflect different perceptions of the individual and society … there is no simple definition of quality’. We can all recognize quality in specific situations, but the fact that our views and perceptions are influenced by the context in which we are observing or operating and to a large extent by our mood, feelings and past experiences, means that agreement on a definition of what constitutes quality often remains elusive. For these reasons we have not attempted to define it in this introduction, although some chapters consider quality frameworks and criteria against which provision may be evaluated.

The year 1990 saw the publication of the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Quality of the Educational Experience Offered to 3- and 4-year-olds (Department of Education and Science 1990), fondly known as ‘the Rumbold Report’ after the chair of the Committee, Angela Rumbold, who was at that time Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science. The daunting brief with which the Committee was faced included consideration of ‘content, continuity and progression in learning, having regard to the requirements of the National Curriculum’ . . .

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