The Foundations of Learning

The Foundations of Learning

The Foundations of Learning

The Foundations of Learning


The introduction of the Foundation Stage for children age three to becoming six has had a profound impact on policy and practice in early education in the UK. The choice of the word 'foundation' to describe this first stage of learning has emphasised the importance of children's earliest experiences in underpinning all their subsequent attitudes and achievements. In this innovative and challenging book, Julie Fisher has brought together some of the country's leading early years specialists to explore how educators can establish firm foundations for young children's learning. The themes in the book are stimulated by the metaphor of 'foundations', with an introduction by an architect who explains the principles of establishing firm foundations for buildings. Each of these established engineering principles is then creatively explored from an educational perspective as the authors seek to question how the foundations laid for buildings can offer fresh insights into the principles for creating firm foundations for learning.



In the year of the new millennium, the UK government introduced the Foundation Stage of learning as a distinct phase of educational experience for children from age 3 to the end of the reception year (QCA 2000). I know this because I met an early education specialist called Julie Fisher! As early years adviser in Oxfordshire, it was Julie’s task to brief the architects working for the local authority on the principles behind this new educational initiative and explain the implications it would have for children’s learning and the environments in which that learning would take place.

The choice of the word ‘foundation’ to represent this stage of learning was obviously a carefully selected metaphor, intended to emphasize that, upon this stage, all future achievement and attainment depends. As an architect I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the analogy between the foundations of learning and the foundations of buildings. Julie and I struck up a dialogue to establish how and in what ways the similarities of the principles underpinning our two separate professions might have much in common.

As we talked, Julie and I discovered seven facts about the foundations of buildings which held resonance for the foundations of learning. In this book, the seven facts are explored by seven experts in the field of early education. What is powerful is that . . .

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