A Guide to Early Years Practice (1998) by Sandra Smidt

By Sandra Smidt

This is often the 1st e-book for early years execs and scholars such as suggestions on inspections and the way to fulfill the "desirable outcome". it's written in a transparent and available approach, and gives assistance to advertise studying.

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Extra resources for A Guide to Early Years Practice (1998)

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These are quite difficult ideas to grasp but they are important to those of us concerned with promoting early learning and development. Malaguzzi (personal communication, 1992) said that he knew that once children started school they would be exposed to what he described as tedious and meaningless tasks—things like colouring in, joining the dots, tracing their names, completing jigsaw puzzles. He urged us: ‘Look around you at the remarkable creative and original things the children can do and then think about how the school teachers, by ignoring all that children have already done and achieved by the time they start school, make the children feel stupid and ignorant and give them things that offer no intellectual challenge.

The document goes on to look at what it calls ‘the principle of appropriateness’. By this they are adopting the developmental approach described earlier. They point out that young children vary in rates of growth and development. You will have come across four year olds who look like six year olds and four year olds who look like two year olds. The same variation is true of intellectual development. A curriculum designed for young children must acknowledge this fact and those working with young children need to understand that we cannot say that all four year olds should be able to write their names, for example.

You will remember that, earlier in this chapter, we talked about how high-quality early years education is as much about the process as it is about the product—the outcomes, in this case. You will also remember that a good early years curriculum refers to all the experiences a child encounters and not only to acquiring a body of knowledge and a repertoire of skills. One last point: you might like to ask yourself whether 42 THE EARLY YEARS CURRICULUM the approach here reflects a view of childhood as important in itself or sees it merely as a preparation for the next stage—that is for Key Stage 1.

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