Let’s start with the quote by David Ogden Stiers:
Did you know, that recent research has shown that you should not tell your child “how smart you are!“
Kids sometimes have different feelings and ideas.
Such a phrase makes the child realize that he has done everything perfectly, so there is no room for improvement.
Instead, parents are advised to praise their children for their hard work.
This is a time of historic significance for our society.
It is often said that the mark of a civilized society is how it treats its very young and very old.
What to ask kids to know them better and they know themselves better?
The main thrust of all the changes in early years provision we have seen is to better secure children’s well being and give them a strong start to living well throughout the rest of their lives – it is much more than mere preparation for school.
What do we know about children’s learning?
We now see young children as highly competent and active learners from birth.
New evidence from neuroscience shows that the brain is developing fastest in the first months of life and that learning begins from the moment we exist.
Longitudinal studies have also shown that the earliest learning is the most formative and long-lasting.
Studies reveal that children are learning in all contexts and from all interactions and experiences.
Further, a child’s personal, social, and emotional capacity underpins all other areas of learning and needs particularly nurture and scaffolding.
The child’s ability to use language(s) to interact with and make sense of their world, is also essential to the learning process, as learning is both a social and cognitive process and so requires the capacity to communicate well.
Questions to help kids know themselves better:
Moms! Ask your kids these questions!
It should also be noted that children learn with and through interactions that are culturally and contextually situated and therefore diverse.
Finally, recent studies are emphasizing again that the mind and body are linked so movement is essential for the development and learning to occur.
This educational poster is a very simple but very powerful and safe psychological tool.
1. What do we know about the conditions which support early learning?
We have increased knowledge of the enabling conditions for learning.
Companionship and attachment between children and adults who share their lives is essential.
Children thrive within affectionate and encouraging relationships.
Positive and stable relationships within the family and wider community support the child’s attachment, security, and sense of belonging. Experience of high-quality early years settings can make a difference to a child’s life chances but the home environment is the most formative context for learning.
Supporting the development of a positive sense of self and identity within the young child enables exploration, curiosity, and agency to flower.
An enabling environment for learning includes both the socio-emotional climate and a stimulating physical environment.
Movement, space, and freedom to explore rich environments indoors and outdoors create positive conditions for self-directed, deep level learning to occur.
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2. How has policy and practice met these challenges?
There has been serious and sustained investment to build capacity and commitment in the system prior to compulsory school entry to secure the Every Child Matters (ECM) outcomes.
This rapid and significant increase in attention to the early years of children’s life in Government policy has won international recognition.
Within this policy, there has been an increase in the rights and entitlements of young children and their parents to expect high-quality services from birth and in ensuring their participation and voice in the development and delivery of services.
A key part of realizing this vision has been work to raise the status, qualifications, and career pathways of the early years’ workforce, which traditionally has been held in low esteem and poorly remunerated.
Enhancing leadership in the early years’ system is important in ensuring the change agenda is realized.
The establishment of the statutory early years’ curriculum (EYFS) from birth to the reception year (The Foundation Stage), creating a unified and cohesive phase of education prior to the National Curriculum protects Reception class children from an inappropriate model of learning.
The EYFS also ensures continuity and progression across the diverse range of service providers from birth to five and also aims to raise the quality of practice and level the playing field across different providers.
Clarifying expectations and awareness of what constitutes quality services, and embedding quality improvement processes in all settings, should ensure the movement from acceptable but often mediocre services towards a universally excellent system.