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Life is a learning curve Maresa Duignan Early Years Education Policy Unity Department of Education and Science Office for the Minister of Children and.

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Presentation on theme: "Life is a learning curve Maresa Duignan Early Years Education Policy Unity Department of Education and Science Office for the Minister of Children and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Life is a learning curve Maresa Duignan Early Years Education Policy Unity Department of Education and Science Office for the Minister of Children and Youth Affairs

2 Overview The policy context The policy context Definitions Definitions Family learningFamily learning Lifelong learningLifelong learning Early childhood care and educationEarly childhood care and education The theory bit! The theory bit! What this looks like in practice What this looks like in practice Challenges and opportunities Challenges and opportunities

3 The Learning Agenda Increasing Irelands competitiveness Increasing Irelands competitiveness Creating and supporting the Knowledge Economy Creating and supporting the Knowledge Economy Extending e-awareness, & ICT access & competence Extending e-awareness, & ICT access & competence Combating Social Exclusion Combating Social Exclusion Improving student achievement in key subject areas e.g. science/maths/literacy Improving student achievement in key subject areas e.g. science/maths/literacy Widening participation in learning beyond school Widening participation in learning beyond school Enhancing key & specific skills for work Enhancing key & specific skills for work Improving individuals employability Improving individuals employability Resourcing communities & capacity building Resourcing communities & capacity building Renewing & strengthening citizenship Renewing & strengthening citizenship Building learning cultures Building learning cultures Education, Education, Education

4 Council conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION Agrees that In the period up to 2020, the primary goal of European cooperation should be to support the further development of education and training systems in the Member States which are aimed at ensuring: In the period up to 2020, the primary goal of European cooperation should be to support the further development of education and training systems in the Member States which are aimed at ensuring: a) the personal, social and professional fulfillment of all citizens; b) sustainable economic prosperity and employability, whilst promoting democratic values, social cohesion, active citizenship, and intercultural dialogue.

5 European Union Targets In addition, EU-level benchmarks have been set for 2010 and The benchmarks to be achieved by 2020 are: at least 95% of children between 4 years old and the age for starting compulsory primary education should participate in early childhood education. In addition, EU-level benchmarks have been set for 2010 and The benchmarks to be achieved by 2020 are: at least 95% of children between 4 years old and the age for starting compulsory primary education should participate in early childhood education. the share of low-achieving 15-years olds in reading, mathematics and science should be less than 15%. the share of low-achieving 15-years olds in reading, mathematics and science should be less than 15%. the share of early leavers from education and training9 should be less than 10%. the share of early leavers from education and training9 should be less than 10%. the share of year olds with tertiary educational attainment8 should be at least 40%. the share of year olds with tertiary educational attainment8 should be at least 40%. an average of at least 15 % of adults should participate in lifelong Learning an average of at least 15 % of adults should participate in lifelong Learning

6 The Knowledge Economy The drive to create a knowledge economy also requires money to be spent in a strategic way. If, given our current economic difficulties, there must be cuts in the education sector (and those cuts do not change the population of Marlborough Street) it must be made clear that cuts made at the primary and secondary level have a deeper economic and social impact than at any other level. The drive to create a knowledge economy also requires money to be spent in a strategic way. If, given our current economic difficulties, there must be cuts in the education sector (and those cuts do not change the population of Marlborough Street) it must be made clear that cuts made at the primary and secondary level have a deeper economic and social impact than at any other level. Research conducted by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman has made it clear that the majority of cognitive and non-cognitive skills necessary for participation in economic activity are largely acquired by the age of 12 and that investment and social and educational interventions should be at their highest prior to that age. Research conducted by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman has made it clear that the majority of cognitive and non-cognitive skills necessary for participation in economic activity are largely acquired by the age of 12 and that investment and social and educational interventions should be at their highest prior to that age. Irelands knowledge economy needs a rethink Irelands knowledge economy needs a rethink Sunday Business Post - August 10, By Charles Larkin and Dr Jacco Thijssen

7 Definitions 1 - Learning Learning = education? Learning = education? Education as a socially constructed concept Education as a socially constructed concept Influences on our current concepts of the role of education Influences on our current concepts of the role of education Familial – e.g. reproduction of valuesFamilial – e.g. reproduction of values Cultural – persistence of identity e.g. language, literature, art, skills etc..Cultural – persistence of identity e.g. language, literature, art, skills etc.. Societal – citizenship, national pride,Societal – citizenship, national pride, Political – competitiveness, fuelling the economyPolitical – competitiveness, fuelling the economy

8 What about…. Empathy Empathy Resilience Resilience Curiosity Curiosity Persistence Persistence Problem solving Problem solving Day dreaming? Day dreaming?

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10 Family Learning Family Learning is an umbrella term which describes a wide variety of educational intervention programmes that have an intergenerational focus in their design and delivery Family Learning is an umbrella term which describes a wide variety of educational intervention programmes that have an intergenerational focus in their design and delivery Clare Family Learning, 2009 Clare Family Learning, 2009

11 Key Points Parents are the first and most natural teachers of their children Parents are the first and most natural teachers of their children The home is a very valuable learning place The home is a very valuable learning place The parental involvement on a childs learning is eight times more important than any other factor, such as occupation of parent, in increasing a childs achievement in school ( Feinstein and Symons 1999:51) The parental involvement on a childs learning is eight times more important than any other factor, such as occupation of parent, in increasing a childs achievement in school ( Feinstein and Symons 1999:51)

12 Contributes to increased community engagement Higher educational aspirations Training Employment Lower crime figures Better health (mental & physical) Better communication Higher level of self esteem

13 Lifelong Learning The lifelong, lifewide, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. As such, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development, but also competitiveness and employability. The lifelong, lifewide, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. As such, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development, but also competitiveness and employability. Source: Wikipedia, Department of Education and Science, 2000, EU Commission, 2006

14 Early Childhood Care and Education The term early childhood education and care (ECEC) includes all arrangements providing care and education for children under compulsory school age, regardless of setting, funding, opening hours, or programme content. Starting Strong II (OECD,2006)

15 In Ireland… Despite the fact that, historically, the term childcare is used to refer to services for children aged birth to six years, it is evident that it cannot be interpreted narrowly and should be understood as interchangeable with early childhood education and with the more widely used and accepted term of Early Childhood Care and Education. (OMCYA, 2009) Includes services such as full and part-time day care, sessional pre-schools and playgroups, childminders and after school clubs and infant classes in primary schools. Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education, 2006

16 The context for learning Child Family Community Social Policy

17 Neuroscience of Brain Development Brain is not mature at birth Brain is not mature at birth Brain is changed by experiences Brain is changed by experiences Critical periods imply timing is important Critical periods imply timing is important Relationships program social emotional function Relationships program social emotional function Adversity impacts brain development Adversity impacts brain development

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19 Brain is Changed By Experiences

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22 AGE Sensing Pathways (vision, hearing) Language Higher Cognitive Function MonthsYears C. Nelson, in From Neurons to Neighborhoods, 2000 Conception Window of Opportunity - ECD

23 Relationships Program Social Emotional Function

24 Adversity Impacts Brain Development

25 Maternal Depression Common Common Higher rates in inner city, poor, single mothers Higher rates in inner city, poor, single mothers Multiple impacts Multiple impacts Treatable Treatable

26 Depressed Mothers: Response Patterns to Infants Express less positive and more negative affects Express less positive and more negative affects Less attentive and more disengaged Less attentive and more disengaged When engaged are more intrusive and controlling When engaged are more intrusive and controlling Fail to respond adaptively to infant emotional signals Fail to respond adaptively to infant emotional signals

27 Infants of Depressed Mothers Shorter attention spans Shorter attention spans Less motivation to master new tasks Less motivation to master new tasks Elevated heart rates Elevated heart rates Elevated cortisol Elevated cortisol Reduce EEG activity right frontal cortex Reduce EEG activity right frontal cortex

28 Clinical and Epidemiological Research Many mental health problems have their origin early in a childs life Many mental health problems have their origin early in a childs life Many health problems of adults have their origin early in life Many health problems of adults have their origin early in life

29 Public Policy Research Brain development and public investment are not synchronized Brain development and public investment are not synchronized

30 Brain Malleability Spending on Health, Education, Income Support, Social Services and Crime Conception Age IntensityofBrainsDevel. Public Expend. Birth BRAIN DEVELOPMENT – OPPORTUNITY AND INVESTMENT Brains Wiring and Development

31 Missed Opportunity to Invest Percent of total brain growth Cumulative percent of public spending on children 0–18 Age in years Brain growth Public spending

32 Children who start behind stay behind Learning gaps are set early in life Academic Abilities of Entering Kindergartens by Family Income Source: Schulman, K., and W. S. Barnett The Benefits of Prekindergarten for Middle-Income Children. NIEER Policy Report. New Brunswick, N.J.: National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

33 Readiness to Learn Trajectory as measured by Child Development Birth 6 mo 12 mo 18 mo 24 mo 3 ys 4 ys 5ys Compliance to simple requests Emotional control Emotional control Effective peer interactions Effective peer interactions Nascent awareness of standards Nascent emotional regulation Nascent emotional regulation Nascent selfhood/identity Nascent selfhood/identity Entry into verbal milieu Entry into verbal milieu Physiological regulation Physiological regulation Social relationships Social relationships

34 Disparities in Early Vocabulary Growth 16 mos.24 mos.36 mos. Cumulative Vocabulary (Words) College Educated Parents Working Class Parents Welfare Parents Childs Age (Months) Source: Hart & Risley (1995) Slide by The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child

35 5ys 10ys A C B D Ready Healthy Life Long Learning Trajectories School Readiness & Mental Health Birth Trajectory 1 Trajectory 2 School Readiness Not Ready Mental Health Function Externalizing Disorder (Learning Disability)

36 RR Risk Reduction Strategies HP Health Promotion Strategies Without RR and HP Strategies This figure illustrates how risk reduction strategies can mitigate the influence of risk factors on the developmental trajectory, and how health promotion strategies can simultaneously support and optimize the developmental trajectory. In the absence of effective risk reduction and health promotion, the developmental trajectory will be sub-optimal (dotted curve). RR Risk Factors Protective Factors HP 020 Health Development Age (Years) Influence of Risk Reduction and Health Promotion Strategies on Health Development

37 Birth Early Infancy Late Infancy Early Toddler Late Toddler Early Preschool Late Preschool Parent education Emotional literacy Reading to child Pre-school Age 6 mo 12 mo 18 mo 24 mo3 yrs 5 yrs Ready to learn Strategies to Improve Optimal development Trajectories Appropriate Discipline Poverty Lack of health services Family Discord Factors associated with optimal development: Social-emotional, Physical Cognitive, Language

38 Birth 6 mo 12 mo 18 mo 24 mos 3 yrs 4 yrs 5yrs Early Intervention Programs Primary health care (parent and child), acute, developmental and preventive care Health Center and Home Based Family Resource Programs Child Care Programs Parenting and Family Learning Programs High quality Pre school Pre/perinatal care Optimal Development Trajectory Service sectors and Programs that positive influence Social Care/ &FamilyServices Education

39 Children Ready for Success Compliance with standards and ongoing technical support Monitoring and Improvement Programs Program Standards and Early Learning and Development Guidelines Programs that meet Standards Workforce Development To consumers, public and private sector Engagement & Outreach Health, Nutrition, Mental Health, Disability Services Parenting and Family Support Comprehensive Services Early Childhood Development System Across programs and connected to other systems Coordinated Governance And Financing Core competencies Access to Training and Higher Education, Credentialing Adapted from the State Early Childhood Policy Technical Assistance Network, J.Lombardi, 2007

40 The Challenge to be met? u The disappeared - absent, excluded, uninvolved, bunking off, just not there u The disaffected - bored, uninspired, turned off, uninterested, hostile, difficult, disruptive u The disappointed - frustrated, let down, poor experience u The discouraged - damaged, ridiculed, feelings of failure u The disillusioned - hopes dashed, feel betrayed, let down u The disfranchised - excluded from the joys, pleasures opportunities & multiple advantages of learning With apologies to Michael Barbers The Learning Game

41 Main Lifelong Learning Challenges & Barriers Barriers of confidence, time, cost, opportunity & information Barriers of confidence, time, cost, opportunity & information Persistently narrow conceptions of learning Persistently narrow conceptions of learning Marked social class & age differences of opportunity, participation, achievement & qualification Marked social class & age differences of opportunity, participation, achievement & qualification Major problems of adult literacy & numeracy Major problems of adult literacy & numeracy Inadequate employer support, provision & commitment (especially in SMEs) Inadequate employer support, provision & commitment (especially in SMEs) Problems of funding adult learning equitably Problems of funding adult learning equitably Need for more responsiveness & flexibility of supply Need for more responsiveness & flexibility of supply

42 Discovering & Nurturing the Treasure Within …none of the talents which are hidden like buried treasure in every person must be left untapped. These are, to name but a few: memory, reasoning power, imagination, physical ability, aesthetic sense, the aptitude to communicate with others and the natural charisma of the group leader, which again goes to prove the need for greater self-knowledge. Jacques Delors Learning: The Treasure Within UNESCO 1997

43 Delivering a Learning Revolution Raise the aspirations & achievement of all children Raise the aspirations & achievement of all children Release the energy & creativity of inspirational teachers Release the energy & creativity of inspirational teachers Involve parents & families in childrens & their own learning Involve parents & families in childrens & their own learning Multiply& diversify learning beyond school activities Multiply& diversify learning beyond school activities Sharply widen participation in FE & HE, especially part-time Sharply widen participation in FE & HE, especially part-time Invest in ICT & broadcasting to support learning Invest in ICT & broadcasting to support learning Secure learning entitlements at, through & for work Secure learning entitlements at, through & for work Strengthen community capacity, confidence, social capital, self-activity & trust Strengthen community capacity, confidence, social capital, self-activity & trust Combat & reduce sharply social exclusion & inequality Combat & reduce sharply social exclusion & inequality ä Reinvent citizenship -fit for the 21st century

44 Learning Citizens for the 21st Century ç Comfortable with own identity, with confidence & self-esteem ç High levels of technical skills & competences ç Curious, inquisitive & eager to explore ç Creative, inventive & innovative ç Tolerant of difference- open to the experiences of other ç A sense of both self & society - independent & cooperative ç Skills to shuffle back & forth between ideas & concepts and data, evidence & experience ç Critical & analytical thinking - including auto- critique ç Knowing how to know - having learned to learn ç Confidence to sift, evaluate, review &synthesise ç Both learner & teacher

45 Making Learning Normal Making Learning Normal t Beyond fear and dread t Confidence and self-esteem t Achievement and progress t Linked to own lifes priorities t Where, when and how you like t Woven into everyday life t A sense of ownership & control

46 Where to now? Coordination of all relevant interventions Coordination of all relevant interventions Family Learning – ECCE – Schools etc…Family Learning – ECCE – Schools etc… Child and Learner centred approach to delivery of education related service provision Child and Learner centred approach to delivery of education related service provision Make the system fit the learnerMake the system fit the learner Recognition of achievement/learning Recognition of achievement/learning Key momentsKey moments

47 Will it Never End?


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