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So far, so good – what more, what next? Christine Stephen University of Stirling, Scotland.

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Presentation on theme: "So far, so good – what more, what next? Christine Stephen University of Stirling, Scotland."— Presentation transcript:

1 So far, so good – what more, what next? Christine Stephen University of Stirling, Scotland

2 So far – where are we now? Two years of part-time preschool (3-5 years) education – extending from 475 hours to 600 and to some 2-year olds 95% of 3-year olds and 98% of 4-year olds make use of government- funded, part-time place 0-3s predominantly private & voluntary sector provision Playgroups, childminders and community childminding schemes Heritage language preschool provision (Gaelic) Varied training routes for practitioners

3 So far – where are we now? Curriculum for Excellence, ages 3-18 with early level 3- 6 years Pedagogy in the early level – ‘active learning’, experiential, predominantly child-initiated Assessment and profiling – local initiatives, growing interest in ‘documentation’ Pre-birth to Three: Positive Outcomes for Scotland’s Children and Families

4 So far – where are we now? Government priorities: – Work-force development – Access to a teacher in preschool – Early intervention – Integrated services – Getting it Right for Every Child – National Parenting Strategy – Provision in scattered and remote communities – Gaelic-medium provision

5 So good – policies and practices? Concern with evidence- based practices and policies Wide consultation Active, play-based pedagogy Funding early intervention Increasing investment Improving qualification levels What kind of evidence – appropriate, valid, reliable? Who is listened to? Conceptual clarity? Rhetoric? Normalizing? Purpose of investment, measuring change Who decides what is needed?

6 Could do better Respectful interactions Confident staff acting on professional judgement Inspiring physical environment and resources Responsive planning Time for conversations Evaluation as an everyday practice

7 So good? Talking about quality – What are the characteristics of high quality early education and childcare and to what extent is good quality different for children under 3, 3- to 5-year olds in preschool and children in primary 1? – Different stakeholders have particular expectations about the outcomes from early years provision and what counts as quality so how can we acknowledge and reconcile these different judgements? – What measures of quality should we adopt? – What does good quality look like from the perspectives of children? – Some factors associated with high quality, like staff qualifications and adult/child ratios, can be regulated but how can we ensure that equally important aspects like relationships and interactions create excellent education and care experiences?

8 What next ? Understanding/taking account of family contexts and learning at home – ‘funds of knowledge’ – ‘habitus and capital’ – ‘social situation’ Articulating/debating ways construct children and childhood and value alternative purposes and outcomes Identifying/considering normalizing practices and guidance

9 What next ? Challenging/defining concepts and evidence base Talking about pedagogy – developing intersubjectivity – talking about ‘technique’ and ‘manner’ – extending authenticity and personal meaning – exploring meta-cognitive strategies Examining children’s perspectives – respectful and appropriate engagement – gathering multimodal responses – identifying values and preferences Exploring alternative forms of provision

10 What next? Articulating relationships with users of research Debating questions, justifying methods, warranting findings Synthesising, theorising, generalising Exploring, intervening, problematising,

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