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Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford University of London Institute of Education Conference Hong Kong IEd 8 th January 2004 Intensive case studies of pedagogy.

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Presentation on theme: "Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford University of London Institute of Education Conference Hong Kong IEd 8 th January 2004 Intensive case studies of pedagogy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford University of London Institute of Education Conference Hong Kong IEd 8 th January 2004 Intensive case studies of pedagogy in selected pre-school centres : findings from EPPE and REPEY projects, UK

2 Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) EPPE case study research Research Team Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Institute of Education Kathy Sylva, University of Oxford Brenda Taggart, Institute of Education Pam Sammons, Institute of Education Edward Melhuish, Birkbeck, London

3 The Foundation Stage (see covering all children 3-5 years-of-age Curriculum guidance for the foundation stage (CGFS), published in May Guidance is given on children's learning and on teaching, planning and assessment in the foundation stage, aims for the foundation stage and principles of early years education.

4 Early learning goals The early learning goals establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the foundation stage, but are not a curriculum in themselves. They are organised in six areas of learning:early learning goals personal, social and emotional development; communication, language and literacy; mathematical development; knowledge and understanding of the world; physical development; creative development. The early learning goals provide the basis for planning throughout the foundation stage, so laying secure foundations for future learning.

5 FOUNDATION STAGE PROFILE The Foundation Stage Profile consists of assessment scales covering all six areas of learning in the curriculum guidance for the foundation stage. The assessment scales are derived from the stepping stones and the early learning goals. Practitioners will record whether a child has achieved each scale point and assessment judgements will be based on practitioners' ongoing observations and assessment records.

6 To compare the cognitive progress and social behavioural development of approx 3,000 children from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds who have differing pre- school experiences To establish whether some pre-school centres are more effective than others in promoting children’s progress and development To discover the characteristics of pre-school education in those centres found to be most effective To investigate the differences in the progress of groups of children, e.g. children from disadvantaged backgrounds Aims of the EPPE research

7 Six local authorities Pre-school centres randomly selected within the authorities to include: playgroups nursery classes private day nurseries day care centres run by local authorities nursery schools combined centres (integrated provision) A ‘home’ sample approx 300 who have no significant pre-school experience Approx 3000 children and 141 centres The EPPE sample

8 Plan of Study 25 nursery classes 590 children 34 playgroups 610 children 31 private day nurseries 520 children 20 nursery schools 520 children 7 integrated centres 190 children 24 local authority day care nurseries 430 children home 310 children Pre-school Provision (3+yrs) Reception Year 1 Year 2 (5 yrs) (6 yrs) (7 yrs) Baseline Assessment N= 3,000+ Exit Assessments N= 1500 Age 6 Assessments N = 3,000+ Age 7 Assessments N= 3,000+

9  Child assessments over time  Family background information  Interviews with staff  ‘Quality’ rating scales  Case studies of effective centres Sources of data

10 Reading Library visits Playing with letters or numbers Painting and drawing Playing/teaching alphabet or letters Playing/teaching with numbers/shapes Playing/teaching of songs/nursery rhymes

11 While there is a positive association between HLE and parents’ socio- economic status and qualifications, there are parents that are high on SES and qualifications yet provide a home environment low on the HLE index. Conversely there are parents low on SES and qualifications that provide a home high on the HLE index.

12  Does pre-school environmental quality as measured by the ECERS-R predict children’s developmental progress in England between the ages of 3 and 5 years?  Does pre-school environmental quality as measured by the ECERS-E (English extension) predict children’s developmental progress in England between the ages of 3 to 5 years?  What is the relationship between the scores in 141 Early Childhood centres on the ECERS-R and the ECERS-E? Key Questions

13 ECERS-R  Based on observation – 7 sub- scales  Space and furnishings  Personal care routines  Language reasoning  Activities  Interaction  Programme structure  Parents and staff ECERS-E  Based on observation – 4 sub-scales  Literacy  Mathematics  Science and environment  Diversity Sylva, Siraj-Blatchford & Taggart (2003) Harms, Clifford & Cryer (1998) Two Early Childhood Environment Rating Scales

14 Inadequate Minimal Good Excellent Example of the ECERS Rating Scale

15 5. Science Activities: Science processes : Food preparation 3.2 Some children can choose to -YES/NO participate in food preparation An Example of ECERS-E Item 1.1 No preparation of food or drink is -YES/NO undertaken in front of children 3.1 Food preparation is undertaken -YES/NO by adults in front of the children Minimal 3 Inadequate 1 Sylva et al (1998) 3.3 Staff discuss with the children routine food that has been prepared by adults, where appropriate, e.g. burnt toast or new biscuits or food brought in by children because of special events.

16 An Example of ECERS-E Item 5.1 Food preparation/ cooking -YES/NO activities are provided regularly Good Most of the children have the -YES/NO opportunity to participate in food preparation Sylva et al (1998) 5.3 The staff lead the discussion -YES/NO about the food involved and use appropriate terminology (EX. Melt, dissolve). 5.4 Children are encouraged to use -YES/NO more than one sense (feel, smell, taste) to explore raw ingredients. 5. Science Activities: Science processes : Food preparation

17 7.1 A variety of cooking activities -YES/NO in which all children have the opportunity to take part are provided regularly. Excellent The ingredients are attractive and -YES/NO the end result is reasonable and appreciated (Ex. Eaten by children, taken home). An Example of ECERS-E Item 7.3 The staff lead and encourage -YES/NO discussion on the process of food preparation such as what needs to be done to cause ingredients to set or melt. Sylva, Siraj-Blatchford & Taggart(2003) 7.4 Staff draw attention to changes -YES/NO in food and question children about it (Ex. What did it look like before, what does it look like now, what has happened to it). 5. Science Activities: Science processes : Food preparation

18  Scores on the total ECERS-R were not related to cognitive or linguistic progress in children in the pre-school.  Scores on the ‘ECERS-R’ were positively related to children’s progress in Cooperation/conformity  Scores on the ‘social interaction’ sub- scale were related to independence and peer sociability Main findings From ECERS-R

19  Total scores on the ECERS-E were significantly related to progress in children’s Social development Pre-reading (Phonological awareness, letter recognition) Non-verbal reasoning Number skills Main findings From ECERS-E

20 Selected centres for case study analysis had better child outcomes in some of the following areas: Cognitive: Pre-reading Non-verbal Language Number concepts Social and behavioural: Independence and concentration Co-operation and conformity Less anti-social and worried/upset Sociability

21 Key concepts Pedagogy Quality Effectiveness Case studies 12 centres with good-excellent outcomes 2 reception classes

22 Pedagogy, international literature review: Involvement adult and child Co-construction of knowledge Instruction modes of teaching demonstration explanation questioning modelling

23 Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years

24 Data entered into QSR NUD*IST – vivo 107 parent interviews and 14 centre plans 14 files of documentary and case study analysis 42 staff and manager interviews 204 transcribed naturalistic observations of 28 staff (2 staff/setting, 400+hrs taken over 56 whole days) 254 systematic target child observations mins each

25 Pedagogy- the key findings are in the following areas: Management and staff Ethos and climate of the settings Adult-child verbal Interactions Differentiation and formative assessment Discipline and adult support in talking through conflicts Parental partnership with settings and the home education environment Pedagogy Knowledge of the curriculum and child development

26 Sustained shared thinking: An episode in which two or more individuals “work together” in an intellectual way to solve a problem, clarify a concept, evaluate activities, extend a narrative etc. Both parties must contribute to the thinking and it must develop and extend. Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years

27 Percentage of pedagogical interactions (cognitive and monitoring) in settings varying in effectiveness

28 Percentage of high cognitive challenge activities within each initiation category in each setting type

29 EPPE Case Studies The individual case studies show how diverse early years settings are. It shows that there is not a ‘level playing field’ in terms of training of staff, ratios, resources, salaries and accommodation. The most effective settings provide both teacher-initiated group work and freely chosen yet potentially instructive play activities Excellent settings tend to achieve an equal balance between adult-led and child-initiated interactions and activities

30 EPPE Case Studies Cognitive outcomes relate to teacher/adult planned and initiated focused group work and the amount of sustained shared thinking between adults and children The curriculum is being differentiated according to age, but is uneven in coverage Effective pedagogy is both ‘teaching’, and the provision of instructive learning environments and routines

31 EPPE Case Studies Effective practitioners assess children’s performance to ensure the provision of challenging yet achievable experiences Effective practitioners model appropriate language, values and practices, encourage socio-dramatic play, praise, encourage, ask questions, interact verbally with children Early Years staff and parents normally prioritise social development, but our evidence suggests that those who see cognitive and social development as complementary achieve the best profile in terms of child outcomes.

32 EPPE Case Studies Our analysis has shown that practitioners knowledge and understanding of the particular curriculum area being addressed could not be taken for granted or DAP. The most highly qualified staff provide the most instruction, but also the kind of interactions which guide but do not dominate children’s thinking. Less qualified staff were better pedagogues when they worked alongside qualified teachers.

33 EPPE Case Studies We have found that the most effective early years settings in these terms adopt discipline/ behaviour policies that involve staff in supporting children in rationalising and talking through their conflicts. Where a special relationship in terms of shared educational aims had been developed with parents, and pedagogic efforts were made at home to support the children, we found better child outcomes There is some evidence that sending children to pre- school frees parents to seek employment and further study, and that parents are frustrated by the inflexibility of centre opening times and the length of sessions.

34 Pedagogy: theoretical underpinnings “Move away from the current polarities of approach towards the acceptance of a balanced curriculum and pedagogic framework that includes aspects of each of the Open Framework, Child-Centred and Programmed approaches. Such a balance is already being realised in a minority of high quality settings such as some of the Nursery Schools and Early Excellence Centres in the UK. The challenge for policy is to provide more highly trained and professional teachers/educators to achieve this balance in all settings.” From: Siraj-Blatchford (2004) in Anning et al (eds) Early Childhood Education: Society and Culture. Sage/Paul Chapman

35 For further information about EPPE visit the EPPE website at: For further information about REPEY: pdf For ECERS E contact


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