Mentoring in the Early Years

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Edited by: Alison Robins

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    About the Contributors

    Sue Callan has been a member of the collaborative partnership team for the Foundation Degree in Early years at the University of Worcester for three years. She was course manager for the programme at Evesham College and is now responsible, as a member of the UW Centre for Early Childhood team, within the Institute of Education, for its delivery through Herefordshire EYDCP. Sue has been an adult education tutor for fifteen years, specialising in community-based pre-school practice and working with mature students in both personal tutor and mentor roles.

    Eryl Copp is course leader and manager of professional practice in early years at Worcester College of Technology. She is a mentor tutor and personal tutor for the Foundation Degree in Early Years. Eryl has taught in primary and nursery schools and has been a nursery school head teacher and external assessor.

    Victoria Eadie is team leader and manager for the Foundation Degree in Early Years and Foundation Degree in Learning Support at Josiah Mason College, Birmingham. She manages the tutor and practice mentor team for both courses and is a personal tutor for both cohorts of students. Vicki has also taught on early years courses such as DCE and NVQ and has written and delivered short courses on Birth to Three Matters, Behaviour Management and Child Protection.

    Kate Fowler is a senior lecturer in the Centre for Early Childhood team within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. Kate has taught in nursery, primary and middle schools. She has been a link tutor supporting teacher mentors of Initial Teacher Education students studying PGCE and BA QTS at UW

    Sarah Kelly has worked part-time for the past ten years at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester as a trainer and early years adviser for the Effective Early Learning Programme. She is a practice mentor for the Foundation Degree in Early Years working with students from Josiah Mason College, Birmingham, and Herefordshire EYDCP. Sarah also runs a toy and resource library for a rural SureStart project in Herefordshire.

    Janet Murray is a principal lecturer and Head of the Centre for Early Childhood within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. She led the initial development and validation of the SureStart-recognised Sector-endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years at UW, which incorporates a unique tiered system of mentoring support. Janet has taught in and managed early years provision in both the maintained and non-maintained sectors in the UK and abroad.

    Melanie Pilcher is an early years trainer and part-time lecturer at Evesham College. She is also the Staff Support Co-ordinator for Worcestershire NHS and is nearing completion of an MA (Educational Management). Melanie is a practice mentor for the Foundation Degree in Early Years and has worked closely with the UW partner institutions to develop a support package for practice mentors and induction materials for new mentors.

    Alison Robins is a senior lecturer in the Centre for Early Childhood Team within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. She is the coordinator of the Foundation Degree in Early Years and was involved in the development and validation of the degree, which runs at six partner institutions. Alison has taught in primary and middle schools, has been a SENCO and deputy head and has worked as a Teaching Assistant Training Officer for Worcestershire Local Authority.

    Acknowledgements

    The editor would like to acknowledge the contribution of all the authors within this book. It is a project that has been undertaken when work commitments just seem to get busier and busier and it is therefore a credit to everyone's professionalism and passion for the field within which they all work that we have achieved our aim. Thanks must also go to Jude Bowen and Charlotte Saunders at Sage publications for their enthusiasm and assistance throughout this project.

    On a personal level I believe that the impetus for this book came from a much wider team of colleagues who have, for the last three years, been completely dedicated to providing quality experiences for all the students undertaking the Foundation Degree in Early Years at a number of the University of Worcester's partner institutions. I would like to thank them all for their support and hard work.

    We would also like to thank the staff, children and parents at South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust's Noah's Ark Day Nursery (see the frontispiece), for allowing us to take the photographs used in this book and John Lusardi for his photographic skills.

    As a text we hope this book will be of benefit to the dedicated and highly motivated early years professionals for whom it is written.

    AlisonRobins
  • Glossary

    • Action-reflection cycle Applying reflective practice as an ongoing and cyclical process.
    • Andragogy The science and principles of teaching adults based on the characteristics of adult learners.
    • Course provider College or training organisation delivering a course.
    • Criteria Requirements or standards by which learning may be judged.
    • Critical reflective practice Conscious awareness of thoughts, beliefs, habits and actions which inform our lives and practices, leading to self-evaluation and review.
    • Dialogue An exchange of view; it can be verbal or written.
    • Diary A book/journal/log containing details of significant events and experiences with critical evaluations and reflections.
    • Early Years Profile (EYP) Framework for recording, monitoring and assessing personal, professional and practical skills as part of the UW FdA EY
    • Evidence Sample piece of work contained within a profile/portfolio.
    • Experiential Based on life experiences and situations.
    • Journal See Diary.
    • Learning community A group or association of people with common ownership, and enjoyment of the development of learning.
    • Learning outcomes A set of statements which measure the extent to which knowledge has been learnt and understood.
    • Log See Diary.
    • Mentor An experienced and trusted adviser, someone who works or who has worked in the field of early years and is able to offer advice and support.
    • Mentor(ing) contract The written/spoken agreement between the mentor and the practitioner which ensures that both parties work professionally, with a shared understanding and purpose and within set guidelines.
    • Partner college/Institution Further education college delivering higher education courses validated by a university.
    • Pedagogy The science and principles of teaching children based on the characteristics of children as learners.
    • Perspective transformation New ways of understanding, thinking and analysing, brought about through applying insights from self-examination and reflection.
    • Portfolio A sample of a practitioner's work contained within a folder. The work is usually organised according to specific standards/criteria/learning outcomes and appropriately annotated by the practitioner as part of their critical reflection.
    • Practice mentor A professional person who visits a practitioner at their place of work to support, observe, discuss and assess their practice.
    • Practitioner A person practising a profession, in this case a person working within the field of early years.
    • Professional critical friend A person, usually in a more senior position within the practitioner's place of work, who is willing to offer informal peer support, guidance and positive, constructive criticism where appropriate.
    • Profile Another term for a portfolio.
    • Reflective practice The art of analysing what has been, how it was done and why it was done in that way. This analysis is used to inform future practice.
    • Senior practitioner The title awarded to graduates of the SureStart-recognised Sector-endorsed Foundation degree in early years.
    • Stakeholder Any party who has a vested interest in the outcome of a situation (for example, the local authority, school, nursery, parent, carer or child).
    • Standards The degree of excellence required for a particular course or profession (for example, NVQ and teacher training courses assessed in relation to set standards).
    • SureStart-recognised, Sector-endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years (FdA EY) DfES-approved foundation degree. Professional qualification based on a Statement of Requirement for professional and practical skills, for practitioners with a minimum of two years' experience in early years.

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