‘I would recommend this book to students and trainees who wish to extend their knowledge and understanding of early years practice beyond level 3. This book is accessible, up to date and focuses on translating theory into practice, incorporating the essential higher order skill of reflection. The pedagogical foundations within place children firmly at the centre, whilst acknowledging the highly influential early years practitioner in the wider context of family, community and inclusive practice.’ Sarah Barton, Senior Lecturer and EY ITT Programme Leader, School of Education and Continuing Studies, University of Portsmouth Are you studying to become an early years teacher or educator, or studying for an early years degree, and looking for a book to guide you through your qualification? With stories of practice, questions for reflection, further reading and links to the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years), this book links professional practice with theory and research and will help you: • understand how children learn and develop • engage with the curriculum and the practice of teaching • learn more about the structure and reality of early years provision and practice for children aged from 0-8 years • develop ways to reflect upon your practice • develop professional skills and attributes needed to take a leading role • understand how to apply all of this to practice. This core textbook is ideal for students of early years and early childhood courses and will support you in your practice in the early years.

Understanding Children

Understanding Children

Chapter overview

Young children are at the centre of early years practice. In this chapter, the discussion develops a holistic understanding of young children through exploring the construct of contemporary early childhood in the twenty-first century and the emerging image of a young child; discussing children’s rights, participation and voice for the agency of children and considering safeguarding and protecting children. The use of observation and reflection for understanding children is included within the discussion. There is opportunity for reflective thinking about childhood experiences, and stories of practice help with understanding young children in a holistic way.

Contemporary early childhood

From birth, a human grows through broad developmental stages as a baby, toddler, infant, teenager, adult, and then into middle age and later ...

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