Category Archives: Opinion pieces

Children – where are their tribes?

No body likes Everybody hates me I think I’ll go and eat some worms Fat ones skinny ones Long ones short ones Ones that squiggle and squirm I’ll bite their heads off Suck their guts out And throw their skins away Nobody knows how much I enjoy Eating worms three times a day – (Unknown) When […]

The journey towards critical reflection

Educators reflect on their actions every day. Reflection is the thinking educators do as they are working with a child, while also observing the environment and planning what they will do next. Donald Schon, internationally recognised author of The Reflective Practitioner , believes we engage in two types of reflection – reflection in action and […]

Needs and rights

The concept of needs is no longer part of the early childhood discourse. The EYLF (Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009) focuses on a strengths-based perspective, positioning children as active participants who are entitled to respect and agency. In the latest Every Child Julie Rutups (2015) argued that in building on children’s strengths […]

Babies and bathwater

Some educational authorities have taken the word ‘needs’ out of planning and assessment guidelines, at least in headings, focusing only on strengths and abilities. Clearly it is important for educators to plan and work with children’s strengths and abilities. The question for me is whether it helps children to do this at the expense of […]

Needs to know

Where do ‘children’s needs’ fit into current thinking about planning and assessment for young children? In a conversation with a colleague recently, the discussion focused on children’s needs and how they fit into the current perspective of early childhood education, viewing children as capable and having rights. For my colleague, the concern was that ‘children’s […]

Can inclusive education do more harm than good?

Recently, a teacher expressed his misgivings about the “inclusion at all costs” ideology of modern education. Despite being well supported by his school and hugely in favour of inclusive practice, he outlined his difficulties in managing a young fellow with Down Syndrome whose behaviour in the classroom was extremely difficult, and increasingly dangerous. This resulted […]

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