Tag Archives: Children’s interests

Kids prefer maths when you let them figure out the answer for themselves

Peter Sullivan, Monash University A common view is that students learn maths best when teachers give clear explanations of mathematical concepts, usually in isolation from other concepts, and students are then given opportunities to practise what they have been shown. I’ve recently undertaken research at primary and junior secondary levels exploring a different approach. This […]

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 […]

Disability and dolls: #ToyLikeMe is a mark of progress

On June 5 British toy manufacturer Makies announced cochlear implants were available to buy as accessories in their toy store. Makies uses 3D printing technology to make one-of-a-kind dolls. It was the first company to respond to #ToyLikeMe, a social media campaign to “increase diversity in the toybox” initiated by three UK mothers with disabilities. […]

You need to use your words!

Does this ring a bell? As early childhood educators, we support children’s ability ‘to use their words’ – when we model the words to use to join in with play, to share ideas in small and large group conversations, to express feelings and to resolve peer disputes. However, how often do we intentionally encourage children […]

Design community together

Begin with the end in mind Creating a great place requires developing an idea of what your service will be like. This creative, collaborative process works best when it includes everyone in your community―children, educators, families, and often others such as health and community professionals. To hear everyone’s dreams and ideas takes time and investment […]

‘Gentle parenting’ explainer: no rewards, no punishments, no misbehaving kids

In a piece in The Conversation, Bernadette Saunders described positive discipline. Parents who practise positive discipline or gentle parenting use neither rewards nor punishments to encourage their children to behave. By “no rewards” I mean they don’t use charts or “bribes” such as lollies or toys. Many don’t even say “good girl/boy” or “good job”. […]

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