Intellectual search is at its most powerful during the early years. Young children's brains are primed to make sense of their experiences and the thinking part of their brains simply expands through use.
These training materials explore how babies and children are supported to think when they are engaged in activities that they select for themselves. Each of the case studies on the USB captures:
- children's ideas and thoughts when they take responsibility for their activities
- adults closely observing the activity and using the observations to affirm, guide and sometimes deepen children's thinking.
The case studies are from a range of childcare provisions for children range from 15 months to 5 years.
The videos and training booklet are designed to be used flexibly to meet different needs and are intended to promote discussion rather than highlight exemplary practice. Practitioners are encouraged to reflect and consider ways in which they might further strengthen opportunities for children's thinking to flourish in their self-chosen activities.
Marion Dowling, Project Director, is an early years specialist with a national and international reputation as a trainer and consultant. She is author of a number of books including Young Children's Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Marion is a vice president of Early Education.