I would like to share some of my top picks with you from a very successful year of teaching newsletters. If you are looking for a light read these could help to gently reinvigorate and reinspire while you hopefully get some much deserved rest.
Our newsletters source articles about pedagogy so that you don't have to. They are a monthly round up of early years articles supporting a principled and child-centred pedagogy. Our readers tell us that they are an invaluable resource of inspirational articles from the public domain, which are so useful to CPD but they just do not have time to find themselves.
Top pedagogical picks from the year
To celebrate our year of these newsletters, here are some of my favourites you might like to dip into
Finding our way to true belonging by Brene Brown was included in our September issue. In this piece she shares about vulnerability and standing alone, belonging, accceptance and being real. I am sure that this will resonate with many of you as you rest after a long academic year where you have endured battels and stood up to certain principles that you can not compromise on. I hope that you have felt supported and that you find an encourager, or if not, renewed strength in new things this summer.
This episode of Radio 4's Word of mouth chosen for our November issue is about the language parents use to talk to their children. It shares an insightful, open and informative dialogue between Michael Rosen and Professor Tanya Byron, helping us to consider how adults and parents talk to children and use language, and what impact it can have. Useful food for thought.
- In December, I shared some links connected to the author Oliver Jeffers. As an avid fan of picture books, I just have to feature children's books, authors and illustrators in our issues. December's issue featured Here we are: the official trailer for his most recent book and is a beautiful one minute watch. This Guardian article gives more information about his work, as does Oliver Jeffers and friends, which is the film of his book reading (where at 35 mins in we can see him reading to his young son in front of a live audience - a very brave feat as we all know!). Lastly, A film about his art and life (15 mins) shares how Oliver's experiences in life have shaped his art, powerfully saying, “That’s what immortality is: the telling of stories and the remembering.”
The new year issue in January 2018 shared Piazza piazze, a video from Centre Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi, the centre in Italy where Reggio Emilia pedaogogy is promoted around the world, valuing listening to the child's voice, using creative and artistic approaches to learning and discovery, and celebrating and valuing community and embracing culture. There is a link in the section below for an in depth presentation about the pedagogy and lots more on our pedagogic pages and online.
In March, the snow fell, and I collected some seasonal blogs to promote outside teaching and learning in all weathers! They included blogs from Kierna Corr's There's no such thing as bad weather: learning for life blog, Diane Kashin's Technology rich enquiry based research blog, Suzanne Axelsson's Interaction Imagination blog and Juliet Robertson's Creative Star Learning's outside blogs. I follow these four practitioners and leaders for ideas, early years practice and pedagogical stimulation and challenge and you might find them helpful too.
In the April/May edition, I shared links featuring Professor Alison Gopnik and Dr Kathy Hirsch-Pasek, who have both spoken at our last two annual national conferences. They are very informative researchers and play advocates. Alison presented the well known TED talk What do babies think? and her website has links to many more articles, papers and features the books she has written. There is also a pedagogic page with further links and information. The website of Kathy with her colleague Dr Nora Newcombe includes: Temple infant and child laboratory: in the news, play research, and language research.
Lastly in our June edition, I featured videos from 3 leaders who work in education and pioneer approaches to teaching and learning. They (and many more) inspire and challenge us in our work to listen to children, innovate and transform, in response to listening and observing children.
The best kindergarten you’ve ever seen (10 min watch) is about a kindergarten designed in Tokyo by architect Takaharu Tezuka. West Rise school by the marsh (16 min watch) is a video about how headteacher Mike Fairclough leads freedom, innovation and creativity in this junior school and how he believes challenging children physically creates grit and resilience.
New links for future issues
- Play for health: a journey through life is a keynote given at Upstart Scotland's AGM by health play specialist, Julia Whitaker. Every word of this presentation should be captured, bottled and used in our work. What Julia advocates about play and health is crucial and central to valuing early childhood. (This is a 26 min watch).
- Radio 4's Book of the week: the life and rhymes of Benjamin Zephania. Those of you that are regular readers know that I love finding treasures on Radio 4 to share with you. This is no exception. Bejamin Zephania, a political activitst and poet reads his autobiography: an honest, vulnerable and inspirational account of his life to date. Hearing hiim read this is both tender and powerful. Benjamin inspires me even more to carefully notice every child and discover (or uncover) their talents and uniqueness.
One of our favourite links so far
Judging by readers' feedback, this was definitely one of the favourite links of the year
- Eugenia Cheng on the mathermatics of mathematics: a 28 minute interview with Dr Eugenia Cheng on Radio 4 and your views on mathematics will quite likely be enlightened, changed or challenged after listening.
Pioneering for principled early years pedagogy!
Early Education is a national charity dedicate to principled EYFS pedagogy. There are many ways you can keep in touch with our work:
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I will write again in September. Until then, have a really well deserved summer and thank you all for standing with us to make early years the best it can be for young children in their formative years.
Cathy blogs and writes for Early Education and is their pedagogic lead. She is a former headteacher and has worked for over 25 years leading and supporting in many EYFS settings.