Sustained, shared thinking is a process which involves the adult being aware of the child's interests and understanding, and the adult and child together developing an idea or skill. Providing appropriate contexts for thinking, interacting with children and sharing children's small group interactions are just some of the ways in which this can be achieved.
The video and trainers' booklet exemplify different ways of working with young children to support their thinking. The materials are intended for all practitioners working with babies and young children and will be of interest to parents.
Each of the examples of practice on the USB demonstrate:
- children thinking in different ways
- adults providing a suitable context and interacting in ways to confirm, sustain and sometimes challenge children's thinking.
The video examples are taken from a range of childcare provision, including a private day nursery, a childminder, a primary school and a nursery school. The children featured are aged from 15 months to 6 years.
These training materials are intended to be used flexibly to meet different needs and are designed to promote discussion. The questions in the booklet are linked to each example to encourage practitioners to reflect on their practice and consider ways in which they might refine or extend what they are already doing to develop sustained, shared thinking.
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.