Assessment in Early Childhood Settings: Learning Stories

SAGE
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`This is an invigorating and very thought-provoking text, that I would recommend to all early years professionals, parents and citizens interested in developing their understanding of early years philosophy in action, which is directly linked to a compelling research paradigm and deep reflection alongside a sound theoretical base' - Early Years

`I would recommend this book to practitioners interested in reflecting on their own practice and approach to assessment. The insights provided are thought-provoking and promote a practical and positive approach to early years assessment' - Early Talk

`This thoughtful book challenges the standard assessment process that is commonly employed within the context of early years provision. For any practitioners working in early years setting this is a powerful and exciting book that helps to remind us that the child must be placed centrally within the assessment process, not as a recipient but as a proactive contributor to the situation'- Child Language Teaching and Therapy

`This is a highly relevant text as some UK early childhood educators become engulfed with avalanches of tick sheets! A most useful book which contributes to the current vital debate about when, what and how we should access young children's progress' - T.A.C.T.Y.C Newsletter

`I found Margaret Carr's book fascinating... the ideas and arguments put forward are well worth mulling over' - Early Years Educator

`This is an inspiring book from bilingual, bicultural New Zealand about revolutionizing the assessment of young children's learning and progress.... I hope this book inspires United Kingdom practitioners to set out on learning story journeys' - Nursery World

`This book manages to blend recognized theory and recent research with practice. I found it easy, and sometimes enjoyable, to read; it provided plenty of "food for thought" as well as references on "how to". I would recommend it to all early childhood practitioners, not just those considering their current assessment procedures, as the chapters focusing on the child as a learner are of value on their own' - Julia Browne, Goldsmiths Association for Early Childhood

This book shows that an early childhood setting can be described as a learning place in which children develop learning dispositions such as resilience in the face of uncertainty, confidence to express their ideas, and collaborative and thoughtful approaches to problem-solving. These dispositions provide the starting point for life-long learning.

The author asks: How can we assess and track children's learning in the early years in a way that includes learning dispositions and avoids the pitfalls of over-formal methods, whilst being helpful for practitioners, interesting for families, and supportive for learners?

The book

- describes a way of assessment that stays close to the children's real experiences and provides an alternative to mechanistic and fragmented approaches,

- shows how practitioners can assess what really matters: those learning dispositions (interest, involvement and perseverance for example) that provide a foundation for life-long learning.

The book is about weaving theory and practice: theorizing development and learning as reflected in assessment practice. The author also argues that unless we find ways to assess complex outcomes in early childhood they will be excluded from the teaching and the learning. Simple and low level outcomes and goals will take their place. The theoretical ideas and arguments are illustrated throughout by transcripts and stories of children in a range of early childhood settings. At every turn in the journey it asks: How is this reflected in a real life context? It documents the voices of children, practitioners and parents as the learning story develops.

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About the author

Dr Margaret Carr is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Early Childhood Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand. The innovative national early childhood curriculum, Te Whariki, which she co-authored, has been of considerable interest in the UK, USA, and elsewhere.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SAGE
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Published on
Jun 5, 2001
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781412931588
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Early Childhood (incl. Preschool & Kindergarten)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Margaret Carr
Shortlisted for the 2013 Nursery World Awards!

Margaret Carr's seminal work on Learning Stories was first published by SAGE in 2001, and this widely acclaimed approach to assessment has since gained a huge international following. In this new full-colour book, the authors outline the philosophy behind Learning Stories and refer to the latest findings from the research projects they have led with teachers on learning dispositions and learning power, to argue that Learning Stories can construct learner identities in early childhood settings and schools. By making the connection between sociocultural approaches to pedagogy and assessment, and narrative inquiry, this book contextualizes Learning Stories as a philosophical approach to education, learning and pedagogy.

Chapters explore how Learning Stories:

- help make connections with families

- support the inclusion of children and family voices

- tell us stories about babies

- allow children to dictate their own stories

- can be used to revisit children's learning journeys

- can contribute to teaching and learning wisdom

This ground-breaking book expands on the concept of Learning Stories and includes examples from practice in both New Zealand and the UK. It outlines the philosophy behind this pedagogical tool for documenting how learning identities are constructed and shows, through research evidence, why the early years is such a critical time in the formation of learning dispositions.

Margaret Carr is a Professor of Education at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Wendy Lee is Director of the Educational Leadership Project, New Zealand.

Wendy Lee
Understanding the Te Wh?riki Approach is a much–needed source of information for those wishing to extend and consolidate their understanding of the Te Wh?riki approach, introducing the reader to an innovative bicultural curriculum developed for early childhood services in New Zealand. It will enable the reader to analyse the essential elements of this approach to early childhood and its relationship to quality early years practice.

Providing students and practitioners with the relevant information about a key pedagogical influence on high quality early years practice in the United Kingdom, the book explores all areas of the curriculum, emphasising:

strong curriculum connections to families and the wider community;

a view of teaching and learning that focuses on responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things;

a view of curriculum content as cross-disciplinary and multi-modal;

the aspirations for children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society;

a bicultural framework in which indigenous voices have a central place.

Written to support the work of all those in the field of early years education and childcare, this is a vital text for students, early years and childcare practitioners, teachers, early years professionals, children’s centre professionals, lecturers, advisory teachers, head teachers and setting managers.

Wendy Lee
Understanding the Te Wh?riki Approach is a much–needed source of information for those wishing to extend and consolidate their understanding of the Te Wh?riki approach, introducing the reader to an innovative bicultural curriculum developed for early childhood services in New Zealand. It will enable the reader to analyse the essential elements of this approach to early childhood and its relationship to quality early years practice.

Providing students and practitioners with the relevant information about a key pedagogical influence on high quality early years practice in the United Kingdom, the book explores all areas of the curriculum, emphasising:

strong curriculum connections to families and the wider community;

a view of teaching and learning that focuses on responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things;

a view of curriculum content as cross-disciplinary and multi-modal;

the aspirations for children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society;

a bicultural framework in which indigenous voices have a central place.

Written to support the work of all those in the field of early years education and childcare, this is a vital text for students, early years and childcare practitioners, teachers, early years professionals, children’s centre professionals, lecturers, advisory teachers, head teachers and setting managers.

Margaret Carr
`This is an invigorating and very thought-provoking text, that I would recommend to all early years professionals, parents and citizens interested in developing their understanding of early years philosophy in action, which is directly linked to a compelling research paradigm and deep reflection alongside a sound theoretical base' - Early Years

`I would recommend this book to practitioners interested in reflecting on their own practice and approach to assessment. The insights provided are thought-provoking and promote a practical and positive approach to early years assessment' - Early Talk

`This thoughtful book challenges the standard assessment process that is commonly employed within the context of early years provision. For any practitioners working in early years setting this is a powerful and exciting book that helps to remind us that the child must be placed centrally within the assessment process, not as a recipient but as a proactive contributor to the situation'- Child Language Teaching and Therapy

`This is a highly relevant text as some UK early childhood educators become engulfed with avalanches of tick sheets! A most useful book which contributes to the current vital debate about when, what and how we should access young children's progress' - T.A.C.T.Y.C Newsletter

`I found Margaret Carr's book fascinating... the ideas and arguments put forward are well worth mulling over' - Early Years Educator

`This is an inspiring book from bilingual, bicultural New Zealand about revolutionizing the assessment of young children's learning and progress.... I hope this book inspires United Kingdom practitioners to set out on learning story journeys' - Nursery World

`This book manages to blend recognized theory and recent research with practice. I found it easy, and sometimes enjoyable, to read; it provided plenty of "food for thought" as well as references on "how to". I would recommend it to all early childhood practitioners, not just those considering their current assessment procedures, as the chapters focusing on the child as a learner are of value on their own' - Julia Browne, Goldsmiths Association for Early Childhood

This book shows that an early childhood setting can be described as a learning place in which children develop learning dispositions such as resilience in the face of uncertainty, confidence to express their ideas, and collaborative and thoughtful approaches to problem-solving. These dispositions provide the starting point for life-long learning.

The author asks: How can we assess and track children's learning in the early years in a way that includes learning dispositions and avoids the pitfalls of over-formal methods, whilst being helpful for practitioners, interesting for families, and supportive for learners?

The book

- describes a way of assessment that stays close to the children's real experiences and provides an alternative to mechanistic and fragmented approaches,

- shows how practitioners can assess what really matters: those learning dispositions (interest, involvement and perseverance for example) that provide a foundation for life-long learning.

The book is about weaving theory and practice: theorizing development and learning as reflected in assessment practice. The author also argues that unless we find ways to assess complex outcomes in early childhood they will be excluded from the teaching and the learning. Simple and low level outcomes and goals will take their place. The theoretical ideas and arguments are illustrated throughout by transcripts and stories of children in a range of early childhood settings. At every turn in the journey it asks: How is this reflected in a real life context? It documents the voices of children, practitioners and parents as the learning story develops.

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