`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?
- 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.
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.
Carol Garhart Mooney has been an early childhood educator for more than forty years. She is also the author of Theories of Attachment, Use Your Words, and Swinging Pendulums.
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.