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Knowledge Makes Change Seminar 6 - Pedagogy and Play

Knowledge Makes Change Seminar 6 - Pedagogy and Play

The 6th evening in our expert Knowledge Makes Change seminar series will feature Dr David Whitebread, University of Cambridge, and Barbara Isaacs from Montessori International, discussing the relationship between Play and Pedagogy in Early Years practice.

Dr. David Whitebread recently retired as Acting Director (External Relations) of the Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL) research centre at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK. He is a developmental psychologist who is widely recognized as a leading international expert in early childhood education. He has taught in early years and primary schools, and has published widely in academic journals, book chapters, and reports, including Developmental Psychology & Early Childhood Education (Sage, 2012) and "The importance of play: a report on the value of children’s play with a series of policy recommendations" (Toys Industries for Europe, 2012).

Barbara Isaacs has trained and supported training of Montessori Teachers for over 30 years as lecturer and academic director of Montessori Centre International. Her current role is Chief Education Officer at the Montessori St. Nicholas Charity where she is involved with course development and promotion of Montessori education with the UK and internationally. She is a regular contributor to Montessori International Magazine and Teach Early Years. For 15 years Barbara owned and managed a Montessori nursery in Oxfordshire. She is is committed to bringing Montessori education to children of the 21st Century whilst standing by the key principles of Montessori pedagogy.

The Knowledge Makes Change seminar series aims to inspire and be informative on ‘what works’ for young children and their families to ensure the best possible outcomes.


NCB Early Years

June 28, 2018

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  1. Knowledge Makes Change seminar 6 Play and Pedagogy 28 June

    2018 Welcome
  2. Welcome and introductions Dr Cathy Hamer Chair of Early Years

    and Childhood Partnership and Associate, EYCP National Children’s Bureau
  3. Agenda Welcome and Introductions Dr Cathy Hamer, Chair of Early

    Years and Childhood Partnership and Associate, National Children’s Bureau The State of Play in Jersey Alison Goguelin and Nicola Mulliner, States of Jersey Education Department Play and Pedagogy Dr David Whitebread, Acting Director of Play in Education Develop and Learning , PEDAL, Research Centre, University of Cambridge Montessori – Child led, future focused Barbara Isaacs, Chief Education Officer, Montessori Centre International Questions and discussion with both speakers Early Childhood Development Programme Update Annamarie Hassall MBE, Director of Practice and Programmes, National Children’s Bureau
  4. The State of Play ……in our small island

  5. Work of the Childcare and Early Years Service (CEYS) 

    Regulation of settings for children 0-12 years registered under the Daycare of Children (Jersey) Law 2002  Support and development for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Play work  Continuous Professional Development  Working with the Early Years and Childhood Partnership (EYCP)  Supporting island initiatives - Children’s Plan, Best Start Strategy
  6. Registered providers in Jersey  There are 20 school nurseries

     There are 28 registered early years settings  There are 30 childhood settings i.e. playwork settings and holiday clubs  There are 69 childminders
  7. Understanding, recognising and respecting differences:  Learning through play in

    the Early Years  Freely accessed through continuous provision  Child led  Learning intentions  Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Development Matters  Ethos and pedagogy  Play in Childhood provision i.e. playwork  Freely chosen  Intrinsically motived  Open ended  Not outcome led  Playwork Principles
  8. Playfulness… “This “important disposition”, often enjoyed in the company of

    like-minded others, demands the exercise of imagination and the use of objects and materials. Choosing the flow of the activity can be random and impulsive, thus requiring the participants to exercise a degree of tolerance and self-regulation, but the play focus is always important. Communication is continuous and informed by a shared understanding of both verbal and non-verbal signals, and when performed under optimum conditions, the whole process of acting playfully becomes an intensely enjoyable spiral of creativity.” Thomas, F and Harding, S. (2011)
  9. Playful Spaces for families in Jersey  Open areas i.e.

    beaches, woodland, parks and gardens  Playgrounds  Skate parks……under discussion!  Fort Regent  Private enterprise i.e. Tamba Park, Amaizin Adventure Park, Jersey Zoo  Open access – areas of potential i.e. school fields, open spaces within parishes.  Future developments planned in partnership
  10. Actively listening…  UNCRC Article 31: All children have the

    right to rest and play (general comment (GC17) released 2013)  Article 12: Children have the right to be heard and to say what they think should happen when decisions are being made about them  EYCP child and family voice- priority postcards
  11. The Role of Play in Early Childhood Education David Whitebread

    University of Cambridge, UK dgw1004@cam.ac.uk
  12. Free downloads of Reports Areportonthevalueofchildren’splaywithaseriesofpolicyrecommendations

  13. Structure of the Talk A.Play, Learning & Development: the evidence

    B. What are the mechanisms? C.Implications for practice in Early Childhood Education
  14. A. Play, Learning & Development: the evidence Evolutionary psychology: Bruner

    (1972) Nature & Uses of Immaturity - phylogenetic progression of play: physical (mammals) /object (primates) /symbolic (humans) Anthropology: Peter Gray (2009) Children’s unconstrained play in extant hunter-gatherer societies Neuroscience: Pellis & Pellis (2009) Neuroscientific studies of play in mice and other mammals: play, brain size and brain growth Developmental psychology: playfulness: - associated with early cognitive ability (Tamis-LeMonda & Bornstein, 1989) & emotional well-being (Bornstein, 2006) - supports language development (Christie & Roskos , 2006)
  15. Educational studies – Wolfgang, Stannard & Jones (2010): quality of

    LEGO play at 3 and 4 years old predicted mathematical achievement in high school – Barker et el. (2014): the amount of less-structured time in 6-7 year old children’s daily lives, including free play alone and with others, social outings, sightseeing and visiting museums & zoos, predicted their cognitive self-regulation. – Hughes et al (2015): the strongest predictor of ‘school readiness’, language and cognitive development among children at the point of starting school, was an item completed by their teachers indicating that the child ‘talks about fun activities at home’
  16. Longitudinal studies • Germany: 50 ‘play-based kindergartens’ v. 50 ‘early

    learning centres’; by Grade 4 the children from the former were more advanced in reading , maths and social/emotional adjustment in school (Darling-Hammond & Snyder, 1992) • USA: Playful learning in pre-school associated with better short and long-term academic, motivational and well-being outcomes by end of primary school (Marcon, 2002) • EPPE Study, UK: cohort study of 3,000 children: extended play- based pre-school experience (i.e. 3 years) advantageous to children from disadvantaged households (Sylva et al, 2004)
  17. B. What are the mechanisms? Lev Vygotsky ‘The role of

    play in development’ (Mind in Society, 1978) • a transition stage towards abstract thought • provides context for children’s greatest self-control • creates a zone of proximal development Jerome Bruner ‘Nature & uses of immaturity’ (American Psychologist, 1972) • develops flexibility in thought and action • key role in creativity & problem-solving
  18. Evidence from Neuroscience: Play improves brain functioning 35 day old

    baby rats play fighting Pellis & Pellis (2009) Play in rats enhances the neuronal integration of key areas of their frontal cortex
  19. Evidence from Neuroscience The characteristics of play Liu, C., et

    al. (2017). Neuroscientific evidence on the connection between characteristics of playful experiences and learning. The LEGO Foundation, DK. Five characteristics of play (Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015) • Joyful • Meaningful • Actively Engaging • Iterative • Socially interactive
  20. And rule-based! Vygotsky: provides context for children’s greatest self-control

  21. The “Batman Effect”: Improving Perseverance in Young Children Vygotsky: creates

    a zone of proximal development White, R.E. et al (2016). The “Batman Effect”: Improving Perseverance in Young Children. Child Development, 88 (5), 1563-71 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12695/full#cdev12695-fig-0001 Lev Vygotsky In play, the child is always behaving beyond his age, above his usual everyday behaviour; in play he is, as it were, a head above himself. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi The Psychology of Optimal Experience: What makes is a state of consciousness called ‘flow an experience genuinely satisfying’. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.
  22. Play: Five ways to learn Vygotsky: a transition stage towards

    abstract thought Bruner: develops flexibility in thought and action, creativity & problem-solving Physical play Games with rules Play with objects Pretence Symbolic play
  23. C. Implications for practice in Early Childhood Education 1. Supporting

    Self-regulation • Development of ‘cognitive control’ by children 0-7 years • Abilities to control attention, develops ways of undertaking tasks, controlling emotions & behaviour
  24. 2. Nurturing oral, expressive language • (Vallotton & Ayoub, 2011)

    American study of 120 toddlers in New England • At 14, 24 & 36 months, found strong relationship between: – Vocabulary size – Observed self-regulatory behaviours (ability to maintain attention on tasks; ability to adapt to changes in tasks and procedures) Christie & Roskos (2006) Play with language enhances development of phonological awareness and literacy
  25. 3. Providing for playful social interactions between children, adults and

    peers Tomasello & Todd (1983); Wells (1985): size of vocabulary related to amount of time spent with mothers in joint attention episodes Several pedagogical techniques developed: -‘co-operative groupwork’ (Forman and Cazden, 1985) -‘self-explanations’ (Siegler, 2002) - ‘reciprocal teaching’ (Palincsar & Brown, 1984)
  26. 4. Offering a range of types of play, supporting learning

    processes & development • Building with bricks: Play with objects – Self- regulation - Challenges & Enquiry Learning An adventure with action figures: Pretence – Language – Collaboration and Communication
  27. 5. Enhancing the quality of play through adult participation •

    Playing together (Whitebread & O’Sullivan, 2012) – Enhancement of complex social pretend play through adult involvement: increased socially- shared regulation • Guided play (Golinkoff et al, 2008) involves: – A planned play environment, enriched with objects and toys which provide experiential learning opportunities – Teachers co-playing, asking open-ended questions, suggesting ways to explore materials • Adult modelling (Nielson & Christie, 2008) – Study with 2-3 yr old children – Adult acted out a sequence of pretence activities with dolls – Subsequent children’s play with dolls involved many more imaginary acts, both copies of adult acts and novel
  28. Conclusion Implications for early childhood education practice Young children are

    likely to develop as powerful learners who are emotionally well-adjusted where: • They have a balanced range of play opportunities across the 5 types of play, and across the curriculum • They play alone, with other children and with adults • Some of their play is ‘free’ or initiated by themselves and some is guided by an adult co-player • They are introduced to new ideas and skills through playful activities • This approach is supported in the home and the school
  29. Thank you for listening!

  30. More information about the research centre can be found at:

    http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/pedal/ Twitter: @PEDALCam Email: pedal@educ.cam.ac.uk
  31. Bringing the Montessori approach to your Early Years Practice Knowledge

    Makes Change 28 June 2018 Barbara Isaacs barbara.isaacs@montessori.org.uk
  32. Aim: To introduce Montessori pedagogy and its impact on our

    practice today.
  33. Maria Montessori 1870 - 1952 Medical Doctor University lecturer in

    Pedagogical Anthropology Campaigner for women’s rights Founder of Casa dei Bambini, Rome 1907 Originator of the Montessori Approach Campaigner for World Peace Citizen of the World
  34. Key Principles of Montessori Education The child Learning and development

    The teacher Favourable environment
  35. What Neuroscience Tells us Birth to three/ six are vital

    times for synapses to develop and they develop best in a calm environment supported by sensitive and consistent adults The child needs • first hand experiences to develop his/her senses and establish conceptual understanding of the environment and support the children’s sensitive periods • to communicate • social interactions • emotional support to develop self-worth https://scholar.harvard.edu/volkman/publications/montessori- neuroscience
  36. The child, as seen by Montessori, develops in stages: •

    Birth to six - the most important time of life • Sensitive periods as vital part of early years development • Order, movement, language, small detail, social aspect, refinements of the sense
  37. The child, as seen by Montessori, Is an active learner:

    Explorer of the environment - his/her sense – first hand experiences – “Hand is the Instrument of Man’s Intelligence”
  38. The Favourable Environment

  39. Features of the Favourable Environment 1. Organised into areas of

    learning including activities designed by Montessori herself and others which provide for open ended play 2. Provides space for work at tables and on the floor, inside and outside, including areas for creativity, quiet reading and role play. 3. Accessible and ready for use, each activity is self-contained . 4. With free access to the outside where activities are organised in the same way as inside 5. Appealing to the child, inviting, not over crowded, few displays 6. Meeting the individual needs of the children 7. Reflecting the voice of the child
  40. Reception class of a state primary using the Montessori approach

  41. The characteristics of the Montessori teacher S/he must • be

    respectful, patient, responsive to the needs and interest of the child and his/her family • be educated and willing to continue to learn from others and the child • be committed to reflective practice based on observation of the child, of self, others and the environment • be a custodian of the favourable environment Consider what you value in your role as an early years educator?
  42. None
  43. Key Tools of Montessori Pedagogy 1. Respect and trust in

    the child’s capacity to learn from the favourable environment 2. Provide freedom with responsibility 3. Offer work-cycle – continuous provision which enables the child to take full advantage of the freedom to choose where, how and with whom to learn 4. Create family groups (vertical grouping) in which children learn from each other.
  44. None
  45. Unique skills that a Montessori start gives the children on

    entering reception class 1. Independence – Physical, intellectual and emotional 2. Curiosity – willingness to try things, not been afraid of be making mistakes 3. Capacity to engage in a task and stay focused 4. Ability to play alone or with friends and be respectful and polite 5. Ability to control impulsive behaviour and self- regulate
  46. None
  47. Partnership with parents “The teacher is always at the disposition

    of the children’s mothers ….. In close contact with the families of her pupils” (Montessori’s inaugural address delivered at the Opening of the second Children's House in 1907 Parents are encouraged to: • promote physical and emotional independence • give children time and space to engage in play • organise the children’s rooms in a way which would promote freedom to choose and take responsibility for their toys • share trips to the beach, parks, museums and theatre • respect the child’s unique characteristics
  48. Montessori in your setting Observe the use of your environment

    Evaluate the activities on offer and identify their benefits for the children Reflect on the value you place as a practitioner onto the activities in your setting Consider how you scaffold children’s play Consider how you could offer continuous provision which reflects the interests and needs of the children and contributes to learning and development of the child
  49. None
  50. Consider the skills you would like children to develop in

    your setting What do you understand by school / life readiness? What is the role of childhood?
  51. Further reading Isaacs B. (2015 3rd Ed) Bringing the Montessori

    Approach to your Early Years Practice. Abingdon: David Fulton/Routledge Montessori M. (2012) The 1946 London Lectures. Amsterdam: The Montessori- Pierson Publishing Company Montessori Schools Association (2012) The Guide to the EYFS in Montessori Settings. London: Montessori St. Nicholas Nutbrown C. and Clough P. (2014 2nd Ed) Early Childhood Education History, Philosophy and Experience. London: Sage To contact Barbara Isaacs email barbara@Montessori.org.uk for Montessori teacher
  52. Question and Answers Please ask David and Barbara open questions

    on each of their approaches.
  53. Early Childhood Development Programme Update Annamarie Hassall MBE, Director of

    Practice and Programmes, National Children’s Bureau Programme Update
  54. Knowledge Makes Change • Focusing on Change – upcoming opportunities

    to let us know how the seminar series have influenced your practise. • Two more seminars coming soon – October 2018 and March 2019. Making it REAL • New training opportunities for Making it REAL Literacy training and projects – 27th and 28th September. • Making it REAL at the Festival of Words – Mark Making on the Beach 29th September, 2 – 4pm. • Jersey’s Making it REAL story – watch this space for a suite of short films showcasing the unique journey of early years literacy in Jersey. Contact Kate Elston at Jersey Child Care Trust to find out more and book to attend each. Programme Update
  55. Thank you