At present there is clearly no universal agreement amongst all of the diverse authorities on child development about a single, unified model of early learning. We contend that until there exists such unanimity, it is inappropriate and potentially dangerous for the government to enshrine their own chosen model in compulsory legislation, and then force all childcare providers to organise their teaching in relation to it.
The articles on these pages present or support one side of the debate. The government may well have research to support their own position – we would certainly hope that they do; but the very fact that the debate is far from being settled is surely enough to suggest that the learning and development requirements in the EYFS should not be universally imposed while there is still substantial principled disagreement in the early-years field on these fundamental developmental assumptions.
All articles are reproduced with kind permission of the copyright holders.
- Preschool Academics: Learning What Comes Naturally by David Elkind
- A Manifesto for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Scientific Evidence by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Laura E. Berk and Dorothy G. Singer
- Challenging Government Policy-Making for the Early Years: The ‘Open EYE’ Campaign by Margaret Edgington (Educational Consultant), Dr Richard House (Roehampton University, London), Lynne Oldfield (Steiner Teacher-Trainer) and Sue Palmer (Educational Consultant and writer)
- Why we protest at EYFS by Lynne Oldfield
- Does Not Compute: Screen Technology in Early Years Education by Aric Sigman
- Learning for Life by Dr Richard House, published in Special magazine
- Research – You Can Prove Anything by Dr Richard House, pubished in EYE magazine
From The Mother magazine – a series of articles by Richard House:
- The Central Place Of Play In Early Learning And Development
- Non-family Childcare in Early Childhood – bane or blessing?
- Early years madness? – the case against Britain’s proposed “curriculum” for babies and toddlers
- Arresting Children’s Premature Growing Up: A Crucial Imperative of Our Time
- Let Us Play
Links to articles on other sites:
- Early Years Education – ‘Join our anti-EYFS campaign’ – Members of the Open Eye core steering group Margaret Edgington, Richard House and Lynne Oldfield explain why they want the Government to pull back from the EYFS before its imminent implementation (at the website of Nursery World)
- It’s Time to Start the Slow School Movement – Maurice Holt, professor emeritus of education, University of Colorado, calls for a backlash against an approach to education which, like a fast food chain, emphasises uniformity, predictability and measurability (at the website of Phi Delta Kappa, a professional journal advocating research-based educational reform)
- Playing With Their Minds – Matthew Harvey looks at the possibility that ADHD might be connected to a lack of natural play in early childhood (at the TES website)
- The Need for Secondary Attachment Figures in Childcare – by Sir Richard Bowlby (from the Daily Telegraph website, although this article has also been published in a peer-reviewed journal)
- Do Schools Kill Creativity? – Sir Ken Robinson argues for an education system that nurtures creativity rather than undermining it (video of a very entertaining and thought-provoking talk, on the TED website)