The Child – The True Foundation: conference report

June 15, 2010

‘The Freedom to be Myself’

OpenEYE held its second national conference in June 2010.

Each of the key speaking American professors – Kathy Hirsch-Pasek and Lilian Katz – made an eloquent case for playful learning before formal instruction, and Dr. Sebastian Suggate shared his research into early reading, showing that later readers who start at 7, by the age of 10, actually surpass those who start at 5.

The psychologist Dr. Aric Sigman spoke with a punch about the adverse effects of screen-based technology in the early years. He said, instead of screens that can induce ADHD, a child needs real experiences to create new neural circuitry in the brain that becomes intelligence and empathy.

By their questions it was clear that the roomful of teachers, parents and educators were, with us, committed protectors of the child’s right to a childhood of imaginative play uninvaded by politicians’ prescriptive curricula and harmful screens. A DVD of the conference is now available.


The campaign continues…

May 5, 2008

The problem with Toddler Technology

The Open EYE campaign co-organised a sell-out event in Stroud, Gloucestershire last week, in which Dr Aric Sigman presented the research-based evidence that suggests the EYFS’s ICT requirements might be developmentally harmful to young children. The event was picked up by The Times in an article entitled  ‘Technology for toddlers’ scheme risks creating a screen-addict generation. One of the attendees kindly submitted a summary of the talk, which you can read here.

Early Day Motion

The Early Day Motion on the EYFS is now up to 67 signatures. Please check and see if your MP has signed, and if not, write to ask for their support.


The Open EYE petition on the Downing St website is slowly climbing towards a top ten position (currently at number 17 out of well over 6,000). Please sign it if you haven’t done so, and spread the word!

Steve Biddulph

Big thanks to childcare expert Steve Biddulph, who has given us permission to post on the web the address he recorded for the Open EYE conference. You can find it on the Conference page of this site.