EYFS philosophy invades America

June 3, 2010

The same spectres of mechanistic and materialistic thinking that we are challenging in the Open Eye campaign, are now looming in America.   The Alliance for Childhood has issued a statement of protest, signed by several hundred distinguished educators and academics, against the core standards for children just issued by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers,  which place heavy emphasis on language and mathematics.   A familiar theme from UK is their condemnation of the long hours that very young children will be made to spend on cognitive work and didactic instruction, and the inappropriate standardized testing that will crowd out other far more important areas of learning.

Like Open Eye, they call for the creation of a consortium of early childhood researchers, developmental psychologists, paediatricians, cognitive scientists, master teachers and school leaders to develop comprehensive guidelines for effective early care and teaching that recognise the right of every child to a healthy start in life and a developmentally appropriate education.


“Hidden” research casts more doubt on EYFS

July 14, 2008

Research commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools & Families – but then left unreleased by the Department until a Freedom of Information Act request forced its disclosure – has raised further questions about the Early Years Foundation Stage, according to a report in Monday’s Guardian.

Meanwhile, anyone who missed the recent edition of ‘The Learning Curve’ on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 7th July, can listen to it here. The programme begins with a follow-up item on the EYFS, with Margaret Edgington of the Open EYE steering group, Lib Dem Shadow Minister for Children, Annette Brooke MP and DCSF Early Years adviser Professor Ted Melhuish discussing the EYFS and its discontents. Well worth a listen.

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.