Early Childhood Education: History, Philosophy and Experience

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This book is for those who have often wondered what history can offer to modern practice. It explores important ideas behind the policies and practices in Early Childhood Education to help students and practitioners develop a fuller understanding of the children with whom they work.

The authors illustrate the rich histories of this ever developing field by bringing together ideas from the work and writings of some major historical figures who have significantly shaped current practices in Early Childhood Education. Using imaginative tools to 'bring alive' the ideas of past pioneers, the authors show how our understanding of contemporary issues has been influenced by these pioneers. The book also shows how today's practitioners themselves can become the pioneers of future development.

Written by three authors who have had experience in working with children in a wide range of settings, this book is for Early Childhood students and practitioners, including those on BA and MA courses. It is also for those undergoing training to gain Qualified Teacher Status and Early Years Professional Status and experienced staff involved in leading early years practice or self- or organisational development.

About the Author:
Cathy Nutbrown is Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Sheffield

About the Author:
Peter Clough is Professor of Inclusive Education at Liverpool Hope University

About the Author:
Philip Selbie is Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of Plymouth

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book aims high; its aspiration and rationale are to be welcomed and applauded....an original and valuable contribution to the literature of early childhood education' - Early Years
Dr. Eunice Lumsden
‘This book is an essential read for all those studying and working in the early years. It does indeed give a rootedness to our work and allows us to ponder. Most importantly it reminds us about the importance of the early years and our responsibility to continually advocate for the youngest children.’
Dr Sacha Powell
'This unique text helps readers craft strong professional identities, unambiguous educational philosophies and conviction in their practice. The authors encourage reflexive and situated interpretations of lessons from the long history of early education; perceptive and respectful responses to signals young children give adults about their roles; and a weather eye to the policy telescope. Like a compass, this book provides points of reference for new pioneers to steer a course towards principled early years education, now and for the future.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412944984
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Cathy Nutbrown is Head of the School of Education at the University of Sheffield, where she teaches and researches in the field of early childhood education.

Cathy began her career as a teacher of young children and has since worked in a range of settings and roles with children, parents, teachers, and other early childhood educators. Cathy is committed to finding ways of working ‘with respect’ with young children, and sees the concept of quality in the context of what it means to develop curriculum and pedagogy in the early years with the ambition of working in a climate of ‘respectful education’.

She established the University of Sheffield MA in Early Childhood Education in 1998 and a Doctoral Programme in Early Childhood Education in 2008. In 2010 she contributed to the Tickell Review of the Early Years Foundation In June 2012 she reported on her year-long independent review for government on early years and childcare qualifications (The Nutbrown Review). She is Editor-in-Chief of the SAGE Journal of Early Childhood Research and author of over fifty publications on aspects of early childhood education.

Peter Clough is Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield. Peter taught English and Drama, in the 1970s, in London and later in a number of special schools. His research interests include the use of narrative and fictional writing in research and research report. Peter has taught Inclusive Education and Early Childhood Education at the University of Sheffield, has been Professor of Inclusive Education at Queen’s Belfast and at Liverpool Hope, and Research Fellow at the University of Chester. Peter is an Honorary Professor at the School of Education, University of Sheffield, where he teaches Masters and Doctoral students. Amongst over 50 publications focusing on equality, inclusion difference, and teachers’ lives are several books published with Sage.

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Table of Contents

About the authors     ix
Acknowledgements     x
Introduction     1
A Short History of Early Childhood Education     3
The legacy of history     3
Early childhood education in the UK: a brief history     4
Foundation stones: some key figures whose work has influenced thinking and development of provision for young children     8
Into the twenty-first century: twenty years of policy change     15
Understanding recent history: 1998-2008     15
Into the future, learning from the past     17
The Pioneers: Their Lives and Works     19
Socrates     22
Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius)     23
Jean-Jacques Rousseau     25
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi     27
Robert Owen     30
Friedrich Froebel     32
Charles Dickens     34
Charlotte Mason     36
Sigmund Freud     38
Rachel McMillan     40
John Dewey     42
Margaret McMillan     44
Rudolf Steiner     46
Maria Montessori     49
Alexander Sutherland (A. S.) Neill     52
Susan Sutherland Isaacs     54
LouisChristian Schiller     56
Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky     57
Donald Woods Winnicott     58
Jean Piaget     60
Erik Erickson     62
Carl Rogers     65
Burrhus Frederic (B. F.) Skinner     67
Robin Tanner     69
Talking of Early Childhood Education: Six 'Conversations'     71
So, who needs history?     74
Why early childhood education?     90
What motivates young children to learn?     102
How do young children learn?     112
Literacy in the early years: a pedagogy of patience?     120
From God and Church to awe and wonder: spirituality and creativity in early childhood education     128
Plus ca change ...?     141
Children's rights     142
The arts and creativity     146
Literacy     151
Play, learning and pedagogy     154
Early intervention     158
Home learning and parents     166
Inclusion     170
Conclusion     179
What is education for?     179
What is early education for?     180
So who needs history?     181
References, further reading historical archives and other sources consulted     183
Author Index     199
Subject Index     201
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