Education experts from the University of Bedfordshire have come together to explore ideas around quality in Early Years education in a new book.
The book, Quality in the Early Years, discusses government policy and research related to the day-to-day challenges facing those who work in Early Years settings.
The book, edited by Emma Slaughter, has contributions from Julie Beams, Isabelle Brodie, Patrick Carmichael, Abigail Gosling, Perry Knight and Sarah Cousins, who now works at the University of Warwick.
Prof Patrick Carmichael said: “While policymakers seem to have no problem talking about ‘quality’ in education and childcare, our students find it a difficult notion to pin down in practice. We wanted to encourage our readers to explore what ‘quality’ looked like in practice, and how Early Years research could help them with this.
“We also wanted to show that there are different traditions of Early Years education around the world, from which they could draw inspiration and good practice.”
Each chapter has reflection points and practical activities designed to encourage Early Years professionals to question existing practice and develop their own understandings of quality.
Prof Carmichael, who is a member of the University’s Institute for Research in Education (IRED)said: “It was interesting, and sometimes challenging, working together, as different perspectives, interests and commitments came to the fore in the course of the writing.
“But I think that is the message of the book overall: Early Years, like any aspect of education, is intrinsically broad and interdisciplinary, and the ‘creative tensions’ that emerge often bring about improvements in understanding and practice.”
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