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Select and focus on one child. Select a number of methodologies by which you will investigate the child within their social context. Critically analyse the contribution of the child’s social context to their ongoing care and education.

Select and focus on one child. Select a number of methodologies by which you will investigate the child within their social context. Critically analyse the contribution of the child’s social context to their ongoing care and education.

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Lecturer Nomination) Competition by Ashlea Berryman. It is nominated by Lecturer Sheelagh Carville of Stranmillis University College in the category of Social Studies
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Lecturer Nomination) Competition by Ashlea Berryman. It is nominated by Lecturer Sheelagh Carville of Stranmillis University College in the category of Social Studies

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Sep 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/27/2013

 
1REFLECTIVE PRACTICE PORTFOLIO
 
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 3
 
Select and focus on one child. Select a number of methodologies by whichyou will investigate the child within their social context. Critically analyse the
contribution of the child‟s social context to their ongoing care and education.
 
The social context of a child, under the pseudonym Tim, aged two years tenmonths, was investigated using a mixed methods approach, both quantitativeand qualitative, involving a parent questionnaire, informal parental interviewand child observations. Bronfenbrenner (1977) describes the child asdeveloping within an ecological system consisting of a series of layers whichinteract with each other. Consistent with Bronfenbrenner's (1977) theory,Jones and Ramchandini (1999) {cited in Aldgate, 2006} put forward adevelopmental and ecological framework which places the child at the centreand outlines the influences on their development, including family, school,neighbourhood, parents' work and cultural and social aspects. Jack (2000)encourages consideration of the factors within children's environments thathave the most significant effects on their development. The contribution of Tim's social context to his ongoing care and education, specifically his family,social activities and his early years setting, will be critically analysed withconsideration of the data assimilated from the investigation, professionalpractice and relevant literature.The early years setting that Tim attends, a Sure Start Programme for 2 Year Olds, has a significant impact on his ongoing care and education. Sure Start
 
2is a community based service providing quality educare provision for childrenunder three years and support to families (Aldgate, 2006). Findings from TheImpact of Sure Start Local Programmes on Three Year Olds and Their Families (National Evaluation of Sure Start, 2008:21) demonstrate thatfamilies who were users of 
Sure Start services provided a “healthier”
,
positive and developmentally supportive learning and emotional environment
for children.”
These findings are consistent with research by Hey andBradford (2006) who found that families in areas with Sure Start provision hadgreater access to resources, facilities, intervention services and qualitychildcare. Both these studies indicate that involvement in Sure Start servicescan benefit
Tim‟s development as
appropriate and supportive earlyintervention is provided.The Programme for 2 Year Olds, based in the renovated ground floor of ablock of flats, runs each weekday morning. The Programme isdevelopmentally appropriate to meet the needs of two year olds, promoting aplay-based approach with emphasis on sensory and tactile experiences todevelop children's skills and understanding. Education and TrainingInspectorate (ETI) (2010:35) states that Programmes provide children withexciting resources, supportive practitioners, peer interaction, stimulatinglearning experien
ces and an environment that is “
physically safe, cognitivelychallen
ging and emotionally nurturing.”
The provision of this will supportTim's holistic development, however, as Tim will turn three whilst in theProgramme, practitioners need to ensure that he is being challenged andextended in his learning and development. Observation and skilful planning
 
3can
be used to scaffold Tim‟s learning
, as Miller, Cable and Devereux (2005)stress that practitioner support should be focused on the child. Rodger (2003) emphasises responding to the needs and interests of children whilstWhalley (2008:77) advocates creatin
g an “enabling environment” whereby
children are empowered to learn and provided with challenge and stimulation.Indeed, during professional practice in the Programme for 2 Year Oldschildren were observed progressing in toileting and language, implying that
the practitioners are striving to support and advance the children‟s abilities.
The Programme can encourage Tim to develop the skills and attitudesneeded for preschool as the Evaluation of the Sure Start Programme for 2Year Olds (ETI, 2010) asserts the potential benefits, reporting that childrenwho attended a Programme settled more quickly into their preschool year andtheir parents were keen to be involved in their children's education. Attendingthe Programme may ease
Tim‟s
transition to preschool and his parents maybe motivated to continue their interest in his learning and development as aresult of the encouragement and support provided by Sure Start.
 
Experiencing exciting and interactive activities, promoting all areas of development, will appeal to Tim's interests, encouraging a positive dispositionto learning needed for his future education. Furthermore, it can be arguedthat the Programme for 2 Year Olds can enhance his intellectual skills as TheEager to Learn Report (Bowman, Donovan and Burns, 2000) {cited in Hatch,Bowman, Jor'dan, Lopez Morgan, Hart, Soto, Lubeck, Hyson, 2002} outlinesthat children who have had opportunities to experience learning in areas,such as literacy, maths and science, have higher cognitive abilities comparedto children who have not. Moreover, findings from the Early Years Transition

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