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Archive for the 'Childhood & early education' Category

Living and learning during a pandemic: what can children tell us?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital14 October 2021

Yana Manyukhina.

Researcher: why did you want to take part in this interview?

Child: “Because nobody had listened to children”

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us important lessons about school education that we should never forget in a post-pandemic world. We have come to appreciate, as never before, the significance of teacher support, interactions with peers, and positive family environments for children’s learning and wellbeing. At the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (0-11 years) (HHCP), we have also become acutely sensitive to children’s voice and its importance in research. We know we cannot fully understand how to help children succeed at school unless we ask, and listen to, children.

Our Living and Learning during a Pandemic study spanning the autumn term of 2020 was designed to do just that – talk and listen to children. Conducted after the reopening of schools following the first national lockdown, the project aimed to offer young children an opportunity to share their experiences and feelings (more…)

Making time to care: parental leave today and tomorrow

Blog Editor, IOE Digital14 September 2021

darkside-550 / Pixabay

Peter Moss and Alison Koslowski.

Work-life balance and gender equality are firmly on today’s political agenda, nationally and internationally. Key to achieving both is parenting leave, including maternity, paternity and parental leave, as well as leave for parents to care for sick children. Our new report, freely available online, provides an invaluable source of information about parenting leave, in the UK and 46 other countries.

The annual international review on leave policies is produced by a network of experts from many countries, across six continents including nearly all of Europe. As well as full details of parenting leaves in all 47 countries covered and cross-national tables, the review has information on recent developments in leave policy, take-up, the relationship between leave policies and early childhood services, plus a section on responses to Covid, covering early childhood services, schools, changes to leave policies and other support for parents.

At 645 pages, the 17th annual international review of the leave network is hard to summarise. Here are just a few tasters. What’s immediately striking is the great diversity in how countries design and implement leave policies – even between member states of the European Union, where directives set minimum standards for (more…)

Exactly what is social care and how can we solve the crisis?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital7 July 2021

annawaldl / Pixabay

Claire Cameron, Peter Moss and Pat Petrie

Social care has been in crisis for years, now made even worse by the pandemic. All agree something must be done, many ‘urging the Government to act now’ – but we are still waiting. What can be done? The problem with ‘social care’ and a promising solution are the subjects of a new article we have published in the International Journal of Social Pedagogy.

In it, we argue that ‘working with people’ should become a rewarding, well qualified and properly funded enterprise, with a highly skilled workforce, and ask why Britain has taken such a different path from much of Europe.

The social care crisis is driven by several factors. ‘Social care’ covers a plethora of services for children and adults including elderly people with additional needs; working-age adults with mental and physical disabilities; and children and adolescents unable to live with their birth parents, assessed as ‘in need’ or subject to child protection (more…)

‘You’re the best!’ Your belief in your kids’ academic ability can actually improve their grades

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 June 2021

Shutterstock

Philip D. ParkerJake Anders, Rhiannon Parker,  and Taren Sanders.

We have all met the parent who thinks their kid is the next Picasso or Einstein regardless of the evidence. But it’s hard to know if these beliefs are helpful or harmful.

Overly optimistic parents could reduce their kids’ drive to work harder and give them a false idea of the opportunities available to them. Or this same optimism could fill the child with confidence, kindle their self-belief and give them the courage to try harder.

We set out to discover which of these possibilities is most likely. We found a mother’s optimism about how good their child is in maths and reading (more…)

Who is included, who is excluded and what can we do to promote inclusion for all children?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital10 June 2021

Claire Cameron, Jo Van Herwegen, Mark Mon-Williams, Aase Villadsen.

“Covid 19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations,” says UNICEF in its recent analysis. And children “are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline”.

This, in turn, threatens to broaden the group of children at risk of exclusion – not just for misbehaviour, but because they have needs that are not being met. The danger is that, in the pandemic’s aftermath, we focus on ‘catch up’ learning for the relatively advantaged, and neglect the long-term health, wellbeing, and competency benefits of inclusive education for all students – especially those who are poor and ‘near poor’.

Now is the time to think how we can organise structures, services, and systems in every school so that all (more…)

Measuring children’s development in low and middle income countries: getting it right

Blog Editor, IOE Digital21 May 2021

Bernie Munoz, Julie Dockrell, Lynn Ang and Jessica Massonnié.

How do we measure young children’s development and the quality of their learning environments in low and middle income countries (LMICs)? This answer is key for researchers, practitioners, field workers and NGOs working with children as there is a pressing need to prevent childhood ‘stunting’ in these countries.

Childhood stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience because of poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation.

Through a systematic review (SR) soon to be published in the Journal of Early Childhood Research, we identified 43 current tools: 34 for assessing children’s (more…)

Social and emotional skills: how early childhood living conditions can support or undermine equality of opportunity

Blog Editor, IOE Digital7 May 2021

Ingrid Schoon

Children need certain social and emotional skills in order to adapt well to school and later life. This has become increasingly recognised in recent years, most notably by policy-makers. They have focused growing attention on how potential ‘character’, ‘non-cognitive’, or ‘soft’ skills can be developed in children and young people.

Social and emotional competences refer to a set of attitudes and behaviours, including motivation, perseverance, self-control, social engagement and collaboration (See here for more details). There is however no consensus about a key set of core social and emotional competences, and how these are defined and operationalised. Nor is there sufficient understanding of how social and emotional competences develop over time and in context.

New research from the IOE’s Social Research Institute (SRI) published in the British Education Research Journal suggests that some children need more support than others in developing socio-emotional competences, and that they need it at a young age. The support they need (more…)

The time has come to overturn neoliberalism’s hold on early childhood education

Blog Editor, IOE Digital4 May 2021

Peter Moss and Guy Roberts-Holmes.

Our last blog highlighted neoliberalism – what it is and where it came from. We argued that it has penetrated all aspects of everyday life, yet many people neither recognise what it is nor understand its huge influence. Education is no exception, as a Canadian course tutor vividly illustrates: ‘My students have asked: “Why should we bother studying this?”; “Why should we bother with neoliberalism when we have to learn how to teach children?”’

Compulsory and higher education have been well served by studies of neoliberalism. They have detailed how this philosophy has circulated since the 1980s via the ‘Global Education Reform Movement’. GERM’s common symptoms have included the spread of market logic, business management models and test-based accountability, and a narrowing of curricula to focus on literacy, numeracy and science.

Less attention has been paid to early childhood education. This is the subject of our newly published book, Neoliberalism and Early Childhood Education: Markets, Imaginaries and Governance. Though (more…)

Neoliberalism: what’s it all about?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital28 April 2021

Peter Moss and Guy Roberts-Holmes.

In his foreword to our new book, Neoliberalism and Early Childhood Education, published today, Professor Stephen Ball offers a stark assessment: ‘neoliberalism now configures great swathes of our daily lives and structures our experience of the world – how we understand the way the world works, how we understand ourselves and others, and how we relate to ourselves and others.’

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were the movement’s standard bearers

It has reached, as we will describe in our next blog, deep into all sectors of education – and far beyond. Whether it’s schools or bus services competing for custom, or the privatization of public utilities and the sub-contracting of public services to big business, or the marginalization of trade unions and the vaunting of a ‘flexible’ labour market, or the turning over of care for older people to private providers, neoliberalism has become the normal backdrop to life, appearing natural and self-evident. How else, we might ask, could things be?

Yet despite its enormous influence on all aspects of our lives, many people today can neither name nor describe (more…)

What bookworms need to thrive

Blog Editor, IOE Digital10 February 2021

IOE Events.

The benefits of reading for pleasure are many and varied, from the development of comprehension skills and vocabulary, to the enrichment of imagination and empathy.

For younger children, reading for pleasure builds the proficiency in literacy that accelerates their learning across the school curriculum, and this becomes a virtuous circle as they move on to more demanding texts.  But not all children – or adults – view reading as a favourite pastime. For our latest ‘What if…?’ debate, we brought together children’s author and poet Joe Coelho, literacy experts Charlotte Hacking and Professor Gemma Moss, and social scientist, Professor Alice Sullivan, to assess the barriers and enablers to cultivating committed readers (you can learn more about our panel here).  Along the way, we were delighted to be treated to a poetic tribute to reading, books and libraries.

Our discussion highlighted how the way in which literacy is taught and assessed in schools can be as much of an impediment as an enabler. An over-emphasis on reading as a proficiency and a sorting mechanism, manifested (more…)