My advice is seek out and get involved in leadership networks within you local community or professional networks of any sort for that matter. I don't believe these necessarily have to be ECE leadership networks either. Sometimes going beyond ECE is more beneficial because it gives you a fresh perspective on what is possible. Within ECE, joining organisations like OMEP is likely to have positive spin-offs. Anything that gets you connected with other professionals has to be good.
Not sure where you live but there is a leadership organisation called NZEALS which serves leaders from ECE through to tertiary and operates branches in many regions. Over the years I have found it invaluable for the connections I have made and the speakers I have heard.
Hi Chelsey I recently attended a webinar by Nicola Yelland at which your question was asked by the one of the attendees. Her answer was that however we use digital technologies with infants and toddlers it must always be in a way that supports human interaction and attachment. She also made the point that in this respect digital technologies are no different from books, sand play, care rountines or any other experiences we provide. A good answer I thought.
Hi Glenda - this video link has a good section on transitions involving care moments - in this case nappy changing. Take a look at the emphasis the centre puts on the infants and toddlers being involved in the decision making around these transitions.
I have just had reason to look up one of the many cultural iceberg diagrams on the web. Interesting that the items beneath the surface of the iceberg include 'patterns of handling emotions'. Is this something that we should be considering in discussions on our response to crying infants? Especially if we are educators who are committed to going beyond a 'tourist' response to language and culture.
It would be interesting to hear where others sit between the wise words written in the posts above and this idea that there cultural differences may come into play in handling emotions.
While I can't offer examples, here are some thoughts inspired my recent re-acquaintence with Deb Curtis and Margie Carters publications: Designs for Living and Learning and Reflecting Children's Lives. I would question your starting point - 'what works and what doesn't'. This begs the question, for whom? Children, teachers, families? I think it is really easy for us working with such an open question to foreground a teacher's perspective (supervision and safety, convenience of clean up, etc) even though we might not intend this.
Deb Curtis and Margie Carter suggest that in any curriculum planning - and that includes outdoor environments - the key question we should always start with is; what learning are we wanting to promote and provoke here? (in your case through this revamped outdoor area). In other words, starting with a set of learning 'intentions' and using these as a constant touchstone for the design. For Deb and Margie, the learning they are most keen to provoke focuses on dispositions, particularly curiosity and wonder. What would it be for you?
On a more practical note, have you tried simply googling early childhood outdoor environments (images)? There are hundreds to scroll through and critique!
Like you, would love to see others contributing to this discussion now! Ann
Hi Hayley Good questions in your final paragraph. If it is a toy, then we can certainly do toys that are just as effective and much cheaper. So an iPad needs to offer more and here are my thoughts on this.
What do others think?
I was there at the first of the three lectures last night. I would highly recommend this series for all those working with children under 5 - her examples are not confined to babies. The next two lectures are on Monday 21st May and Wednesday 23rd May. Some of the key ideas I picked up were:
Babies and young children are the 'R&D department of the human species, the blue sky guys whose job it is to make big discoveries, while we adults are simply day labourers, the production and marketing folks who manufacture and flaunt widgets, who put food on the table.'
If you can't get to the lectures, she has a couple of TED Talks (she is a very engaging speaker) and also many books including The Philosophical Baby: What children's minds tell us about truth, love and the meaning of life. I bought this after the lecture so haven't read it yet but a quick skim tells me it will be a good read - designed more for a popular audience rather than an academic audience.