If you are currently studying for a foundation degree or degree in Early Years, one of your challenges may be accessing reference materials for assignments.
There are lots of resources out there, sometimes you just need to know where to look.
A good place to start is the excellent Teachfind. On this site you will find all the great videos from TeacherTV, National Strategies documents to download and Teachernet information. The site is really easy to navigate and is constantly adding new materials. You can even suggest websites for it to link to.
A source of information about Government policy, new directives and press releases is the Department for Education website.
Personally I find this an incredibly frustrating site to navigate. You have to know exactly what you are searching for as the site takes a ‘scatter gun’ approach to search results – if it’s vaguely linked to your search, its included in the (thousands) of results! However, if you persevere there are some really useful resources available.
Less well known is Google Scholar. This can usually be found on the top bar under the drop down menu ‘more’. Google Scholar has listing of academic papers and books related to the search term. Although the results may refer you to academic journals, which you may then need to access via your Academic Institution, the abstracts are usually visible (and free). Occasionally the whole research paper is available, so you can read it there and then. This can be a great method to get a list of journals you’d like to read when you are next in college. It may also give you an idea of who is writing in that particular field of research, so you can search for their books in the library or on Amazon.
YouTube has some informative and interesting videos about all aspects of child development. For example, try this one about The Science of Child Development from HarvardEduction, 2009, which is about neuroscience and the developing brain. Be warned – you may need to put aside a couple of months to watch them all.
Of course THE video that must be viewed, is by Sir Ken Robinson, about how schools kill creativity and the knock-on effects. This was presented as part of the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) lectures in 2007 and Sir Ken has presented a couple more follow up videos since then. The video is only 15 minutes long, but in that 15 minutes Sir Ken uses humour and sharp observations to make his point clearly. Dare you not to nod in agreement whilst watching!
Finally, do remember to use the websites of charitable organisations, such as iCan for speech, language and communication, National Autistic Society and the Foundation Years.