Tag Archives: TED

Viewpoint

More Sources of Information

More sources of information

A large part of being a good practitioner – whether an EYP or Level 3 – is keeping up to date with information. If you are also studying for a qualification, such as a Foundation Degree or BA, it is essential to have reliable, good quality materials to hand.

With this in mind, I have gathered together a range of web-based sources of information that will support your own Continued Professional Development (CPD) and help on your course.

First up is the perennial Times Educational Supplement (TES), which can be found here.

This site has just completed its update to reflect the revised EYFS and has some really useful links for each area of Learning and Development. It also includes a professional and pedagogical Development button with great resources for preschool and Reception aged children.

Next is the amazing TED site, which can be found here.

Some fascinating, thought provoking talks by the very best in their area. Short of time – look for the ‘under 6 minute’ lectures. The full lectures are only around 15 minutes.

Search for “children” and you will find lectures on ideas as diverse as ‘how children teach themselves’, Alison Gopnik talking about babies, ‘5 dangerous things you should let your children do’, Steven Pinker discusses the thorny issue of nature vs nurture and, of course, Sir Ken Robinson on creativity, education and his unique view of life.

Caution: Do this on a day when you have plenty of time – the lectures are totally addictive and you may find several hours have gone by when you surface!

David Renfree has guest blogged for me on here before, but I would like to spotlight a really useful resource that David has developed, which he describes as “A search engine for finding reliable information on Early Years, Education and Social / family policy” .

By gathering a range of relevant sites, David has created a customised search engine, so you know that the results are going to be relevant to Early Years.

For example, put “scaffolding” into Google and then use David’s search on the right hand side of his site . See the difference?!

Just to change directions for a minute, if you are preparing to do some action research for your course, you may be interested in the national children’s bureau’s (ncb) Guidelines for Research with Children and Young People.

As well as the guidelines there are some very interesting models of involvement and further reading ideas.

Staying with interesting course material, check out the early childhood research and practice site where there are hundreds of peer reviewed journals. This is an American based organisation, but don’t let this put you off. It’s great for global perspectives and the tricky compare and contrast essays.

Whilst on the compare and contrast theme, the Open Early Years Education (Open EYE) campaign site here has some alternative viewpoints on the EYFS, amongst other things.

Finally, a bit of an unusual one for you. Try checking out BBC iplayer and search “child”. There have been a number of very interesting radio and TV programmes that offer views of childhood around the world and can be referenced in assignments.

Hopefully these will provide you with plenty of reading material.

If you have a favourite website, why don’t you let me know?

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Recommended Resources

Sources of free information for Early Years Practitioners

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.

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