What Does High Quality Early Childhood Education Look Like?
Relationships and responsiveness are the key things when it comes to quality in early childhood education, says British academic Iram Siraj.
Professor Siraj is working in Melbourne at the moment, passing on lessons to teachers from 30 years of research in early childhood education. She is particularly interested in how ECE can help children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds to overcome that disadvantage. Recently she was in New Zealand, and spoke to the Education Gazette.
She says good quality early education combines social and emotional development with cognitive development. And while leadership, professional learning and communication with families are all important it is the relationships between children and teacher that are the key.
"We need sensitive practitioners who can tune into children … adults who are sensitive, responsive, loving and make the child feel secure, special and understood."
Everyone recognises that good parenting is good for children, and bad parenting damages children she says. “Why wouldn’t the same be true for ECE?”
"Most important of all is the ability to communicate with the child…. [to] extend their language and thinking."
The Senior Teaching team are recommending you read the full article. Click here to take you to the article in the Gazette.
At the end of the article, there are references for those who want to know more about Professor Siraj’s work.
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