J is for Journey from 0-5 – The ABC of Early Years Education
We know from science that the first five years of a child’s life is when their brain develops the most. And from this age onwards, they tend to build upon what already exists.
Therefore, the influence and interaction we provide during this crucial time will really help to construct a child’s brain architecture – creating synapses, making connections, and giving them the opportunity to build dispositions for learning.
And in order to build dispositions – such as resilience and curiosity – children need to have lots of chances to experience them all.
This helps to make them a creative thinker and allows them to develop the ability to reason and control emotions.
Regarding how to get this right, all practitioners have a vision of what ‘best practice’ is, so it’s vital to unpick where this vision came from – a lot of it is what they witness or a sector tradition.
While this can be useful, you should challenge what you’ve always known to be true – look at what’s good, what’s not, and ask why you’re doing something; ultimately, what will children learn?
It enables you to think about your current practice differently – keeping or tweaking processes along the way.
The big message here is that a child’s – or adult’s – learning journey never ends!
That’s why it’s important to remain reflective and curious. Every day we find out new things that will impact us as a sector and subsequently how children learn.
Be cautious when browsing the internet for ideas too – some sites promote trends not science, and these should be avoided.
The children in your care only get one chance at being 0-5, so you should try to make your environment and interactions as unique as the children who are in front of you.