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A Critical Companion to Early Childhood
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A Critical Companion to Early Childhood

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November 2014 | 360 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In this stimulating and provocative book the editors have drawn together a diverse and international range of respected authors, each of whom has taken a critical approach to the contentious question of how you define and achieve quality early childhood services. It is a book designed to provoke and promote critical dialogue and discourse amongst practitioners and students through critical engagement with the position of the authors within the text. I believe anyone who reads this book will be inspired and motivated to challenge and extend their thinking and professional practice, adopting the critical stance which lies at the heart of quality services for children and families.

Professor Chris Pascal, Director of Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)


Early childhood is a complex and important area of study where it is important to develop your critical thinking and reflect upon key issues. This book will help do both. 

It explores interrelated topics such as:

  • Child development
  • Play
  • Safeguarding
  • Professionalism
  • Curriculum and Policy

Each chapter will not only engage with what you need to know but help you develop your academic skills.

The book also comes with lots of online resources which can be found at https://study.sagepub.com/reedandwalker and include: 

  • Podcasts from the authors of each chapter so you can better understand the key concepts

  • PowerPoints to help you revise the essential information

  • Journal articles related to each chapter provide further reading

Michael Reed and Rosie Walker are both Senior Lecturers in Early Childhood at the Institute of Education, University of Worcester.

 

Michael Reed and Rosie Walker
Part I: Developing Critical Reflection
Michael Reed, Linda Tyler and Rosie Walker
Chapter 1: The Undergraduate Journey
Karen Hanson and Karen Appleby
Chapter 2: Reflective Practice
Sue Callan
Chapter 3: The Ethical Practitioner with Children and Families
Jennifer Worsley and Catherine Lamond
Chapter 4: Critical Thinking
Michelle Rogers
Chapter 5: ICT and Learning for Students: A New Way of Thinking
Michael Reed and Rosie Walker
Part II: The Developing Child
Mary Benson McMullen
Chapter 6: Deliberating on Practices with Young Children in the United States
Anna Popova
Chapter 7: 'Vygotsky Rocks!' An Argument That Helps Use Lev Vygotsky's Ideas in Early Years Practice
Jackie Musgrave
Chapter 8: The Developing Child: Some Critical Perspectives
Frances Brett
Chapter 9: Play and Creativity: How Important Is This in Terms of the Developing Child?
Anna Kilderry
Chapter 10: Repositioning Developmentalism
Michael Reed and Rosie Walker
Part III: Taking a Holistic View
Robin Balbernie
Chapter 11: Security and Attachment
Aline Wendy Dunlop
Chapter 12: Developing Child in Society: Making Transitions
Claire M Richards
Chapter 13: Taking a Holistic View: Critically Examining Complex Professional Issues
Caroline Jones
Chapter 14: The Language of Special Educational Needs: Learning from the Past to Build the Future
Erica Brown
Chapter 15: Supporting Children with Complex Health Needs and Life-Limiting Conditions and Their Families
Michael Reed and Rosie Walker
Part IV: Policy and Practice
Derval Carey-Jenkins
Chapter 16: Whose Curriculum Is It Anyway?
Sian Wyn Siencyn
Chapter 17: Approaches to the Early Years Curriculum: A Critical View from Wales
Martin Needham and Dianne Jackson
Chapter 18: Parental Involvement and Partnership with Parents: "T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)"
Josephine Bleach
Chapter 19: Supporting Parents
Sandra Hesterman
Chapter 20: Policy into Practice: Implementing the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia from a Western Australian Perspective
Michael Reed and Rosie Walker
Part V: Professional Roles and Responsibilities
Michael Gasper
Chapter 21: Professional Roles and Responsibilities: Professional Practice and Early Childhood Today
Alison Nicholls
Chapter 22: Integrated Working in Practice: Why Don't Professionals Talk to Each Other?
Victoria Cooper
Chapter 23: Children's Developing Identity
Alma Fleet
Chapter 24: Assessment: A Critical Companion to Early Childhood Pedagogy
Carla Solvason
Chapter 25: The Responsibility of the Practice-Based Researcher

Supplements

In this stimulating and provocative book the editors have drawn together a diverse and international range of respected authors, each of whom has taken a critical approach to the contentious question of how you define and achieve quality early childhood services. It is a book designed to provoke and promote critical dialogue and discourse amongst practitioners and students through critical engagement with the position of the authors within the text. I believe anyone who reads this book will be inspired and motivated to challenge and extend their thinking and professional practice, adopting the critical stance which lies at the heart of quality services for children and families.

 

Professor Chris Pascal
Director of Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)

Really insightful book. Well explained and reasoned. Nicely laid out.

Sarah Holmes
Childhood & Youth Studies, Liverpool Hope University
September 4, 2017

This text offers clear criticality on many issues surrounding early childhood. A good source, useful for developing arguments and analysis in assignments.

Mrs Melanie Mackinder
Early years Education, Bishop Grosseteste University
June 14, 2016

It is important for students to read a wide variety of text and this is a very useful supplementary book

Ms Shirley Jessica Brooks
Education, Health & Social Care, Winchester University
May 11, 2016

Excellent, contemporary text book from a selection of authors making it a really valuable resource. It is engaging and has supported the development of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking.

Ms Caroline Brooks
Faculty of Development & Society, Sheffield Hallam University
March 1, 2016

A sound introduction to critical thinking within the context of early years practice

Mrs Karen Williams
Faculty of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
December 1, 2015

The title of the book is very appropriate and offers something different to other texts. A range of thought provoking chapters.

Miss Alyson Lewis
Department of Educational Studies, Bath Spa University
November 3, 2015

This book is well written and presented and offers a thought provoking approach to understanding quality in relation to early years practice. It will be particularly good for helping students to understand the need for a critical dialogue when writing academically and relating theory to practice.

Mrs Amanda Crow
school of Education and Professional Development, Huddersfield University
July 7, 2015

This is a very good book for our students. It is applicable to much of the course modules they undertake.

Mrs Alicia James
Community Studies, Truro College
July 3, 2015

A well written and accessible read.

Mrs Shan Lockwood
Early Years, Craven College
June 25, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch 1. The Undergraduate Journey


Preview this book

Michael Reed

Michael Reed is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Early Childhood, within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. He teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate courses related to child development, practice based research and leadership.  He is a qualified teacher and hold advanced qualifications in Educational Inquiry, Educational Psychology and Special Education.  He was a member of course development and writing teams at the Open University and an experienced author. He has a particular interest in practice based inquiry and research evaluating ways to improve quality in practice. He has co-edited a number... More About Author

Rosie Walker

Rosie Walker coordinates a Foundation Degree with seven partner institutions. She is a Senior Lecturer within the Centre for Early Childhood, within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. She has supervised many research projects with Foundation Degree, BA and Top up students as well as at Masters level and is responsible for managing student practice based experience. She has published book chapters, co-authored  a textbook exploring practice based research as well as journal articles. Professionally, she has managed two large children’s centres and is a qualified Social Worker. She has worked in a variety of... More About Author

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