I'm a writer, editor, journalist and consultant with expertise in education and children's issues. My articles and publications appear on this blog.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
Why Early Years is an intellectual pursuit
There is a commonly held myth that working with little children is not a job for the brainy. It is thought to suit people who like children but aren't academic.
Yet an ever-growing stack of research shows the importance of children's earliest educational experiences to their chances in life. Overwhelmingly, the best pre-schools have better qualified staff.
One government response to this evidence has been to announce plans for a pilot "Teach First" type of scheme to place top graduates in early years settings in disadvantaged areas. No details are available yet. It sounds like a good idea, but why would someone with a double first from Oxford want to work with under-fives? What makes early childhood education an intellectual pursuit?
I work for national newspapers, charities, academia and national agencies. I produce magazines, books and posters, policy analysis, features and web journalism. I was with The Times Educational Supplement for 20 years.