- Sensori-motor: birth – 2 years
- Pre-operational: 2 – 7 years
- Concrete operations: 7 – 11/12 years
- Formal operations: 11/12 – 16 years
Piaget was influenced by his reading by the ideas of Immanuel Kant, whose concept of categories was a precedent for late psychological theories using terms such as “constructs” and “schemes”. Piaget did a study called the mountain study. He did this to investigate further into his theory. The mountain study consisted of a group of children being arranged in front of a simple plaster mountain range. He would seat himself to the side and ask the children to pick from four pictures that the view that Piaget could see. Younger children would pick the picture of the view they could see, and older children picked what Piaget could see. When evaluating this study, Piaget found out that younger children are mo egocentric as they get older because they tend to see other peoples point of view. The role of the adult in the setting would be to support the children through the different stages of development and that teachers and parents should work alongside one another to help maintain their development.
My next theorist which currently influences children’s play is Susan Isaacs. Susan Isaacs was a psychoanalyst who believed that free play indoors and outdoors was important to young children to develop their developmental needs and express their feelings. Susan believed that free play was a great influence and important for young children when learning. Susan also thought that observation helped her reflect on the children’s learning. She also stated that free play was an importance to young children. When Susan Isaacs became the principle of Malting House in 1924, she was setting up an educational experiment along side Geoffrey Pkye and his wife to try different teaching ideas with a small group of children. The children were aged from two and a half to seven years old. The house had three interesting features which were:
- The use and development of language to promote thinking
- The attention paid to children’s emotional needs
- The emphasizing on curiosity and finding out
Susan Isaacs theory is influenced by many different theorist including Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud. However her main influence was Melanie Klein. She had new ideas on infancy. The role of the adult in the setting with regard this theory is to allow children to understand what is being asked and then to ask meaningful and challenging questions in order to allow children to think for themselves.
The Every Child Matters framework is a part of the Children Act 2004 which is a piece of current legislation which influences planning and provision of learning opportunities. Every Child Matters is designed to ensure quality provision of children and young people’s play and learning. It supports children from birth to 19 years and has an impact on all play-based provision. The practitioner should have planning which relates in some way to the five outcomes for children. These are:
- Be healthy
- Stay safe
- Enjoy and achieve through learning
- Make a positive contribution to society
- Achieve economic well-being
Ofsted is a regulatory body, which helps to make sure that the setting has the correct planning and provision of learning opportunities. Ofsted bases inspection upon the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters framework. Inspectors visit each setting and look carefully at the curriculum that is offered. Ofsted accept that at each setting the curriculum will vary, i.e. all setting where they have children less than 5 years of age are to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage, whereas children from the age of 6 are expected to follow the National Curriculum. Inspectors will want to see evidence that the registered person ensures that their team are familiar with the relevant curriculum and the Ofsted requirements. Settings are required to self-evaluate their provision and provide development plans that show evidence of team work and a shared understanding of best practice.
Observations help to support the planning to meet children’s learning needs as it can inform the parents of that child how well there child is progressing. The practitioner can observe the child to see if the child is achieving the next goal of their development or not. There are ways in which the practitioner can tell the parents of the observations they do. These include:
- Mid term reports
- End of year reports
- Open days
It is important for the parent to know how there child is doing because they know the best interest for their own child. It can also help if the parents did some work with their children, as it helps the children to encourage and to become more independent in them for reaching that goal. The practitioner could also observe children because if that child has a particular need, i.e. a learning difficulty, a behaviour difficulty or a disability, then the practitioner would have to keep observing the child to see if they are progressing, because they may be at a lower level than other children or they could be at a higher level than other children. This also helps, as the child might have an IEP, which has to be reviewed each term, so the correct amount of observations is essential for when they review that child’s plan, to see if they need to change any of it. Observations for children who have an additional need are important, especially if multi-agency approach is involved. The multi-agency approach is when several professionals are in involved in supporting children and their families. This is important because between the other professionals who are involved in with the child and their family, they can all share knowledge about that child’s needs with each other so that parents do not have to be asked the same questions over and over again. A useful method which the practitioner could use would be the planning cycle. The planning cycle is when feedback from all observations link into the planning process.
The planning cycle is made using four topics. These are planning, implementation, observation and evaluation. This means that when the practitioner is planning an activity for an example, she would have to get together the resources which she may need, and whether she would need to make a risk assessment and the practitioner would need to take into account the age and abilities of the children. The practitioner would then need to implement that activity in the setting and then observe which children go to the activity and which children like that activity and who don’t. The practitioner would then need to evaluate the activity. She would need to mention how the activity went, if she would make any changes and if she would do that activity again. This cycle can be used over and over again, for each activity or lesson the practitioner would like to do.
Two examples of how information from other agencies can contribute to assessment of learning needs are using the multi-professional approach. I am going to write about two professionals who use the multi-professional approach and how they contribute to the assessment of the learning needs of the child. My first professional I am going to write about is an Educational Psychologist. An Educational Psychologist is concerned with helping children or young people who are experiencing problems within an educational setting with the aim of enhancing their learning. These may include learning difficulties and social or emotional problems. They work directly with young people as individuals or in groups and also advise teachers, parents, social workers and other professionals who are involved. Their work with individual children involves an assessment of the child using observation, interviews and test materials. They offer a wide range of appropriate interventions such as learning programmes and collaborative work with teachers. Educational psychologists also provide in-service training for teachers and other professionals on issues such as behaviour and stress management. An educational psychologist also has a number of responsibilities in their day to day life. These include:
- assessing young people's learning and emotional needs which involves working directly with them and observing and consulting with multi-agency teams to advise on the best approaches and provisions to support their learning and development;
- developing and supporting therapeutic and behaviour management programmes;
- designing and developing courses on topics such as bullying for parents, teachers and others involved with the education of children and young people;
- writing reports to make formal recommendations on action to be taken, including formal statements;
- advising, negotiating, persuading and supporting teachers, parents and other education professionals;
- attending case-conferences involving multidisciplinary teams on how best to meet the social, emotional, behavioural and learning needs of the children and young people in their care;
- prioritising effectiveness: the context and environment that influences the child's development is seen as increasingly important;
- liaising with other professionals and facilitating meetings, discussions and courses;
- developing and reviewing policies;
- Conducting active research.
My next professional that I am going to write about is a school nurse. School nurses provide a variety of services such as providing health and sex education within schools, carrying out developmental screening, undertaking health interviews and administering immunisation programmes. School nurses can be employed either by the local health authority, primary care trust, community trust or sometimes by the school directly.
The key responsibilities of a school nurse include:
- assessing the health needs of the whole school community and developing a health plan, including a policy on bullying;
- providing confidential health advice for individual children;
- supporting, advising, counselling and referring children experiencing mental health problems, such as depression;
- promoting good parenting skills by helping and supporting parents;
- co-ordinating immunisation programmes;
- supporting vulnerable children by working alongside teachers, social workers, education welfare officers and other professionals;
- providing school-based drop-in advice services in secondary schools;
- producing individual health plans for children with disabilities or long-term conditions;
- providing training for school-based staff to support children with healthcare needs, such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy, and contributing to PSHE curriculum;
- providing advice for parents, carers and school staff on childhood illnesses and the management and control of infectious diseases
The current emphasis on health promotion in schools and the community means that this is a key part of the school nurse's role and often focuses on:
- exercise and healthy eating including combating obesity and eating disorders;
- mental health and wellbeing, including dealing with depression and bullying;
- sexual health and relationships, including teenage pregnancy;
- Drug and alcohol abuse and smoking
It is important to consult with parents and others when planning and providing learning opportunities for their child because the parents know their child’s best interests. It is also important because the practitioner needs to gain permission from the parent, as the parent may not want their child involved. It is important to review what the child likes and dislikes, so that they can involve everyone around the planning, all the children needs and like and dislike, so the setting can have a warm feeling and it can be accessible to all children. It is important to ask the parents what they like and dislike, because they would know from when the child is at home. An example could be if the child doesn’t like a particular food, i.e. broccoli, then the practitioner would need to tell the cook and have it on file that the child doesn’t like that particular food and if they serve it up one day, not to give it to that child. It is important to keep a consistent flow at the setting, because as the child is growing and learning new things, and interruption into the routine could cause them to take a step back at the stage, they are at. An example would be messy play. If on every Monday and Wednesday the sand and water trays were out, and that particular child liked to play with them and on those days that child was excited that activity was going to be out, this gives the child a chance to express their feeling on this activity. However if the practitioner decides not to put it out on those days, the child could lose self-esteem because they are not able to express their emotions and feelings and develop their imagination because that toy isn’t out. By having a consistent flow, it helps the child to feel more welcome and in place at the setting, than feeling alone and not interacting with other children or other toys and activities.
All of my research into the assignment is at the back of my assignment in the appendix.
The books I have used in this assignment are:
- Tassoni, P & et al. (2007). In: C. Low, eds. Child Care and Education. 4th Edition. Oxford: Heinemann, pg.
The websites I have used in this assignment are:
- Mhtml:file://F:\School Nursing – NHS Careers.mht
There are many important points to consider when recording assessments of children. One is having the right amount techniques and if they are suitable. The different types of techniques there are when recording assessments of children are as follow:
- Written narrative/running record
- Video and photographs
- Target child observations
- Checklists and tick charts
- Graphs and charts
- Time samples
- Event sample
- Observing groups
The practitioner would need to decide what type of assessment would be appropriate for that child and activity. An example would be if a child was in Reception and they were having free play, then a mapping technique would be appropriate because the practitioner could then map out the classroom and put down points where that child goes, who they play with and what they play with. This helps the practitioner to see how the child is progressing on in their speech, writing and so on.
The practitioner would also need to check if any of the assessment techniques were reliable and valid. An example would be event sample. This technique is good as it can help with understanding the frequency and patterns of a child’s behaviour or responses and it can also be a way of monitoring the success of any strategies as it provides a baseline. But the downside to this technique is that it may have to rely on others to fill in the sheet if the observer is absent. Now if the other person would need to fill this, they would need to be taught how to because if they are left with filling it in and they didn’t know how to or if they did something wrong, then this wouldn’t be reliable as it could be the wrong information.
An important factor to consider when recording assessments of children is confidentiality. This is important because it is between the practitioner and the parents only, unless it has to be involved with other agencies. It is also important because the practitioner would need to have the parents trust in them not to pass on the information to people who don’t need to know. An example of a technique where confidentiality is important is video and photographs.