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Approaches to supporting children’s learning in early childhood – the role of parents and professionals. (Draft Version)

Word icon Approaches to supporting children's learning D1 (Word file, 85k)

15 September 2005 by Jonathan Rix

This paper raises questions about the models of children’s learning embedded in early intervention programmes and how different pedagogical approaches may affect children’s learning situation. An holistic curriculum, based on play, and active learning, with children’s learning evaluated through narrative learning stories could be considered to be an alternative approach to what Bridle and Mann (2000) describe as the ‘functional diagnostic model’ of supporting young children with learning difficulties or disabilities. Within a climate of inclusive education, could alternative ways of approaching early intervention programmes and models of children’s learning and assessment be considered to be more appropriate?  This paper presents parents perspectives of how they consider their children with Down Syndrome learn in the early years. Dinnebeil and Hale (2003) note how professionals should share the setting of goals and the evaluation of early intervention programmes with parents. However, some of the parents interviewed in this study found the expectation to work towards the achievement of ‘goals’ through the setting of tasks was problematic. This suggests that current task lead approaches to early intervention may not be ideally suited to many parents now being encouraged to engage in programmes to support their child’s learning and that these tensions should be identified, acknowledged, and addressed in order to support the child’s learning.

Policy makers
Education and Language Studies (FELS)
Conference proceedings (non-refereed)
4th international conference on developmental issues in down syndrome/, the down syndrome educational trust, University of Portsmouth.