Developmental Psychology and Study Topic

Part 1 – Analysis of video sequence. For this assignment I have chosen the video Lark Centre. I chose to focus on this particular video as I felt that there are many similarities between the Lark Centre and the setting I manage, for example, they can provide full day care as we also can. The Lark centre also reflects many of the same principles that I use within my setting where children are the centre of the provision and the practitioners are there to help and guide them through their learning.

Although there were many similarities between the Lark centre and my setting there were also some significant differences that I found very interesting for example we are a private childcare centre that predominantly provides childcare to working parents with some additional services to the community, and the sure start centre is a government funded childcare service providing support to families in a socially deprived area bringing the community together so everyone in the family feels valued as an individual.

As you will see in the following sections there are clear examples within the sequence of children’s learning and the theories of philosophers Louis Malaguzzi and Jean Piaget. Children’s Learning The Lark Children’s Centre provides among other services a childcare facility that focuses on children learning within their own routine rather than an adult led structured routine. During the commentary of the DVD at 02:35 the practitioner is describing the childcare services at the Lark Centre and states that “the child is the centre of the nursery, you are there to guide them through their daily routine”.

This reflects the Louis Malaguzzi theory of the Reggio Emilia system of Early Childhood Education which is based on his beliefs that “society should nurture a vision of children that could act and think for themselves” (Miller, Devereux, Paige-Smith and Soler, 2008, pg84). By giving children the opportunity to choose their activities and direction, with practitioner’s available to support and guide them through these decisions, the provision is giving the children a good foundation for learning life skills that they will require when growing up and use later on as adults.

There is a good example of this shown in an activity taking place within the nursery at 01:31 when a child is using a saw to cut a piece of wood. The practitioner is assisting the child by supporting the saw whilst it moves back and forth so he doesn’t become frustrated with the tedious strain of repeating the difficult action. After sawing the wood the child moves on to nailing in the wheels to finish the model. Whilst hammering the nails the practitioner provides support and encouragement to help the child achieve his goal (E100, DVD 1, Block 1). KU2) E100 study topic 4 discusses the stages of Piaget’s theory of ‘schemas’. In stage 1, the sensori motor stage, these represent new knowledge about how to do things in the world, which is stored and can be used again in new situations. As contact with the environment increases and towards the end of this stage the child’s patterns of behaviour become increasingly elaborate. What marks the end of this stage is when schemas become something the child is able to represent mentally (Study Topic 4 pg. 86).

There is evidence of a child reaching the end of her schema in the DVD sequence starting at 02:38 when you can see children playing in the home corner with the practitioner and a microwave. The girl walks over and closes the microwave door she then attempts to turn the dial on the microwave and when it doesn’t move she lets go and steps back looking at the microwave, the practitioner then asks her “is it cooking” and she stumbles over her words and says “yer…. er…. it’s not it’s not turn around” whilst once again trying to turn the dial on the microwave.

The practitioner then asks “why is it not turning around” and she replies “because it’s broken” the practitioner then suggests that they pretend and the girl nod her head to say yes (E100, DVD1, Block 1). From this clip you can see that the girl is confused why the dial doesn’t turn because her previous experience with a dial is with one that turns, she quickly realises that the microwave isn’t real and won’t actually cook but continues to pretend to cook with it anyway showing signs of Piaget’s theory of accommodation within schema’s “accommodation is what happens when we adjust our existing schema to take in new information.

This is often simply a case of refining existing schemas” (Anning and Edwards 2008 pg. 15) the girl has adjusted her schema to realise that the microwave isn’t real because she knows it won’t cook without turning the dial. (KU4) From these sequences and the DVD excerpt of the Lark Centre we can see that both the centre and practitioners take a responsible, effective approach to ensuring that the children attending the childcare facility and centre as a whole receive a good foundation to base their learning experiences.

Official requirements on welfare and provision Throughout the Sequence the Lark Centre showed that they have an excellent understanding of the importance of the health and wellbeing of the children using their centre. E100 study topic 6 pg. 112 figure 1 a diagram of the building blocks for health shows how emotional, social and physical health are interrelated.

It also notes that if anyone of the building blocks is not in place it will impact on a child’s ability to develop and learn (Study Topic 5 pg112). In the following paragraphs I will be using the principles shown within this diagram and discussing how the Lark Centre’s facilities encourage families and children to build on and achieve their children’s health and wellbeing.

During the DVD sequence at 14:55 in the Bud room you see a practitioner and an 8 month old baby playing in a mirror and the 8 month old baby is becoming aware of herself, she is building her self-esteem and relationship with the practitioner by looking and interacting in the mirror showing expressions and excitement through smiling, gaggling and tapping her hands on the mirror when looking at herself and the response of practitioner through the mirror (E100, DVD 1, Block 1). This part of the sequence also links in with the theory of Laevers (1997) as noted in the E100 study topic 6 pg. 13 which notes that even very young babies are building up a sense of self-esteem that enables them to explore and discover things for themselves Laevers work (1997) emphasises the significance of curiosity in children’s exploration. He describes the nine signs of involvement “(Laevers (1997) cited in E100 study topic 5 Pg113). The signs of involvement that the baby is showing in this sequence include energy, facial expression and composure, verbal expression and satisfaction. This has helped the baby to form a close relationship with the practitioner and build on her self-esteem. KU5, KU6) In the commentary 14:55 the practitioner discusses the close bond that the baby has formed with the practitioner and how they work together as keyworkers to plan activities for the babies based around their individual routines. Keyworkers are a compulsory requirement of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) the EYFS states that there will be a safe and stimulating environment which provides continuity of care that enables children to identify with key workers and develop relationships at all levels (DCSF, 2008a Practice Guidance pg10).

The idea of introducing keyworkers into early year’s settings was influenced by philosophers Bowlby and Sterns theories of attachment. Bowlby and Stern both had strong beliefs that a child’s attachment to adults was key to their learning and development as noted in E100 study topic 6. Bowlby and Stern studied children’s emotional development from the 1940’s onwards and identified babies strong biological need to have a close and loving bond with their main carer (Bowlby (1988) cited in E100 Study Topic 5, pg122).

At 06:05 and 18:44 the DVD shows clips of how children at the Lark Centre are given the opportunity to explore and choose different foods. At 06:05 you see a child making a pizza choosing the topping they want to put on the bread base then at 18:44 you see the children sat down at snack time choosing what they would like to eat and pouring drinks. The practitioner is discussing the food with the children asking them if they know what the fruit is and then going on to explain that she is going to peel the apple.

The E100 study topic 6 notes that there is plenty of research to indicate that children who have some control over their own lives show greater emotional wellbeing (Maccoby, 1980; Prior and Rodgers, 2001 cited in E100 study topic 5 pg. 134). By giving children the opportunity to discover and choose what food and drink they are consuming the practitioners are giving the children the tools to make their own choices and understanding what is good for them and their health. (KU5, KU6)

The areas of the Buildings Blocks discussed above are only small examples of the lengths the Lark Centre go to providing their community with a base for building the health and wellbeing of their families. There are many other areas of their work which include inter-agency linking with the primary health trust, job brokers, speech and language therapists, substance misuse services and others, to provide all members of the family with the support and guidance they need to work towards building a better environment for the children to develop in.

Part 2 – Discussion of implications for your setting. The implications of the video sequence the lark centre on my practice are: For supporting children’s learning: • After watching the DVD clip on the Lark centre I can see how important the resources for outdoor play were for exploring forces with the large water slopes to pour water down into large trays on the floor. With this in mind I now intend to extend the resources available in our outdoor play area to make the outdoor play environment as beneficial as the indoor play environment. KU1) (KU5, KU6) • The number of mirrors and equipment involving mirrors in the Bud room linking in with Laevers theory of the nine signs of involvement (Laevers (1997) Cited in E100 study topic 5 pg. 113) for the babies had a very positive impact on the way the children developed. I feel that this is something that we can look at introducing more of in our baby area to enhance the positive approach we take to help children build there self-awareness and self-esteem. (PS3)

Official requirements on children’s welfare and provision: • After reading that children who were given some control over their own lives show greater emotional wellbeing (Maccoby, 1980; Prior and Rodgers, 2001 cited in E100 study topic 5 pg. 13). I have changed the snack routine in our setting to introduce a snack bar so children have more control over the time they have snacks and their choice of snack. We now have a snack bar open for two hours in the morning and afternoon when the children can go nd sit down for a snack and drink and choose from a variety of options available to them. • Although my setting has some very close links in working with some areas of the community, such as child-minders for whom we provide soft play sessions, which like the clip 18:20-18:35 where child-minders explain how they find the centre useful for messy play activities that are maybe too messy to do in their home (E100, DVD 1, Block 1).

We also have the equipment and resources to provide our local child-minders with a safe purpose built soft play environment for the children to explore some more demanding physical play. My setting does not yet have the multi-disciplinary links that the Lark Centre had in place in the clip starting at 5:04 with many health professionals, job brokers, speech and language professionals and others. (E100, DVD 1, Block 1) and I have seen that these links can have a positive impact on the children attending the setting.

After seeing this I am very interested in investigating with the current professionals that link with our service how we can branch out to pursue other avenues of support for our families. (CS1, CS2, CS3, KS1, KS2, KS4) Part 3 – Reflect on your own Learning. The thing I have found most interesting whilst writing this essay is looking at the theories of philosophers. From reading the course materials with regard to theories surrounding children’s learning I have learnt a lot about how differently people interpret the way in which children learn.

I have found it very difficult to complete section 2 of the TMA. References. Anning, A and Edwards, A (2008), ‘Young Children As Learners’ in Miller, L, Cable, C and Goodliff, G (2010 (eds), Supporting Children’s Learning in the Early Years Second Edition, Oxon, Routledge/The Open University Department for children, schools and families (DCFS) (2008) The Early Years Foundation Stage, Nottingham, DCSF. Bowlby, J. (1988) A Secure Base: Clinical Applications of Attachment Theory, London, and Routledge.

Laevers, F. (1997) A Process-Orientated Child Monitoring System for Young Children, Leuven, Belgium, Centre for Experimental Education. Miller, L, Devereux, J, Paige-Smith, A and Soler, J (2008) ‘Approaches to curricula in the early years’ in Cable, C, Miller L, and Goodliff G (2010 (eds) Working with Children in the Early Years Second Edition, Oxon, Routledge/The Open University. Maccoby, E (1980), Social Development: Psychological Growth and the Parent-Child Relationship, New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Pryor, J and Rodgers, B. (2001) Children in Changing Families, Oxford, Blackwell. The Open University (2009) E100 The Early Years: Developing Practice, DVD 1 ‘Roles provisions and practices’, Milton Keynes, The Open University. The Open University (2010) ‘Growth, development and learning’, E100 Study Topic 4, Milton Keynes, The Open University. The Open University (2010) ‘Health and wellbeing’, E100 Study Topic 5, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

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