Interacting or Interfering? Improving interactions in the early years

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Interacting or Interfering? Improving interactions in the early years

Interacting or Interfering? Improving interactions in the early years

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Without these gadgets, we become more able to identify with the child and get closer to the child, to become attuned. Co-construction of learning is another useful lens through which to reflect on this topic – referring to sustained interactions and experiences with all children in secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships, whilst the dialogical approach enables consideration of a complexity of the conditions that shape our understanding of dialogue in context. Neuware - High quality interactions are recognised as fundamental to the achievement of outstanding teaching and learning in the early years.

The conversation gave us an opportunity to consider the importance of the early interaction particularly in the first and second years of life when the child’s sensitive period for language is unfolding, attachment patterns are developing and need for social connections emerges.

As we grapple with when to interact or intervene, we do not always get it right, however when the interaction or the non-interference meet the need of the child, we do get the sense of a special shared moment when both the child and the adult benefit from the coming together. Fisher points out how ‘the very act of “being an educator” can sometimes distort the nature of an interaction so much that it inhibits the very learning it is trying to promote’. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. She has linked (through excellent first hand examples) how adults need to interact rather than to interfere in the encouragement of spoken language needed for deep thought. Her advice to wait, watch and wonder provides a wise guide to our daily work with children, and an opportunity to more effective team work, particularly when mentoring colleagues and sharing our learnings about children from our observations.

Julie has been chair of the Early Years Curriculum Group and the National Association of Inspectors, Advisers and Consultants Early Childhood Group. In this week’s Conversation with Antonella Cirillo, which we will share at our webinar on Tuesday 9 November at 19.

It exemplifies how interactions are most effectively sustained and how developing high quality interactions can better scaffold and support children’s learning and development. With the increasing emphasis on performance and outcome measures imposed on schools this book is a timely reminder to stop and think about how we educate and how children actually learn. Early strides towards independence require extra patience in non-interference as babies feed themselves and toddlers put on their coats, help in setting table or when washing their hands.

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