During my research, I will be exploring how young children who cannot speak are situated in ways that oppress their embodied expression due to the dominant grand narratives and empiricist forces at work (Roberts-Holmes, 2015), researcher positionality, theoretical standpoints and relevance of methodologies.
The current educational climate provides an environment which privileges cognitive knowledge over any other form of knowing, the assessment of which is largely documented through written form either by children or by adults on behalf of children. Teachers are encouraged to look for the holes in each child’s knowledge, as opposed to the whole of their being and knowing, and to measure this using language as opposed to any other form of sense-expression which might speak to a young child’s expertise.
Could you distinguish between a child that has a right to education and one which doesn’t? Meet Nyima, a young girl from a remote nepali community, whose family identity is not recognised or given any right to belong in their community. Hear her story of being released from total social oppression into an education and a future.
In this blog Earlyarts Director, Ruth Churchill Dower, explores how the arts can enable young children with selective mutism to communicate by connecting brains and bodies in new and creative ways and how a new PhD research programme will explore the impact of different art forms on early brain development.
Renowned theatre-maker, Amelia Bird, highlights the importance of rigorous research to demonstrate how their Speech Bubbles programme has a 'statistically significant impact on children’s spoken language, storytelling and social interaction abilities'.
bOing! International Family Festival is an annual celebration of theatre and dance at the University of Kent, Canterbury where, this year, Oily Cart theatre director, Tim Webb will be leading a debate on the quality of young children's theatre.
Don't you agree that the best teachers are the ones who know how to make sense of the world? They know how to capture a child's heart as well as their mind, and how to nurture those magic moments when imaginations go wild! They give whatever it takes so that a child really gets it, feels valued and respected, wants to do their very best and thrives, no matter what the odds are against them.
Dr Linda McGuigan, Honorary Senior Research Fellow and Independent Consultant at the University of Liverpool discusses the importance of finding out children's ideas as a step to helping them make progress.
In my webinar interview for Earlyarts I spoke about the power of stories in our lives. Stories are so much more than books we share with children at bedtime, they are powerful tools. Through stories we shape and share our identities, effect change, connect with others and learn about the world and who we want to be within that world.
Last month I was the invited guest speaker on the Earlyarts webinar. This piece is a response to the online discussion I had around the considered topic 'Can Dance Help Children to Become School Ready?' This blog is intended to extend some of those important discussions further.
Anna Daly from Primed for Life tells Earlyarts about children's fluency in the language of movement and why we should not undermine their innate knowledge and skills to move and interact with their environment.
'It’s abstract Mummy, art can be anything you want it to be.’ my five year old declared as she presented to me her latest drawing. What a perfect age, completely open to the artistic process whereby a piece of work can provoke ideas and thoughts that are not predetermined by life experiences and contexts. Art to her is simple – it fuels her imagination.
Lisa Terreni, Senior Lecturer at the Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Education, teaching in the early childhood education degree programmes, discusses the use of clay and how it can help children express themselves.
Earlyarts Director, Ruth Churchill Dower, talks about how important the skill of listening is in engaging your audience whether it be children, policy-makers, creative practitioners, teachers or parents.
Virginia Radcliffe, Artistic Director/Chief Executive, Licketyspit Theatre Company 2015 talks about how learning to listen and engage with early years children has informed her approach to creating early years theatre.
Ruth Churchill Dower, Director of Earlyarts, reviews Spitalfields Music's Musical Rumpus: Catch a Sea Star, and talks to their musical director, Sam Glazer, about the importance and impact of opera for babies.
Emily Jones, co-author of Earlyarts Creative EYFS teaching packs, talks to Ruth Churchill Dower about how the natural environment stimulates our natural creativity and how we can nurture this in our every day practice with young children.
Our very own Ruth Churchill Dower tells us about how old technology can help release children's imaginations. Including a cassette recorder, a karaoke machine and a very personal trip to Skipton Castle.
Earlyarts Director, Ruth Churchill Dower, discusses her experiences at one of Spain's largest contemporary art centres and tells us why they are recognising the importance of influencing children's environments and experiences from birth.
Orla Kenny from Kids' Own explores what the artist brings that is unique to the early years setting, focussing on the difference between art and play, and what added value the arts brings to a child's development and learning experiences.
Earlyarts Director, Ruth Churchill Dower, responds to recent comments by Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss in the Guardian and outlines why they could lead to a shift from the three Rs back to the three Ss.
Ruth reflects on the ten most poignant moments of 2012 for Earlyarts. Its hard to believe so much actually happened in only one year and, in fact, it took a while to narrow them down! But we got there in the end. Grab a cuppa and enjoy our best 10 moments.
Earlyarts talks to early years consultant and UnConference delegate Geraldine French who gives an insight into her views on quality, why it's important as well as ideas derived and advice for others post UnConference.
Part Two of my experience at Tate Modern for the Worlds Together conference, focussing on the key messages from Baroness Estelle Morris, Carlina Rinaldi, President of Reggio Emilia, and Steve Seidel, Director of Project Zero at Harvard University.
I am basking in the glow - not just of my summer holiday (which was fantastic and made a long-held dream come true - more of which later), but of spending three days being inspired by some of the most beautiful examples of imagination that I've experienced in a while.
Earlyarts Director, Ruth Churchill Dower, talks about her experiences of early brain development and how we can facilitate more meaningful experiences for babies through creative learning environments.