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PARISH PEDAGOGIES
An Analysis of Irish Pre-school Practice using the
Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scales
GERARDINE NEYLON MON 13TH OCTOBER WESTPORT CO MAYO IRELAND
Two Early Childhood Environment Rating Scales
ECERS-E
ECERS-R
 Based on observation
 7 sub-scales:
 Space and furnishings
 Personal care routines
 Language reasoning
 Activities
 Interaction
 Programme structure
 Parents and staff

Harms, Clifford & Cryer (1998)
 Based on observation
 4 sub-scales:
 Literacy
 Mathematics
 Science and environment
 Diversity

Sylva, Siraj-Blatchford & Taggart (2003)
The University of Western Australia
ECERS/R/E Irish
Research.
•
Ethical Approval
•
Second researcher came
on board (findings shared
across two PhD’s)
•
Training - use of the
instrument
•
Pilot study X 2 ECERS-R/E
•
To get cohort of 26 as a
random sample applied
Statistical Package for
Social Science (SPSS)
•
Pre-school services only
visited, one in each county.
•
Data collated
The University of Western Australia
Method: Application of the International Early Childhood
Environmental Rating Scales - Revised and Extended
•
Researchers observe preschool practice from greeting to
departure.
•
Within each of the 11 categories
there are sub-categories (61) in
total.
•
Sub-categories are rated as
inadequate (1), minimal(3),
good (5), or excellent (7).
•
Scores are based on the
situation observed.
The University of Western Australia
Qualifications
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
How Staff described pedagogy
Description of Building
7/5
7/7/5
5/5/7/5/
Group play
Montessori/play
Play-based
Montessori/play
Community building
Private home – garage extension
Extension to community building
House in estate catering for age 0–5
-/-/7/8/5
7/5
5/-/
6/7/5
-/-/
7/5/5
6/5/8/7
6/-/-/
5/-/5/-/6/-/5
6/5/5/5/7
6/5
6/6/
6/5
8/5/7/6/5
Play-based
Montessori/play
Play/care
Group play-based
HighScope/play-based
Steiner/play-based
Group play-based
HighScope
Play-based
Montessori
Play-based
Play-based
Play-based
Play-based
Montessori
Play-based
Montessori/play
Play-based
HighScope
Play/HighScope
HighScope/Aistear
Reggio Emilia
Rented house
Private home – garage extension
Community building
Community building
Commercial unit in shopping centre
Community building
Disused classroom
Community building
Community building
Private home – garage extension
Rented house
Community building
Community building
Private home – garage extension
Private home – purpose built extension
Private home – garage extension
Private home – garage extension
Community building
Purpose built large prefab
Purpose build
Private home – purpose built extension
Purpose build commercial setting
The University of Western Australia
“quality of care” What was know of ECEC Assessment?
 The term Quality has proved harder to define than one might expect.
 “ECERS rating scale is an Imperfect but useful way to measure ECEC”
Kathy Sylva
 Pre-school inspectorate - Inspection reports (26)
 Pre-school HighScope Program Quality Assessment (PQA) (5)
 Registration guidelines for Montessori schools – includes Self and
Assessor assessment (1)
The University of Western Australia
Context: December 2009 – ECERS data collection began – finished
May 2010
•
April 2009 - Supplementary Budget Free Pre-school Year (FPSY) announced
•
Great uncertainty, concerning payment rates, accreditation levels?
•
Strong feelings of lack of consultation with the sector
•
FPSY was welcome in some settings depending on their circumstance: existing
pre-school charges/rent/accreditation etc…
•
Observed 8 children's ‘first day’ in pre-school – mid-term.
The University of Western Australia
•United Kingdom (Ex N.I) 2004
Northern Ireland 2006
The University of Western Australia
The study cohort findings
Inadequate (1-2), minimal (3-4), good (5-6), excellent (7)
The University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia
Family inclusion: Parents, Personal and Professional Development,
Staff Interaction, Evaluation & Opportunities for Professional Growth
The University of Western Australia
Parent Involvement in Early Learning
•
A lot easier said than done - Questions of power and openness - Parents often
unsure of their role both at home and at school
Findings
• ECEC services are assuming an increasingly important role in supporting
families.
• ECEC as a parenting support measure needs to be embedded in training,
practice and policy at local, regional and national levels.
• Greater recognition in pre-service and in-service training – good ECEC can
reduce stress in families and lives and enhances child outcomes.
• ECEC practitioners need to be knowledgably about community resources so as
to support learning at home & in the neighbourhood.
• Research Skills
(International Child Development Initiatives ICID, 2012 Bernard Van Leer Foundation,)
The University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia
The Graduate Led Practitioner =
Automatic Quality = Myth
Mixed Market – Mixed Messages
•
•
Competence Requirements in
Early Childhood Education and
Care (CoRe) (2011)
•
•
Importance of a graduate led
workforce combined with local,
regional and national systems
to support educators.
Practice managed at a distance by
owner without training - Set the
routine
Trained ECEC staff taking
direction from manager
The University of Western Australia
Early Childhood Educators as an Emerging Profession
The University of Western Australia
How did Mayo come to have first-rate quality pre-schools where other
counties have failed?
The University of Western Australia
The success of HighScope makes a strong case for …
•
Those working on delivering quality in ECEC - City and County Childcare
•
Committees, Family Resource Centres, and TUSLA to explore HighScope
•
HighScope fits well with National Early Years Learning Framework, Aistear.
•
The Mayo services run under the National Free Pre-school Year Scheme
•
One drawback is that payment to staff is paid only for contact time with children. Time spent preparing
and working on family support is, at the moment, unpaid work. The reliance on unpaid work is a worrying
sign if this project is to be extended nationwide. And is central to the debate concerning the
professionalising of the Early Years Sector.
•
In 1968, writer John Healy published No One Shouted Stop: Death of an Irish Town –Charlestown, Co.
Mayo was devastated without regional and national support.
•
25 years later In 1993 A group of dedicated professionals and community members shouted start, by
building on existing pre-school services, introducing the HighScope model.
This research indicates that these services offer better quality services than available elsewhere
•
The University of Western Australia
bibliography
Collins K (2014) Evaluation of HighScope in Co-Mayo
Harms, T. Clifford, R. and Cryer, D. (1998) Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale –
Revised, New York: Teachers College Press
Harms T (2006) Video Observations for the ECERS-R [DVD], Teachers College
Press
Melhuish, E. Quinn, L. Hanna, K. Sylva, K. Sammons, K.I. Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Taggart,
B. (2006) Effective Pre-school Provision in Northern Ireland
Sylva, K. Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Taggart, B. (2006) Early Childhood
Environment rating scale
(ECERS-E) Extension (ECERS-) Four
Curricular Subscales, Staffordshire England:
Trentham Books
Sylva, K. 9 February 2009 Imperfect but useful ways to measure quality:
research findings using the ECERS-R, ECERS-E and the
CISDepartment of Education, University of Oxford University of East London
Van Leer Foundation (2012) International Child Development Initiatives ICID Bernard Parent
Involvement in Early Learning A review of research, poicy and good
practice
The University of Western Australia
Bibliography
Environment rating scale (ECERS-E) Extension (ECERS/E) Four
Curricular Subscales, Staffordshire England: Trentham Books.
The University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia
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The University of Western Australia
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