What does study of early years transitions tell us about readiness for

What does study of early
years transitions tell us about
readiness for learning?
Aline-Wendy Dunlop
Improving Readiness for Learning 0-8
An Equally Well Civic Conversation Event
Drawing on
• Longitudinal transitions study
• Ten Families Study
• Positive Behaviour study
• Comparative Study- 2 cultures
A dynamic time of accelerated change
which may both create new opportunities
for learning, wellbeing, stability, continuity
and may equally bring threats….
10 families-3 levels of data
Readiness to Learn-Possible Selves
Developmental domains
• physical well-being and
motor development
• emotional health and a
positive approach to
new experiences
• social knowledge and
• language skills
• general knowledge and
cognitive skills.
Self-making narratives
(Bruner, 2000)
• Knowledge and Skills
• Competence
• Dispositions:
inclinations, ability,
sensitivity to occasion
• Competent and
confident learners
• Shifts and
developments in identity
(Carr, 2004, 42)
Scottish Government Aspirations
Economic growth and prosperity and
tackling inequalities
Early Years Framework
Equally Well
Achieving our Potential
Scottish: Health, Education, Social Services;
Social Justice, Culture, Creativity, Sport,
Residential Childcare, policies affecting
young people and families
• Income, material distribution,area
regeneration,education, health
How school start is conceived
• Rites of institution
• Push for sameness
• Social participation and
• Social creation of
• Importance of total
relationships, first
teacher, teacher
collaborations, parental
participation, children’s
Changes - readiness?
What is significant? A fish in
• The extent to which children are able to develop a sense
of their own identity in the early years through
opportunities for choice, self-regulation, success (in real
things) and positive engagement with others, the child’s
first teacher in school and how this is sustained over
At each subsequent transition Having friends and going to school with friends
Feeling competent
Opportunities to start afresh and re-invent yourself
Effective learning: its up to you and
you can do something about it
Common workforce
• Need to see beyond boundaries of own
• Need to take account of child’s whole context
• Share information about children and families
within and between services efficiently and
effectively when required
• Silos v Specialisms?
• Getting it right for every child
“…life chances of children, young
people and families at risk”.
• “Government in Scotland has one overarching purpose: to
create a more successful country, with opportunities for all
of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable
economic growth. Young people, their families and
communities are at the heart of this vision for Scotland.
That is why we are jointly committed to giving children the
best start in life and to improving the life chances of
children, young people and families at risk”.
(p3. Preventing offending by young people: A framework for action, 2008)
• The focus is on outcomes rather than processes. This
guidance therefore aims to improve outcomes for children
and young people by improving partnership working.”
(p3 Consultation on Education and Allied Health Professionals, 2009)
Is it the role of the workforce to create
the aspirations in people that will drive
prosperity and reduce inequality?
Access to work
Prevention/early intervention
Empowerment for individuals
Empowerment for communities
High quality services, being effective includes
‘joined-up’ working
• Assumption is that those most disadvantaged
need the help and support of public services
What about outcomes?
• Quality family relationships - that every child
is nurtured - parenting at the heart
• Secure/Safe Local Environment
• Good relationships between services and
• Lifelong, successful learners
• Healthy and active
• Skills, confidence, self-esteem, wellbeing
• Participation and inclusion
• Happy?
What is significant?
• The extent to which any new setting allows
individuals to demonstrate what they already know
and are able to do and
• The extent to which children and young people feel
valued in the new setting
• Being in an environment where the focus is on
learning rather than behaviour
• The initial contacts families have with the educational
system at each level
• The capacity of professional educators to work with
families rather them telling them about education and
their child
Learning to Dance
“In healthy families, a baby forms
a secure attachment with her
parents as naturally as she
breathes, eats, smiles and cries.
This occurs easily because of her
parents’ attuned interactions with
her. Her parents notice her
physiological/affective states and
they respond to her sensitively
and fully. Beyond simply meeting
her unique needs, however, her
parents “dance” with her.
Hundreds of times, day after day,
they dance with her.”