By Guest Blogger Samantha Boyd
Ofsted term that appears in the revised EYFS guidance and the new Development Matters
From September 2021, a revised EYFS Framework and version of Development Matters came into force. One of the seven new “Key Features of Good Practice” right in the introduction to the new Development Matters is the idea of “PEDAGOGY” which may be a new concept for many childminders.
Pedagogy (pronounced ped-a-go-gee) is simply your method of teaching. BUT DON’T PANIC! You are already doing this……Let’s look at pedagogies and how we implement them in our settings day to day.
Many of you will have heard of Montessori, Steiner, Te Whariki, Reggio, The Curiosity Approach – all of these are different styles of pedagogy, and the most effective way of teaching is a mixture of all of these. Children learn best through play and observing others – we have all seen children copying what they have seen, heard or experienced in their play as this is their way of working out the world they live in and making sense of it all.
As well as these formal pedagogies, the word can also be applied to the types of planning that childminders do such as deciding the amount of free play you give children vs the amount of guided learning you offer, and how your balance between free play and structure might change as the children grow older. The focus of the Development Matters is on balance – children learn best when you offer a mixture of structured learning and free play; you need to show that you are aware of this balance in the plans you are making.
An enabling environment is definitely the Third Teacher – having uncluttered and inspiring space for children to play in, loose parts such as bricks and natural resources for children to use their imaginations, authentic materials such as items to use in their play like baskets, purses, gloves, hats etc. is all you need – and you already have this. Your role in teaching is to observe, understand the child, and facilitate their next steps in their learning by setting up an environment that allows them to explore and investigate, be curious and to answer their questions, ask them and talk to them, read books with them and sing with them. Playing with children is an inspiring thing. Seeing their eyes light up when they learn, through experience, something new. So you see you are already supporting children and extending their learning through your own knowledge of the children you care for.
So please don’t panic when seeing this word – you are already using your own methods of teaching (your pedagogies) and may be using a mixture of influences to give the children in your care the very, very best. Be proud of this, keep it simple and be confident.
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