A radical new approach or a discursive battleground? Making sense of the Foundation Phase for Wales

Maynard, T. (2013) A radical new approach or a discursive battleground? Making sense of the Foundation Phase for Wales. In: Research Centre for Children Families and Communities Seminar: The Politics of Early Childhood, 5th February 2013, Canterbury Christ Church University. (Unpublished)

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The Foundation Phase for Wales, drawing, in part, on ‘excellent’ early years programmes in Scandinavia, New Zealand and Reggio Emilia, has been heralded as a radical new approach to early years education within the UK. Reflecting concerns about the early introduction of overly-formal educational experiences, the Foundation Phase Framework advocates an experiential, play-based approach to learning for children aged three to seven years and emphasises both child-initiated learning and the use of the outdoor environment.

In this seminar, Professor Trisha Maynard, Co-Director of the ‘Evaluation of the Foundation Phase for Wales’, will focus on the project team’s initial task: an analysis of the Foundation Phase documentation. This analysis, undertaken in order to ascertain what the Foundation Phase is essentially ‘about’, aimed to identify the nature and extent of the statutory curriculum and suggested pedagogy as well as the underlying approach.

Professor Maynard will discuss some of the key findings – including issues relating to the definition of significant terminology within and across the documentation. She will argue that some of the tensions apparent within the Framework may be understood if the documentation is read not so much as a radial new approach but as a ‘battleground’ between competing discourses. However, this reading does not lessen the real challenges faced by practitioners in trying to make sense of and enact this Framework in their schools and settings.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects: L Education > LA History of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139.2 Early childhood education
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Education > Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities
Depositing User: Prof Trisha Maynard
Date Deposited: 20 May 2013 12:24
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:11
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/11877

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00