It’s Live – ‘Child-Centred Competence Framework’

It’s Live – ‘Child-Centred Competence Framework’
It’s Live – ‘Child-Centred Competence Framework’

Over the past two years, Early Childhood Ireland has been involved in an Erasmus+ Project to investigate what it means to be child-centred in the context of early learning and care. Kathleen Tuite and Fiona Kelleher, Early Childhood Specialists with Early Childhood Ireland were the organisations’ representatives on this project.

The culmination of this work has been the development of a child-centred competence framework, which is a set of materials to guide early childhood educators, students, professionals and mentors through a process of contemplation, provocation and reflection on what it means to be child-centred when working with young children. The Framework has been derived from early childhood education and care contexts in seven countries (Croatia, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Spain and the UK) and can be used in an inter-disciplinary manner to consider what child-centred practice might look like in different contexts.

The Framework builds on the European Council’s conceptualisation of competencies as the combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate for the context (European Commission, 2007; European Commission, 2018).

The Framework takes the three core aspects of child-centred knowledge, romantic ( taking the classical romantic view of early childhood as espoused by the likes of Froebel for example), developmental and democratic, as its starting point.  The three concepts are presented as the foundational knowledge on child-centredness, where knowledge is about harnessing action. The three strands of knowledge therefore become lenses through which to consider the culture, policies and practices of child-centredness.  The dimensions of culture, policies and practices have been divided into sections, each with a series of indicators.  Within culture, there is a consideration of values and ethos while policies consider organisation structures and policies, and practice encompasses curriculum and pedagogy.

Under the dimensions (culture, policies and practices) and sections (value, ethos, organisational structure and policy, curriculum and pedagogy) are 38 interconnecting indicators. Each indicator is presented as a short statement that has been derived from literature and existing research into child-centred practice.  The indicators have been illustrated through a series of resources intended to support students, professionals and mentos to consider what child-centredness means for their setting.

The resources include

  • Provocations – open-ended activities designed to stimulate ideas either alone or in groups through self-directed learning.
  • Examples from practice – research-based observations of practice that have been analysed in relation to the three cores aspects of child-centred practice.
  • Videos – discussions of the indicators and further reading-signposting for further information – external resources that support a consideration of the indicators.
  • Resources include both those developed by the research team as well as links to those developed with other contexts but proved useful to developing child-centred competence. In some instances, resources have been provided in languages other than English, reflecting the international development of the framework and the international context of those who may read it.

The e-book also contains references to Early Childhood Ireland’s Scéalta blog and considers children’s perspectives on quality and listening to children!

It’s Live – ‘Child-Centred Competence Framework’

We recommend that you take time to view this valuable resource on child-centredness for the early learning and care sector and it can be accessed through this link Child-Centred Competences for Early Childhood Education and Care | Early Education (early-education.org.uk)

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