Challenges to participatory approaches in early years practice

Jane Gibbs, Linda Cooper

    Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


    This chapter explores practical approaches that empower children to become individual agents of their own learning. Whilst it is acknowledged that skilful early years practitioners co-construct the learning process (David, 2001), settings including Montessori schools have long held the belief that children are the masters of their own learning. We also recognise that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) addresses the need for children to engage in both child-initiated and adult-led play-based activities (DfE, 2012), using exemplars of reflexivity in practice to support sustained shared thinking (Sylva et al., 2006). We will examine the participatory approaches to children’s learning in two exemplary early years settings, both having achieved Ofsted outstanding judgements and who acknowledge the individual voices of children and the use of play as a necessary pedagogic tool for young children prior to the more formal didactic junior school years (Goouch, 2009). Bae’s (2009) recognition of whether children’s choice is considered or controlled by adults will be discussed and apractical approach will be provided in an effort to promote consideration towards children’s participation within the early years environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationChildren's Rights 0-8
    Subtitle of host publicationPromoting participation in education and care
    EditorsMallika Kanyal
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315815107
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2014


    • Participatory approaches
    • Early years
    • Early years practice
    • Children


    Dive into the research topics of 'Challenges to participatory approaches in early years practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this