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Diary

In this blog we are posting news from around the network, reflections on general news items and other broad-ranging items of interest. Current contributors are Sightlines Initiative directors Robin Duckett, Liz Elders, Debi Keyte Hartland and Chris Merrick.

New perspectives on Early Childhoood Education: free meeting at IoE in London.

Here is notice of a  free half-day conference at the IOE which may be of interest to Sightlines members: 'Early Childhood Education and Care: Alternative Perspectives, New Debates' on Wednesday 13th December. Peter Moss will be speaking and there are workshops on a range of different topics. 

"Early childhood policy and practice in England is under pressure. It is dominated by an instrumental, economistic and positivistic narrative, expressed in a vocabulary of learning goals, school readiness, baseline assessment, investment and returns, and markets. At this afternoon event, to which you are warmly invited, we will debate alternative narratives with eminent researchers who offer different perspectives on how early childhood might be. Sessions offer opportunities to hear about and contribute to critical issues and themes such as participation, the impact of the market on access, international development, and measurement. Organised by the Thomas Coram Research Unit, the event promises to be a rich afternoon that will be followed by the launch of an important new book, 'The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Policy' where Professor Jane Payler (The Open University) will provide a short introduction."

More details and registration here

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Lessons from Plowden

​For educators and parents, fresh and seasoned: here is news of a very informative seminar for all who are minded to protect and develop a broad experience of education.  

It comes at a time when (again) the current UK government is proposing new assessment regimes for young children in its continuing march down the narrow avenues of instruction. 

"2017 is the 50th year since the publication of 'Children and their Primary Schools', better known as The Plowden Report. 
Plowden has been a consistent reference point since that time and has come to stand for child-centred, socially conscious primary education. It prompted an international interest and educators from across the world visited English primary schools – notably in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Leicestershire. Our conference invites teachers and others concerned with primary education to recall Plowden and ask what we have learned since and what we have forgotten."

The event is free, funded by University of Cambridge & History of Education Society.

  • Dr Joseph Featherstone (Emeritus Professor of Education, Michigan State University)
  • Dr Emily Harper (Teacher at Lyndhurst Primary School, Camberwell, London)
  • Dr Ken Jones (Senior Policy Officer NUT & Emeritus Professor, Goldsmiths)

Sat 18 November 2017 | 13:30 – 16:30
Mander Hall, Hamilton House, National Union of Teachers, Mabledon Place, London, 
WC1H 9BD

click for More Information and Booking

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Children and education at the centre, say politicians

c. Daily Mirror

Despite the Education Hustings event being cancelled, we have heard some politicians thoughts and intents on education:

"The Next time we see a Tory education policy based on evidence will be the First time we see a Tory education policy based on evidence.(Ian Mearns, Gateshead MP); 

"Start with children - in preschool - 30 hours a week for all children - in life we need to do things together: let our children enjoy those wonderful creative preschool years together, so that their memories are of learning and doing things together - that's what makes humans strong and support each other." (Jeremy Corbyn, Leader, Labour Party.) 

Both at packed public rally in Gateshead, 5th July. It is so refreshing to hear speeches beginning with the need for education for young children - not just 'childcare for parents' or 'training for global competition' - but on championing sociable learning, and on values for life. 

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