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Synopsis

Building on highly topical research surrounding young children’s participation, this book draws on a diversity of disciplines exploring the importance of participatory approaches to children’s early education and shows how fostering a sense of identity and belonging are essential to early learning.

Taking young children seriously demands a high level of confidence and leadership in early years practitioners, and the author provides a convincing, well researched rationale for using this approach in early years contexts. The chapters

• demonstrate the importance of listening to the voices of the children,
• show how to help young children make sense of the rules and hierarchies they encounter in the classroom
• explore ways of working that include the young children but also allow adults to shape approaches to collective decision making

• use examples of the type of questions which children might ask when they first enter school, which are presented as ‘windows’ into children’s experiences via key moments or incidents in the school day
• provide a framework and practical tools for planning

This book is an important addition to debate about the politics and ethics of a highly prescribed and mainly developmentally-informed early years curriculum.  Researchers and students of early childhood education will find much here of interest to them.

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