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Past event Part of series: Research Commission: Competing Discourses of Early Childhood Education and Care

A Curriculum for Early Years

This one-day seminar was the third in a series of interactive events comprising the BERA Research Commission 2019 – 2020,  Competing Discourses of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC): Tensions, Impacts and Democratic Alternatives across the UK’s four jurisdictions.  This seminar focused on ‘A  curriculum for the Early Years’ at a time when this is being re-envisioned across the UK. The history of curriculum development in the sector follows stories of pioneers, theoretical developments and response to children’s needs and, in recent years, political interest in what children should be learning.  Considerations of curriculum are at the very heart of what we understand early education and care is for; should ECEC offer children opportunities to engage in a wide range of appropriate activities for their stage of life, or is this a time to secure literacy and numeracy skills as part of preparation for the next stage of education? Are these decisions to be made by educators, by parents or are they part of policy to shape the next generation of citizens, workers, managers? The seminar provided opportunities to explore the issues that shape curriculum and how these are connected with policy making. 

During this seminar, we aimed to hear the widest possible range of voices from the early years community in Wales about development in curriculum. The day consisted of focus group discussions and stimulating presentations to build on the themes emerging from our earlier seminars on school readiness and collaborative agency.

There is simultaneous translation available throughout the event and contributions are welcomed through the medium of English or Welsh. The documentation for registration is in English for administrative reasons.


10.00 Registration and refreshments
10.15 Setting the context of the Research Commission and Curriculum for the Early Years
Jan Georgeson and Verity Campbell-Barr
10.30 Structured Focus group discussions (using Nominal Group Technique) answering questions:
What constitutes the ‘early years curriculum’ in Wales 0-7?
Who is responsible for it?
11.30 Coffee break
12.00 Keynote session 1: Voices from Policy and Practice
Dr Emma Laing and Professor Graham Donaldson
13.00 Lunch
13.45 Keynote session 2: Voices from Research of Practice
Dr Mandy Bateman and Dr Jane Waters
14.30 Feedback on Nominal Group Technique scores and group discussion.
14.55 Completion of evaluation forms
15.00 Close of event


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