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ZPDF The Zone of Proximal Developmental Flow  The ZPDF diagram provides a representation of both the child’s and the adult’s creative cognitive process and of their interaction.  This point of interaction has been identified in research as ‘Sustained Shared Thinking’ (SST) and it has been associated with the most effective early childhood pedagogic practice.  SST represents a genuine meeting of minds, that is achieved whenever the practitioner has identified, and is able to engage directly with, the particular operations (schemes) and figurative (schema) knowledge that the child is applying in their play.

The child’s free-flow play is represented in the central cycle, as an interaction between the child’s cognitive schemes and schema.  This is what van Oers (1999) described as a process that Vygotsky understood as ‘progressive continuous re-contextualisation’.  Piaget called it ‘reflexive abstraction’, and described how the child’s established schemes support the ‘assimilation’ and accomodation of new schema.  The activity space contained by the cycle is referred to as the Zone of Proximal Developmental Flow (ZPDF) because it is analogous to that provided through adult scaffolding in Vygotsky’s (1962) zone of proximal development (ZPD), except that in this case it is the child’s own recall of previously observed (or formally introduced) cognitive schemes and schema that are being applied in scaffolding their play (there is no immediate adult involved in providing their scaffolding).  ‘Flow’ was first identified as a quality of play associated with enhanced periods of learning and creativity by Csikszentmihalyi’s (1979).  Bruce (1991) and Laevers’ (1993) applied the phrase ‘Free Flow Play’, and defined it in terms of the complete immersion, involvement and the sense of fulfilment that children gained from it.

Learning and development in free-flow play may therefore be considered ‘seeded’ by the child’s prior learning of a scheme or schema.  This may have occurred through the child’s observation and imitation of others ,or through direct instruction, but it is important to recognise that the child’s learning will remain incomplete if they are not provided with the opportunity to play with their new ideas and capabilities, to identify the strengths and limitations of the schemes and schemas, and to own them for themselves.  This is what we mean when we say that learning in SchemaPlay is essentially a creative and child centred process. ‘Free Flow Play’ is an integrating mechanism, which brings together what the child has previously learn, knows, feels and understands (Tina Bruce, 1997).  More about all of this can be found in the SchemaPlay booklet:  Putting the Schema back into Schema Theory and Practice: An Introduction to SchemaPlay

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Pdf Copies for Download

Siraj-Blatchford, J., and Brock, L. (2016) Putting the Schema back into Schema Theory and Practice: An Introduction to SchemaPlay, SchemaPlay Publications

This booklet has been written for anyone who is interested in developing a better understanding of how we can ‘seed’ free-flow play to support every child’s learning and development.  We introduce our Zone of Proximal Development Flow (ZPDF) model and provide an explanation for how play really works! ISBN 978 0 9957626 0 2

£5.50

Siraj-Blatchford, J., and Brock, L. (2017) Education for Sustainable Citizenship in Early Childhood, SchemaPlay Publications

The text presents sustainable citizenship as a life-long emergent capability. It distances itself from those who promote dystopian images of the future that may result from either toxic childhoods, or environmental and climatic catastrophes. An optimistic and celebratory approach is provided that emphasises the importance of Sustainable Citizens accepting responsibility for, and taking pride in, their day to day sustainable actions. ISBN 978 0 9957626 1 9

£6.50

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The Environmental Rating Scale for Sustainable Development in Early Childhood (ERS-SDEC)

The ERS-SDEC may be applied by individual or groups of practitioners to audit their education for sustainable development curriculum. It is free to download below and has been developed to help practitioners and preschool centre mangers in setting ESD curriculum development priorities. Where the scale is used by a single practitioner within their own setting, the scale can be applied to support curriculum development through identifying priorities, setting targets and managing change without difficulties. But wherever any form of comparison is involved between teaching and learning contexts or settings:

  • training will be required to develop a shared understanding the use and the role of the scale;
  • training will also be required to ensure common understandings of the quality criteria (definitions and cultural variations) and in;
  • many cases a ‘critical friend’ should also be involved to provide support and validation (this may be an local authority adviser or an academic who has applied the instrument in other contexts.

SchemaPlay offers training for trainers in the use of the scale and may be able to put you in contact with a local provider: Contact: admin@schemaplay.com

As in other early childhood environmental rating scales, the ERS-SDEC identifies both curriculum and pedagogic provisions and it requires the evaluator to make their own observations. Our intention has been to develop the instrument as a both a research tool, and also as a self-assessment tool for practitioners. Where it is applied by an outside researcher they will be required to ask practitioners for information about their practices, and to seek evidence that confirms these practices. The ERS-SDEC applies the same rating procedures and may be applied conveniently alongside more elaborate and comprehensive quality rating scales such as the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale – Revised (ECERS-R) (Harms, Clifford and Cryer, 1998) or the English Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale – Extension (ECERS-E) (Sylva, Siraj-Blatchford, & Taggart, 2003). But in any comparative or collaborative research context there will always be a need to ensure inter-rater reliability and it is important that users recognise the need for external or collective moderation and/or validation. If you are intending to use the instrument for comparative research purposed please let us know and we will be able to provide further advise or support. Contact: john@schemaplay.com
Details of the international trials carried out in development of the instrument may be found at:
Siraj-Blatchford, J., Park, E., and Mogharreban, C. (Eds.) (2016) International Research on Education for Sustainable Development in Early Childhood, Springer International Publishing

ERS-SDEC Downloads

Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale (POEMS)

Available for order online here

Designed as a self-study, this US scale is intended to raise the quality of the preschool outdoor environment and promote their use in teaching, research, and practice. It includes a user guide, the scale and a scoring protocol, reliability and validity information, and a technical assistance manual for program improvement and planning. The scale addresses environments for children age 3-5 years. (Additional Scoring Protocols sold separately.)

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Supporting Schemes with Picture Story Books

This page provides ten collections of books that have been put together to support children’s schematic learning. When we identify the particular schemes that feature in a children’s free flow play, it provides us with an opportunity to build upon what the child knows and what they can do.

For SchemaPlay publications click here.

Picture Story Books to support Early Childhood Education for Sustainable Citizenship will be found here.


Peters Books provide a 30% discount on all titles purchased by SchemaPlay settings: Simply apply the discount code SCHEMA30 at the checkout. Recommended titles below:

ConnectingContainingCountingEnclosing and
Enveloping
Ordering
PrintPrintPrintPrintPrint
RotatingSequencingSorting and GroupingTrajectoryTransporting
PrintPrintPrintPrintPrint
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Books for Early Childhood Education for Sustainable Citizenship

This page provides a collection of Picture Story Books that have been put together to support the OMEP-UK Early Childhood Education for Sustainable Citizenship Award.
For more information about the OMEP-UK ESC Award click here.
For SchemaPlay publications click here.
SchemaPlay training opportunities are listed here.
Peters Books provide a 30% discount on all titles purchased by SchemaPlay settings: Simply apply the discount code SCHEMA30 at the checkout. Recommended titles below:

AnimalsCommunitiesDiversityEnvironmentWaterWeather
PrintPrintPrintPrintPrintPrint

News

OMEP-UK Early Childhood Education for Sustainable Citizenship Award

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Sustainable Development means making our decisions today so that they; ‘meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.  The subject is therefore all about the future needs and well-being of preschool children.

Education for sustainable development presents humankind (as a species) as interdependent with the natural world, recognising that the plants and animals around us live in an ecological balance, and that we are also interdependent with each other, as individuals, as groups, cultures, and as nations.  In terms of early childhood development and learning, our understanding of interdependency begins with our learning about ourselves, and about how we respect and care for each other and the wider environment.

From September 2019, the UK chapter of the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education (the Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Préscolaire)(OMEP) will be offering early childhood education and care providers the opportunity to apply for an Education for Sustainable Citizenship (ESC) Award.  This OMEP-UK scheme has been developed to support a wide range of early childhood education providers including childminders, preschools, and nurseries who are already working with parents in supporting the objectives of Education for Sustainable Development in early childhood.  The associated resources and training materials offer an optimistic, and pro-active approach to the subject that celebrates sustainable achievements and innovations and encourages children to feel themselves involved in the creation of a more sustainable future.

The scheme is organised around an OMEP ‘ESC Passport’ that is provided for each child. The passport will provide discounted entry to wildlife conservation parks and other related community resources and services.  Each child is able to collect up to 15 award stickers for entry into their passport, and these show their ESC achievements at Bronze, Silver and Gold level.  To be awarded each sticker, parents and preschool practitioners work together to support the child in completing educational activities that range from the identification three wild birds, the identification of wildlife habitats, to the recycling of waste materials, and the recognition of cultural and linguistic diversity. The activities are set at an appropriate level for the age group, they are based upon commonly available environmental resources, and provide the foundations of an education for sustainable citizenship that addresses all aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

SchemaPlay are offering accredited training for experienced independent early years trainers and support staff so that they can work with settings in achieving the Award.  As it has been developed here, Education for Sustainable Citizenship should not be seen as a curriculum add-on or an additional commitment: ESC provides a highly motivating new perspective in early childhood with really transformational potential.  Experience has shown that the activities and experiences of ESC improve learning outcomes and wellbeing right across the curriculum, the setting and the wider community.

To learn more about the OMEP initiative and about the training that SchemaPlay are providing, we invite you to attend the SchemaPlay National Conference in Walsall on May 1st: http://www.schemaplay.com/sp2019.html

Make your decision to attend today, and contribute towards a more sustainable tomorrow.  Further information can be found on the SchemaPlay website: http://www.schemaplay.com