Difficult conversations with children

Difficult conversations with children

Some topics are difficult to talk about with children … – illnesses, accidents, death, violence. Most adults are afraid of taking up these themes with young children. However, as they are an inevitable part of life, each of us, including children, must get used to these issues. To help children become familiar with such topics, it’s worth showing them that you can talk about these difficult subjects. The only question is – how to do it?

Cultural diversity and inclusiveness. How to ensure that every child belongs?

Cultural diversity and inclusiveness. How to ensure that every child belongs?

Every child wants to feel that they are seen and heard; that they belong. This applies to Dutch children and also, perhaps even more, to children from different cultural backgrounds or who speak a different language at home. How do you ensure that all children have the feeling that they belong in the group?

Moving on from special education… The Portuguese new legislation on inclusive education

Moving on from special education… The Portuguese new legislation on inclusive education

How should we organize inclusive education? This is a key question in many European countries as they move from special to inclusive education. We would like to introduce the new Portuguese law to you as an innovative and inspiring framework, and describe some motivations behind the law.

‘That pencil is not flesh coloured. It’s brown’: talking about skin colours in the classroom

‘That pencil is not flesh coloured. It’s brown’: talking about skin colours in the classroom

Teacher, why is that girl so dirty? When young children make such statements, we are inclined to pass over them (‘she does not know what she is saying’), to blame the parents (‘they must have picked it up at home’) or to quickly and generally condemn these statements (‘you cannot say that, that is not nice’). We assume that children will grow up to be unprejudiced adults if we do not talk about ‘it’. Contrary to what we believe, young children are not ‘colour-blind’.

I can always count on her. What migrant parents value in their relationships with the (pre)school.

I can always count on her.  What migrant parents value in their relationships with the (pre)school.

“When I have something on my mind, I just walk to the teacher. Yes, I’ll ask for suggestions like ‘how do I need to do these things at home? Do you have suggestions?’ Yes, I can always count on her..” – Batoul, parent of Dahbi (4 years old).

7 reasons to follow the EarlyYearsBlog.eu

7 reasons to follow the EarlyYearsBlog.eu

The EarlyYearsBlog.eu is now online! We have designed this blog to make research findings and recommended practices in early childhood education more accessible and useful. Our goal is to help early childhood education professionals innovate their pedagogical practices and promote the inclusion of all children. “Why should I read the EarlyYearsBlog.eu?”, our potential readers may ask. Here are some reasons:

5 research-inspired tips to develop preschoolers’ language through conversation

Conversation is crucial for language acquisition, but talking in the home context is quite different from talking in an ECEC setting. I would like to share 5 tips to enrich those conversations. 1 The type of activity matters. “Language-all-day-long” is a beautiful goal to pursue. However, in practice what really matters is what you do (a.o. Cabell et al., 2014). Excellent contexts to produce rich, language stimulating conversations have been shown to be science activities and storytelling moments. Thus, focussing on these is a first great strategy for language development.

Increasing toddlers and preschoolers’ engagement in play: how does the teacher do that?

Increasing toddlers and preschoolers’ engagement in play: how does the teacher do that?

It’s Emma’s first day of teacher training in a nursery school. She quickly observes the classroom. Where do they need me? Emma is everywhere and nowhere in the classroom; she walks – no, she runs – from one corner to another and back. She wants all toddlers to receive all the attention they need at all times… However, is that possible? And more: is it necessary?

How do you make sure that every preschooler plays in every corner?

How do you make sure that every preschooler plays in every corner?

Since the 1960s, our society has undergone a big evolution. In education a lot has changed as well, except for the classroom interior of many preschool classes. On one side of the classroom there is the corner with dolls. There, we combine playing opportunities concerning “caring”: kitchen, washing machine, dolls and additional caring material and fancy dresses (to be able to really play mummy – male fancy dresses are usually missing).