10 Common Principles of Early Years Education

By Professor Tina Bruce

  1. The best way to prepare children for their adult life is to give them what they need as children
  2. Children are whole people who have feelings, ideas and relationships with others, and who need to be physically, mentally, morally and spiritually healthy.
  3. Subjects such as mathematics and art cannot be separated; young children learn in an integrated way and not in neat, tidy compartments.
  4. Children learn best when they are given appropriate responsibility, allowed to make errors, decisions and choices, and respected as autonomous learners.
  5. Self-discipline is emphasised. Indeed, this is the only kind of discipline worth having. Reward systems are very short-term and do not work in the long-term. Children need their efforts to be valued.
  6. There are times when children are especially able to learn particular things.
  7. What children can do (rather that what they cannot do) is the starting point of a child’s education.
  8. Imagination, creativity and all kinds of symbolic behaviour (reading, writing, drawing, dancing, music, mathematical numbers, algebra, role play and talking) develop and emerge when conditions are favourable.
  9. Relationships with other people (both adults and children) are of central importance in a child’s life.
  10. Quality education is about three things: the child, the context in which learning takes place, and the knowledge and understanding which the child develops and learns.

“Early Childhood Education”, Tina Bruce, Hodder and Stroughton, 1987


Posted on September 8, 2015, in Jane's Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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