The Early Years Reflective Practice Handbook  book cover
1st Edition

The Early Years Reflective Practice Handbook

ISBN 9780415529938
Published September 9, 2015 by Routledge
404 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

What do early childhood practitioners need to know about reflection and reflective practice?

Ongoing reforms in early childhood care and education social policy affect all aspects of young children’s and their families’ lives. Decisions are being undertaken at a rapid pace and there is a need for those working in the field of Early Years to consolidate and reflect on their knowledge and practice, building on what they already know.

This timely new book aims to support reflective practice for those working with young children in everyday work and in the wider political context, whatever their professional role and whatever level of qualification they hold. It takes a fresh look at a breadth of issues relating to early childhood care and education reflecting on policy, knowledge and practice.

Incorporating practical reflection activities, case studies, exemplar scenarios and questions in each chapter the book considers:

  • policy developments and how these have affected young children and their families
  • issues around socio-culturalism, language, ethnicity, disposition, gender, inclusion and socio-economics when working with families
  • learning through play and the notions of quality, observation and assessment and continuity
  • contemporary issues that practitioners and students on placement may encounter in their everyday work
  • deepening reflective thinking and practice through ongoing and continuing professional development.


With practical guidance to help the reader reflect on their own practice, this text offers invaluable support to early years practitioners looking to develop their career and achieving higher qualification at both undergraduate and at Master’s level. The book is a must for students on early years courses including early childhood studies, initial teacher training and early years teacher status.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Setting reflection firmly in early childhood care and education

Chapter 1: What is reflection and reflective practice?

Dr Avril Brock

Chapter 2: Why is reflection important for early childhood educators?

Dr Avril Brock

Chapter 3: Developing reflective writing

Dr Avril Brock

Chapter 4: Practitioners, professionalism and reflection on role

Dr Avril Brock

Chapter 5: What does professionalism mean for me?

Dr Avril Brock

  • Part 2: What is the knowledge base for early childhood educators?

Chapter 6: Reflecting on children, families and policy

Dr Avril Brock

Chapter 7: A children’s centre manager’s perspective

Jane Lees

Chapter 8: Reflecting on the role of graduates as pedagogical with children from birth to three

Mary Whalley

Chapter 9: Early years professionals’ reflective practice from Kirklees’ case studies

Rachael Singleton and Dr Avril Brock

Chapter 10: A Deeper Understanding of Play

Liz Chesworth

Focused reflection: What’s Going On? The Challenge of Making Sense of Open Ended Play. Andy Burt

Chapter 11: Reflecting on school readiness

Dr Avril Brock

Chapter 12: Capable confident children: a reception class teacher’s pedagogical reflections

Dr Avril Brock and Tina Thornton

Chapter 13: Quality is in the eye of the beholder: developing early years provision using child led quality indicators

Dr Jo Armistead


  • Part 3: Case studies of contemporary issues

Section 1: What’s it like for a child?

Why my friends are so important? Dr Avril Brock

What’s it like for a black child in the classroom? Gina Houston

Why are my stories so important to me? Dr Avril Brock

Adyta - The silent period, as experienced by young bilingual learners. Dr Caroline Bligh

What is it like for a child living with violence? Naomi Lewis

What is it like for a bereaved child? Avril Brock

Section 2: How can I develop my professional knowledge and practice?

How can I cater for children’s individuality? Rachel Sparks Linfield

How do I develop children’s understanding of the concept of time? Lyndsey Shipley

Communication using new technologies – the tip of the iceberg. Alix Coughlin

What should I do about young children’s gun play? Rachel Marshall, Nicola Milton, Paula Render and Jennifer Smith

Reflecting on the process of learning how to teach reading using systematic synthetic phonics. Bev Keen

How do I observe and assess children’s capabilities? Avril Brock

Section 3: Widening reflective professional knowledge: what do I need to know about this issue and why is it important?

Dealing with racist incidents. Gina Houston

How can an early years setting support the mental health of young children and why is this important? Lucy Akroyd

How to support asylum and refugee children face in early years education. Rebecca Wood

Does bullying really happen in early years? Melanie Henderson

Children with parents in prison. Avril Brock

  • Part 4: Continuing professional development and action research on reflective practice

Chapter 14:

Deepening reflection even further

Avril Brock

Chapter 15: On reflection: examining undergraduate reflective practice across two Higher Education (HE) sector endorsed Foundation Degrees (FD’s) and BA (Hons) programmes within a Further Education (FE) provision.

Helen Rowe

Chapter 16: Does the use of reflective practice enhance early years foundation degree student’s personal and professional development?

Nicola Firth


  • Appendices

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Avril Brock is a Principal Lecturer in the Carnegie Faculty at Leeds Metropolitan University. She lectures in childhood and early years education teaching across undergraduate and postgraduate courses.