1st Edition

The Early Years Reflective Practice Handbook

By Avril Brock Copyright 2015
    404 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    404 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    • 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


    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.