Learning Circle Reflections - September 2016


The new academic year is upon us which can only mean one thing... The CREC Learning Circle is back!

The first meeting of 2016/17 took place last week and it was great to see everyone again after, what we hope was, a relaxing and enjoyable summer break. 

This year we're introducing another aspect to the Learning Circle by bringing you a monthly reflective blog after each meeting.

Each post will be written by one of the Learning Circle attendees with the intention of sharing their take on the meeting and providing those that couldn't make it with an insight into the session -- we've decided to call it 'Learning Circle Reflections' (we do love a bit of reflective practice after all!)

So, without further ado, the first instalment of 'Learning Circle Reflections' comes from one of our marvellous PhD students, Helen Lyndon:

"This first session of the academic year was hosted by Chris Pascal and Tony Bertram who outlined their recent IEA study.

The study provides an overview of policy in eight countries and explores the delivery models, quality assurance, funding and outcomes for children that each country operates. In recent times Early Childhood Education and Care has become a field of growing policy shifts and this debate is welcomed.

Chris and Tony talked us through the research methodology and the complexities of dealing with eight different countries as their civil servants harvested the relevant data and completed the online questionnaire.

The differences between policy rhetoric and practitioner reality were discussed and as a group we drew further comparison to such differences in the English system even though England was not part of the study.

The ethics of such large scale research were discussed. What happens when participants disagree with findings?

The principles of making such comparisons were also discussed, should we be drawing such comparisons? Does that imply that there should be measurable benchmarks for all children? How do we account for contextual variation?

What the study was able to do was to draw out some key recommendations for those who may be in the privileged position to be able to influence early years strategy and policy development, somewhere many of us at learning circle aspire to be... "

H. Lyndon (acknowledging my own participation in the data collection for this study)


Attendees at the September meeting also set out a tentative calendar of Learning Circle meetings for the 2016/17 academic year, along with topics to be presented and discussed at each session. You can find the dates over on the CREC Learning Circle page.

If you're on Facebook, make sure you join the CREC Learning Circle Facebook group and add the Learning Circle meeting events to your electronic diaries.

The next Learning Circle meeting is scheduled for Thursday 13th October where we'll be discussing Publishing Platforms -- Learning Circle members that have published books, research, blogs or other works will be sharing their stories with the group.

See you there!

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