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Supporting use of evidence-based classroom approaches by early years' educators in responding effectively to issues of diversity and inclusion

Marwick, Helen and McCartney, Elspeth (2014) Supporting use of evidence-based classroom approaches by early years' educators in responding effectively to issues of diversity and inclusion. In: European Early Childhood Educational Research Association Conference, Crete, Greece, Sept 2014, 2014-09-07 - 2014-09-10.

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Abstract

To support early years educators in responding effectively to issues of diversity and inclusion. The current, international, focus on developing the quality of teaching aims to improve educational opportunity and achievement for the diverse children within the modern classroom, by equipping teachers to respond effectively to developmental, social, and cultural factors that impact on child attainment and wellbeing. Research reviewing high-quality school systems internationally has identified teacher professionalism as a key factor. Professionalism includes ethical and responsible action, and access to an evidence base which allows the development of educational practices that are likely to be effective. This has led to proposals that teachers become ‘discerning consumers’ of research (BERA 2014 p5), able to interpret and use it in their work. Workshops are in progress with early education educators using materials providing information on current understandings of the influences exerted by diverse factors on child attainment and wellbeing. The workshops involve participants reflecting on use of evidence and facilitators and barriers to implementation of evidence - based approaches in practice. Informed consent was gained and participant anonymity assured. The workshops will offer insights into the thinking of early educators on how they can optimise their use of research evidence in practice, and the role that researchers and institutions can play in this process. The findings will signpost key required elements to be incorporated into effective research, and indicate factors that may need to be considered when developing an evidence base that enhances effective practice and inclusive pedagogy in a diverse classroom.