Knowing what you believe and the importance of it!
My personal creed!
By Tamsin Grimmer
There has been a lot of discussion on social media recently about the child and childhood and what certain people believe to be true. I don’t agree with much of what I have read – but I do believe it is vitally important for us to think about what we believe and why. To state it, out loud, and shout it from the roof tops. As educators how we view children and our image of the child will underpin our pedagogical approach and values.
We should be evangelists for what we believe, striving to spread the word and our viewpoint – and if we don’t know what we think – get thinking! It’s not OK to sit on the fence. As educators we must have a view – because you may have heard the phase, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything! To a certain extent this is true. If we haven’t worked out our own view – how will we know if the views of someone else fit within what we think and our ethos?
With this in mind, I invite you to write your own personal creed. To state clearly what you believe about young children and childhood and why. I’ll go first!
Firstly and most importantly, I believe that children should be loved.
Children need to grow and develop in relationship with others.
Children are competent, capable and rich in potential.
Children are important in their own right and should have a recognised place in society as a group in themselves. I believe childhood to be a vitally important phase in our lives.
Children can and do make a positive contribution and should be valued and listened to.
Children should be allowed to play, be free to explore and investigate and be given time to do so.
Children should be respected, protected and kept safe, whilst being allowed to take risks and challenged as they grow and develop.
Children should be able to direct their own learning at times and their views should be taken into consideration within their education.
When our values and beliefs about young children lead our practice, it will be the foundation upon which we can base our whole provision. So I challenge you to consider these questions:
· What does our ethos say about our setting and our views of children and childhood?
· What pedagogies and principles are underpinning our practice?
· Does our day to day practice typically reflect our ethos?
In my view a loving pedagogy is the appropriate approach to take when considering the education and care of very young children. So I want to leave you with a quote about love from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. Could we use this to describe us and our approach towards the child?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”