Without foundation: the EYFS framework and its creation of needs

Rix, Jonathan and Parry, John (2014). Without foundation: the EYFS framework and its creation of needs. In: Moyles, Janet; Payler, Jane and Georgeson, Jan eds. Early Years Foundations: Meeting the Challenge (2nd ed). Maidenhead: Open University Press, pp. 203–214.

URL: http://www.mheducation.co.uk/9780335262649-emea-ea...

Abstract

This chapter examines the language and underpinning ideas of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and its supporting documents. It explores how notions of diversity and difference emerge, in particular the construction of special educational needs and disability. It considers the underlying contradictions which arise, including links to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The chapter examines the claims that the framework is not about a staged notion of development, and relates this to its vision of what education is for and how parents should be involved. As well as challenging the norm based notions of development and assessment underpinning the EYFS, the chapter questions why difference is not threaded through the document but emerges as an occasional add on. It also highlights the challenges which emerge in relation to equitable access to support at a time when there is a shift away from centralised systems towards an increasing diversification of provision. It questions whether the processes the framework encourages practitioners to undertake will result in more effective practice which is genuinely responsive to the learning needs of children and relevant to practitioners.

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