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Influenced strongly by the young children she worked with as a teacher, and those she continues to observe, she recognises the importance of the choices practitioners make about the provision and organisation of materials for their children. These choices should reflect the shared values of their learning community and, in turn, their knowledge about, understanding of and sensitivity towards the young child as a thinker, a learner, and a maker of meaning.
Kathy is currently involved in action research projects with early years practitioners focusing upon key ‘intelligent’ materials (Malaguzzi) and the development of studio spaces within their settings.
In her session, Kathy will explain how, with support and guidance, practitioners can gain confidence in making provision and developing routines that:
• Allow children to explore, investigate and interact with key materials on an everyday basis
• Prioritise the child’s ideas, meanings and storying
• Promote deep thinking and high levels of well-being
Formerly Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education at York St John University, Kathy is an Early Education Associate and Independent Consultant. She co-authored ‘Making Sense of Children’s Drawings’ (OUP, 2003) and contributed to ‘Mark Making Matters’ (DCSF, 2008). Kathy’s research investigates the environmental factors that impact upon young children as meaning makers.